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FinancialsQ1 2019 Shareholder Letter
Q1 2019 Highlights
Q4 2018 Highlights
NewsSquare Quietly Launches Program For CBD Cannabis Company Credit Card Processing | May 22 2019
Companies that sell cannabis products—even those consisting of CBD derived from hemp, which was legalized in the U.S. through the Farm Bill late last year—are continuing to have trouble accessing basic financial services that are available to businesses in other sectors. That includes being able to maintain bank accounts and process their customers' credit cards. “Square is currently conducting an invite-only beta for some CBD products,” a spokesperson for the company said in an email. When asked about the reasons for the launching the new program, which comes after years of refusing to work with CBD companies, the spokesperson said that the company closely watches evolving public policies and strives to create new opportunities for clients.
Square Spends $20 to Acquire Each New Cash App User | May 16, 2019
Square's (NYSE: SQ) Cash App has grown to become a meaningful contributor to the company's top-line growth. The peer-to-peer payments app turned financial multitool is the No. 1 driver of its subscription and services segment, management said at the J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Communications Conference. During that conference, CFO Amrita Ahuja noted the company's per-customer acquisition cost for Cash App is about $20. That's actually quite low relative to other financial services, and even compared to other apps.
Square’s AI Platform Could Transform SQ Stock | May 13, 2019
Eloquent Labs is the developer of Elle, which can converse intelligently with a customer through a conventional online-chat platform without any human input from the service provider. While resolving complex customer-service needs remain currently out of reach, Elle can easily handle simpler-but-distracting tasks like returns and product-tracking.
Square teams up with Postmates for delivery partnership | May 9, 2019
Through the arrangement, Square SQ, sellers will be able to use Postmates couriers to get goods to customers who call up to place orders or visit a store. Merchants will be able to integrate Postmates with their existing Square point-of-sale systems.
Square's Bitcoin Platform Remains Surprisingly Profitable | May 7, 2019
Square's bitcoin revenue accounted for 6.8% of its net revenue during the first quarter, compared to 5.1% in the prior year quarter. However, Square's bitcoin profits only accounted for about 0.2% of its gross profit during the quarter, versus less than 0.1% a year earlier. Square's bitcoin business won't move the needle anytime soon, but its top and bottom line growth is impressive, especially since bitcoin shed roughly 40% of its value over the past 12 months. If bitcoin's price rises again and it attracts more buyers, Square's bitcoin revenue and gross profits could surge much higher.
Instead of viewing Square's bitcoin platform as a separate business, investors should see it as part of the company's long-term plan to lock users into its Cash App. Cash is one of the top peer-to-peer payment apps in the U.S. alongside PayPal's (NASDAQ: PYPL) Venmo and the bank-based Zelle, and it's still growing rapidly. Last quarter Square stated that its Cash App payment volume rose nearly 2.5 times annually. For comparison, PayPal stated that Venmo's payment volume rose 73% annually in its most recent quarter.
How Square's Cash App Makes Money (SQ) | May 6, 2019
Square makes money from Cash App by charging businesses transaction fees for using its software. For a 1.5% transaction fee, individual users can expedite deposits to have them transferred immediately into their bank accounts instead of waiting the standard deposit time. They can also send personal payments from credit cards for a 3% transaction fee.
Village Financial Cooperative partners with Square to bring tech and education to the North Side | Apr 18, 2019
Minnesota’s first black-led credit union is partnering with Square to bring financial education and technology to North Minneapolis. Village Financial Cooperative announced the partnership with the San Francisco-based financial technology company on Thursday. In a statement, the credit union made the case that its mission to empower the black community required it to be at the forefront of financial technology, shaping products and practices. Me’lea Connelly, the credit union’s vision and strategy lead, said the partnership, which includes the city of Minneapolis, was a year in the making. It will officially launch April 27 during “Village Squared: A Black Economic Empowerment Symposium,” one of the events closing out Minneapolis Tech Month.
Square (SQ) to Open New Office, Expand Presence in Seattle | April 11, 2019
Square Inc. SQ recently signed a lease to buy a property in Seattle, in view of opening a new office therein. The office is expected to accommodate approximately 100 workers. We believe that the developments will enable it to carry on with new growth initiatives.
Why Square Is Hiring Cryptocurrency Experts | April 3, 2019
Square (SQ) has announced a plan to hire several cryptocurrency experts. Square’s crypto team will work on an open-source initiative as part of the company’s contribution to the development of a cryptocurrency ecosystem. Although Square says the crypto team it’s planning to create won’t focus on its commercial interests, the company still stands to benefit if the team’s efforts lead to the broader uptake of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Square operates a cryptocurrency exchange that allows users of its Cash App to buy and sell Bitcoin. In the fourth quarter, Square’s Bitcoin business generated $52.4 million in revenue, up from $43 million in the third quarter. Square is already making a small profit from its Bitcoin business even though the overall business is still seeing losses.
Where Does Square Rank in the Food Ordering Market? | April 3, 2019
Caviar is among America’s top five food ordering services. Square (SQ) runs an online food ordering and delivery business called Caviar. Through the Caviar app, people can order food from more than 3,000 restaurants across the United States and have food delivered to their doorsteps. According to the latest rankings of on-demand food delivery services, Square’s Caviar is one of America’s top online food ordering and delivery providers, but it’s currently holding on to a tiny share of the market.
