Blockchain-based Event Management and Ticketing Platform

The event management and ticketing industry is a huge market, particularly the event management software market. Markets Insider reported that the Event Management Software Market is projected to grow from USD 5.7 billion in 2019 to USD 11.4 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 15% from 2019 to 2024.

However, despite the great potential of the event and ticketing industry, there are numerous problems and issues plaguing the current centralized event ticketing industry. The main issues include ticket counterfeiting, ticket scalpers, instant sell-outs and overpriced resale tickets on secondary markets (EventChain, 2017).

The good news is that the blockchain could fix the aforementioned issues.  A blockchain is a distributed digital ledger that can be used to record transactions and other data across a decentralized peer-to-peer network made up of a cluster of computing devices.

Using blockchain technology, every ticket sales can be publicly verified, and thus the authenticity of the ticket can be guaranteed. It is also able to prevent fraudulent sales and counterfeiting. It sets rules (using smart contracts) preventing secondary ticket websites from hoarding tickets and charging inflated prices for premium events. If the rules are broken, the fraudulent accounts are frozen and the tickets are made invalid.

In a nutshell, a blockchain-based event and ticketing system has the following benefits:

  • Elimination of ticket duplication and counterfeit tickets
  • Elimination of scalpers
  • Elimination of ticket touts and purchasing bots
  • Fully transparent ticketing aftermarket
  • Automatic refund at the time of cancelation

Use Cases

BitTicket

The Edinburgh-based Citizen Ticket is an event ticketing platform backed by blockchain technology that uses the cryptocurrency Ethereum Classic. In May 2017, they deployed the blockchain-based ticketing system BitTicket and delivered the first live event using blockchain technology.

BitTicket is a ticket delivery service that event organisers, venues, and artists can use to secure their tickets with blockchain technology. BitTicket provides users with one wallet QR code that holds all their BitTickets securely, no matter which ticketing provider they bought them from. They simply present it along with proof of ID to gain entry. Due to the security of BitTicket identity, ticket transfer to friends and family can be done easily and with assurance. BitTickets are immutable, transferable, and verifiable.

BitTicket guarantees the following:

  • Your purchased ticket is genuine
  • Inherent protection against industrial-scale ticket touts and ticket purchasing bots
  • Transfer your tickets securely and with ease between friends & family
  • Provides one wallet for all your tickets – no more individual tickets

GUTS

GUTS uses blockchain technology to create a transparent ticketing ecosystem where inflated secondary market prices and ticket fraud are eliminated. Their motto is simple, transparent and secure.

GUTS brings numerous benefits for different stakeholders:

  • Artist and Managers
    • A fair chance for all the fans to attend the show
    • Expand the fan base with exact data
    • Direct communication with your fans. Send them a message right before the show starts.
  • The Venue, Festival and Theatre Operators
    • No ticket fraud: fewer complaints and a stronger image
    • You know exactly who is present at any time (and who isn’t)
    • Automatic refund procedure at the time of cancelation or resale
    • Identification via mobile phones means shorter queues
  • Ticket Providers
    • Complete control of the tickets in both the primary and secondary market
    • Easy to integrate with existing ticketing solutions

LAVA

LAVA is a blockchain-based ticketing system that guarantees fair and secure smart tickets for music lovers. The system prevents ticket touting and fraud ruining festivals for music lovers.

The LAVA ecosystem has the following features:

  • 100% Safe
    • Using latest blockchain technology to eliminate ticket fraud
  • Smart Tickets
    • Smart tickets to stop the exploitation of festival tickets using a unique digital footprint
  • Lava Wallet – Eliminate printing completely by generating the ticket digitally and sending the digital ticket to the Lava wallet directly
  • No booking fee

PouchNATION

PouchNATION is an event management software system that uses the blockchain technology to good effect. PouchNATION is the first platform to implement blockchain and new digital currency across all verticals in event management. Its components comprise guest registration, cashless payment, access control, activity tracking, social engagement and detailed analytics reporting.

This innovative platform could overcome issues that the ticket industry is currently facing with managing events, attendance tracking apps, eliminating duplicate tickets, and validating registration at the door.

They have executed over 100 events including cashless events in Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, and Myanmar.

EventChain

EventChain is a global Smart Ticketing blockchain project that will allow events worldwide to sell SmartTickets through a peer-to-peer network, solving the issues of the centralized event ticketing industry.

It implements the EventChain token network for event management to ensure faster transactions, indisputable ticket vouchers, transparency from event hosts and fully flexible and programmable SmartTickets. With the use of the EVC token, smart contract code, and the Ethereum blockchain, EventChain’s transaction network brings increased accountability, transparency, and security to event ticketing.

To fix the excessive ticket fees, EventChain is distributing EVC tokens, a digital ERC20 token created for buying, selling, and programming SmartTickets on the Ethereum distributed network. EventChain claims that their transaction fees are much lower and the transaction confirmation speed is near seconds.

Event Management and Ticketing Platform-A Conceptual Model

After examining the above use cases, I propose a conceptual model that utilises a similar concept to develop a blockchain-based event management and ticketing platform. Below is a simple conceptual model of the Event Management and Ticketing Platform:

The platform allows an event organizer to create an event and broadcast it to the website as well as a mobile wallet. The event should comprise details such as event title, date, time, venue, and a ticketing ordering button. The participant can then order tickets by paying  Token X. Once the organizer receives Token X, the e-ticket shall be automatically delivered to the participant’s mobile wallet. To enter the event venue, the organizer just needs to scan the e-ticket of the participant.

