Analysis of Change Bank ICO – Crypto Bank for Borderless Finance

Summary

  • Project name: Change Bank
  • Token symbol: CAG
  • Website: https://change-bank.com/ 
  • Whitepaper: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4RKXcemFwwbNW5wVGtBMWM0c2s/view
  • Hard cap: 200,000 ETH (ICO contributors own 40% of total token supply if hard cap is reached)
  • Conversion rate: 1 ETH = 500 CAG
  • Maximum market cap at ICO on a fully diluted basis: US$150 million if hard cap is reached assuming current ETH price of $300
  • Bonus structure: Pre-sale – 25% / first 24hrs – 20% / 1st week – 15% / 2nd week – 10%
  • Presale or white list: Presale ongoing 
  • ERC20 token: Yes
  • Crowdsale date: September 16, 2017 (please refer to Change’s website for most up-to-date information)
  • Token distribution date: Tokens will be distributed immediately after contribution and tradable after the end of ICO
See our video summary (video is 8:15 long):

Project Overview

What does the company/project do?

Change aims to be a full-service crypto bank, offering payments with cryptocurrencies as well as a fully integrated marketplace of FinTechs.

Change plans to develop several products:

Crypto wallet – facilitates the storage of all major cryptocurrencies, easy management of crypto portfolios, simple transfers of funds between peers, and other functionalities.

Change Card – a crypto debit card which allows users to spend their cryptocurrencies in online and offline locations worldwide.

Marketplace – an all-in-one platform for financial services. Users can use their cryptocurrency to invest in stocks, P2P loans, real estate, buy travel or car insurance or take a loan in cryptocurrency.

Change is also involved in the e-Residency initiative by the government of Estonia. e-Residency gives users a digital identity in the European Union - this can be used to start a company, open a bank account, file taxes, sign documents, etc. without physically being in the EU.

Change intro video (video is 1:28 long): 

How advanced is the project?

Change was founded in early 2016 in Singapore. It has received backings from angel investors with over USD 200,000 in early investment. Afterwards, other FinTech startups in the region also joined Change.

The beta was released in Q2 2017. The mobile app allows storing, spending and moving fiat currency, as well as integrating APIs with Smartly and Danabijak, startups founded by Change partners.

By 2018, Change is scheduled to launch a global FinTech marketplace, which allows users to browse and purchase all kinds of financial services using cryptocurrency.

What are the tokens used for and how can token holders make money?

There are several uses of CAG tokens.

Using the marketplace

  • Third-Party Service Providers (TPSPs) share 20% of their revenues generated from Change users with Change. This 20% is distributed between Marketplace investors and holders of Change coin in a 1:5 ratio. With 16.67% going to marketplace investors and 83.33% being distributed to CAG holders.

Change card

  • 0.5% of all payments volume will be distributed to CAG holders.

Currency for TPSP

  • CAG will be the facilitator of any transactions other than spending (excluding the temporary period in the beginning where other cryptocurrencies are enabled).

As CAG tokens are used (1) as a currency on the Change platform, (2) to receive a portion of income from purchases from the TPSP, and (3) to receive a portion of transaction volume from Change Card, the more usage the Change platform has, the more valuable CAG tokens should be.

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Team

Change has a team of 10, with most of the core members worked/working at other FinTech startups.

Bios of the core members are listed below:

Kristjan Kangro, CEO – Serial entrepreneur. Previously CFO of Expara and CEO of SwingBy.

Artur Luhaaar, Partner – Serial entrepreneur. Current CEO of Smartly and former analyst at an investment firm.

Gustav Liblik, Partner – Serial entrepreneur. Current CEO of Catapult, former CEO of Wastescanner.

Edgars Simanovskis, CTO – Also the current CTO of Danabijak. Previously an iOS developer for various companies.

