Narrative wants to bring the social element back to social networks – or, in other words, to do away with the obscure algorithms and policies of Facebook and other social media, and leave content management in the hands of users. In this review of Narrative ICO, I'll look at whether or not this project has a good chance of success, as whether or not you should invest in the ICO.
Narrative will bring tokenized rewards to content creation, management, as well as a form of tokenized rewards. However, the team has said the token will be on the sidelines, and content creation would use other approaches for a social network environment.
— WuWei (@WuWeiTaoist) February 10, 2018
Narrative is also a part of a growing trend of NEO-based ICOs, utilizing the biggest Chinese platform instead of the Ethereum blockchain, which is the current ICO leader.
Table of Contents
What is Narrative?
- Narrative White Paper
- Country of origin: Unknown
- Ticker: NRV
- ICO Dates: 13 February – 22 March
- Hard Cap: 166,667 NEO
- Funds raised: Unknown
- Industry: Media/Content
- Funds accepted: NEO
- My Rating: 3/5
Narrative Social Media
Narrative aims to bring back content revenues to their creators. The project will aim to build a “content economy”, an ecosystem where creation and reputation interplay to generate rewards, and distribute revenues from content creation.
The content on Narrative would be divided into three categories: personal journals, niches – or special topics, and business or brand accounts. All of the content would be managed by member voting, instead of centralized, opaque algorithms. Moderation and decision-making are also up to the community, and any payment within the system would be transparent.
So bloggers, or businesses, and general content creators, would be free to attempt to reach their audience without restrictions.
If Narrative is starting to look a lot like the Steemin platform, that is perhaps because it is in fact copying the social network model. It is unknown, however, precisely how Narrative would integrate the NRV token into the platform, given that it will not use the blockchain itself directly to store or manage content. It took Steemit about a year to become a powerhouse, and for its token to make significant gains. In the case of Narrative, the ICO may only be the first stage.
Yet despite the fact that the Narrative claims to be a decentralized entity, in fact, the founding Organization would take a 15% cut from content and advertisement revenues on the new social network.
The Narrative Team
The Narrative team takes up experts from similar projects, namely, the co-founders of the platform Social Strata, Ted and Rosemary O'Neill. The rather small team also employs experts related to niche projects in social media, such as Paul B. Allen, founder of Ancestry.com.
It is unknown for now if Narrative is ready to hire a larger team and build a complete social media platform. If we take the example of Steemit, it took years in the beta version, with its initial basic design, before the project expanded and changed its features.
Little is known of any experts which would be able to complete the blockchain requirements, and create the network of rewards.
The project has issued a roadmap outlining two more years of development, potentially including on-platform advertising.
About Narrative (NRV) Token
The NRV token relies on the NEO network, and will rely on users being aware of the technology and supplying NEO tokens soon. It is possible that the ICO gets sold to NEO whales or early adopters.
Over the next 30 years, if the project survives, another 98 million tokens will be gradually minted, with 5 million tokens per year.
However, it is unknown if the tokens would be used for anything beyond straightforward payouts.
Because of the NEO platform, it is expected that China will be the biggest market for the Narrative social network.
Investing in Narrative: The Pros
Narrative has a well worked out structure, and its choice of platform may single it out as one of the more prominent ICOs in 2018. The appreciation of the NEO digital asset would mean the project would be well-funded and also rely on a project that may have the support of the Chinese government.
Also, the platform may serve a niche where there is a need for wider crypto-related communication and advertising. At this point, regular social networks are refusing to carry out campaigns, with Facebook banning crypto ads recently. However, new social networks and hubs are becoming the norm for the promotion of new crypto-related projects.
Therefore, Narrative may become one of the hot spots, especially for the NEO-related crypto community, and ensure robust volumes and interest.
The Risk of Narrative
At this point, NEO has promised a lot, but the platform has not seen as much load as Ethereum. The first ICOs are just testing the waters on the NEO platform, and their impact will only be seen in the future.
At the same time, the price of NEO itself rises, so ICO backers should be very aware of the risk they are taking in owning a token versus just holding NEO for a while.
Also, while the Narrative platform would be primarily focused on the English language, it may not be transparent enough for Western investors, and in fact become part of the Chinese internet. The Narrative ecosystem has promised to build region-specific sites, but it remains to be seen which markets would be the most influential and if they would manage to bring enough liquidity, advertising, and quality content and moderation.
Final Thoughts on Narrative
Narrative may be best described as an unoriginal, but a timely idea. With more crypto-related bloggers and content creators, usually, the newly proposed news or blogging platforms become an echo chamber, where crypto enthusiasts preach to the choir.
The biggest fault of those platforms is precisely their closed nature, and the formation of cliques and systems for gaming the reward algorithm. In the case of Steemit, efforts have been taken to discourage groups with too much influence, but in the end, this cannot be stopped completely.
In addition, while the network is called a decentralized platform, the 15% claim on all revenues going to the central organization sounds paradoxical. What is more baffling is the certainty of the white paper that the token would gain in value, and the platform would receive very large advertising revenues.
Therefore, My Rating for Narrative is 3/5. At this point, NEO-based ICOs serve quite well to boost the digital asset's market price, so simply holding or trading NEO may be more profitable. Also, at this point, the NEO platform lacks exchanges, where Ethereum at least has several decentralized marketplaces. If the platform sparks enthusiasm, and the backer is adept in NEO, this is an interesting proposition – but otherwise, it may be too awkward and too slow to deliver a product, so a limited investment may be the best option.