Update: We stated in the initial verdict of our Omega One ICO review that it was too early to make a final call and promised to come back as more information became available. As of March 23, 2018, we have revised our rating and adjusted it accordingly. In light of both the token metrics and lack of communication/community building efforts on the part of the team, our final verdict is a pass.
The Omega One ICO is funding a mission to enter the cryptocurrency trading space. The team points to the myriad of issues associated with crypto exchanges – low liquidity, high trading costs, lack of transparency, hacking – as barriers on the road to crypto’s growth as an asset. Omega One correctly contends these factors lead to high volatility, barring entry of large volume traders to crypto and, consequently, inhibiting the maturity of the market. Exchanges with access to high liquidity are centralized and hold investor funds in collected accounts, posing a significant security risk for traders. Conversely, many investors have turned to OTC brokers, and more recently, on-chain and peer-to-peer solutions- but OTC brokers have high costs and on-chain trading greatly limits liquidity. The team refers to this issue as the “liquidity vs. security tradeoff”, and claim Omega One is the solution.
Omega One is designed to address the “liquidity vs. security tradeoff” by way of a decentralized, automated trading intelligence platform bridging exchanges and the blockchain. Omega One’s “have your cake and eat it too” approach combines the speed of off-chain trades with the security of non-custodial settlement all in one platform. Central to the platform is balance sheet intermediation, which the team claims will provide members access to higher liquidity than trading directly on the market. For large transactions, an algorithmic trading mechanism breaks up orders and allocates them across exchanges to reduce fees. The Omega One ICO will initially support ERC20 tokens, with plans to integrate others at a later stage. By solving liquidity and trust problems, Omega One aim to take the development of cryptocurrency finance to the next level.
Project Timing and Competition
There is undoubtedly a growing trend of mainstream investor attention to crypto, and Omega One is catering to that trend. On a broader scale too, the popularity of decentralized exchanges in the crypto world is on the rise. Mounting institutional interest in crypto and the rise of decentralized exchanges are strong indicators that the market is ripe for Omega One. Still, the team’s pandering to institutional investors rests on two assumptions: 1. Traders want a low volatility market where large transactions have a little impact and 2. High-volume investors will be enticed to move away from OTC brokers. Should these assumptions prove incorrect, the project will lose some competitive advantage against other decentralized exchanges and trading protocols like 0x protocol. That comparative advantage may well prove crucial for Omega One. 0x protocol purportedly offers a comparable solution to the “liquidity vs. security tradeoff”, whereby trading happens off the blockchain but transactions are settled on the blockchain with smart contracts. Both Omega One and 0x will also utilize shared liquidity pools to further address the issue of low liquidity. While the infrastructure of Omega One offers more advantages like priority execution to high-volume traders, the question remains whether such features will be enough to bring investors racing over the bridge from Wall Street to cryptospace.
Omega One ICO Progress
Considering the attention other decentralized exchanges have been garnering lately, there is a deficit in the lack out online chatter and organic community growth around Omega One outside of Telegram, which has around 600 followers. On the marketing front, the team has done little to support the project in the media. The project’s Twitter and Facebook are both quiet, with only a few thousand followers each. A more concerted effort in getting the project onto people’s radar is needed, especially considering the competition factor.
On November 13th, the team announced the Omega One ICO would be delayed until the platform is available to users in Q2 2018. They provided several reasons for this decision. Referencing the shifting regulatory environment around ICOs, the team proposed conducting the ICO only after the utility of the tokens is accessible on the trading platform itself, mitigating risk for investors. They also disclosed that support from private investors has already covered product development and launch costs, so the ICO funds will be put exclusively toward the balance sheet and membership incentives. Additionally, the team cited the immense feedback from the community on the token and ICO process as a cause to reassess the token sale parameters. While the team’s expertise in monetary policy and currency management offers some assurance, the revised price, supply, distribution and dates have yet to be announced.
Omega One ICO Token Utility
The Omega One platform operates via its own Omega Token (OMT), an ERC20 asset. The utility of OMT is similar to Binance Coin or Kucoin, but provides additional incentives for use. A minimum balance is required for membership on the platform and using OMT for transactions reduces trading fees. Further incentives to purchase the token include trade execution priority and lower liquidity costs for larger holders; functions that are designed to attract institutional investors. While there are more incentives to acquiring and using the coin compared to other exchange-based tokens, its use is limited to the platform. Omega One’s wager is that by parting from the traditional investment bank model of maximizing profits through high transaction fee levels, they will instead keep fees low while covering costs, which in turn will drive up demand for the service via the token, ensuring higher value and use.
Omega One ICO Founding Team
Omega One has promised to deliver a product that, on paper, reads like a blueprint for the perfect trading platform. Delivering this product requires a stellar set of individuals with a track record of accomplishments that lend credibility to the project. Many of the team’s key players can be traced back to Bridgewater Associates, one of the largest hedge funds in the world. Chief tech officer, Alex Gordan-Brander, is credited with designing and patenting a multi-billion dollar traditional currency-trading platform that breaks up large orders and distributes them across exchanges- the same mechanism Omega One will employ. Chief Strategy Officer, Mark David Bakacs is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Ideapod, while Chief Trading Officer, Jonathan West, manages one of the largest private crypto funds in the world. A noticeable caveat is the relative inexperience of project’s CEO, Alan Keegan, with only two years in the financial sector to fall back on. That being said, any doubts about his capabilities must be weighed against the breadth of expertise the team as a whole brings to the table.
