YGGDRASH ICO Review & YEED Token Analysis

YGGDRASH ICO Overview

The YGGDRASH ICO and YEED Token are launching a 3rd generation blockchain protocol that is designed to tackle a number of pressing issues facing protocol scalability and utility. As blockchain technology is adopted on a larger scale, the increase in transactions and size of DApp data pose perhaps the most significant roadblock toward further progress.

YGGDRASH has designed a blockchain ecosystem that addresses scalability through a novel combination of performance processing technologies.

And before we go further, let’s address the elephant in the room here. YGGDRASH? What the heck is that? Well, the term is derived from Yggdrasil, a gigantic tree that connects the nine worlds of Norse mythology – the symbolism will become clear as we progress. (And yes, it’s the same Yggdrasil you may have met in the recent Marvel movies with Thor, or Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, if you’re as nerdy as we are.)

As for ASH – the tree itself is presumed by scholars to have been an ash tree, and ASH is derived from HASH… so there. It all fits together much better than you might think, and we rather like it. Now we’ll just practice spelling it.

YGGDRASH ICO Value Proposition

YGGDRASH is a trust-based, multi-dimensional blockchain ecosystem wherein each branch is governed by reputation to ensure integrity. The architecture of the YGGDRASH ecosystem will include a Decentralized Exchange (DEX) component and a DApp Store of Blockchain (DSB). The DEX is designed so that it will be possible to trade cryptocurrencies directly within the YGGDRASH personal wallet. The wallet will have the ability to connect directly to the blockchain rather than the internal wallets of existing exchanges.

The DSB concept refers to each individual “Branch Chain” of YGGDRASH itself, described in the whitepaper as “a service and a DApp at the same time”. Each DApp exists as both an independent blockchain and a service, downloadable from an App Store like interface. Each DApp runs its own blockchain independently from all other chains within the YGGDRASH ecosystem.

Stem Chain: The Stem Chain is the main blockchain at the root of the YGGDRASH ecosystem. The Stem Chain contains information from all of the Branch Chains. It is optimized for transaction processing scalability and expandability by storing only minimum information such as the address of each Branch Chain. In addition, it has the ability to facilitate connections between Branch Chains and will manage the full life-cycle of each chain.

Branch Chain: A Branch Chain is both a DApp and an independent blockchain at the same time. As a Branch Chain itself is a blockchain, an independent consensus algorithm can be established for governance. It is important to note that Branch Chains are not side chains. YGGDRASH can connect any Branch Chains once it is connected with the Stem Chain, creating an environment where data between chains is easily transacted. Since a Branch Chain is operated as an independent blockchain, it cannot be affected by the overloading and failure of transactions on other Branch Chains.

YEED is the underlying token of YGGDRASH. The primary utility of YEED is to create and sustain a branch chain for DApps. YEED is used to connect the blockchain to the main network of YGGDRASH and is gradually consumed over time to sustain the connection. As the ecosystem of YGGDRASH develops, the value of YEED and the stem and branch chains are designed to grow together. Initially, YEED will be issued as an ERC-20 token until the main-net is online.

Documentation

Comprehensiveness: The whitepaper is quite brief. Information regarding the team is not included in the whitepaper and little information is presented on the website. With respect to the technical aspects of the platform, there are low levels of content provided (no discussion on the infrastructure of the platform, smart contracts, etc). Reward calculations are included in the document. The business-related aspects of the platform are also lacking. Market research is done poorly and discussion regarding the business development plan is absent. Links to publicly available GitHub repositories are absent.

Readability: The whitepaper contains a fair amount of grammatical errors. Discussion regarding reward calculations could be condensed to improve readability of the document.

Transparency: There is a lack of transparency with the current state of development with the platform. A GitHub page is not publicly accessible and the functionality of the MVP is uncertain. The platform has yet to be launched but it is stated that MVP participants have already received a payout which totals $544,000. The terms in which users were able receive payment without a fully functional platform is uncertain. Information regarding the team members is also lacking.

Presentation of Business Plan and Token Model: The business plan presentation presented in the whitepaper is fairly weak. Market research is somewhat misguided as it projects electricity usage based on the current rate of electricity consumption via cryptocurrency mining, as opposed to an evaluation of the future development of consensus protocols as it progresses away from proof-of-work to more energy efficient means. Additionally, information regarding the business development plans (marketing, growth, etc) of the platform is absent from the whitepaper.

Presentation of Platform Technology and Use of Blockchain: Reward calculations are included, but there is little information presented with regards to how to platform operates on a technical level.

Legal Review and Risk Assessment: Legal discussion is fairly minimal with respect to the whitepaper. However, there is a document provided on the website that outlines the terms and conditions of LUHN tokens and the platform. Residents from the following jurisdictions (along with those that are subject to country/territory wide sanctions) are not permitted to participate in the token sale: United States of America, Republic of China, South Korea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and the Crimea region.

YGGDRASH ICO Team

David Seo  is the CEO and Co-founder of YGGDRASH. He is also Co-founder of Bluepan, a remittance service for migrant workers that utilizes bitcoin for money transfers. His previous experience includes serving as COO of Coinone, a South Korean crypto exchange.

Peter Ryu  is CTO and Co-founder of the YGGDRASH. Peter previously served as Development Team Manager for ICON. Prior to ICON, he also helped develop the architecture of a private blockchain project. He has a decade of experience in software development.

Joonhyuk Seo  is CFO of the project. He intends to study for an MBA this Fall at UC Berkeley and most notably has five years of management experience with Ernst & Young.

Taejin Kang serves as one of the standout advisors of YGGDRASH. His background in the business world is impressive, having served in senior leadership roles with Hyundai, HSBC and Citibank.

Andrew Chu is also an advisor for the project. He currently serves as CEO of Lately, a Korean eCommerce site.

