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I've been researching the top blockchain startups by market cap on https://etherscan.io/tokens.
For example:
EOS (EOS)
Tronix (TRX)
VeChain (VEN)
etc.

And I'm just not understanding what they are all trying to do?
They all seem so similar, and so basic; with nothing new being introduced at all (or is there?).
Many are claiming to be building a better blockchain service, but yet are using Ethereum?
Or are they just using Ethereum as a crowdfunding source?

To me this is just screaming illegitimate to every one of these startups.

Like I don't even understand what innovation any are bringing to the table.

For example Tronix (TRX) has a market cap of $4,775,337,947 (as of 5/14/2018),
Like this snippet of code right here (the contract on the Ethereum blockchain):

pragma solidity ^0.4.11;

contract TronToken {

    string public name = "Tronix";      //  token name
    string public symbol = "TRX";           //  token symbol
    uint256 public decimals = 6;            //  token digit

    mapping (address => uint256) public balanceOf;
    mapping (address => mapping (address => uint256)) public allowance;

    uint256 public totalSupply = 0;
    bool public stopped = false;

    uint256 constant valueFounder = 100000000000000000;
    address owner = 0x0;

    modifier isOwner {
        assert(owner == msg.sender);
        _;
    }

    modifier isRunning {
        assert (!stopped);
        _;
    }

    modifier validAddress {
        assert(0x0 != msg.sender);
        _;
    }

    function TronToken(address _addressFounder) {
        owner = msg.sender;
        totalSupply = valueFounder;
        balanceOf[_addressFounder] = valueFounder;
        Transfer(0x0, _addressFounder, valueFounder);
    }

    function transfer(address _to, uint256 _value) isRunning validAddress returns (bool success) {
        require(balanceOf[msg.sender] >= _value);
        require(balanceOf[_to] + _value >= balanceOf[_to]);
        balanceOf[msg.sender] -= _value;
        balanceOf[_to] += _value;
        Transfer(msg.sender, _to, _value);
        return true;
    }

    function transferFrom(address _from, address _to, uint256 _value) isRunning validAddress returns (bool success) {
        require(balanceOf[_from] >= _value);
        require(balanceOf[_to] + _value >= balanceOf[_to]);
        require(allowance[_from][msg.sender] >= _value);
        balanceOf[_to] += _value;
        balanceOf[_from] -= _value;
        allowance[_from][msg.sender] -= _value;
        Transfer(_from, _to, _value);
        return true;
    }

    function approve(address _spender, uint256 _value) isRunning validAddress returns (bool success) {
        require(_value == 0 || allowance[msg.sender][_spender] == 0);
        allowance[msg.sender][_spender] = _value;
        Approval(msg.sender, _spender, _value);
        return true;
    }

    function stop() isOwner {
        stopped = true;
    }

    function start() isOwner {
        stopped = false;
    }

    function setName(string _name) isOwner {
        name = _name;
    }

    function burn(uint256 _value) {
        require(balanceOf[msg.sender] >= _value);
        balanceOf[msg.sender] -= _value;
        balanceOf[0x0] += _value;
        Transfer(msg.sender, 0x0, _value);
    }

    event Transfer(address indexed _from, address indexed _to, uint256 _value);
    event Approval(address indexed _owner, address indexed _spender, uint256 _value);
}

Is worth $4,775,337,947?!

I understand how there is a lot of speculation going on, so the prices are probably very inflated.
But still, how are these startups worth anything?
Like, what am I missing or not seeing?

4

So a lot of these companies are separating the ERC 20 token being sold during the ICO process and their actually technology. Think of the ERC 20 token as contract to be exchange for the true currency when it is later developed.

Let me respond to the specific examples you have given:

  1. EOS. The following is from an article on Bitfinex supporting the token swap:

    Bitfinex’s support for the EOS MainNet token will provide the following advantages to the exchange – As EOS transitions from Ethereum to its MainNet chain, it will allow them to manage all technical requirements related to the swap to ensure a smooth token registration process for all users storing EOS on Bitfinex. Bitfinex’s EOS MainNet Token Swap is set to take place in June – more details will be made available at the start of June."

  2. TRON The following is directly from their website found here:

    Mainnet is launching soon.
    Token migration from ERC20 TRX to Mainnet TRX will occur between June 21st – June 25th (GMT+8).
    If your TRX is held on an exchange, no action is required.
    If your TRX is held in a wallet, you must deposit your TRX to an exchange before June 24, 2018 to avoid any losses.
    From June 21st– 25th, TRX withdrawals on exchanges will be suspended. On June 25th, both TRX deposits and withdraws on exchanges will be suspended. Deposits and withdraws will resume on June 26th. During this period, TRX trading will not be affected.

  3. VeChain Is the only technology you listed actually being built on Ethereum and they go into more detail about the basics on their technology in their FAQ:

    Q. Is Vechain developed based on Ethereum?
    A. Yes, it is. In the past two years, the team has done lots of code modifications and improvements including DBGP, DMBSP, and DGIP protocols.

| improve this answer | |
  • Ok that makes sense. So essentially there must be a mechanism in place for "asset swapping" down the line when said company releases their own personal blockchain? Is that correct? – John DeBord May 15 '18 at 3:44
  • Like in EOS's case their technology will have nothing to do with Ethereum (apart from possibly cross-chain stuff and tokens) once their MainNet launches? – John DeBord May 15 '18 at 3:46
  • @JohnDeBord yes, each user holding the temporary ERC 20 tokens will register to receive equivalent tokens on the company's chain upon release. Many times the exchanges assist with this swap. – CJ Jacobs May 15 '18 at 3:47
  • Oh ok. So essentially a token => coin/token => asset swap or whatever you want to call it. That's very interesting. – John DeBord May 15 '18 at 3:50
  • 2
    It seems like marketing has ALOT to do with the valuation of the startup. Since I haven't seen anything tangible yet. – John DeBord May 15 '18 at 3:52

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