Machine learning is all the rage, and Synapse combines it with the hype of blockchain technologies. Synapse wants to create a marketplace for machine learning. At the moment, machine learning is a centralized endeavor, with data coming mostly from the vast vaults of leading Internet companies such as Google and YouTube.
The Synapse marketplace will allow anyone to contribute the data pools from which machine learning can draw inputs.
The Synapse ICO has just passed, but since the project is extremely interesting, it is possible to lookout for the tokens appearing on the open market. The SYN token would be based on the Ethereum network and as such can easily be traded on decentralized exchanges.
But the distribution of Synapse tokens has not ended, as the ICO was called a “Tier 1” funding mechanism. A further 300 million SYN token are offered to developers who join the network and provide data and AI solutions. The project would soon announce its plans for Tier 2 financing coming in the near future, and a Tier 3 is coming in the spring of 2018.
Table of Contents
What is Synapse?
- Synapse Project
- Synapse White Paper
- Yellow Paper
- Country of origin: USA
- Ticker: SYN
- ICO Dates: 21 October-21 November 2017 (Tier 1 ICO)
- Hard Cap: Undetermined, Sold as Auction
- Funds raised:
- Industry: AI/Machine Learning
- Funds accepted: Ethereum, Litecoin, NEO
- My Rating: 1/5
Synapse Social Media
Synapse aims to create a platform for the exchange of data related to machine learning. For now, machine learning has been touted as a solution to problems in far-reaching areas, from image recognition to trading strategies. But coming across quality data to train the AI algorithms is a problem.
Dan Gailey, the founder of Synapse, talks at length, though vaguely, about the project's potential, in a video interview with Jackson Palmer, founder of Ethereum.
Synapse wants to democratize the data and turn it into an asset- by using the power of the tokenized economy.
The Synapse project has a small team relying on a charismatic founder, Dan Gailey.
The team seems independent and shows no backing from larger companies or advisors:
Gil Chavez- visuals and illustrations.
Jackson Palmer, the founder of DogeCoin, is listed as the advisor, although he only appears in a very vague video with no clarity on the project's advantages beyond an easier token payment system.
About Synapse Token
The SYN token is based on the ERC-20 Ethereum standard, and will run on the Ethereum network. The token will be a means of exchange in the marketplace for data, bots, and ideas for arranging data. Marketplace agents- the buyers and sellers of AI solutions, will be using the token.
The SYN token already has a price discovery mechanism on EtherDelta, where its price reaches as high as 0.01ETH. For now, SYN exists only as a speculative asset, as the data and AI platforms may take up to a year, at least according to the roadmap for the project.
Only 33% of the tokens will be distributed- the other 33% is for the developer team, and another third is for the company. A total of 1 billion tokens will be created and sold in lots at auction.
Investing in Synapse: The Pros
There is a thirst for data and AI solutions. The cryptocurrency community is also skilled at trading bots and solutions, so Synapse may become a marketplace for trading bots. The idea of linking and providing data from decentralized users, instead of relying on the storages of Big Data from internet monopolists is intriguing.
Synapse may create some enthusiasm among the cryptocurrency community, and draw some attention to the idea that big data is overly-monopolized. But the power of the project seems limited.
The Risk of Synapse
The problem is, the token seems to have a market on EtherDelta, while Synapse has delayed the airdrop of SYN tokens until all financing tiers are completed, as its recent Tweet shows:
Disbursement happens at the end of all the ICO tiers. You'll receive an email with directions when that date approaches.
— Synapse AI (@AiSynapse) November 19, 2017
Buying into the different tiers of financing means you will be left without a token for months, while the project is free to use the funds sent.
Synapse also has a flaw shared by many ICOs- it relies on the work of others. We still don't know if the marketplace of Synapse, which is now just a mailing list form, will ever work and attract users keen on providing quality solutions.
The Reddit community is extremely skeptical of this ICO and the team's ability to deliver a product. The task seems overly ambitious, and the time frame rather long until even a proof-of-concept appears.
Final Thoughts on Synapse
Big data is the domain of Amazon, Fitbit, Google, YouTube and Square- and Synapse aims to disrupt that. Its white paper states that users may disrupt this model. But among ICO buyers that just want to flip the token, Synapse may have over-estimated the user base and their access to valuable Big Data. And the owners of valuable data would hardly hand them over for ERC-20 token payments. Even trading bots are bought and sold for Bitcoin.
The Synapse white paper is an exercise in vagueness. While the paper explains what a blockchain is, there is no clarity why a new token is needed and why a marketplace for data could not exist with other payment mechanisms.
The Synapse ICO is an example of a visually appealing idea with some potential, which, however, has been met with criticism by cryptocurrency users. For this reason, My Rating for this ICO is 1/5, highly not recommended to send in funds and wait for months to get the tokens. Your tokens will not arrive for months, while the team keeps a large portion of Litecoin, Ethereum, and NEO for itself and actually shoots for $50 million in its three rounds of financing. But do a few people need $50 million to create a marketplace app and use a cookie-cutter token?
The white paper of Synapse ends with a warning that due to the nature of the Ethereum network, in the end, some of the ETH contributed could be lost. This is a rather mystifying remark, as even due to errors, hacker mistakes are rather rare and unpredictable. The paper also cites unanticipated token risks- so it is much better to stay away for now until a clearer picture of the SYN token has emerged and the team has created something of value.