- Project name: Mainframe
- Token symbol: MFT
- Website: https://mainframe.com/
- White paper: https://mainframe.docsend.com/view/j39qpui
- Hard cap: 30,000 ETH (27,000 private sale + 3,000 crowdgift) for 50% of total supply
- Conversion rate: TBA
- Maximum market cap at ICO on a fully diluted basis: $36 million assuming current ether price of $600
- ERC20 token: Yes
- Timeline: Sold out in presale
- Token distribution date: After final “Crowdgift” event (in lieu of crowdsale)
Video summary (video is 5:34 long):
What does the company/project do?
Mainframe is a decentralized messaging protocol aiming to aid in the fight against censorship, while increasing individuals’ and group’s privacy. It’s based off a Kademlia network, which is decentralized by nature, and increases privacy and resilience of the system.
They will keep the system secure by incentivizing nodes to cooperate and follow their protocol, providing storage and encrypted peer-to-peer information relay in return for compensation. The primary method for moderate security, but high output communication will be done through multicasting.
If information is highly sensitive, there is a dark-routing option, which essentially proxies the sent information to an abundant number of potential recipients, making it nearly impossible to infer who the intended recipient is.
They will be providing an abundance of resource for developers to increase the adoption of their platform, including SDKs and tutorials.
Here is a presentation by the Mainframe team during DevCon Three in November 2017 (video is 16:16 long):
How advanced is the project?
Mainframe has already developed its first application, Onyx, which is a workplace messaging app that is resistant to surveillance and censorship, while having compatibility with all major platforms (including mobile).
Two potential use-cases that the team has highlighted include company chats, where sensitive information is being passed along, or in high-liability scenarios such as healthcare.
Their roadmap is as follows; instead of deadlines, their roadmap is detailed in terms of milestones.
Milestone 1 – “Apollo” will use the Ethereum blockchain and the Swarm distributed storage, on which a mailbox and contact management Mainframe node will be build. Beta-version of Onyx released.
Milestone 2 – “Hawthorne” will introduce incentives to the network, and give entities access to a single node (sometimes shared as in the case of businesses). More features, like emojis, and organization-wide contact management will be added to Onyx.
Milestone 3 – “Gettysburg” will introduce a fully decentralized communications platform, launch SDKs, and launch fully decentralized user marketplace.
What are the tokens used for and how can token value appreciate?
MFT tokens will be largely used as an incentivization feature for nodes to ensure quality storage, and reliable transfer of information.
Additionally, they will be a medium of exchange for users in marketplaces and on the Mainframe platform, where digital services/goods can be bought and sold.
The value of MFT tokens will rise if greater interest shifts toward decentralized, encrypted and censorship-resistance communications, thereby increasing the usage of Mainframe and demand for MFT.
The team consists of a total 12 members, with the following being the core:
Mick Hagen, Founder and CEO – Over 7 years’ entrepreneurial experience in leadership and executive roles, with his most recent being with Undrip as its CEO.
Carl Youngblood, CTO – Over 19 years’ cumulative software engineering experience, with his most recent being VP of engineering at DivvyPay.
Brad Hagen, Business development and sales – Over 18 years’ cumulative experience in marketing, and business development with the most recent being with Brandr as co-founder.
Shane Howley, VP engineering-backend – PhD. in concurrent algorithms from Trinity College Dublin, and engineer at Upfront Analytics.
Paul Le Cam, VP engineering-frontend – Previously an Engineer at Hailo, and has developed several open source projects like react-leaflet.
- Following the recent events concerning censorship of messaging applications (WhatsApp being blocked in Brazil, Telegram being banned in Russia, WhatsApp CEO leaving Facebook group after reportedly clashing with Facebook management over data privacy), it really shows that unstoppable messaging is a legit issue concerning many people.
- Mainframe is a protocol that allows different applications to take advantage of its censorship resistance features such as dark routing and peer-to-peer architecture. This reduces the reliance of any one application to become successful in order to enjoy the upside of MFT tokens.
- The development of the project is more advanced than most of the other blockchain projects, with the first application on the Mainframe protocol, Onyx, being built already.
- Users need to spend MFT tokens in order to incentivize the nodes to keep the network running. There are a lot of messaging applications that are free to use and users who do not value privacy and censorship as much may opt to use the free applications instead of those built on the Mainframe protocol.
- Network effect is very strong for messaging platforms. Unless there is a large issue with the current platform, it is difficult to get people to switch to another messaging application. We believe it would be easier for Mainframe to build up its user base in some cases (i.e. enterprises) than others (i.e. for personal use).
Overall, we like the long-term potential of this project and give it an A rating. There is a real need for what Mainframe offers and we believe that going forward, user will value privacy and censorship-resistance even more.
We believe the biggest factor determining the success of Mainframe is how quickly the platform can attract users to switch from other messaging applications. If Mainframe is able to do that, the potential can be substantial.
The Mainframe team is going to host events at six cities in Europe where they will physically airdrop MFT tokens to those who attend the events. Please refer to this blog post for more information about the events which will take place in June 2018.
Disclosure: We have a position in this project.
For more information about the project, please visit the following links:
* The information contained in this article is for education purpose only and not financial advice. Do your own research before making any investment decisions.
This article is contributed by Victor Lai with the help of our intern John Coburn.