Republic Protocol ICO Review – Decentralized Dark Pool Exchange - Crush Crypto

Republic Protocol ICO Review – Decentralized Dark Pool Exchange

Summary

  • Project name: Republic Protocol
  • Token symbol: REN
  • Website: https://republicprotocol.com/
  • White paper: https://republicprotocol.github.io/whitepaper/republic-whitepaper.pdf
  • Hard cap: 35,000 ETH for 60.2% total REN token supply
  • Conversion rate: 1 ETH = 17,200 REN
  • Maximum market cap at ICO on a fully diluted basis: $64 million assuming current ether price of $1,100
  • Bonus structure: Up to 15% bonus during presale, none for crowdsale
  • Presale or white list: Presale completed, whitelist period will be open from January 20, 2018 for 2 weeks or until the cap of 6,000 people is reached. Find out more information here.
  • ERC-20 Token: Yes
  • Countries excluded: US, China, Korea, and Canada
  • Timeline: ICO starts in early February, but a more concrete date will be announced in the near future. Please refer to Republic's website for the most up to date information regarding the token sale
  • Token distribution date: TBA
Video summary (video is 7:00 long):

Project Overview

What does the company/project do?

Republic Protocol is a decentralized dark pool for atomic, cross-chain trading. This means that individuals, or, more likely, institutional investors can trade in any size of volume without having those details divulged.

The protocol works by distributing primary order into fractions across the network. Then, two primary ethereum smart contracts come into play.

The first is called the Registrar. This contract organizes the nodes of the network in such a way that it would be impractical to attempt the recombination of the aforementioned order fragments. This means that at no point can an order be put back together to reveal the full size, or any other details therein.

Nodes on the network will compute whether or not two order fragments match, and then a smart contract called a Judge will verify the integrity of the trade using a Zero Knowledge Proof (verifying the logic behind a trade without needing to know specific details). Following this, an atomic swap will be triggered (cross-chain trading), and the order executes.

The primary function of this network is to provide trustless and anonymous cross-chain trades.

How advanced is the project?

So far, the team has developed an early internal prototype which they are testing. Also, they have released several updates on GitHub, which include crucial parts of their upcoming network. These updates include atomic-swapping (cross-chain trading), X-network (defines the distribution of nodes in the network), and P2P trading.

Roadmap:

Q1 2018

  • P2P overlay network
  • Atomic-swaps contracts (support for BTC, ETH, ERC20, and ERC721 tokens)
  • Registrar contracts (for registering nodes and traders)

Q2 2018 (Private and Public Testnet)

  • Order booking contracts
  • ​​​​-Order fragmentation
  • Official Republic Protocol Nodes

Q3 2018 (Mainnet)

  • Full Specifications Released
  • Open-source reference implementation
  • Partner Nodes

Q4 2018+

  • Support for more chains in atomic-swaps
  • Support for High Frequency Trading
What are the tokens used for and how can token value appreciate?

The REN token will be used as an incentive token for the running of nodes by miners. Traders need to stake and pay REN tokens in order to use the protocol. There isn’t a mentioned practical minimum fee, but similar to the Ethereum network, the higher a fee you offer, the higher priority your trade with have for those running nodes.

REN tokens will also be used as a bond for those running nodes and traders alike to punish any bad actors in the space. This will work in two ways:

First, traders will have to create a bonded identity on the network (which will be entirely refunded when they leave the network), and if they were to act maliciously, for example, create a false account in attempt to acquire order information, the bond would be lost.

Secondly, to run a node, there will also be a required bond, and should a given node try to falsify any information about a trade, it will be unable to provide evidence of truthful computation, and would lose their bond.

This token should appreciate in value as there are more users on the network, which will thus drive up demand for both traders who wish to utilize the network, and the nodes that will do the computational work. As there are more traders, running a node becomes more profitable, and the more nodes there are, the more secure and appealing the network is.

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Team

The team consists of 12 members, and the key members are listed below.

Taiyang Zhang, CEO – 3 years’ experience as director of Neucode, as small software and web development company, and 1 year as director at Virgil Capital.

Loong Wang, CTO – Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, with 7 months’ experience as a researcher at The Australian National University, and under 2 years’ experience as the Lead Software Developer at Neucode.

Noah Ingham, Developer – Background in mathematics and a bachelor’s degree in advanced computing, with 8 months’ direct field experience prior to working with Republic Protocol.

Susruth Nadimpalli, Developer – Bachelor’s degree of advanced computing with 4 months’ direct experience.

Hugh Greethead, Community Lead – Bachelor’s degree in advanced computing, with 4 months’ prior experience.

The team has also brought on 5 experienced advisors including the following; Dorjee Sun, COO of Santiment, Loi Luu, CEO of Kyber Network, and John Ng Pangilian, a partner at Signum Capital.


Opportunities

  • Following the rapid growth in cryptocurrency, there is now significantly more funding coming from institutional investors, who perform large transactions and very much value the service of a dark pool. Republic Protocol would be able to serve the demand from this trend.
  • Currently, there are firms offering dark pool services, but none of them are established household names. A lot of trust is required to use their services because significant amount of money is involved. With Republic Protocol, there is no need for trusted intermediary.
  • Cross-chain atomic swaps is a big theme for blockchain this year. It is one of the ways to solve the blockchain scaling issue. If successful, the potential for this project is substantial.
  • The advisors of the project can help open doors in cooperating with other blockchain projects. We believe Kyber’s guaranteed liquidity asset swap platform would complement very well with Republic Protocol.

Concerns

  • The project is at a very early stage, with GitHub activity starting only from December 2017. An early internal prototype with the Testnet for Bitcoin/Ethereum-based assets is scheduled to come out in 2018 Q2. Therefore, Republic Protocol is essentially a white paper project.
  • Aside from the CTO, the developers of the team are all fairly inexperienced with less than a year of working experience.
  • We are unsure whether the team can solve the challenging issues encountered by the project, including automatic swap, a trustless trading system with hidden order book, and computations that are verified through zero-knowledge proofs.

Conclusion

Overall, we like the short-term potential but are neutral about the long-term potential for this ICO. Our thoughts of the tokens for short term and long term are as follows:

For ​short-term holding

Good. The idea is solid and much needed in cryptocurrency trading because large traders value privacy and don’t want their trades revealed.

Only 5,000 ether is being raised from the crowdsale. This is likely going to create unmet demand and buying pressure once the tokens are listed on exchanges.

For long-term holding

Neutral. We like the idea, but the project is still at an early stage so we are unsure whether the team can execute well and fulfill the project’s vision. If the project is successful, the potential is substantial as it can cooperate with pretty much any decentralized exchange to offer dark pool services.


For more information about the ICO, 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.

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