To build the platform, we need to build a smart contract layer on top of blockchain network to automate the buying and selling of event tickets. We shall use Solidity to write the contracts. There shall be at least three smart contracts -the ERC20 token contract(to generate Token X),  the event contract, and the ERC721 ticket contract. The event contract will need to link to the ticket contract as it needs to use the data in the ticket contract. The keyword to access the data in another contract is import. For example, we can create an event contract event.sol that imports the ticket contract ticket.sol, using the syntax as follows:

Pragma Solidity ^0.5.0
import "./ticket.sol"; 

The event.sol file shall create an event contract that specifies event details such as total tickets, collected funds, start time, etc. The code could be as follows:

Contract Event { 
 struct EventDetails {  
 uint256 ticketAmount; 
 uint256 SoldticketAmount; 
 uint256 CollectedFunds; 
 uint256 StartTime; 
  } 

The event contract shall also include a create event function, as follows:

function CreateEvent{
 uint256 _ticketAmount; 
 uint256 _Startime 
}

There are many more functions to be included in the smart contracts but I will not dwell further as this is not a technical paper.

References


E3 Event Management and Ticketing Platform

The event management and ticketing industry is a huge market, particularly the event management software market. Markets Insider reported that the Event Management Software Market is projected to grow from USD 5.7 billion in 2019 to USD 11.4 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 15% from 2019 to 2024.

However, despite the great potential of the event and ticketing industry, there are numerous problems and issues plaguing the current centralized event ticketing industry. The main issues include ticket counterfeiting, ticket scalpers, instant sell-outs and overpriced resale tickets on secondary markets (EventChain, 2017).

The good news is that the blockchain could fix the aforementioned issues.  A blockchain is a distributed digital ledger that can be used to record transactions and other data across a decentralized peer-to-peer network made up of a cluster of computing devices.

Using blockchain technology, every ticket sales can be publicly verified, and thus the authenticity of the ticket can be guaranteed. It is also able to prevent fraudulent sales and counterfeiting. It sets rules (using smart contracts) preventing secondary ticket websites from hoarding tickets and charging inflated prices for premium events. If the rules are broken, the fraudulent accounts are frozen and the tickets are made invalid.

In a nutshell, blockchain-based event and ticketing system has the following benefits:

  • Elimination of ticket duplication and counterfeit tickets
  • Elimination of scalpers
  • Elimination of ticket touts and purchasing bots
  • Fully transparent ticketing aftermarket
  • Automatic refund at the time of cancelation

Use Cases

BitTicket

The Edinburgh-based Citizen Ticket is an event ticketing platform backed by blockchain technology that uses the cryptocurrency Ethereum Classic. In May 2017, they deployed the blockchain-based ticketing system BitTicket and delivered the first live event using blockchain technology.

BitTicket is a ticket delivery service that event organisers, venues, and artists can use to secure their tickets with blockchain technology. BitTicket provides users with one wallet QR code that holds all their BitTickets securely, no matter which ticketing provider they bought them from. They simply present it along with proof of ID to gain entry. Due to the security of BitTicket identity, ticket transfer to friends and family can be done easily and with assurance. BitTickets are immutable, transferable, and verifiable.

BitTicket guarantees the following:

  • Your purchased ticket is genuine
  • Inherent protection against industrial-scale ticket touts and ticket purchasing bots
  • Transfer your tickets securely and with ease between friends & family
  • Provides one wallet for all your tickets – no more individual tickets

GUTS

GUTS uses blockchain technology to create a transparent ticketing ecosystem where inflated secondary market prices and ticket fraud are eliminated. Their motto is simple, transparent and secure.

GUTS brings numerous benefits for different stakeholders:

  • Artist and Managers
    • A fair chance for all the fans to attend the show
    • Expand the fan base with exact data
    • Direct communication with your fans. Send them a message right before the show starts.
  • The venue, Festival and Theatre Operators
    • No ticket fraud: fewer complaints and a stronger image
    • You know exactly who is present, anytime (and who isn’t)
    • Automatic refund procedure at the time of cancelation or resale
    • Identification via mobile phones means a shorter queue
  • Ticket Providers
    • Complete control on the tickets at both the primary and secondary market
    • Easy to integrate with existing ticketing solutions

LAVA

LAVA is a blockchain-based ticketing system that guarantees fair and secure smart tickets for music lovers. The system could prevent ticket touting and fraud ruining festivals for music lovers.

The LAVA ecosystem has the following features:

  • 100% Safe
    • Using latest blockchain technology to eliminate ticket fraud
  • Smart Tickets
    • Smart tickets to stop the exploitation of festival tickets using a unique digital footprint
  • Lava Wallet-Eliminate printing completely by generating the ticket digitally and sending the digital ticket to the Lava wallet directly.
  • No booking fee

PouchNATION

PouchNATION is an event management software system that uses the blockchain technology to good effect. PouchNATION is the first platform to implement blockchain and new digital currency across all verticals in event management. Its components comprise guest registration, cashless payment, access control, activity tracking, social engagement and detailed analytics reporting.