Square Partners with Washington Nationals to Enable Order-Ahead and In-Seat Card Payments at D.C.’s Nationals Park | March 27, 2019
Square has partnered with the Nationals to create a concession stand that offers the only skip-the-line, order-ahead experience in the ballpark, powered by Caviar Pickup. Fans who open the Caviar app from their seats will be able to order their concessions in advance – including beer and wine for fans 21 and over – and receive an alert when their food is ready to be picked up. The stand will feature food from exclusive Caviar restaurant partners, featured in a rotating series of pop-ups throughout the season. On Opening Day, fans will be able to enjoy Hong Kong-style Chinese food from Tiger Fork, with future food options including biscuits from Mason Dixie and ramen from Toki Underground. Square Terminal, the handheld, all-in-one payment processing hardware device, will also be piloted by roving concessions hawkers at Nationals Park. Square Terminal will allow fans to pay using credit cards or contactless payments like Apple Pay or Google Pay as they purchase food and beverage items from the comfort of their seats. With Square’s point of sale and employee management software built right into Square Terminal, it’s easy for hawkers to quickly accept payments. Square Terminal will help fans who don’t carry cash, and will speed transaction times as hawkers spend less time counting change and more time making sales.
Square introduces invoice app; brings Stand to Japan | Mar. 26, 2019
App allows sellers to create, manage, and send invoices using mobile devices. “With the Square Invoices app, small business owners are able to get paid remotely and access their funds quickly and securely," says Alyssa Henry, seller lead at Square. Separately, in Japan, Square introduces Stand for iPad and its reader for contactless and chip.
Square Expands Omnichannel Offerings with New Square Online Store and a Revamped Square for Retail | March 20, 2019
The new Square Online Store allows sellers to grow their business in person and online, with a professional eCommerce website and integrated tools including Instagram selling, shipping, in-store pickup, and more. The new product also brings the Square Online Store experience to restaurants, allowing sellers to offer seamless online ordering from their website, customized pickup times across multiple locations, and the option to easily pay ahead for online orders. Square for Retail, the point-of-sale app optimized specifically for retailers, has also been completely redesigned with expanded product features. For the first time, business owners who also want to sell online can easily create a professional website and automatically connect their Square for Retail catalog to their Square Online Store, allowing them to sync their items, inventory, prices, and data instantly across online and offline channels. Sellers that use Square for Retail and Square Online Store can also enable their customers to easily shop online and pick up their purchases in store, a feature typically only available to larger retailers. Finally, the Retail point-of-sale app has been redesigned to make managing online orders alongside a brick-and-mortar store quick and intuitive.
Jack is CEO and Chairman of Square, CEO of Twitter, and cofounder of both.
Amrita Ahuja - CFO -
Amrita is Square’s Chief Financial Officer. She was previously CFO of Blizzard Entertainment, a division of Activision Blizzard, and held various leadership positions at Fox Networks Group, the Walt Disney Company, and Morgan Stanley.
Kevin Burke - Marketing and Sales Lead
Kevin oversees Square marketing, sales, and partnerships, as well as international markets. Prior to joining Square, Kevin was CMO at Visa Inc.
Jesse Dorogusker - Hardware Lead
Jesse leads hardware product development at Square, including design, cross-functional engineering, manufacturing, and operations. Prior to Square, Jesse was the Director of Engineering for Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod Accessories business.
Brian Grassadonia - Cash App Lead
Brian leads Cash App, the fastest and easiest way to pay individuals or businesses. Brian has held a number of leadership positions at Square including helping to launch the company’s flagship credit card reader.
Alyssa Henry - Seller Lead - $3,870,481
Alyssa leads product management, design, and engineering for Square’s seller facing products including payments, point of sale, Customer Engagement, and Payroll. She previously served as VP of Amazon Web Services (AWS) Storage Services and Product Unit Manager for Microsoft SQL Server Data Access.
Sam Quigley - Risk and Security Lead
Sam leads engineering, product management, and data science for risk and information security. As an early engineering leader at Square, Sam helped to build and scale many of Square’s products.
Gokul Rajaram - Caviar Lead
Gokul oversees Caviar, Square’s growing food ordering service. Prior to Square, he served as Product Director of Ads at Facebook and Product Management Director for Google AdSense.
Jacqueline Reses - Square Capital Lead - $3,972,968
Jackie leads Square Capital, overseeing credit products that provide sellers with access to the funding they need to grow and consumers with the ability to pay for purchases over time. She previously served as Yahoo’s Chief Development Officer and was on the Board of Directors at Alibaba Group. She also serves on the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Economic Advisory Council.
Sivan Whiteley - General Counsel - $2,796,591
Sivan oversees Square’s legal, regulatory, compliance, and security operations. A longtime leader of Square’s legal team, she previously held positions at Better Place, eBay, and Bingham McCutchen.
Aaron Zamost - Communications, Policy and People Lead
Aaron leads Square’s communications, government relations, and community affairs efforts, as well as human resources and talent. Prior to joining Square, Aaron led business communications at YouTube and managed corporate communications at Google.
Technical analysisDescending triangle
InstitutionsMay 16 2019 Buckingham reiterated a buy rating with a $100 price target.
May 2 2019 Needham reiterated a buy rating and lowered their price target from $95 to $90.
May 2 2019 Guggenheim reiterated a buy rating and raised their price target from $92 to $94.
April 9 2019 KeyBanc Capital reiterated an outperform rating with a $100 price target.
April 3 2019 Bernstein initiated a market perform rating with an $80 price target.
March 28 2019 Instinet reiterated a buy rating with a $105 price target.
March 27 2019 Macquarie initiated an outperform rating with a $94 price target.