Omega One is partnered with ConsenSys, a leading blockchain technology company. The partnership gives the team access to leading tech and expertise experience. The company appears to be playing an active role in recruiting talent for the Omega One project.
Beyond the development team, the project has a notable backer and primary investor- John Mack, former CEO of Morgan Stanley. A high-caliber Wall Street insider could go a long way toward more institutional confidence in crypto. Mack has been useful for attracting attention to the project, serving as a symbolic intermediary between the financial establishment and the cryptocurrency frontier.
The Verdict for Omega One ICO
With roots in both Wall Street and blockchain technology, support from Morgan Stanley’s former CEO and a working partnership with ConsenSys, we couldn’t ask for a better team to deliver the innovative trading platform that they’ve promised.
Still, the marketing efforts from the team leave a lot to be desired. With little communication outside Telegram or any significant community development amongst investors, the dearth of activity is one of the project’s major weak points.
The competition posed by other decentralized exchanges that offer similar features is fierce. If the platform doesn’t catch on with institutional investors, it will lose a significant edge over other contenders.
Despite the apparent weaknesses, the Omega One ICO holds promise. With the ICO postponed until Q2 2018, the team still has a chance to build hype and grow the community.
As the ICO is still at an early stage, we are still waiting on more information before making a decision on whether or not we plan to contribute to the Omega One ICO. We will update this report as well as our final verdict once this information becomes available.
For now, keep an eye on this one!
Learn more about the Omega One ICO from our Telegram Community by clicking here.
Project name: Omega One
Token symbol: OMT
Hard cap: 270,000 ETH ($140 million USD)
Total Supply: 108,000,000 OMT
Token Distribution: 25% to TGE
Price per token: 1 OMT = 0.01 ETH
Maximum market cap: $560 million
Bonus structure: TBA
Presale Terms: Whitelist for Pre-sale already closed
Important dates: ICO in Q2 2018 following product launch
Expected Token Release: Following product launch and ICO in Q2 2018
ICO Review Disclaimer
The team at Crypto Briefing analyzes an initial coin offering (ICO) against ten criteria, as shown above. These criteria are not, however, weighted evenly – our proprietary rating system attributes different degrees of importance to each of the criteria, based on our experience of how directly they can lead to the success of the ICO in question, and its investors.
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This category accounts for the leaders, developers, and advisors.
Poor quality, weak, or inexperienced leadership can doom a project from the outset. Advisors who serve only to pad their own resumes and who have ill-defined roles can be concerning. But great leadership, with relevant industry experience and contacts, can make the difference between a successful and profitable ICO, and a flub.
If you don’t have a team willing and able to build the thing, it won’t matter who is at the helm. Good talent is hard to find. Developer profiles should be scrutinized to ensure that they have a proven history of working in a field where they should be able to succeed.
What is the technology behind this ICO, what product are they creating, and is it new, innovative, different – and needed?
The IOTA project is a spectacular example of engineers run amok. The technology described or in use must be maintainable, achievable, and realistic, otherwise the risk of it never coming into existence is incredibly high.
Tokens which have no actual use case are probably the worst off, although speculation can still make them have some form of value.
The best tokens we review are the ones that have a forced use case – you must have this token to play in some game that you will probably desire to play in. The very best utility tokens are the ones which put the token holder in the position of supplying tokens to businesses who would be able to effectively make use of the platforms in question.
There doesn’t have to be a market in order for an ICO to score well in this category – but if it intends to create one, the argument has to be extremely compelling.
If there is an existing market, questions here involve whether it is ripe for disruption, whether the technology enables something better, cheaper, or faster (for example) than existing solutions, and whether the market is historically amenable to new ideas.
Most ideas have several implementations. If there are others in the same field, the analyst needs to ensure that the others don’t have obvious advantages over the company in question.
Moreover, this is the place where the analyst should identify any potential weaknesses in the company’s position moving forward. For instance, a fundamental weakness in the STORJ system is that the token is not required for purchasing storage.
With many ICO ideas, the timing may be too late or too early. It’s important for the analyst to consider how much demand there is for the product in question. While the IPO boom funded a lot of great ideas that eventually did come to fruition, a good analyst would recognize when an idea is too early, too late, or just right.
Progress To Date
Some of the least compelling ICO propositions are those that claim their founders will achieve some far-off goal, sometime in the future, just so long as they have your cash with which to do it.
More interesting (usually) is the ICO that seeks to further some progress along the path to success, and which has a clearly-identified roadmap with achievable and reasonable milestones along the way. Founders who are already partially-invested in their products are generally more invested in their futures.
Community Support & Hype
Having a strong community is one of the fundamental building blocks of any strong blockchain project. It is important that the project demonstrates early on that it is able to generate and build a strong and empowered support base.
The ICO marketplace is becoming more crowded and more competitive. While in the past it was enough to merely announce an offering, today’s successful ICO’s work hard to build awareness and excitement around their offering.
Price & Token Distribution
One of the biggest factors weighing any analysis is price. The lower the price the more there is to gain. But too low of a price may result in an under capitalized project. It is therefore important to evaluate price relative to the individual project, its maturity and the market it is going after.
The total supply of tokens should also be justified by the needs of the project. Issuing a billion tokens for no reason will do nobody any good.
Communication is key. The success of a project is strongly tied to the project leaders’ ability to communicate their goals and achievements.
Things don’t always go as planned but addressing issues and keeping the community and investors in the loop can make or break a project.