Change has a strong team of advisors, including Roger Crook, ex-CEO of DHL Global Forwarding, Rob Findlay, Founder of Next Money, and Miguel Soriano, Professor at the National University of Singapore.


Opportunities

  • Change has a strong team with experience working in Fintech companies. It also has a number of legit advisors, including the former CEO of DHL Global Forwarding. 
  • Although it doesn’t benefit Change’s business directly, Change has an official partnership with a sovereign government, Estonia. This is going to provide validation to Change’s concept and put it steps ahead of many other blockchain projects.
  • Change has a very ambitious goal of providing pretty much all the services that a traditional bank provides. If successful, the upside to the business and token value can be substantial. It also allows many financial services to be paid using cryptocurrency.

Concerns

  • Here is the description of Change on their FAQ page: “Change is a crypto bank offering a wide range of financial services including a bank card, investment opportunities on a global marketplace, cryptocurrencies, insurance and more.”
    • There’s probably a lot of local regulations that will apply, particularly in the insurance and investment space. This would slow down Change’s development.
    • Change has stated that regulations don’t apply to them because Change is merely aggregating a variety of FinTech companies (which are properly licensed themselves) into one marketplace. Also, if they were to obtain a banking license, it is only to add legitimacy and not vital to its business.
    • However, we believe regulations should still apply in many jurisdictions. For example, an insurance agent needs to be licensed to sell insurance products offered by different companies (which themselves are all properly licensed). For example, human resources startup Zenefits was penalized in several states in the United States because of insurance licensing violations.
    • If Change is only offering referrals, then they are acting like an affiliate which earns income by referring businesses. They may not be objective when it comes to the services that they refer. Users may be able to get a better rate elsewhere or by going directly to the referred companies themselves. Also, if Change is merely acting as an affiliate, they may not be able to accept payments from users directly, which is not consistent with Change’s business model.
  • Most members of the team are working on Change and other startups at the same time, meaning they are not working in Change fulltime. It is unclear how they are going to allocate their time between different ventures.
  • CAG tokens are not necessarily for purchases in the Change Marketplace, at least in the beginning. Users can use all major cryptocurrencies. This is going to reduce the need for CAG as a utility token.
  • Competition – there are a number of blockchain projects in similar space as Change
  • The roadmap is vague. In the white paper, the only milestone after ICO is “delivery of first Change crypto cards; beta for marketplace launched”. This may indicate the lack of detailed planning for the team in terms of the execution and carrying out the game plan for the project.

Conclusion

Overall, we are neutral about both the ICO’s flipping and long-term potential. Our thoughts on buying the tokens for flipping and investing for the long term are as follows:

For flipping

Neutral. On one hand, the project has good awareness with the partnership with the Estonia government and strong team of advisors. 

On the other hand, presale is stalled at around 30,000 ETH. With a minimum contribution amount of just 10 ETH, there is not much to prevent small contributors from participating, so the pre-sale is essentially a public crowdsale. It seems to us that the project doesn’t have enough demand to fill the hard cap, especially in this market environment. 

However, the crypto market can change very quickly and given the 1-month crowdsale period, Change has plenty of time to raise funding, hence the neutral rating.

For long-term holding

Neutral. We believe the team underestimates the challenges with legal and regulatory issues. With the lack of details in the white paper, we are unsure of the execution abilities of the team.

What’s likely going to happen is that Change will realize there are a lot more legal hurdles than they initially thought. They will need to expand slowly, country by country after getting all the relevant licenses in each jurisdiction. Therefore, it may take a long time to realize the team's vision.

Change also has a very ambitious goal of providing many different kinds of services under one umbrella. Generally, the more ambitious goal a project has, the more likely it will fail. Therefore, we believe Change is more of a high-risk high-return play.


For more information about the ICO, please visit the following links:

Website: https://change-bank.com/ 

Whitepaper: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4RKXcemFwwbNW5wVGtBMWM0c2s/view 

Change blog: https://medium.com/@changebank

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