This innovative platform could overcome issues that the ticket industry is currently facing with managing events, attendance tracking apps, eliminating duplicate tickets, and validating registration at the door.

They have executed over 100 events including cashless events in Indonesia events in Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, and Myanmar.

EventChain

EventChain is a global Smart Ticketing blockchain project that will allow events worldwide to sell SmartTickets through a peer-to-peer network, solving the issues of the centralized event ticketing industry.

It implements the EventChain token network for event management presents to ensure faster transactions, indisputable ticket vouchers, transparency from event hosts and fully flexible and programmable SmartTickets. With the use of the EVC token, smart contract code, and the Ethereum blockchain, EventChain’s transaction network brings increased accountability, transparency, and security to event ticketing.

To fix the excessive ticket fees, EventChain is distributing EVC tokens, a digital ERC20 token created for buying, selling, and programming SmartTickets on the Ethereum distributed network. EventChain claims that their transaction fees are much lower and the transaction confirmation speed is near seconds.

E3 Event Management and Ticketing Platform

After examining the above use cases, I propose that we can use a similar concept to develop blockchain-based event management and ticketing system for E3 Net. Below is a simple conceptual model of E3 Event Management and Ticketing platform:

The platform allows an event organizer to create an event and broadcast it to the E3 website as well as the E3T wallet. The event should comprise details such as event title, date, time, venue, and a ticketing ordering button. The participant can then order tickets by paying E3T. Once the organizer receives E3T, the e-ticket shall be automatically delivered to the participant’s mobile wallet. To enter the event venue, the organizer just needs to scan the e-ticket of the participant.

To build the platform, we need to build a smart contract layer on top of E3 Net to automate the buying and selling of event tickets. We shall use Solidity to write the contracts. There shall be at least two smart contracts – the event contract, and the ticket contract. The event contract will need to link to the ticket contract as it needs to use the data in the ticket contract. The keyword to access the data in another contract is import. For example, we can create an event contract event.sol that imports the ticket contract ticket.sol, using the syntax as follows:

Pragma Solidity ^0.5.0
import "./ticket.sol";

The event.sol file shall create an event contract that specifies event details such as total tickets, collected funds, start time, etc. The code could be as follows:

Contract Event { 
struct EventDetails { 
uint256 ticketAmount;
uint256 SoldticketAmount;
uint256 CollectedFunds;
uint256 StartTime;
 }

The event contract shall also include a create event function, as follows:

function CreateEvent{
uint256 _ticketAmount;
uint256 _Startime
}

There are many more functions to be included in the smart contracts but I will not dwell further as this is not a technical paper.

References

Developing a DAPP on E3 Net – KittyChain Shop

With the successful launch of E3T on Dcoin Exchange on 21 Oct 2019, E3 team shall now focus on developing DApps on E3 Net, the world’s first Digital Economy Platform for entrepreneurs. The development of DApps will not only create a huge and vibrant token economy for the E3  closed-loop ecosystem, but it will also greatly increase the usage and value of E3T, thus ensuring an attractive ROI for investors.

This article describes how to build a simple DApp, an online pet shop.

What is DApp?

DApp is an abbreviation for decentralized application.

A DApp has its backend code running on a decentralized peer-to-peer network. Contrast this with an app where the backend code is running on centralized servers.

A DApp can have frontend code and user interfaces written in any language that can make calls to its backend. Furthermore, its frontend can be hosted on decentralized storage such as Swarm or IPFS.

The Project Description

In this project, we shall use Ganache (https://truffleframework.com/ganache) to develop the KittyChain Shop DApp.

Ganache is a personal blockchain for Ethereum development you can use to deploy contracts, develop your applications, and run tests. It is available as both a desktop application as well as a command-line tool (formerly known as the TestRPC). Ganache is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Truffle is a world-class development environment, testing framework and asset pipeline for blockchains using the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), aiming to make life as a developer easier.

The KittyChain DApp is an adoption tracking system for a pet shop

Steps to build the Dapp

  1. Setting up the development environment
  2. Creating a Truffle project using a Truffle Box
  3. Writing the smart contract
  4. Compiling and migrating the smart contract
  5. Testing the smart contract
  6. Creating a user interface to interact with the smart contract
  7. Interacting with the dApp in a browser

Step 1  Setting up the development environment

Install the following:

  1. Node.js
  2. Git
  3. Truffle 

Having installed the aforementioned packages, we shall proceed to install Ganache. You can download Ganache by navigating to http://truffleframework.com/ganache and clicking the “Download” button.

Step 2  Creating a Truffle project using a Truffle Box

Truffle initializes in the current directory, so first create a directory in your development folder of choice and then move inside it.

mkdir pet-shop-tutorial

cd pet-shop-tutorial

Now you have created a Truffle Box called pet-shop, which includes the basic project structure as well as code for the user interface.

Next, use the truffle unbox command to unpack this Truffle Box.

truffle unbox pet-shop

The Output

Directory structure

The default Truffle directory structure contains the following folders and files:

  • contracts/: Contains the Solidity source files for our smart contracts. There is an important contract in here called Migrations.sol, which we’ll discuss later.
  • migrations/: Truffle uses a migration system to handle smart contract deployments. Migration is an additional special smart contract that keeps track of changes.
  • test/: Contains both JavaScript and Solidity tests for our smart contracts.
  • truffle.js: Truffle configuration file.

