Widespread adoption of cryptocurrency and digital assets remains a vision from within the engaged community rather than a reality.
Whilst there are claims that adoption is being hampered by vested interests, it is fair to say that other barriers – both technical and non-technical – remain. And these are not just confined to the purchase of currency or token but also their ongoing fungibility.
Most people who currently hold cryptocurrency, either as long term believers or shorter term speculators, embrace this means of exchange but it is not the same for the uninitiated.
A general population which has been conditioned over time to deal in one currency and trust one or two institutions with their income, loans, investments, savings, insurance and pensions are simply bewildered by the scope of options now being offered in the impending blockchain era.
If even part of the new procedure could be simplified, then the appeal of cryptocurrencies to the masses would increase in positive correlation.
It is in this context that Baanx is looking to become the “Amazon of Blockchain Financial Services”. The upcoming platform intends to serve up pre-packaged white-label financial products, licences and APIs in a bid to encourage other brands to use piggy-back off of the Baanx platform as a spring-board for their own business models.
The company is setting out to integrate over 100+ brands into its network. This would entail Baanx sharing its licences with those brands in a similar way to how JP Morgan currently shares its licence with Amazon.
The Baanx project team believe this cryptobank network will enable faster mainstream participation and serve as a trampoline for this once-in-a-generation monetary system transfer and thus position Baanx at the forefront of this new emerging industry.
Although various social media video interviews with the CEO Garth Howat have suggested an MVP for Baanx products are close to launch, there are at the time of writing no versions available to evaluate.
However, within its group, Baanx includes Optimal Search Limited, of whom Mr Howat and Baanx’s CRO John Van Der Voss are registered at UK’s Companies House as the company’s two directors.
Optimal Search operate carloanscompare.co.uk and are a licensed credit broker in the UK and as such are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). At the time of writing the website is showing that over £11 million of car loans have been approved through the site.
The platform can be basically analysed from two perspectives, the user and the financial provider. Both parties will need the native ERC-20 compatible BXX token to interact on the platform.
For the consumer, Baanx’s own products and perks are scheduled to include:
- A highly secure wallet that will come with £10,000 worth of insurance to cover non-fault loss.
- A low fee mobile crypto and fiat payment App with both virtual capability and a physical card.
- A crypto-exchange for 115 coins and tokens. For those with deep pockets Baanx will also offer OTC facilities ($1 million minimum trade)
- A hedging facility were customers can lock in the fiat value of their BTC, ETH and LTC for a set period of time at the touch of a button.
- At a later stage, crypto-credit card and secured, unsecured and P2P lending facilities will be added.
- Purchasers of BXX through the ICO will also later be in line for free BXXS tokens, at a 100 BXX- 1 BXXS ratio, which pay monthly dividends based on Baanx’s performance (Further details in the Tokenomics section below).
For the financial provider, established financial companies will be able to market their brand on the network whilst start-ups will be benefit from shared banking licence agreements, liquidity and operational benefits.
The Baanx OpenAPI© will permit external developers to access Baanx Customers. Traditional brands such as air mile/loyalty programs, games providers and educational institutions will be able to launch their own Cryptobanks, leveraging the limited circulation of Baanx Tokens to access key products that suit their specific customers and users.
Not surprisingly for a bank, high importance is placed on security at all levels of business transactions. These features include, but are not limited to, Android HTML5 script encryption and IOS obfuscation for the mobile Apps, PGP encryption for communication, and multi-signature deposit and withdrawal schemes.
Between them, the core team have in excess of 100 years of banking and fintech experience that includes well known names such as JP Morgan, RBS, Commerzbank, Barings, Shroders and others.
As mentioned previously, Garth Howat, the CEO, is the public face of the company and features in the majority of social media postings. He is FCA-approved and has been involved with consumer lending and fin-tech businesses within the UK in various capacities for the last 13 years.
Whilst the credentials of most of the other key players are well documented and skills match with LinkedIn profiles – so their legitimacy is not in doubt – their commitment to this actual project could be open to some debate. A cursory glance here will show that several of the team are currently involved with three or four other fintech entities. Even allowing for goodwill, there are only so many hours in the day that can be divided up to satisfy the work commitments for each project.
This may be seen as irrelevant by some but it is worth mentioning as the projection of intent and obligation are still viable metrics for seed investors.
An active Telegram channel of over 48,000 and a Twitter account with over 8,000 followers shows that Baanx has already gained some considerable interest.
Moving forward, a significant 23% of the budget has been allocated to marketing activities.
