The Current ICO: Review

The next evolution in the way people take in media is changing. Its heralds - the Current Initial Coin Offer and the CRNC Token offer. Somewhat clandestinely, the internet giants that we all rely on for our various purposes were built upon a foundation of all the user-generated data and time input of each and every user, with absolutely no recognition and little reward for their contribution.

The Current ICO presents us with an opportunity to redress the systemic imbalance and realign the value transfer dynamics between all those who play a role in the market ecosystem. Credit has a chance to go where credit is due, finally.

What Does The Current ICO Propose?

What's on the table here is a consolidated digital media structure that makes the equitable distribution of rewards to every participant, from the producer to the end consumer, possible. The project in development comprises three main organs: platform, protocol, and token.

The Platform

This aims to provide a media location and discovery interface that works universally by bringing together various separate media sources from outlets such as Spotify, Soundcloud, and YouTube.

What will happen is that as people consume media, the algorithm developed by the Current team will formulate a profile outlining your preferences based on the data they provide. This will ultimately have the capacity to create what would be the most efficient and comprehensive individual media consumption profile we've seen yet. The obvious value to the consumer would be a much higher quality of recommendations that they could hope to get were they to rely on a single media source entirely. The user's experience would be greatly improved, and any third party applications would also have much higher quality underlying data to work with. 

The Protocol

The idea here is to offer rewards to people in exchange for their streaming time, personal data, and ad impressions as collected through the app. Transactions reflecting the user's network-contributing activity in terms of content curation, consumption, and creation will be recorded onto the blockchain.

A smart contract will automatically distribute rewards according to these contributions. The ecosystem is being launched on their platform but the plan is to open it up to third-party providers and developers to help expand it in future.

The Token (CRNC)

Pronounced as 'Currency', the token is to serve its purpose as an ERC-20 multi-function utility token designed to encourage the development of their sphere of influence. Their blockchain attribution protocol efficiently and transparently facilitates this by rewarding a commensurate portion of each mined token to all parties involved, i.e. the creator, curator, consumer, and growth pool.

To put it succinctly, Current's proposal is to democratize the inherent value accrued when people creating, curating, and playing various media add to the media cycle by rewarding them for their input.

A proposed example of this disruption in action would be the users' freedom to use their tokens to eliminate premium subscription charges on streaming sites such as Spotify, make in-app purchases, and trade on open exchanges. Advertisers, as well as unrelated third-party players, may also use the CRNC tokens to gain access to user consumption profiles for application in their targetted advertising and content provision activities.

The Team

Daniel Novaes is a Co-founder as well as the CEO. He has a background in entre[reneurship dating back to 2012 and which includes the acquisition of two mobile app and digital media startups he played a role in founding. His success extends beyond the tech world and into the social media space, where his 1.1 million Facebook followers make him a solid social media influencer, well placed to bring attention to the ICO.

Nick McEvily is the CPO and a Co-founder as well. His road to Current saw him graduate from Cornell, act as VP at one of Dan Novaes' startups, MobileX Labs, then link up with the Current team. His previous app successes have seen active user bases reach into their thousands. 

Kiran Panesar is the CTO in addition to being the third Co-founder. He's had several exemplary successes in the app field, with a number of his creations making it to a top 10 ranking in the App Store, with some of them making it all the way to the number 1 position. He and Dan Novaes co-founded Native Mobile, where he was responsible for the up-scaling of server setups to cope with the millions of pageviews they were receiving before their acquisition.

On the advisory side of their operations sits none other than the legendary Mark Cuban, who has supported some of Dan Novaes' previous projects. Other advisors included are Couchsurfing CEO Daniel Hoffer as well as Bancor Corporation's Galia Benartzi. 

Strengths and Opportunities of the Current ICO

The development and scaling challenges facing digital products are incredibly difficult and so the ICO is fortunate to have a team behind it that has a proven track record of successful experience with the problems involved here.

Dan Novaes, the CEO, has worked with his core team comprising McEvily and Panesar on various projects in their past, meaning that their team cohesion and experience working with each other will be well-honed to face the challenges ahead.

Current released their application in 2017 with the aim of attracting an early base of users. At the moment, the Current application is off-chain, solely accumulating content from providers such as Spotify, YouTube, and Soundcloud.

The whitepaper states that up to 200,000 users have so far engaged with their platform, although these figures are not yet independently verifiable.The fact that their app is already available on the market points to the team's dedication to their vision and capability to make good on their production objectives. 

Weaknesses and Threats to the ICO

Their path to converting new users and retaining them throws up a number of challenges. Significantly, sites such as Soundcloud and YouTube aren't simply streaming channels, but facilitate user interactions and community creation.This makes up a major aspect of their appeal and success. The Current platform as it is doesn't have this capability, leaving them at a disadvantage in this area of the field.

Assuming that people will trade in user-to-user interaction in return for a one-stop interface coupled with a reward system is what Current's scaling ambitions rest upon, but at the moment this assumption isn't backed up by any available research.

Their whitepaper holds that direct partnerships are the origins of a couple of the stated media-house interactions on their platforms, but we are yet to see any details specifying what this means exactly. The value of such partnerships to media sites would, of course, be undeniable but we are yet to see any outlines of just how Current would translate this into a net benefit for the ecosystem as a whole.

The announcement by any large media site of a direct partnership with CRNC would be a major boost to its profile, value, and user appeal.

The Verdict

What we need to keep at the forefront of our analysis here is the fact that Currents objectives lie not just in the launching of an app, but in the gradual creation and development of an entire ecosystem. With this in mind, we see that purchasing CRNC is equatable to placing a bet on the future success and reach of that ecosystem.

Their model's stated objectives - the democratization of media consumption value - is one that immediately appeals to us on many levels, but one that ultimately relies on the willingness of users to get on board with them.

We don't have, at the moment, any crystal clear indication that the major media sources such as YouTube will be coming aboard the Currency train, and we hesitate to base our predictions on assumptions. Things don't always pan out how people 'expect' them to in the world of crypto, and so we'll have to step carefully in this regard.

All in all, however, they've assembled a winning team behind a venture with undeniable appeal, so we would place a considered bet behind the Current ICO.

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