Step 3  Writing the smart contract

We’ll shall write the smart contract that will act as the back-end logic and storage.

Create a new file named Adoption.sol in the contracts/ directory. To save time, please download the file from:

http://javascript-tutor.net/blockchain/download/contracts/Adoption.sol

Adoption.sol

pragma solidity ^0.4.24;
 contract Adoption { 
    //array of 16 addresses, 20 bytes 
    address[16] public adopters; 
 // Adopting a pet 
    function adopt(uint petId) public returns (uint) { 
    require(petId >= 0 && petId <= 15); 
 adopters[petId] = msg.sender; 
   return petId; 
    }
 // Retrieving the adopters 
    function getAdopters() public view returns (address[16]) { 
       return adopters; 
    } 
 } 

Step 4 Compiling and migrating the smart contract

Now that we have the smart contract, we shall proceed to compile and migrate it.

Truffle has a built-in developer console known as Truffle Develop, which generates a development blockchain that we can use to test and deploy the smart contract. It also has the ability to run Truffle commands directly from the console. 

We need to compile the smart contract written in Solidity to bytecode for the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) to execute. Think of it as translating our human-readable Solidity into something the EVM understands. In a terminal, make sure you are in the root of the directory that contains the DApp and type:

truffle compile

The output


Compiling ./contracts/Migrations.sol...
Compiling ./contracts/Adoption.sol...
Writing artifacts to ./build/contracts

Now that we’ve successfully compiled our contracts, it’s time to migrate them to the blockchain! Migration is the deployment script meant to alter the state of the application’s contracts, moving it from one state to the next. For the first migration, you might just be deploying new code, but over time, other migrations might move data around or replace a contract with a new one.

By the way, there is one JavaScript file already in the migrations/ directory: 1_initial_migration.js. This file handles deploying the Migrations.sol contract to observe subsequent smart contract migrations, and ensures we don’t double-migrate unchanged contracts in the future. Now let’s create our own migration script.

Create a new file named 2_deploy_contracts.js in the migrations/directory.

To save time, download the file from the following link:

http://javascript-tutor.net/blockchain/download/contracts/2_deploy_contracts.js

Before we can migrate our contract to the blockchain, we need to have a blockchain running. For this tutorial, we’re going to use Ganache, a personal blockchain for Ethereum development you can use to deploy contracts, develop applications, and run tests. If you haven’t already, download Ganache and double click the icon to launch the application. This will generate a blockchain running locally on port 7545.

Launch Ganache and you get the following output:

Now back in your VS Code terminal, enter the following command:

truffle migrate

You can see the migrations being executed in order, followed by the blockchain address of each deployed contract.

In Ganache, note that the state of the blockchain has changed. The blockchain now shows that the current block, previously 0, is now 4. In addition, while the first account originally had 100 ether, it is now lower at 99.94, due to the transaction costs of migration. 

Step 5 Testing the smart contract

Truffle is very flexible when it comes to smart contract testing, in that tests can be written either in JavaScript or Solidity. In this tutorial, we’ll be writing our tests in Solidity.

Create a new file named TestAdoption.sol in the test/ directory. To save time, download a copy of the file from the following link:

http://javascript-tutor.net/blockchain/download/test/TestAdoption.sol

We start the contract off with 3 imports:

  • Assert.sol: Gives us various assertions to use in our tests. In testing, an assertion checks for things like equality, inequality or emptiness to return a pass/fail from our test. Here’s a full list of the assertions included with Truffle.
  • DeployedAddresses.sol: When running tests, Truffle will deploy a fresh instance of the contract being tested to the blockchain. This smart contract gets the address of the deployed contract.
  • Adoption.sol: The smart contract we want to test.

To run the test, enter the following command

Truffle test

The output is as follows:

Step 6 Creating a user interface to interact with the smart contract

Now that we’ve created the smart contract, deployed it to our local test blockchain and confirmed we can interact with it via the console, it’s time to create a UI so that the user can interact with the  pet shop!

Included with the pet-shop Truffle Box is the code for the app’s frontend. It is the JavaScript file app.js within the src/ directory. You can download the app.js file from the following link:

http://javascript-tutor.net/blockchain/download/src/js/app.js

We need to instantiate web3 to create the UI. The global App object is to manage our application, load in the pets data in init() and then call the function initWeb3(). The web3 JavaScript library interacts with the Ethereum blockchain. It can retrieve user accounts, send transactions, interact with smart contracts, and more.

First, we check if there’s a web3 instance already active. (Ethereum browsers like Mist or Chrome with the MetaMask extension will inject their own web3 instances.) If an injected web3 instance is present, we get its provider and use it to create our web3 object.

If no injected web3 instance is present, we create our web3 object based on our local provider. (Here we fallback on http://localhost:7545 that points to Ganache.)

Instantiating the contract

We need to instantiate our smart contract so web3 knows where to find it and how it works. Truffle has a library to help with this called truffle-contract. It keeps information about the contract in sync with migrations, so you don’t need to change the contract’s deployed address manually.

First, we retrieve the artifact file for our smart contract. Artifacts are information about our contract such as its deployed address and Application Binary Interface (ABI). The ABI is a JavaScript object defining how to interact with the contract including its variables, functions and parameters.

