ICO Review: Karma – Will You Get More Than You Give?

This blockchain-based P2P loans platform offers an interesting solution for SMEs.

The ICO rush is upon us, with dozens of new initiatives popping up every day. And while some ICOs will be the next big thing, some are doomed to fail from the get go – telling who’s who is no easy task. This article is a part of a series of reviews created by the Finance Magnates Intelligence Department as a public service.

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The Karma team is creating a platform for social and economic interaction, giving small and medium enterprises (SMEs) access to loans in a low cash flow environment. Inside the projected ecosystem, participants may take any role, becoming an investor, borrower, seller, insurer, debt collector or portfolio fund manager. The contributions are eventually rewarded with a bonus rating (called ‘karma’) and account.

  • Category – P2P lending platform
  • ICO Date – 27.11.2017-10.12.2017
  • Total supply – 3 billion KRMs (45% product development and marketing, 20% conservative endowment foundation, 18% marketing and PR of token sale, 10% mutual aid system, 2% lawyers, 5% founders, 1-year vesting).
  • Maximum raise – 10 million USD
  • Available payments – ETH, BTC, USD
  • Founded – 2016
  • Blockchain platform – Ethereum
  • Token standard – ERC20
  • Regulation – Token sale will be based on online offer agreement
  • Websitehttps://karma.red
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Team

The Karma team consists of many individuals, but the core is its two founders, George Goognin and Artem Laptev.

George Goognin – Ph.D in Mathematical Economy Models, previously connected with the e-commerce automation industry and his own digital business school RIK.

Artem Laptev – experienced in managing P2P investment funds for SMEs, with 10 years of connection with such financial companies as Troika Dialog, Sberbank and Ancor Invest.

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Technology and features

According to the whitepaper, system implementation is divided into three separate phases. In the first, ending by December 2017, the founders want to offer collateral-free loans with fiat and loans against cryptocurrency. Within the next two quarters (Q1 – Q2 2018), Karma should broaden its services, adding the karma-token as a payment for internal commissions and currency risk hedging. In the last phase (planned Q3 – Q4 2018) the blockchain-based environment is going to present transactions with tokenized offline assets (commodities, fiat currencies, real estates, etc.).

The whole algorithm of the lending process consist of twelve separate steps. If a user wants to conclude a deal, he will be forced to go through the KYC procedures and to sign an electronic agreement that has legal weight. Karma’s role is to provide an independent escrow account, where the creditor sends the assets analyzed by smart contract and forwarded to the borrower. The loan is registered in the blockchain and the borrower starts to perform monthly repayments through the escrow account (the repayments are once again registered in the blockchain). When the whole repaying process is finished, the deal participant’s rating is updated (system recalculates ‘karma’).

Review

The main features of this system assumes running a blockchain-based P2P platform. Karma decides to go one step further, allowing the platform participants to take any role. According to the company’s documents the project itself is non-profit, and surplus revenues will be spent on repurchasing tokens from the market, developing the platform and forming the insurance foundation.

Although the whitepaper provides a really short economic development forecast, showing 1 billion USD transaction volumes by the end of 2020 (and commission volume of around 50 million USD), projections according the competition environment are much more elaborate. They clearly show that currently only one other company is offering similar services, but it does not allow users to choose their place in the whole loan process.

Karma also plans two additional tokens within the next few years. For token holders this might be a negative factor, especially if they are short-term speculative investments. In the long term however, company counts on stable growth.

Verdict

Although the blockchain-based P2P payments and loans industry is dynamically developing, there is still room for another entity, especially when it offers new solutions and greater flexibility for users.

  • Team – 4/5
  • Legal – 3.5/5
  • White paper – 4.5/5
  • Partners – 4/5
  • Financial Model – 3/5
  • Overall – 3.8

Karma wants to provide something more than a just simple lending platform. The system as a whole is planned to be an international trusted relationship network, financing less-developed economies.

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