Online Decentralized Marketplace PocketInns Changes the ICO Game

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Imagine a shopping mall with numerous stores, but instead of these stores being owned and run by just the shopping mall directly these are operated by a diverse set of owners providing varied services. The shopping mall has its own financial setup catering to the needs of their customers and the transaction on the entire network happens through their own currency. The shopping mall does not collect commissions and fees on every transaction that a stores transacts instead they pay the shopping mall a rent or lease.  Pocketinns is exactly that kind of a decentralised market[lace platform and their blockchain technology allows both buyers and sellers to buy and sell without worrying about commissions and fees. To monetize, Pocketinns instead relies on a flat monthly subscription, inspired by the barter system where everyone works together on a single platform as a community. Online marketplaces are in a way a representative of this concept and they are becoming increasingly popular. Forrester Research Retail Dive Reports as saying, “Last year, shoppers did half of their online spending through marketplaces, and that could rise to two-thirds in five years.” As such there is a great deal of interest in this segment of the internet, which is currently dominated by big names like Amazon, eBay, Rakuten etc. Shopper interest in these markets has also been increasing as Retail Dive elaborates further, “More than a quarter (26%) of European online shoppers used Amazon to research their most recent product prior to purchase, more than the 21% who used a physical store. Shoppers in Japan, India and China were the most likely to turn to marketplaces over other sources to get information on potential purchases, the study found.”

It is amidst such a backdrop of a surge in online marketplaces that the world’s first decentralised blockchain based community driven marketplace ecosystem is being built by Pocketinns with the beta version already in place. This market place would be a platform for consumers as well as online retailers. The benefit of blockchain would ensure that there is an increased amount of trust and safety baked into the platform, while also both the sellers experience benefits like safety, value and savings.

Pocketinns ICO to set standards for token sales

Pocketinns will be holding a token auction for PINNS following the Dutch Auction model. Dutch auctions or reverse auctions work with the principle that a high price is lowered by investor participation as bids are made to lower the price, this is done till sufficient buyers are found at a particular price point. The PINNS token will be sold in blocks, with the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) starting on January 15, 2018 till January 31, 2018. The auction will come to an end if 30 mln PINNS tokens are sold, a hard cap of US$ 46 mln is raised in Ethereum (ETH) or at the end of 16 days. There will be no pre-sale, this has been done deliberately to bring more transparency into the token sale. Pocketinn investors will be safeguarded against a runoff sale by not having this type of bonus tokens on pre-sale incentives given to select investors. In a blog, the CEO of Pocketinn talks about their decision not to go for the presale, “It’s our biggest risk as a project, as we outright rejected big money offered for discounts on our tokens. But the decision was made as a team. We know we’re working to redefine how the cryptocurrency space is operating.” This approach could act as a beacon for the coming ICOs to enshrine a higher level of transparency into their issues and a successful Pocketinns ICO is a precursor of the changes that can be ushered into the ICO space, making the whole process more favourable to investor interests.

Transparency to protect the community

While the decision to not hold a pre-sale or do bonus token distribution is one facet of bringing transparency into the token sale, there has also been a decision to undergo SEC Self-Regulation as PINNS are classified as exempt securities offering under Rule 506(c) Reg D for accredited investors. The legal aspects have been fully covered by Pocketinns and an Anti Money Laundering/Know Your Customer system has been implemented. Post the ICO, funds will only be released by the Pocketinns governance team based on a yearly budget and on the condition that important project milestones are met. All of these measures will protect the investors who are part of the community that will ultimately be the bedrock for the Pocketinns marketplace. A further investor friendly step taken by the team is the decision to let investors determine the price of the tokens through the dutch auction. The price will decline in blocks and investors would be able to purchase tokens by sending cryptocurrency to an address which will indicate their commitment to purchase at the price prevalent during a particular block. The price sold in the final block is the price that will apply to the preceding blocks, which is akin to the Gnosis sale but better designed and favours the investing community. Investors can contribute to the auction by entering their name, personal details and email address complying with KYC/AML on the Pocketinns website. A white paper has also been released that details all the technical, financial and legal aspects of the project.

A strong team leading the charge

The Founder and CEO Sarva G Mada is a blockchain professional with experience in financial technology sector having worked for JP Morgan and Barclays Investment Bank. Smita M. Seetaram, the Co-founder and COO has worked with Thomson Reuters as well as Nike in development roles. Amol Sharma, the Chief Technology Architect has experience as a CSI partner delivery manager with Google. Abhishek Sehgal, the Chief Technology Officer worked in the past for Sage as a Manager (R&D). A strong advisory team has also been put in place by Pocketinns with John Biggs founder of Tech for Reporters, Writer and Editor for TechCrunch being on board along with Dr. Stylianos Kampakis, a data scientist for Brandtix and Research Fellow at UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies (CBT). Advisory team members also include Dr. Theodosis Mourouzis a cryptologist and Research Fellow at UCL CBT as well as Ronn Torossian, President and CEO of 5W Public Relations. The strength of the team lies in the fact that not only are the team members having exposure to blockchain technology and the corporate world having spent time in reputable global companies but they also have a strong research and academic background.

A marketplace and beyond

Pocketinns is creating a marketplace but they are envisioning a future that extends beyond just that. Ultimately it will be a mechanism for ease of doing business. In the future they would be able to extend services and bring services to life like ride sharing, travel, finance, legal services, food and grocery delivery and more. These new opportunities would either be developed inhouse by the team or by partnering with outside vendors. Plans are afoot to bring marketplaces like hospitality, travel, transportation, shared workplaces, real estate, automotive etc. to the public. All of this would require the cooperation of the community, Vendors and the using public and the ICO is the first step towards building a community based on the values of transparency and honesty. The scope of the project is immense and the opportunities diverse, this makes this a first of a kind offering for investors, who are interested in reshaping the internet of the future.

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Tom Clancy
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