Cryptocurrencies and ICOs have given hobby investors and speculators the opportunity to make quick gains unheard of in any other investment products. Although, if we’re being honest, more often than not, most people don’t know what they’re doing when buying into these projects. Because, let’s face it, when the due diligence consists of scrolling through a website, and in some cases reading a white paper, it’s really not enough to tell whether a project has strong fundamentals or is a pump and dump scheme.
This is where a startup called CrowdWiz comes in. The Estonia based project wants to use the public Ethereum blockchain to create a transparent suite of investment products based on the wisdom of the crowd.
I regularly read up on most of the ICOs coming out, and some trigger me to take a closer look. CrowdWiz is one that I think has a lot of promise. (Full disclosure: I am not associated with the project or any others I write about.)
CrowdWiz’s concept is that crowds often reach conclusions that are more accurate than those taken by an individual, even if that person is an expert in his or her field. Crowds are supposedly smarter because of their diverse range of views, open-mindedness, and culture of sharing. CrowdWiz’s mission, in the words of the founders, is to “completely democratise the investing process by eliminating intermediaries and placing the power and control where it belongs — entirely into the hands of investors.”
CrowdWiz’s first product will be WizFund, a self-governed crypto fund. Users can create their own funds and, through voting, members will decide how and where the fund should invest. With no central power of authority, there is no fund manager to make decisions on behalf of investors. The wisdom of the crowd determines what the fund’s next investment is going to be. Less experienced investors will be able to join smart investments without having to do the research!
While CrowdWiz isn’t the first project to use blockchain for transparent voting processes, I’m not aware of anyone else doing it with the goal of removing the intermediaries of investment funds.
At first look, Blackmoon Crypto could be seen as a competitor to CrowdWiz, however, Blackmoon isn’t based on crowd wisdom; instead it helps fund managers create and manage their portfolio on the blockchain. ICONOMI and Melonport let users create and manage their own funds, which others again can invest in. They aren’t based on crowd wisdom though.
AICOIN is a more direct competitor, combining AI fund management with crowd wisdom decisions. One difference though, AICOIN manages the fund, while the crowd decides where to invest.
The second stop on CrowdWiz’s roadmap is a decentralized exchange where the crowd decides through voting, which tokens should be listed or removed from the exchange. On the token trading aspect, CrowdWiz will be competing against centralized players like GDAX, Kraken, and Shapeshift, and decentralized exchanges like Etherdelta and OasisDEX; so CrowdWiz is entering a crowded arena. Common for all these exchanges, however, is that they have a long way to go in terms of design and user-friendliness. And since the nature of the blockchain makes it very easy to move your funds between different exchanges, the winner will be the one with the best design and user experience, as well as the most variety of tokens that can be traded.
Further down the roadmap, CrowdWiz’s fund and exchange platforms will be followed by lending, insurance, and real estate products. All of these will be powered by the WIZ token. In addition to giving token holders a share of the profit generated by the entire ecosystem, WIZ will give holders voting rights and access to invest in major crypto assets, ICOs, and other upcoming crypto investment products, which could be anything if we are to believe the promise that everything will be tokenized on the blockchain.
The company is also building an ecosystem that could eventually be home to many crowd wisdom-driven financial services. The team will offer a set of APIs to third party developers who want to build apps that can contribute to the network. These apps can be published in the ecosystem’s own app store and monetized. Facilitating developer collaboration like this is a great way of bootstrapping a network.
For its upcoming ICO in October, the team is asking for $20 million to develop all of this, with every dollar above that going directly into the main fund, i.e. staying in the hands of the investors.
CrowdWiz Ltd. is incorporated as a for-profit company in Estonia. The company’s revenue will come from consulting services to companies using the CrowdWiz platform and from its assets. The team behind CrowdWiz is essentially the team of Krypton Software, which is part of Krypton Capital Group, who, with an R&D team of around 60 people, is focused on delivering enterprise fintech solutions. The company has launched several platforms for trading and investment.
Trond Vidar Bjorøy is head of product development and implementation – Nordics at travel management company ATPI.