Once we have the artifacts in our callback, we pass them to TruffleContract(). This creates an instance of the contract we can interact with. With our contract instantiated, we set its web3 provider using the App.web3Provider value we stored earlier when setting up web3.

We then call the app’s markAdopted() function in case any pets are already adopted from a previous visit. We’ve encapsulated this in a separate function since we’ll need to update the UI any time we make a change to the smart contract data.

Getting The Adopted Pets and Updating The UI

We shall access the deployed Adoption contract, then call getAdopters() on that instance.

We first declare the variable adoptionInstance outside of the smart contract calls so we can access the instance after initially retrieving it.

Using call() allows us to read data from the blockchain without having to send a full transaction, meaning we won’t have to spend any ether.

After calling getAdopters(), we then loop through all of them, checking to see if an address is stored for each pet. Since the array contains address types, Ethereum initializes the array with 16 empty addresses. This is why we check for an empty address string rather than null or other false value.

Once a petId with a corresponding address is found, we disable its adopt button and change the button text to “Success“, so the user gets some feedback. Any errors are logged to the console.

Handling the adopt() Function

We use web3 to get the user’s accounts. In the callback after an error check, we select the first account.

From there, we get the deployed contract as we did above and store the instance in adoptionInstance. This time though, we’re going to send a transaction instead of a call. Transactions require a “from” address and have an associated cost. This cost, paid in ether, is called gas. The gas cost is the fee for performing computation and/or storing data in a smart contract. We send the transaction by executing the adopt() function with both the pet’s ID and an object containing the account address, which we stored earlier in account.

The result of sending a transaction is the transaction object. If there are no errors, we proceed to call our markAdopted() function to sync the UI with our newly stored data.

Step 7 Interacting with the DApp in a browser

The easiest way to interact with our DApp in a browser is through MetaMask, a browser extension for both Chrome and Firefox.

Install MetaMask in your browser.

Once installed, you’ll see the MetaMask fox icon next to your address bar. Click the icon and you’ll see this screen appear:

At the initial MetaMask screen, click Import Existing DEN.

In the box marked Wallet Seed, enter the mnemonic that is displayed in Ganache.

Enter a password below that and click OK.

Now we need to connect MetaMask to the blockchain created by Ganache. Click the menu that shows “Main Network” and select Custom RPC.

In the box titled “New RPC URL” enter http://127.0.0.1:7545 and click Save.

The network name at the top will switch to say “Private Network”.

Each account created by Ganache is given 100 ether. You’ll notice it’s slightly less on the first account because some gas was used when the contract itself was deployed and when the tests were run. (Make sure you are running Ganache as well.)

Installing and configuring lite-server

We can now start a local web server and use the DApp. We’re using the lite-server library to serve our static files. This shipped with the pet-shop Truffle Box, but let’s take a look at how it works.

Let’s examine  bs-config.json 

{
 "port": 3000, 
  "server": { 
 "baseDir": ["./src", "./build/contracts"], 
 "open": false 
  }, 
 "browser": ["chrome"] 
 } 

This tells lite-server which files to include in our base directory. We add the ./src directory for our website files and ./build/contracts directory for the contract artifacts.

I added “browser”: [“chrome”]

So that the UI opens in the Chrome browser.

We’ve also added a dev command to the scripts object in the package.json file in the project’s root directory. The scripts object allows us to alias console commands to a single npm command. 

To launch the app, enter the command in the VS Code Console.

npm run dev

Kittychain Shop

Pet Shop UI

Metamask appears after clicking adopt.

Transactions are shown on Metamask.

And also on Ganache.

References

Blockchain-Based P2P Lending – A Conceptual Model

Traditional P2P lending models are facing many issues. For example, the cost of onboarding customers remains high, so investors are wary of this kind of investment model. Besides that, this area is heavily regulated by the securities commission in most countries. While a handful of P2P companies have been approved to operate their businesses, many more P2P operators who failed to obtain a license are facing the nightmare of shutting down

Traditional P2P lending cannot allow borrowers and investors to directly match financing but rather needs to be handled as a credit intermediary through the P2P lending platform. The financing cost is increased because of the need to pay the agency fee. Other issues include the limited scalability of P2P lending services on an international scale. This is due to the aforementioned problems of loan repayment guarantees, as well as to regulatory issues (rules and regulations vary from country to country). There is also work to be done on accelerating the process of granting loans and so on.

Although P2P lending platforms are supposed to be operating in a decentralized manner, they are still largely operating in a centralized model. Data is usually stored and maintained on a central database, which might lead to human errors and manipulation of data. 

On the contrary, data stored on a blockchain are stored on the decentralised and distributed network, where every stakeholder has access to a copy of the same ledger. Furthermore, data on the blockchain is immutable, so no party can alter and manipulate the stored data. These characteristics of the blockchain will greatly enhance data security, increase transparency and instill trust amongst stakeholders. Therefore, blockchain is the perfect solution to solve the woes of current P2P lending models. Indeed, a dozen companies have started to deploy blockchain-based P2P lending platforms.

Blockchain-based P2P businesses are broadly divided into two models, the hybrid model and the pure cryptocurrency model. The hybrid model involves using cryptocurrency and fiat money while the pure cryptocurrency model uses only cryptocurrencies.