March 25 2019 RBC Capital reiterated an outperform rating with an $88 price target.
February 27 2019 Canaccord Genuity reiterated a buy rating with an $88 price target.
Vanguard, Blackrock, Jennison, Fidelity, Morgan Stanley, State Street, Allianz, and Goldman Sachs are the largest institutional holders of SQ respectively, collectively making up over 25% of ownership.
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Blockchain ; a framework where a record of exchanges made in bitcoin or another digital currency are kept up over a few PCs that are connected in a shared network.
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Name: CoretoType: ERC20Total supply: 330,000,000 CORSymbol: CORToken price: 0.00031 ET
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BountyOx Username; olasojilaws
A sponsored article written for a bounty reward
As you know, a large amount of Bitcoin has been taken from Bitfinex, and Bitfinex utilized BitGo software as part of its security solution. While we have worked tirelessly with the team at Bitfinex to investigate the theft, the Bitcoin is gone. Our focus now is to protect the remainder of Bitfinex coins and all of our other customers’ coins.
Our job is to protect your Bitcoin and continue to improve the security of the service. BitGo systems were not breached in this attack and our software functioned correctly. This may seem like an inadequate explanation, because everyone wants to know “what needs to change to avoid what happened in this case,” and we understand that. Fortunately, the Bitfinex configuration was unique and other BitGo customers do not need immediate changes.
We are still working out the details so nothing is set in stone, however we are leaning towards a socialized loss scenario among bitcoin balances and active loans to BTCUSD positions. The numbers being quoted are erroneous as nothing has been decided as of yet and we are still in the process of settling positions and balances. More details are to follow tomorrow. Furthermore, tomorrow we will be posting a FAQ on the blog that will answer most of the questions we have been asked over the past couple days.Presumably they are being advised by counsel, but this just sounds crazy to me. Not only did the users never agree to a socialized loss system for losses resulting from a hack, but that seems to be implying that they accept liability for the loss. Personally I feel this puts them in the worst possible scenario, one where they are likely liable for all losses, and the users who are not made 100% whole will likely be able to successfully sue for the difference between what they are paid back and what they lost. Yikes.
Following the theft on August 2nd, the Bitfinex team has been working tirelessly towards bringing the platform back online in a secure and controlled manner. We have finalized the accounting of losses incurred and are currently coordinating strategic plans for compensating customers.Maybe it's just me, but between converting customer funds to compensate other customers, and issuing an unregistered security, this sounds like horrible ideas all around and I'm surprised any legitimate lawyer would sign off on such a plan.
We intend to come online within 24-48 hours with limited platform functionality. Additional announcements will be made as we progressively enable more platform features and return to full operations. We appreciate that our customers and the public want this handled quickly, but it needs to be done a way in which all assets are secure and immune from vulnerabilities. Every resource is being leveraged to make that happen in a safe and optimal way.
As disclosed in earlier announcements, all withdrawals, open orders, and open funding offers have been canceled and all financed positions have been settled. Exact settlement prices were published on August 3rd.
After much thought, analysis, and consultation, we have arrived at the conclusion that losses must be generalized across all accounts and assets. This is the closest approximation to what would happen in a liquidation context. Upon logging into the platform, customers will see that they have experienced a generalized loss percentage of 36.067%. In a later announcement we will explain in full detail the methodology used to compute these losses.
We are actively discussing various strategic options with numerous potential investors as part of our strategy to fully compensate our customers. Such discussions, however, are in early stages and will likely take time to play out. In the meantime, In place of the loss in each wallet, we are crediting a token labeled BFX to record each customer’s discrete losses. Tokens will be distributed without release or waiver. The BFX tokens will remain outstanding until redeemed in full by Bitfinex or possibly exchanged—upon the creditor’s request and Bitfinex’s acceptance—for shares of iFinex Inc. We are still sorting out many details on this; we will post further updates in the coming days.
Thank you for your continued patience and for the many generous offers of support that we have received over the last several days. Notwithstanding this attack, we continue to believe in the possibilities associated with bitcoin. We will continue to update our customers and the public as and when we can.
We have worked closely with professional counsel to create transparent disclosures about the invasive nature of the Client and define clear and appropriate internal security protocols to protect our users from unauthorized access of Client and user data.They were once found to be mining Bitcoin on user's computers[Fined $1,000,000 in 2013].
We understand these extra security layers might make some uneasy, but it is our firm belief this is a necessary step to protect our customers who seek the fairest environment for online Counter-Strike game play.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Are you looking at my browsing history and bank information?
The ESEA Client only monitors activities that take place in and around our supported games. Accessing your bank account or any personal websites you browse daily, even while a supported game is in use, are not a part of what the Client is monitoring.
Are my personal files safe?
Why is the ESEA Client “Always On”?
Much like the leading anti-virus software, which are always running to prevent or detect viruses, the ESEA Client is running to prevent or detect cheats that may be running on a computer. This “Always On” feature is a necessary layer for the ever evolving cheaters we as a community face.
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I. Project OverviewCocos-BCX is a platform used for the development, operation, management and transfer of decentralized applications and in-application assets on the blockchain ecosystem. The platform mainly includes three function modules:
（1）The application development framework that supports multiple operating systems and various blockchain environments.
（2）Completely scripted, componentized and data-driven application development tools;
（3）An improved blockchain system, which is oriented to high performance applications and based on graphene technology framework, and its related functional components.