The whitepaper states that the company is in negotiations to have the BXX token listed on the HitBTC, Bancor and KuCoin exchanges between 2-4 weeks of the ICO completion, and on Binance, OKEx and Huobi from 4-8 weeks.
On their website Baanx have included a useful ‘goals’ summary for the ICO which clearly lays out the budgets needed to achieve their stated aims.
In addition, the whitepaper breaks down the expected timeline for obtaining the all-important licenses that will enable the scale of growth that the company is looking for.
For the roadmap itself, the whitepaper states that in 2018 the company will concentrate on rolling out the the exchange, wallet and mobile crypto payment operations.
Second product releases for users will be phased in during the following 12 months and will include a cryptocurrency credit card and ETF, property investment and stock broker facilities through 3rd parties. For partner businesses, point of sale and retail finance options will be made available.
As well as the points made in the graphic below, in 2020 micro-lending and asset backed lending should be in operation.
A price of $0.125 per BAANX BXX is applicable plus the applicable stage bonus. The early private pre-sale concluded on 24 May and raised $3 million with bonuses of between 50-60% being applied.
The public pre-sale has begun and the target is $4,800,000 with staggered bonuses starting at 35%. A public ICO is scheduled for later in June 2018 where as yet undetermined staggered bonuses by stage will apply, reducing continuously. Here, $24,400,000 is the goal with any unsold tokens burnt and all other ratios adjusted to protect purchasers of BAANX BXX Tokens and the demand for tokens.
Team members and early investors are subject to a 30 month lock-up of tokens which will dampen down risks of whale dumps early on, post ICO. In total, Baanx will issue up to 1,250,000,000 BXX tokens and distributed as seen below.
BAANX BXX ICO purchasers will also be entitled to a post-2018 free release of the Baanx separate Utility Token, BXXS providing the ICO passes the $15 million mark. The exact date of the release will be announced within seven days of the ICO close.
For every 100 BAANX BXX utility token A held, they will receive 1 Utility token B (BXXS).
The BXXS (utility token B) is separate to the utility token A and entitles the holder to up to 20% of net transaction revenues for the Baanx Cryptobank operation depending on the numbers of BXXS they are holding.
The net transaction revenue share is payable monthly in BAANX BXX utility tokens purchased from Exchanges by Baanx at the current market rate for distribution to BXXS holders.
So, in its simplest form: BAANX = utility token A = payments, exchange, trading. BXXS = utility token B = up to 20% of net transaction revenues from the Baanx Cryptobank.
The business model is fresh, and demonstrates that it is not just Amazon who sees the benefit of on-boarding external product providers to expand choice for the consumer. Financial, travel and other comparison websites have proliferated in recent years because they met a real-life need of consolidating information and purchase opportunities in one place.
With trust in legacy banking forecast to be eroded in the future, a blockchain-based solution is a natural progressive step to facilitate commerce.
Whilst others in the financial space such as Bankera, TenX, Crypterium and SALT Lending have recognised this and are seeking to address certain aspects of the financial changeover, Baanx appear to be unique in that they are seeking to create an umbrella structure for all of these individual elements.
Initial thoughts may lead investors to believe that the task is too large for a fledgling company to tackle but one benefit with the model is that some of the workload and route to market can be shared with established partners.
As per standard business practice, no details of the brands signing onto the platform are currently available, however the whitepaper does elude to Baanx being contacted by “45 businesses ranging from mid-tier online brands through to startups (who are) wanting Cryptobank services.”
It goes on to state that “Many new partners are choosing our white label and bespoke options, however there are organisations, like Tier 2 and 3 Banks, who might just want to use our tech (mainly within financial services already) and operate our products in the market.”
All of which sounds promising.
It will help to see alpha or demo versions of Baanx’s own products prior to launch but, with the Optimal Search website acting as an MVP, it can be seen that the directors are capable of running a successful fin-tech operation within a national regulatory framework.
For this project though, as with any involved with the present financial authorities, the size of future expansion hinges on whether the correct licenses can be obtained. If successful, Baanx could rapidly evolve from being a shop-window for its own products and other established brands to being truly disruptive by facilitating start-ups to share in the various credit, investment and banking opportunities that the impending blockchain era will likely throw up.
Ratings Score Methodology: a weighted average across three scores: Concept (10% weight), Blockchain Fit (30% weight), Execution (60% weight).
Disclaimer: Please note that all ICO reviews on ICOExaminer are non-technical assessments, in some instances are sponsored, and are very often sentiment-based and should not - under any circumstances - be construed as professional investment advice.