The Hybrid P2P Lending Model

This model uses a combination of fiat currency and cryptocurrency to provide P2P lending services. Let us examine a few companies that implement this model.

1. SALT

SALT (Secure Automated Lending Technology) is a leader in the blockchain-based P2P lending industry. SALT’s model allows borrowers to use their crypto assets as collateral to secure loans from an extensive network of lenders on the platform. It means SALT does not bother to check the credit score of borrowers but grant eligibility based on the amount of crypto assets they are willing to put up as collateral. The main advantage for SALT borrowers is the ability to borrow fiat money against the security of their crypto assets, which is considered more practical to ordinary people than the pure cryptocurrency lending model. 

To sign up as a member of SALT, a borrower needs to purchase SALT tokens, the cryptocurrency of the SALT platform. SALT is minted using an ERC20 smart contract. After signing up, borrowers have to deposit a certain amount of crypto assets (cryptocurrency) as collateral into the platform’s unique, multi-signature wallet address created by SALT’s Secure Automated Lending Technology. After the terms of the loan are agreed and approved, the lender will make a deposit in fiat money into the borrower’s bank account. The borrower will be obligated to make repayments in fiat money or stable coins (currently accepting USDC, TUSD, and PAX) on a regular basis before the 15th of the month. In the event of a default, his or her crypto assets will be transferred to the lender. 

In order for an asset to be qualified as collateral on the SALT Platform, it must meet certain eligibility requirements. First and foremost, it must be a blockchain asset. This means that the ownership of the asset must be recorded on a public or permission blockchain. Digital assets will be onboarded based off community demand.

Examples of the current eligible collateral include Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTE), Dogecoin (DOGE), Dash (DASH), TruUSD (TUSD), USD Coin (USDC), Paxos Standard Token (PAX), and PAX Gold (PXG).

2. Nexo

The Nexo P2P model is somewhat similar to the SALT model. It also possesses a cryptocurrency known as the Nexo. According to the Neo website, the NEXO Token is the world’s first US SEC-compliant asset-backed token and is backed by the underlying assets of Nexo’s loan portfolio. It can be used for discounted interest rates and loan repayments, as well as collateral. One incentive for holding the NEXO token is that it pays dividends to holders. Thirty percent of the profits generated from Nexo loans go to a dividend pool that is then distributed to NEXO holders. Currently, dividend payments are being made in Ethereum (ETH), but there’s a good chance that this will expand to other cryptocurrencies in the future.

The loan approval process is fully automated. A credit line becomes instantly available to the borrower once the application is approved and there is no credit check. The borrower can spend money instantly with a card or withdraw money to a bank account. Spending on the credit line will incur an APR from 5.9% of what the borrower uses. Some advantages of NEO compared to SALT is there is no minimum repayment, no hidden fees, and the interest is debited from the available limit. Besides that, the borrower can make repayments at any time. On top of that, the Nexo website states that it is the only insured account that lets you borrow instantly in 45+ fiat currencies and earn daily interest on your idle assets. Furthermore, NEO makes its loans available worldwide. Anyone who holds cryptocurrency can take advantage of a Nexo loan. And since the loans are fully collateralized there’s no need for borrowers to worry about credit history or approvals.

Though the use cases for Nexo loans will be somewhat limited since they’re collateral-backed, the use of cryptocurrencies as collateral makes for an attractive alternative for those who hold cryptocurrencies and don’t want to sell yet and give up future gains, but still need fiat currency for immediate use.

At the moment, more than twenty cryptocurrencies including BTC, ETH, NEXO, XRP, TRON and more can be accepted as the collateral. Any loans taken can be repaid using cryptocurrency, fiat currency, or the Nexo token. They have made it as easy as possible to repay any loans. In contrast, SALT only accepts loan repayment in fiat currency, which is an inconvenience for the borrowers.

Pure Cryptocurrency P2P Lending Model

1. ETHlend

ETHlend is a decentralized cryptocurrency credit platform and the world’s first crypto lending marketplace. Unlike SALT and Nexo, it operates exclusively through Ethereum smart contracts. ETHlend also has a token known as the LEND token. It is the native ERC20 token of the ETHLend platform. Its token can be stored in any Ethereum wallet in a similar way as other ERC20 tokens.

The lending process at ETHlend is quite simple. When creating a smart contract, ETHLend requires borrowers to send ERC-20 tokens as collateral for ETH loans in the event of a borrower’s default. Currently ETH, BTC, LEND and more than 150 ERC20 tokens are accepted as collateral. There is no limit in the loan value, as the amount you can borrow depends on the value of your collateral. Borrowers can borrow up to 50% of their collateral value and up to 55% if LEND is used as collateral. This means the borrower needs to send to the smart contract 200% of the value of the loan in crypto assets. To become a lender, you will need to register on the platform and send to your in-app wallet some Ether and any of the currencies accepted in order to fund a loan or create a loan offer. The accepted currencies are ETH, LEND, DAI and TUSD. This also means borrowers will receive the aforementioned cryptocurrencies as loans.

The borrower needs to repay the loan in accordance with the contract, plus interest on the loan, and send them to a smart contract. The lender receives their ETH and interest from the smart contract, and the pledged tokens are unlocked and sent back to the borrower. In the event that the borrower cannot repay the loan, the lender will get the payments plus a liquidation fee from the collateral.