Cocos-BCX can allow developers to perform programming, debugging, and publishing of decentralized applications oriented to the blockchain environment, and hybrid architecture applications. Meanwhile, the platform integrates the distributed user account system, wallet and digital asset circulation platform based on the blockchain, which can realize the permanent saving and cross-chain use of in-application assets.
II. Project evaluation
(一) Market analysis
1. Market conditions | 8 pointsThe organizing pattern of productivity dominated by governments in some areas or industrial domains is apt to change in the context of bottlenecks existing for global scientific and technological progress, rising resource consumption, an aging population, and intensified geopolitical conflicts. In particular, in 2008, when Nakamot published his thesis "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System", discussions on blockchain and digital currency have gradually extended from technological aspects to economic, social and political, and other fields. The general public have begun to pay close attention to the impact of blockchain on social development as well as the role of digital currency in the world economy. Based on the decentralized characteristics of the blockchain and the vibrant vitality of the digital economy, the general public has enough confidence to predict that the decentralized "digital assets" will be a sweeping trend in the future, and will derive new business models and social values.
At the same time, in the development process of decentralized applications of different types, the game industry enjoys unique development advantages, because the game's production mode is the most sophisticated, enjoys the highest degree in terms of commercialization, and is one of the scenarios with the most profound foundation in terms of developers and users.
u Analysis: The game field has a huge room for development, which is highly consistent with the characteristics of the blockchain, and accords with the future development tendency of the digital economy.
The digital asset economy model carried by the project through the blockchain technology will assetize the content produced by the developer, enable the developer to continue reaping benefits during the use, management and transfer of his assets, and provide him with a convenient, decentralized game distribution channel; meanwhile, it helps players to transform the data formed by time and energy as well as the props they obtain as a result of their consumption into the assets that can be safely stored and circulated, offering players the right to manage and commercialize them.
2. Competition | 8 pointsSince the last century till now, owing to the sustained efforts and promotion by a variety of IT technology game enterprises, the national and even global online game market is developing by leaps and bounds. If there is no systematic risks, such as policy regulation, vicious incidents and other factors, there will be no smooth and endless development momentum unless something unexpected happens. However, an objective analysis reveals that the current online game market is still dominated by IT technology companies, and even in a controlled and monopolized development, which, of course, also brings substantial profits, such as Tencent, Blizzard Tech.
u Analysis: It can be predicted that the Cocos-BCX project will hardly have any direct competitors in the strict sense for the time being, but will encounter a marginal pressure competitive environment from two dimensions. In summary, the classical IT game companies at home and abroad are massive in size and have obvious capital advantages. However, the Cocos-BCX project has an advanced philosophy and cutting edge technology, and thereby enjoys first-mover advantages for a breakthrough; The blockchain game project of the same business is currently marked by wide participation and generic applicability. But in comparison, the Cocos-BCX game industry has such advantages as a salient background, special project orientation and sophisticated development in technical modules, and therefore has greater development potential.
(二) Token Status
1. Token situation | 6 points(1) Basic situation of Token
Token name: COCOS
Total tokens in circulation: 100 billion
Consensus mechanism: DPOS
(2) Token usage and allocation
Part I 82%: Cocos-BCX is used for the platform community construction in various ways, including but not limited to the witness' block reward, incentives for platform ecological developers, global community construction, marketing and promotion, industry alliances, eco-investment, research, financial and legal compliance. The use of this part of Cocos-BCX includes swapping by means of the consensus work contributions, free gifts, gifts in exchange for service, and gifts in exchange for other tokens, etc.
Part II, 18%: Cocos-BCX is intended as incentives for the sponsoring team of the project. The incentive part will set up a locking mechanism, which will be issued and unlocked one-third at the end of each year after Token generation, and the issuance will be completed within three years.
u Analysis: The use of Token is mainly divided into two parts, among which, 82% is used for project development and construction. The remaining 18%, which has a locked position mechanism, is intended for team incentive and construction. The use design is rather rational, but the team part is slightly higher. Given that the industry is in the initial stage of development, it is of great importance to seize the first opportunity and acquire early traffic users. It is suggested that the proportion of Token used by the team be reduced slightly, which is more conducive to the long-term development of the project. It should be noted that the original holding distribution of Token has not been queried via the official channel, while this link for the conventional blockchain project are basically disclosed. Meanwhile, from the standpoint of ordinary investors, Token’s original holding ratio is also one of the important parameters for its investment.
2. Ecological cycle | 8 points（1）The Token (COCOS) positioning of the platform: circulation media and governance proof in eco-economic activities
COCOS not only serves as a value exchange carrier and community participation proof for Cocox-BCX, but its orientation as a basic pricing Token is likely to play a critical role in the digital asset ecosystem. With the continuous development of the industry, a large quantity of decentralized digital assets will exist in multiple blockchain ecosystems according to different standards in the future, and the value existing in asset pricing media transcending the chain ecology will be infinitely magnified.
, which is specifically manifested in that developers and users can evaluate, compare, trade and manage digital assets of different chain ecosystems, worldview content, and technical standards based on COCOS. Meanwhile, as a primary and basic pricing medium, COCOS is positioned to become the necessary conditions for the blockchain industry to develop and trade financial products and derivatives of digital assets in the future.
（2）Basic use model of Token (COCOS)
Ø Value exchange medium within the platform ecosystem;
Ø Entrusted consensus equity share representative of the Cocos-BCX public blockchain;
Ø The reference and basis for the measurement of the participation in and contribution to the platform community.
（3）How to obtain Token (COCOS)
Ø Value creation: It includes the contribution of the behavior of creating digital assets, that is, developing games, making props, etc.
