Props ICO takes the current state of the internet and plans to decentralize it through the power of blockchain technology. What its product would do is to store and distribute videos- not unlike YouTube, but the blockchain and the PROPS token come in at some point. Of course, the ICO stage is so early that the product is not even in a proof of concept stage.
Props Project is an offshoot of already functioning platform YouNow.
Table of Contents
What is Props?
- Props Project
- Props White Paper
- Country of origin: USA
- Ticker: PROPS
- ICO Dates: 11-18 December 2017, registration until 11 December
- Hard Cap: $25 million
- Funds raised: Unknown
- Industry: Video/Social Media
- Funds accepted: ETH, BTC, USD
- My Rating: 3/5
Props Social Media
Props ICO Overview
The Props ICO is a fast affair- instead of a month, the token sale will last for a mere week, creating a feeling of scarcity and possibly a rush based on Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO). The strange thing is, only 20% of the ICO funds would be distributed to buyers, with the rest locked in the Props Foundation, with a smaller endowment for development and marketing.
This structure recalls the recent discovery that TEZOS, one of the heftiest ICOs, is paying out $1 million to developers (a mere 100 BTC), but keeping most of the proceeds in the Tezos Foundation, locking in hundreds of millions of dollars. And while Props has a more modest hard cap, the large percentage of funds locked looks like a red flag and the possibility of the ICO containing a hidden intent at a money grab.
The Props Team
Props Project was created by Adi Sideman, a person with a background in entertainment and video, who might have stumbled lately upon the blockchain idea. Sideman is an actual film school graduate from New York University. The technological side of the project is left to Eran Kalmanson, who certainly has interesting points in his bio: “Eran is a military lieutenant, and holds a BA in Computer Science from The Open University and a BA in Gastronomic Science from l’università di Scienze Gastronomiche.”
The good thing is, Props seems well-staffed already, and poised to take on the task of delivering a product once the time starts ticking after the token sale.
The team also boasts the presence of Peter Watts, co-founder of music sharing platform Swarm.
About Props Token
The PROPS token is based on the ERC-20 standard over the Ethereum network. There will ever be one billion PROPS tokens, and they should hit user wallets at some point in 2018. The tokens would be used in the reward system of video production and sharing.
The PROPS goes an extra mile, so it is not just a glorified system of likes and shares. The application would have a layer of identities and personalized presence to better target rewards and incentives.
Investing in Props ICO: The Pros
The Props ICO is a part of a new wave that has a solid KYC procedure in place, and is, therefore, able to take funds in US dollars. This means the event would draw from a much larger pool of potential investors. The advantage of Props is that it offers something familiar, the approach of earlier companies YouTube and Vimeo, but adds a friendly entrance into the tokenized economy.
And while the exact fate of the VIMEO token is unknown, the project may achieve enough users to take it off the ground.
The campaign of Props was long-running, and involved social media long before the KYC registration, giving access to 50% token bonuses. The long pre-ICO period helped build the community and may be the reason why the token sale is expected to be short.
In this, Props Project has been smart. A lot of ICOs open the token sale and make their marketing efforts at the same time, managing to draw in lower funds than expected, as enthusiasm for ICOs has somewhat diminished.
Still, the US-based Props Project may benefit from robust procedures in the most active ICO market in the world, taking in a total of more than $1 billion in 2017.
Props Project has been careful about its legal side, offering special registration to accredited investors, as well as personal buyers. Accredited investors from the US would be eligible for an earlier sale in a different process.
The Risk of Props ICO
The risk of buying into an ICO and owning an ERC-20 token is a leap of faith. While buying into the ICO gives an early start, owning tokens from the free market may be a better idea.
The risk of Props Project is all about the business and making it in the boom of blockchain-based projects, which are still competing with the earlier generation of apps and online entertainment. It may take years before it is clear whether Props rises to prominence, or fizzles out like the Vine video sharing business.
Most tokens would be locked or paid out to developers, which may risk under-funding the actual product development stage. But the silver lining is that PROPS tokens would be distributed to as many users as possible, avoiding the creation of “whales” that could manipulate the token price. Except, of course, for the Props Foundation, with unknown intentions and schedule of selling the coins.
Final Thoughts on Props ICO
It's a bit ironic that Props uses YouTube and Vimeo to present itself. At the moment, YouTube and Vimeo look way better than what YouNow has to offer- murky videos of live chats. Perhaps the biggest challenge of Props ICO would be to lead to a project where good content lifts the visibility of the app and attracts users to the incentive system.
Props ICO, therefore, looks like a business that hopped on the opportunity to up its game by adding “blockchain” somewhere in the mix, with questionable actual value delivered. The videos themselves would not touch the blockchain at all- at the moment, distributed computing is still too slow, and actual decentralized apps are not really decentralized. The videos may still rely on centralized storage, while only the incentives system uses the PROPS token.
The good thing is, the crypto community has shown that systems of content creation and rewards actually work- with Steemit the most prominent example, featuring videos and quality reporting. The bad thing is that those systems rely on communities and have an early-adopter advantage, while later users would receive almost no incentives.
The Props Project may also see some competition from similar attempts of tying up the blockchain and video content, such as View.ly.
While the token sale itself is highly organized and has tackled all the potential legal pitfalls, the project remains unoriginal. The team seems motivated, but are still newcomers to the cryptocurrency space and their token may sink or swim in an ecosystem with a very different trading and investment logic.
Perhaps the best thing about the tokenized economy of online content is that it is a tool to displace annoying advertisements. With this, Props ICO has positioned itself well enough into the new way of monetizing the Internet in a more unobtrusive way. And as soon as users catch on the ad-free experience, they may become converts. That is why My Rating for this ICO is 3/5, for an idea that hops on an interesting trend.