Disclaimer: This review was conducted on October 22nd, 2020 at the request of a member within the Librehash Riot channel. However, after sitting on it for some time following that request, it felt prudent to release the review to the general public in furtherance of general transparency and information flow. Please note, NO amendments have been made to this write-up since October 22nd. Thus, there are certain facets of this project that may be tangibly different since this review's creation on October 22nd. In the future and on various different public channels, a concerted effort will be made to update the review to reflect any and all changes to the project if any have been made. Enjoy!
For one reason or another, this protocol has been gaining a lot of attention recently, so we're going to dig in for a second and see exactly what this project is about (since there are so many that have asked for a review of this protocol).
Peering into the Fundamentals Behind 'PlotX'
The above screenshot was taken from the project's official website (plotx.io) ; from first glance, it appears that it provides a service that's structurally very similar to what Augur provides.
The small print text next to the 'get started for free' button that says, 'On Kovan Test Net' leads me to believe that this project was launched from the Polkadot ecosystem.
Apparently, this project will afford users the ability to jump into "high yield prediction markets" (feeling excited yet? No?)
Like many others before it, this project is built on Ethereum, which means - in a best case scenario outcome, the protocol will be prohibitively expensive for most to interact with (if it is to scale).
Despite that, the project insists that users can "earn additional rewards for participation with every prediction".
"New markets are created algorithmically ensuring provably fair & decentralized market creation."
Every single facet of what was mentioned above (by the project), would constitute yet another transaction on the Ethereum chain. So, market transactions, rewards, settling, etc., would all be additional transactions that are incurred. When considering the current state of gas fees on the network (one can still expect to pay a whopping >$100 in gas if they're seriously engaged in one of these protocols), there's just a limited upside left for Ethereum-based projects at this point.
Can't even really begin to take a project seriously that has no clear-cut documentation outlining how its going to function (although what we read on the main page wasn't exactly awe-inspiring).
Not sure if this project can be taken anywhere near serious yet until it cleans up in that department a bit more.
Apparent ZK Labs Collaboration on an Audit
The announcement is still 'hot off the presses' as it was made just 24-48 hours ago (see below):
Empty statements like these make reviewing projects like this even more painful than what they usually tend to be:
Doesn't appear that the protocol or idea has anything to with 'ZK' (zero-knowlege) itself, they just decided to obtain the services of 'ZK Labs' to perform an audit on their smart contract token (even though there are plenty of other means of doing so; including independent, critical then analysis followed by bug bounties or a 'lob' to the community where super generous folks like Cronje may opt to make you a billionaire for free)
Where Did This Project Come From?
This is worth asking since there are shills from some fairly popular / high places (i.e., like 'Top7ICO')
Before we get to that though, let's look at the details of the project's ICO (below):
As shown in the annotations above, the humble $200k fundraise amount was a pleasant break from the exorbitant fundraises that we've seen in the past.
$200k is legitimate (although it still should be accompanied by a breakdown of how the team arrived at said total).
In lieu of that, it is not inconceivable that the aggregate expenditures necessary to manifest this protocol would require $200k in investment (also accounting for a buffer of some sort to allow for the future deployment of capital as necessary for the first few months - year of the protocol's operation).
Semi-Concern Regarding Funds
On the flip side of the humble fundraise here, this does beg the question of how the protocol's development and maintenance will be sustained.
If the developers are treating this like a passion project (akin to Bitcoin in '09 for Satoshi) that they're willing to work on for free (as far as we know), then that's legitimate.
If they are not motivated to work for free in perpetuity - then investors may want to examine (or probe this project) what contingency plans are in place, if any, to ensure the continued maintenance of the project after the $200k war chest has been depleted.
None of the Above Should Be Interpreted as a Claim That PlotX is Deficient in This Area
It is entirely possible that PlotX has outlined this somewhere in public / their Medium / social media channels and I overlooked it.
In any case, I am merely pointing this out as a pain point that investors (or those considering investing) should look at to help provide more clarity in their deliberation process.
Circling Back to the Project's Origin
It appears that the project lead is an individual that developed on the protocols, 'GovBlocks' and 'Nexus Mutual' (respectively), prior.
There are a few unfavorable reports re: 'Nexus Mutual', so this affiliation serves as a ... yellow flag.
Other Affiliations / Investors in the Protocol
Below is a screenshot showing additional affiliated entities (from PlotX's very own website):
The full list of these entities is published below (for convenience sake):
- NEO Global Capital
- Brilliance Ventures
- Tenzor Capital
- TRG Capital
- Lotus Capital
- Genesis Block
Below this section, there is another finite list of blockchain protocols that PlotX lists as affiliate / partners:
Again, for those that are not able to see said entities in the attachment above, they are also published below (in a concise list):
- 'Deep Work'
Claims That the Project is 'Community Driven' Run a Bit Hollow
In addition to what was displayed above, the main page for 'PlotX' also states that the protocol is 'community driven' (see below):
In specific, they state:
PlotX is run entirely by its members. It follows the model of decentralised, pragmatic community based governance.
Members raise proposals and vote, and decisions are auto enforced by smart contracts all via the Ethereum public blockchain.
A few thoughts about this:
Claiming that a protocol is community-driven (and making pains to emphasize such) comes across as suspicious to me - especially when public information provides a wealth of evidence to the contrary. Specifically, in the case of PlotX, we've just shelled out how the protocol has received backing from major VC firms such as 'NEO Global Capital' (home of Da Hongfei + Roger Lim), whom are the furthest thing from "community"
The project lead here was formerly a developer at 'Nexus Mutual' (what does that say about 'Nexus Mutual' if they're abandoning said protocol to launch this one?). This follows the classic NEO Global Capital playbook of re-assigning various members of their team to rotating projects (like Malcolm Lerider), which usually signals their death
More of the same. DeFi again. Business as usual here. Perhaps there is some ROI to grab (once its listed on Binance if it isn't already at the time of launch), but that's contingent on whether this project will result in another flash crash immediately after listing (as Binance sponsored projects are prone to do).
ProTip: Unless the circulating supply is literally so low that a dump is impossible, assume a dumpthen