Ø Platform contribution reward: Users who contribute to the Cocos-BCX community is entitled to COCOS;
Ø Market transaction: Selling the prop assets obtained in the game to get COCOS;
Ø Behavioral incentives: Various effective behaviors within the Cocos-BCX platform, community and platform games will be converted into COCOS
according to a certain contribution degree.
u Analysis: The use model, scenario application, acquisition method, market orientation, etc. for the Token ecosystem design are all well deliberated, to be verified by the market.
The ecosystem design of the Token project not only takes the macroscopic use model and scenario application, but also gives a detailed description of the acquisition method. Another point that must be pointed out is that it has a clear market orientation and future prospect as soon as the design begins, therefore, in general the Token ecosystem design is well-considered and far-sighted. However, for the volatile blockchain market, the crux depends on whether the ecological design philosophy can keep pace with the times, which is very essential. In a word, in the face of massive uncertainties, it needs to be finally verified by the market.
(三) Team member
1. Founder | 8 points
China's renowned Internet serial entrepreneur, and has successively led and participated in the creation of Joyo.com, Xcar.com.cn, and cdn.yeeyan.org since 1999, and founded Chukong Technology in 2009. Chukong is a leading game development and distribution enterprise in China and a major maintainer and supporter of the Cocos-BCX global open source game engine and developer community.
With over 14 years of experience in technology entrepreneurship and investment, he once co-founded China's leading entertainment social networking company. As an investor, he once worked for China's leading private equity fund, during which period, he led and participated in investment projects totalling over 1 billion US dollars, and realized the exit of some projects at home and abroad. His interests and expertise mainly concentrate on information technology of the global primary market and secondary market in the later stage, and macro multiple asset category investment, and has a profound understanding of the financial market mechanism and asset pricing. He is also an investment partner in China's major technology investment fund and provides counselling for Chinese and American hedge funds, venture capital funds and large enterprises.
u Analysis: Chen Haozhi, as a founder, has rich experience in the game industry, and enjoys widespread networking and abundant resources in the industry as being one of the early Internet entrepreneurs; Another founder, Yang Xiaolong, has a strong experience in technology venture capital investment, and has the expertise for global investment layout. On the whole, two co-founders have a prominent advantage in overall industry background and integrating resources.
2. Founding team | 8 points
Kevin Yin: An early contributor of CocosChina community, NOI winner, and ACM guest. A senior developer of blockchain, and having years of experience in compilation and distributed computing. An investor of the blockchain technology.
Jane Jin: Responsible for CocosChina community, the "Aipuworks" incubator, etc., and an expert of the Techincal Committee for Blockchain, China Software Industry Association. Bachelor of Economics, Zhejiang Gongshang University, and mini-EMBA of Tsinghua University. He once served important functions in "Fortune Global 500" including Lucent, Nortel, NSN, Nokia, Intel and other multinational companies in the marketing, sales, executive and developer relationship domain.
James Jeon: Responsible for the business development strategy and implementation of the project's South Korean section. From 2012 to 2015, he served as CEO of Gurum Company, a South Korean subsidiary of Chukong Technologies, earning an annual revenue of over $30 million from the scratch for the South Korean company and leading the South Korean subsidiary in going public successfully.
Frederick Lim: Responsible for the business development strategy and implementation of the project's South Korean section. From 2014 to 2015, he served as co-CEO of Gurum Company, and was once the director of the Strategic Investment Department of Hyundai Group, responsible for investment in Internet, communication, telecommunications and other fields. He is a doctor of Engineering Technology, Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea.
Hirokuni Fujita: originally head of the Japanese subsidiary of Chukong Technologies. He graduated from Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo, majoring in Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies.
Jason: preacher of the Cocos-BCX community and meanwhile, senior manager of the Cocos 2d-x global community. He started to program on the Commodore-64 computer when he was 8. In addition to developing the community, he was keen on studying mathematics, finance, C++ and improving his Chinese proficiency.
Qinzhou Wang: Since entering the game industry in 2009, he has worked in the brand market in ZOL. Com. CN, Howell Expo, host of ChinaJoy, and is responsible for the brand market in Chukong Technologies.
u Analysis: The special technological talent construction of the team technicians needs to be further strengthened. At present, there is a blockchain technician. The game background and the advantages of the international architecture building enjoy prominent advantages, and there are sufficient team members on the strategic level and in the aspect of ecological construction. It is worth mentioning that team building is stable, and there is a high level of consensus among team members, which is conducive to the robust development of the project.
One member of the founding team has experience in the blockchain project development, that is, Chief Technical Officer, who is a senior blockchain developer. He has many years of experience in compiling and distributed computing, and is also a technology investor of blockchain.
In the early stage, owing to the demand of the game industry in the Japanese and Korean markets, Japanese and Korean market leaders were specially arranged in the early team structure of Chukong Technologies. In particular, due to the prosperity and popularity of the game industry in the Korean market, two co-leaders were specially arranged for the Korea market, responsible for strategic and investment issues respectively.
Consultant Team | 8 points
Zhe Wang: Founder of the Cocos engine, and CEO of Xiamen Yaji Software Co., Ltd. He graduated from Department of Electronics, Nanjing University, and later studied a postgraduate program at Department of Management Science, Xiamen University. He created the Cocos engine in 2011, which currently has 1.1 million registered developers worldwide and 300,000 monthly active developers in over 200 countries and regions in the world. The Cocos engine has arrested the attention of platform vendors at home and abroad, and has established a long-term cooperative partnership with Microsoft, Google, ARM, Intel, Qualcomm, Samsung, Huawei and Tencent, etc.