2. Elix

Elix is an Ethereum-based platform for lending, crowdfunding, and payments. The Elix team primarily focused on mobile platforms and usability in order to attract as large a user base as possible from the start. I will not discuss the payment and crowdfunding component of this platform, but rather concentrate only on its P2P lending component.

The uniqueness of this system lies in the fact that Elix offers a peer-to-peer lending program based on mutual incentives for the lender and the borrower. In Elix, both the lender and the borrower are incentivized by the system to meet the terms of the loan. When applying for a loan, participants can choose a mining period in order to receive system rewards in the form of a new token, “Token P”.

If the borrower pays the loan on time, the reward is divided between the lender receiving 65% and the borrower who receives 35%. If the borrower has late payments, the lender receives 100% of this fee. Token P will have a fixed maximum supply that the team expects to achieve in only a few decades.

The P2P Lending Conceptual Model

After reviewing the aforementioned P2P lending models, I think the best model that suits a blockchain-based P2P lending conceptual model is the Nexo model. As it is a hybrid of the fiat and cryptocurrency model, this platform needs to work with a licensed P2P operator. I propose the following model:

Using a combination of BTC, ETH, USDT, and Token X as collateral

The proposed P2P lending platform will accept BTC, ETH , USDT and Token X (the hypothetical cryptocurrency) as collateral. Any loans taken can be repaid using fiat currency, BTC, ETH , USDT and Token X with a certain interest. Loans given to borrowers should be fiat currency. The crypto assets should be stored in a secure wallet. In the event of default, the crypto assets (USDT, ETH, BTC, and Token X) will be transferred to the lender.

The loan approval process should be fully automated with no credit checks. The credit line should become instantly available to the borrower once the application is approved. Repayment should be flexible too. I propose that we use a wallet for borrowers to access the credit line offered by the P2P Lending platform and receive the funds once the loan is approved. Besides that, the borrower can repay the loan using the same wallet. Lenders can also access potential borrowers’ information using the wallet and deposit fiat money to be used as loans. It means we need to integrate the wallet to the P2P lending platform via an API.

I propose that 30% of the profit generated from P2P lending to be deposited into a dividend pool and distributed to Token X holders. This way it incentivises people to buy and hold Token X.

References

Initial Exchange Offering(IEO) Explained

After the craze of ICOs subsided, two new crypto crowdfunding methods emerged, namely the Security Token Offering (STO) and the Initial Exchange Offering (IEO). Among the two, IEO is more popular as STO poses a higher barrier of entry, is more expensive, and is subjected to more stringent regulations by the securities commission.

In a recent article, Reuters reported that IEOs have raised $1.5 billion so far in 2019, compared with just $836 million raised from ICOs. A dozen of amazingly successful cases of IEOs have driven more project owners to embark on their own IEO journeys. Famous IEO cases include the sale of the BitT Torrent (BTT) token on the Binance Launchpad, raising $7 million in just the first 14 minutes of the sale opening. Veriblock did even better, raising $7 million in April through an IEO on the Bittrex exchange in just 10 seconds. A truly amazing feat! It is safe to say that IEO has taken over ICO as the preferred choice of fundraising in the cryptocurrency industry.

Based on the success of IEOs, E3hubs, the largest incubation hub in Southeast Asia, has also launched its IEO campaign on 21st October 2019 on a renowned trading platform, Dcoin. The main purpose of this IEO initiative is raising funds to develop a global digital economy platform that is powered by its native token, E3T. This platform will enable E3hubs entrepreneurs to perform all forms of economic activities that will create economic value that might contribute to a sizable percentage of a country’s GDP.

What is IEO?

According to Binance, an Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) is a fundraising campaign that is administered by a Crypto Exchange Platform.  An IEO allows investors to purchase a new cryptocurrency (or token) while raising funds for its crypto project. 

Though ICOs and IEOs both raise funds through token sales, the way they sell tokens is different. For ICOs, the project team themselves conduct the fundraising campaign. Meanwhile, IEO fundraising is conducted on a crypto Exchange platform, where the users of the Exchange can buy tokens with funds directly from their own exchange wallet. 

Advantages and disadvantages of IEO

Advantages

INCREASED INVESTOR CONFIDENCE

Investors are more confident in investing in IEO tokens as the project has to undergo stringent KYC/AML checks by the Exchange platform that handles the IEO projects. The Exchange platform will also evaluate the business model of the project and also audit its technical infrastructure, including its blockchain system and smart contracts. Therefore, many scam projects will be filtered and eliminated. The Exchange platform acts as a trusted third party that can reduce considerable risk in crypto investment.

WIN-WIN FOR THE PROJECT OWNER AND THE EXCHANGE

For the project owner, it is a cheaper and easier way to raise the necessary funds for the project, while not embarking on long marketing campaigns and roadshows. The token is also listed on the Exchange immediately after the IEO campaign.

For the Exchange, conducting an IEO means more revenue for them. An Exchange that hosts an IEO will typically charge a fee for the campaign and get a cut from the token sales. They also get fees when the token starts trading on their exchange.

Disadvantages of IEO

AMBIGUOUS REGULATIONS AND RESTRICTIONS

Many countries still ban or restrict fundraising activity in the cryptocurrency industry while some countries impose stringent regulations on crypto activities. Therefore, it is still uncertain whether IEO will be fully accepted and recognised as the legal way of fundraising in the crypto industry.