A complete list of team is available here.

YGGDRASH ICO Strengths and Opportunities

The tree-like structure of YGGDRASH provides a potentially limitless solution to the problem currently faced by smart contract protocols. Each Branch Chain possesses its own independent network, governance and data. The data contained on all other chains within the ecosystem remains separate; therefore all resources within a given Branch Chain are utilized for that chain alone.

As a result, processing delays on other Branch Chains have no bearing on the rest of the ecosystem. Taking this one step further, Branch Chain interoperability is also a possibility. YGGDRASH is able to link disparate blockchains by applying Akashic slice, a novel chain connection protocol.

To illustrate this, the whitepaper likens combining the services of disparate Branch Chains to a Google search. Users requiring services on other Branch Chains can create networks through the information contained within the Stem Chain.

The governance system of the protocol is designed to address the deficiencies of both POS and POW consensus algorithms. In the whitepaper, the team cites POW as an example, contending that such systems are governed by block verifiers driven by self interest. Transactions and DApp data are prioritized by profitability, resulting in higher costs and greater inefficiency as a network scales. Transactions can yield high value for verifiers, but increase costs for users and produce slower transaction times.

YGGDRASH will utilize Delegated Proof of Authority (DPOS) to address the disadvantages of other consensus mechanisms. DPOS will operate according to a self-consensus algorithm, by selecting the node with the highest reputation score as a representative through a dedicated “reputation evaluation chain”. More authority is delegated to validators with “high credit scores” i.e. reputation. By attaching reputation to identity, validators are incentivised to uphold the transaction process, as a negative reputation would affect their identity and hence, their access to validation rewards.

If successful, DPOS will provide the benefits of higher security, less intensive computation and better performance/predictability (as blocks are created at steady time intervals every 10 seconds).

Product

Differentiation: The platform differentiates itself from other mining pools by creating a marketplace for users to buy and sell hash power. Compared to marketplaces such as those from NiceHash, HashRental aims to make their marketplace decentralized by developing an escrow service and by using smart contracts with LUHN tokens.

Readiness: It is stated that the that the system has been launched and that $544,000 has been paid to MVP participants. However, the functionality of the MVP is questionable. On the website, the MVP consists of links to PDF documents and a Google Forms. A figure on the website presents the different features that have been deployed and which features are currently in development.

It is stated that the following aspects of the platform have been deployed:
– HashRental mining system
– redirecting mining system
– LUHN token smart system
– payments smart system

The following are still in progress:
– interface
– hashing power smart system
– hashing power auto distribution
– management smart system

Features are not described with adequate detail.

Concreteness of Development Plans: The roadmap is presented on the website as follows:

July 2017
– Market research
– Hashing power marketplace concept development
August 2017
– Development of the platform’s architecture
September 2017
– Product MVP development
– Mining rigs power-sharing
– Services launched
– Payments to MVP customers
December 2017
– Decentralized marketplace concept development
– Company registration
January 2018
– Development of the redirecting mining system
– Website development
February 2018
– Prepare for ICO
– Smart contracts development
April 2018
– Token sale
– Interface development
June 2018
– LUHN coin public exchange listing
– Wallet launch
– Upgrade servers (UK)
– Servers collocation in US & Tokyo
– Launching HashRental marketplace (system release version)
– Start acceptive tokens for hashing power (rent)
– Start marketing company (A)
August 2018
– Hashing power smart system development
– Hashing power auto distribution system development
– Hong Kong – Fast proxy via private link
October 2018
– Develop “Smart Miner” for customers (user-friendly software)
November 2018
– LUHN coin public new exchange listing
December 2018
– Launching management smart system on HashRental platform
January 2019
– Launching of full-service HashRental marketplace
– Start marketing company (B)

Major milestones are presented. Some milestones are somewhat vague. For example, the description of the MVP developed by the organization is described with low levels of detail and it is uncertain what is meant by some milestones such as the development of the “hashing power smart system”.

Current Position within Roadmap: Concrete developments towards to the platform (that are publicly available) thus far have primarily been focused on the conceptualization of various parts of the platform. An MVP is being developed (the functionality of the MVP is significantly lacking).

Feasiblity: The development of the MVP began in September 2017 and it still has very limited functionality, thus the goal to have a functional platform by January 2019 is somewhat ambitious, especially considering that the team seems to lack commitment to the project.

Blockchain Innovation: The platform does not provide value to other projects with regards to blockchain technology. The team is simply developing smart contracts in order to manage hash power and direct payments.

YGGDRASH ICO Weaknesses and Threats

The YGGDRASH ICO is up against the likes of 0Chain, ICX, EOS and other more recent protocols that are designed to address the same issues. At this stage in the game, it’s impossible to know what the protocol landscape is going to look like in the future. Fierce competition could lead to only a handful of players coming out on top, or co-opetition may lead to interoperability between a multitude of ecosystems. Whatever the the future holds, right now the picture is clear – there are a lot of new protocols and they are all vying for mass adoption.

Timing of course is an important factor when it comes to the question of adoption and usage. The YGGDRASH test-net launches in Q3 2018 and main-net in Q2 2019. The timing could adversely affect adoption prospects for the YGGDRASH ICO as competitors leverage first-mover advantage.

Of course, a technologically superior protocol could help attract interest despite the drawn out schedule for main-net launch. That said, at this stage, there is an empty GitHub page and very little explanation in the whitepaper that outlines the technical details behind the protocol.

The Verdict on YGGDRASH ICO

YGGDRASH is a serious contender among next-generation blockchain protocols. The technology and architecture of the blockchain represent one of the most advanced concepts to date. Most importantly, the team behind the project are exceptionally well-equipped to turn this concept into a reality. With little in the way of product development at this point in time, we will be carefully watching for further updates.

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