Edith Yeung: One of some "Silicon Valley's Must Meet" investors as covered in Inc magazine. She is the head of 500 Startups, Silicon Valley's famous venture capital company and incubator in Greater China, and meanwhile, manages a Mobile Collective fund worth tens of millions of dollars. She has invested in over 40 mobile Internet, VR, AR and AI start-ups, including Hooked (App store's No. 1 reading App), DayDayCook (one of Asia's largest food communities), Fleksy (acquired by Pinterest), Human (acquired by Mapbox), AISense and so on.
u Analysis: The consultant team has obvious advantages in technological achievements, rich experience in technology innovation investment and incubation experience for startups.
The consultant team consists of a Maker-oriented technical talent and two venture capital managers with a senior venture capital background, among whom, Wang Zhe, technical consultant, graduated from Department of Electronics, Nanjing University and CEO of Xiamen Yaji Software. Wang is the founder of Cocos-BCX engine. At present, the Cocos engine has 1.1 million registered developers and 300,000 monthly active developers in over 200 countries and regions worldwide.
(四) Tech Analysis
1. Tech highlights | 9 points(1) Smart contract system which can be updated iteratively: The smart contract system, represented by Ethereum, is not subject to modification once its definition is published, making it difficult to meet the volatile demands of market. Therefore, an iterative smart contract system is designed to address this pain spot.
(2) Prop circulation platform: Unlike conventional game transaction platform, Cocos-BCX's decentralized digital asset circulation platform does not have intermediary agencies. Players can complete the transfer and purchase of non-homogeneous assets, including "game gold coins" and prop assets acquired in the game on the prop circulation platform. In the whole process of transfer, the platform will adopt smart contract for automatic matching to help users complete the transfer process more efficiently.
(3) Game interactive operation environment:
Based on the judgment of the operation environment characteristics of blockchain games in the future, Cocos-BCX has designed a set of integrated operation environment that accommodates various types of APPs, as well as the supporting interoperability interface. Combined with COCOS Creator, it simplifies the process of docking game programs and blockchain, making intra-chain interaction transparent to developers, and allowing conventional game developers to develop or migrate blockchain game without a threshold.
(4) Mapping gateway that supports multi-chain and asset riveting:
Cocos-BCX provides a set of mapping gateways used for the automatic mapping of game gold coins and props. Under the unified value measurement system, it realizes the smooth transition of different in-chain game content and different platform content. The content that can be used for mapping includes game gold coins, game equipment data, etc.
(5) Transaction authentication mechanism that prevents BP/developers from cheating:
BP, as the core of transaction processing and communication of the whole network, can know the processing result of the latest transaction prior to general nodes. Therefore, BP enjoys a priority for information with timeliness or confidentiality
, as compared with general nodes, so it has a cheating potential in terms of
information acquisition. To address the drawbacks of this technical link, five modular confrontation mechanisms has been specially designed to hold the likelihood of BP/developer cheating at bay.
(6) Economies Principle Design of Cocos-BCX:
The Cocos-BCX platform carries the game assets value created by developers by providing a complete set of functional components including the underlying public blockchain, digital property management, and exchanges. Its technology and governance structure design, based on the graphene standard, has the economic attributes corresponding to the DPoS consensus mechanism.
u Analysis: There are a multiplicity of technical highlights in that the overall technology construction shows characteristics such as rigid logic and prominent modularity, and various technical solutions and mechanisms with a strong pertinence have been put forward.
Based on the market pain spots of the game industry, and combined with the development opportunities of blockchain technology, the Cocos-BCX project puts forward a vision system to create consistence between the content producer and consumer in the digital world. In view of the initial intention of the project and the relatively profound background of the game industry, the overall technical structure design of the project is highly targeted and has a strong logic, which can be described as closely connected with each other. Based on the large technical framework system, each technical link and organization also has a strong sense of target and logical gene, and on this basis, many modular and modified technical programs or mechanisms have been proposed. However, it is worth noting that the synergy of a series of highlight technologies remains to be verified and examined. Meanwhile, attention should also be paid to the practicability and rationality.
2. Impossible Triangle | 7 points(1) Decentralization
Ø Low fork risk: Cocos-BCX uses the DPoS consensus mechanism, which does not require miners to use mining machines for mining, and thereby it can effectively avoid the impact of centralized computing on the entire basechain, which in turn reduces a low fork risk. Under the DPoS mechanism, if a witness wants to fork by voting, it is necessary to guarantee that over one third of the witnesses violate this mechanism at the same time.
Ø Improved DPOS consensus mechanism: The consensus layer of the Cocos-BCX test chain adopts the DPoS consensus algorithm. The advantage characteristics of the improved edition DPOS are as follows: all active witnesses have the same block predefined probability as the witnesses' predefined algorithm in the DPoS consensus algorithm, which ensures that the block probability of all witnesses is consistent with the block reward.
Ø Lightweight node: In Cocos-BCX design, lightweight node is essentially an environment with chain interoperability. Unlike the whole node, the lightweight node does not require to synchronize the whole network data. Instead, it needs the contract information and environment data required for synchronous running. This design can greatly reduce the data volume and synchronization time required for node synchronization, enabling the in-chain game terminal software to have a capacity which is actually used and a plausible time cost.
Ø Player autonomy and asset security: Because of the open and transparent characteristics of the blockchain network, the digital asset information obtained by players in the game can be viewed through the blockchain.