ALL INVESTORS SUBJECTED TO STRINGENT AML/KYC

While a stringent KYC/AML check for the project can increase investor confidence, some individuals may be reluctant to expose their identities, so going through a stringent AML/KYC procedure may deter these people from investing in the IEO project.

LIMITED NUMBER OF TOKENS

There have been many complaints from investors that not everyone manages to purchase tokens during IEOs as the number of tokens available for sale is usually limited.

BOTTING CONCERNS

Using bots for trading and investing is ubiquitous nowadays. In the crypto space, there are concerns about bots that can be programmed to participate in IEOs and beat out human investors. In such a scenario, all parties lose out.

How to Conduct an IEO?

Although an IEO is a promising method for fundraising, especially for startups that don’t have the resources and expertise to do an IPO, it is by no means an easy feat. The project owner needs to plan and make the necessary preparations before embarking on the IEO initiative. The following are suggested steps that a project has to follow before going IEO.

DESIGN THE BUSINESS MODEL

Before embarking on an IEO campaign, the founding members of the project must have a clear vision of what their business wants to achieve. They also have to design a business model and draw up plans to attain the vision.

For instance, the vision of the E3T project is to build the world’s largest digital platform for global entrepreneurs, which has the potential to create a vibrant token economy for the E3hubs closed-loop ecosystem. The business model is to create a blockchain-based utility token that will power the E3 digital platform for entrepreneurs, enabling them to perform all forms of economic activities that will create huge economic value.

ASSEMBLE A FORMIDABLE TEAM

In this internet era where information is readily available, potential investors and Exchanges will know instantly the background of the project team members. If the project team comprises mostly inexperienced people, it will seriously affect the confidence of the investors and the Exchanges. Therefore, the project owner needs to assemble a formidable team that comprises experts in business, legal, technology, marketing, and other related disciplines. As most IEO projects are blockchain-based, it is a must to hire blockchain experts. You can check out the E3T team for reference.

PREPARING THE WHITEPAPER AND OTHER DOCUMENTS

The whitepaper is a document that comprises a thorough description of the project, distribution of tokens, business model, tokenomics and more. It also includes information about the project team which usually comprises the board members, the marketing team, the technical team, the legal team, and the advisers.

Writing the whitepaper is a very important step in the IEO campaign. It is an important document that showcases the project. Whether the investors will be impressed and looking forward to investing in the project depends on how well the paper is written. I will not discuss how to write a whitepaper here, but you can check out the E3T white paper.

Besides the whitepaper, the project team should also prepare a one-pager, website, pitch decks, social media pages and more. These are the components that contain the primary source of knowledge about the project for potential investors and Exchanges to evaluate the IEO project.

DEVELOP THE TOKEN

The token is an integral part of the IEO project. Without a native token, what can you sell to the investors? Therefore, it is crucial to design the token from day 1, and start developing it as soon as possible.

Most tokens for IEO projects are ERC20 tokens. The ERC20 standard is chosen because it can be easily designed and deployed to the Ethereum main net. However, if you want a customized token and your team has the expertise and programming skill, you can develop a different protocol from the Ethereum main net, or even develop your own blockchain system.

E3T is an example of a customized utility token which is not an ERC20 token and its blockchain system is also different from the Ethereum main net. E3T blockchain was designed to be a private blockchain network using the Proof of Authority (POA) consensus algorithm. In contrast, the Ethereum main net is using the Proof of Work (PoW) consensus algorithm. E3T has no miners. Instead, the transactions are validated by a finite set of validator nodes and masternodes. For more details, refer to the E3T technical whitepaper.

To mint the ERC20 token, the blockchain developers need to write a robust smart contract and have it tested and also audited by a trusted third party contract auditor to ensure the contract is secure and free of bugs. The audited token can then be deployed to the Ethereum main net or a private network.

MARKETING

The project team needs to carry out an aggressive marketing campaign for its IEO initiative in order to broadcast the news to as many investors as possible. The marketing campaign can be conducted through websites, blogs, as well as social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, WeChat and more. They can also organise events and conferences to promote their token but they need to check whether these activities can be conducted in certain countries. For example, you cannot do so in Malaysia and China.

ENGAGE A CRYPTO EXCHANGE

The project team also needs to sign an agreement with a crypto Exchange to start their IEO campaign. They need to conduct due diligence in searching for a trusted Exchange before deciding to engage one. A good guide is to look for Exchanges that rank within the top 50 on Coinmarketcap. Besides, they need to analyze reviews of the Exchanges on various crypto platforms. IEO fees may also be another concern, as a top rank Exchange may charge an extremely high fee. Therefore, there is always a trade-off between the fee and the reputation of the Exchange.

Final Note

IEO has replaced ICO as the new trend in fundraising in the crypto industry. Investors who are still thinking of the good old days of ICO should start changing their mindset and focus on investing in IEO projects instead. On the other hand, startups or enterprises who wish to raise funds in the crypto industry must realize that ICO is already dead and IEO is the way to go. Lastly, more exchanges should create IEO launchpads to assist projects that wish to raise funds through IEO, as this is an untapped niche with immense potential. 

References