Ø Guarantee by modern cryptography: Modern cryptography is a technology based on mathematics. Currently, it has been widely used in many industries in the Internet domain. Common symmetric encryption technologies include AES encryption used for WiFi, and asymmetric encryption algorithms (public and private key cryptography) RSA, ECC, etc., among which, ECC (Elliptic Curves Cryptography) is an encryption algorithm commonly used in the blockchain field.
Ø A transaction verification mechanism that prevents BP/developers from cheating: BP enjoys a priority compared with general nodes, so it has the probability to cheat in terms of information acquisition. Therefore, the BCX program has designed a set of transaction execution, messaging, and operating mechanisms to address the possible links that allow cheating by BP and developers.
Ø Iterative updated smart contract system: It can provide logical updating and loophole repair for the in-chain game smart contract, thus ensuring the security and timeliness of the smart contract.
Ø Strong expandability of the top-level design of the project
The expandability of Cocos-BCX is powerful, which is specifically shown in a decentralized game production and an overall solution to the game economy operation established by means of the game engine, development environment and Cocos-BCX game chain.
A business ecosystem is constructed based on the above overall solution, with the purpose of connecting the global game ecosystem. The main ecological links include developers, users, creative content, key ecological links and blockchain system, etc.
Ø Expanded design of specific technologies and mechanisms
u Analysis: The expandability of the project's "impossible triangle" shows the most prominently, and the decentralized attribute is the weakest, whose security is between the two. However, the project takes the three into consideration in terms of the technical mechanism and program function. Yet, the focus is different.
The project interprets the “impossible triangle” by means of thinking and design that focus on technical aspects and key issues.
The security level first guarantees the assets security and freedom of the ecosystem participants, and meanwhile ensures the rationality and security of the overall framework design, and finally takes its system updating and safe recovery into consideration mainly by means of player autonomy, modern cryptography and transaction verification mechanism that prevents BP/developers from cheating.
3. Development difficulty | 8 pointsAccording to the summary of the project white paper, the blockchain game can be generally divided into four developmental stages.
（1）Using the homogeneous assets for the settlement of the game "gold coins";
（2）Free conversion of the game "gold coins" and props;
（3）In-chain operation of critical rules;
（4）Overall in-chain operation of the game
The game in-chain operation is the final form of the industry. Based on the above summary, Cocos-BCX proposes the future development prospect, mainly represented in seven aspects:
（1）Players having a lightweight full-node environment;
（2）The service stack operating in the blockchain environment;
（3）The game engine as one of the node infrastructures;
（4）Providing a joint development/debugging environment including engine, visual IDE, and chain network interactive interface;
（5）a set of asynchronous consensus tasks between nodes to ensure the trustworthiness of the engine environment. This consensus may be based on the discrimination of feature code of
the engine critical function's target code
(6) The game code (contract) is executed by the secure virtual machine controlled by the engine, and the key numerical calculation of the contract may adopt
the “Trusted Execution Environment” scheme, which is executed independently of the main part of the contract;
(7) The key process of the contract is witnessed by the adjacent or related nodes (like players in a copy).
u Analysis: The project covers a multiplicity of technical characteristics and functional mechanisms. The overall development is rather difficult. However, it is highly practicable in terms of performance.
At the initial stage of the project, four stages of blockchain game development were analyzed. After combing, the highest prospect was proposed, implicating to create a complete multi-platform game running environment, which can provide game developers with convenience in developing blockchain games and a perfect ecological environment to the maximum, while bringing game users a brand-new gaming experience and a game form that transcends the previous ones.
Based on the initial project prospect, numerous technical goals and functional modules are listed, indicating that the technical support for the project vision is rather effective. However, as public blockchain of the industry application basis, it encompasses various technical applications and functional modules. Comparatively speaking, the development difficulty is rather big. Meanwhile, as released by the white paper, the theoretical throughput of the Cocos-BCX test chain can reach up to 100,000 tps. The actual throughput is approximate to 3,500 tps, and the block time is 3 seconds, that is, the information broadcast across the entire network is completed once every 3 seconds. It can be seen from the project technical performance data that it has a relatively strong realistic significance. Therefore, on the whole, the project puts forward a sizeable technical challenge, and in the meantime has a reasonable practicability, therefore, it is worthwhile to look forward to!
(五) Project status
1. Product | 7 points（1）System-level products
Ø The application development framework that supports multiple operating systems and various blockchain environments.
Ø Completely scripted, componentized and data-driven application development tools;
Ø An improved blockchain system, which is oriented to high performance applications and based on graphene technology framework, and its related functional components.
Ø Supporting non-homogeneous wallets;
Ø A blockchain browser that supports the contract event subscription;
Ø Supporting the third-party non-homogeneous asset exchanges;
Ø Supporting the blockchain game developed by a third party;
Ø Cross-chain asset acceptance gateway.
(2) Functional products
Ø De-intermediary assets (prop) operation interface;
Ø Paradigms of non-homogeneous assets circulation platform;
Ø Supporting player autonomy and blacksmith shop mechanism;
Ø Visual IDE (including visual editing of the game program and contract);
Ø Complete wallet, user system and blockchain browser;
Ø Smart contract system that allows iterative updating.
u Analysis: According to the information released on the official website of the project, the timeline shows that the Cocos-BCX main chain has started the closed beta test in the third quarter of 2018. Based on the obvious characteristics of the project technology module, Cocos-BCX has launched two series of projects, namely, system-level and function-level products, including development frameworks, blacksmith shop mechanisms tailored to various operations and multiple environment.
2. Code updating | 2 pointsu Analysis: It is learned from official communication that the source code of the project has not been made public for the purpose of keeping the project's trade secret confidential. It is planned that the project will be open source in the future after the ecological and system products become gradually stabilized.
3. Completion status | 8 pointsu Analysis: The project has formulated an overall development plan and recent work tasks, and at the same time it has demonstrated its strong vitality through weekly report, timeline and development broadcast.
According to the official channel inquiry, the project has formulated the Roadmap for the 2018 key milestone quarter and the recent detailed work task breakdown plan, and the project has a very complete display system featuring three major development progresses:
(1) Weekly reporting system
(2) Project timeline
(3) Development broadcast
Through the Roadmap+ work breakdown + 3 major system model, the project's development trajectory and dynamics have been display in a basically three-dimensional, spatial, meticulous and detailed manner, and in the meantime, the powerful execution and self-vitality of the project have been also displayed.
(六) Institution enabling (Investors)
1. Cooperative institutions | 9 points
u Analysis: Cocos-BCX has a wide margin for cooperation, and its cooperation institutions are not only numerous, but also mainly of leading and quality enterprises in the industry.
The cooperative institutions include HelloEOS, NEO, NEBULAS (chain), Loom, IMEOS.ONE, Kingsoft Cloud and SlowMist Technology, etc.
NEO is one of the earliest blockchain projects in China. It was officially created in 2014 and was open sourced in real time in Github in June 2015. Since its establishment, the NEO team has experienced ups and downs of the blockchain industry. This project can be said to be a veteran project in the industry. NEO combines with a series of technologies, such as point-to-point network, Byzantine fault tolerance, digital certificate, smart contract, superconducting transactions, and cross-chain interoperability protocols, to perform rapid, efficient, secure, and legitimate smart management of assets.
2. Investment institutions | 9 points
u Analysis: There are numerous investment institutions, many of which are Class I institutions, with a strong institutional strength.
Investment institutions include NGC, Binance, INB Capital, Dfund, 500 Startups, BlockVC, OK Blockchain Capital, Yisu Capital, Xiong'an Capital, ONTology, FreeS FUND, NODE Capital, Consensus Capital, Hash Capital, NEO Capital, Ticker Capital , ContractVC, Junwu Capital, Candy Capital, Hofan VC, BMETA Capital, BYTE Capital, Nimble Capital, InsurFun, BA Capital, Consensus Lab, TOKENMANIA, Byzantium Capital, etc.
The rest investment institutions are also well-known. For example, DFUND was founded by Zhao Dong, a well-known figure in the digital currency domain in July 2017. Yisu Capital is engaged in the early investment and project cooperation, focusing on blockchain technology and big data intelligence analysis, and other domains.
(七) Drawing attention | 6 points
Project content description
u Analysis: The game user and developer group are highly active, and meanwhile the publicity of the media and news client are enhanced. The overall heat and operation and maintenance thinking are well-balanced. However, the current community operation link is relatively weak, and requires improvement in the follow-up.
Presently, the number of community fans is small. Therefore, the operation link of project content is rather weak. However, media communication and news broadcasting, two links of propaganda and promotion efforts, are quite effective, basically realizing a timely and real-time posting of the latest developments of the project. Although the media and news client are widely disseminated, their social interaction is relatively weak. The social platform has its own communication limitations. However, it is highly involved in interaction.
(VIII) Social Response | 7.78User A | Point: 7.9
Comment: From the perspective of production mode and commercialization, this game is the most sophisticated. So I think this project has a very extensive application scenario, especially for developers and users.
User B | Point: 7.0
Comment: Currently, it seems that the game industry is greatly influenced by macro policies. Tencent's recent performance is a case in point. However, the project orientation is quite good.
User C | Point: 8.0
Comment: The technical advantages of the project are particularly prominent, and it also seizes the development opportunities of the blockchain. However, ultimately it needs to undergo the test of the market.
User D | Point: 9.0
Comment: First of all, COCOS has a large number of developers, solid underlying technology and reliable team work, which is worth looking forward to. Of course, great "undertaking" calls for enormous input, especially in technology. The way is arduous and long. Come on.
User E | Point: 7.0
As a game practitioner, I would talk something about Cocos-BCX project: when the concept of blockchain game is put forward for everyone to consider, at this stage, it is no doubt that the dimension (type) of the game is developed from the perspective of "inheritance" and "tracing its very origin". If the Cocos-BCX project can be applied by game developers in terms of "development kit", is easy to learn and use, and allows the mobile game developers to shift to the development of blockchain games without a threshold, then the game dimensions and users can be further expanded. In a word, phenomenal games of blockchain games need the support of Cocos-BCX and the efforts of developers, both of which are indispensable. It is hoped that the team will make great efforts in development and publicity. "Coin friends" may not need to know how the game is developed, but they will certainly care about its future space. Such evaluation can only be called prospects and expectations. It remains to be determined whether the project adopts capital operation or the mode as solid as the old engine of COCOS till the project is landed.
III. Evaluation SummaryThe project orientation is accurate, and the team has a strong lineup. It merits pointing out that its technical strength and model architecture design are particularly prominent, and there are an array of investment and cooperation institutions with strong strength. However, at present, the code has not been open sourced and the community operation and maintenance is deficient. The information disclosure of the Token link is not particularly perfect, and individual investors may care much about it. The Roadmap of the project development is all too simple. These are the deficiencies of the project development at the current moment.
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