At first glance, ORCA would best be described as a platform that aggregates financial services offered by third-party providers. However, there is also a bigger picture to the business plan.
The team behind the ‘Open and Regulated Cryptocurrency Adoption’ project is proposing that by integrating traditional and crypto financial services on a simple and intuitive platform, it can encourage wider cryptocurrency adoption to proceed in a measured and sustainable way.
Concept and White-Paper
Looking to disrupt the entire banking industry, the complete offering that the ORCA team is envisioning is multi-layered. Whether the plan is realistic or achievable in terms of the technology may be open to debate, but the idea itself has been particularly well-elaborated in the white-paper.
Well presented, the document identifies three obstacles to the use of cryptocurrencies, then goes on to identify the ways in which the various components of the proposed ORCA platform address these issues. The problems it identifies are i) an uncertain regulatory environment, ii) a lack of knowledge amongst the wider population and iii) concerns about consumer safety.
By presenting these issues, and the ways in which ORCA addresses them, the white-paper lays out a compelling case for ORCA being positioned at the centre of a larger eco-system which provides banking and financial services across traditional and crypto assets.
The following is a run-down of some of the features being proposed for the platform:
- An intuitive interface for both mobile and desktop that allows users to view and access all their accounts.
- The dashboard will give users a visual representation of all their financial accounts – both fiat and crypto.
- The single platform will also be used to manage payments, savings, investments and to make financial decisions.
- An App Center will give developers a platform to showcase, test and monetize apps. Developers, testers and users will all be rewarded.
- The APP Center will give users access to copy trading services, trading algorithms and bots, and lending services.
- ORCA AI uses machine learning algorithms and user-defined objectives to make suggestions to help users reach financial goals.
- Quest, a gamified rewards-based section of the platform, will allow users to be active participants in the development of the platform.
ORCA is also looking to position itself in the context of Europe’s PSD2 and GDPR regulatory frameworks. These regulations are designed to give consumers the ability to exercise control over their data as well as who has access to it.
PSD2, for example, allows customers to give access to bank account information to third-party providers, and allow those TPPs to process payments directly. This is very good news for Fin-tech companies, and potentially for platforms like ORCA which will in turn give these Fin-tech companies a platform to reach a wider net of potential customers.
ORCA, in this respect, is a well-timed project and its team are hoping to capitalize on new trends in the space. Some of the other features that are planned are the ability for users to monetize their own data and the development of sidechains to speed up transaction times.
The white-paper does not actually present a roadmap as such, though the website does feature a list of planned releases and dates. ORCA was founded in May 2017 and the first product mockup was released in March this year.
The current MVP available on the website is more of a demo than a proof-of-concept or MVP. However, in April it was announced that a closed beta platform would be released in July. This will allow users to view aggregated crypto holding across multiple wallets, but at this point won’t include fiat holdings. The parts of the platform that will give users access to their fiat accounts are to an extent dependent on the banks agreeing to connect to the API.
The following is an approximate timeline of planned development and releases:
- Proof of Concept – at time of writing, more of a demo than an MVP or proof-of-concept.
- Partnership settlements with Rivetz, Essentia, Trust wallet, STK, Debitum & others.
- API connections to EU bank sandboxes and Crypto exchanges and wallets.
- Onboarding developer squadron.
- Data Aggregator: Users will be able to access exchange balances and wallets through a unified dashboard.
- Market Analysis: Asset price comparison based on different exchanges.
- Development of algorithmic bots & arbitrage strategy.
- Asset management dashboard.
- Users are able to set and manage orders and transactions.
- Portfolio analysis and financial modelling.
- Development of efficient frontier, cross-correlation, maximum drawdown and stress testing.
- Mobile App Beta.
- ORCA payment card release.
- Personal AI Assistant: Tailor-made advice based on users’ spending habits & goals.
- Instant payment implementation.
- Effortless transfers from exchanges and wallets to Euro accounts.
- ORCA App Center.
- App services marketplace.
- Lightning token swap for 3rd party application usage.
- Mobile App release.
- Users’ bank account implementation in ORCA Dashboard.
- Dex connectivity.
- Sidechain development.
- Storage and monetization of unidentifiable data in accordance with GDPR.
The launch of ORCA platform running version.
This timeline includes a lot of development and may be overly ambitious. As mentioned, certain parts of the platform require the buy-in of large institutions that often move very slowly. At the same time, ORCA has so far managed to build partnerships with an impressive number of third parties, notably with exchanges and service providers in the crypto economy. Recently it partnered with MisterTango which will allow ORCA to develop solutions for SEPA payment account creation.
The website lists a sizeable core team of 25, as well as 9 advisors. The CEO and co-founder, Natan Avidan, is an entrepreneur with a background in media and marketing. Dmitrij Radin, the other co-founder is the CTO and has a background in media and software engineering. The CBDO, Vachtangas Babunasvili, has a background in investment management.
The remainder of the team has diverse backgrounds including marketing, communications, data science, legal, and software development and engineering. While the team is very strong on marketing, communications and media, it does also include at least seven members from a software engineering and development background. As per LinkedIn profiles, about half the team seem to be involved fulltime, while the remainder are involved in other projects too.
The nine members of the advisory board also have diverse backgrounds spanning banking, cybersecurity and blockchain technology. The board includes members of the global crypto community in Europe and the US.
The ORCA token is a utility token which will be used by users and developers to access the platform. The token has already been officially categorized as a utility token by the Central Bank of Lithuania. ORCA tokens will be Ethereuem ERC-777 compliant tokens which offer several security improvements and additional advanced features. – in particular, the ERC-777 offers clearly defined ‘mint’ and ‘burn’ functions. ERC-777 tokens are backwards compatible with ERC-20 tokens.
A total of 460 million tokens are being created, of which 60 percent will be available during the public sale. There is no pre-sale, and unsold tokens will be burnt after the public sale. While there is no official private sale, tokens have been sold to private investors to fund development to date.
A further 20 percent of the token supply will be used to develop the community by incentivizing partners. Seventeen percent of the tokens are reserved for the founders, developers and advisors and 3 percent is available for a bounty program.
ORCA tokens will be used to fuel the economy on the ORCA platform. Users of the platform will use ORCA tokens to add apps and services to their dashboard and pay platform fees. Users will also be able to earn Orca tokens by participating in quests and rewardable tasks. Developers and 3rd parties will use the tokens to offer new services and apps on the platform and third parties will receive payment in ORCA tokens.
A token swap facility will allow platform users to seamlessly buy services from other blockchain services on the platform without having to buy their tokens.
The token sale aims to raise $14 million which will be used as follows:
The ORCA team is very strong on marketing, and this comes through in the way the website is designed and the way the white-paper is presented. The team includes a marketing strategist, a communications specialist, a copywriter, a graphic designer and an animator.
The project’s Telegram Group has around 30,000 members and is very active. Regular updates are being made on the company’s Twitter, Medium and Facebook pages, and there is an active native content campaign on other platforms too. ORCA’s Twitter handle has 15,000 followers which is impressive for an ICO at this stage of development.
The marketing team will need to keep this level of momentum going in to build a community of active platform users in an increasingly competitive market.
Given that the team has a long way to go in terms of development, there is a speculative element to this ICO. However, the valuation is very low when compared to other decentralised platforms aiming to offer a wide range of financial services. The team is also strong in the areas that matter – marketing and development.
If 60 percent of the tokens are sold for $14 million, a network value of $23.3 million is implied. This is far lower than the implied values of many of the ICOs building decentralised digital banks, that have typically raised $50 to $200 million.
Given the modest valuation, there should be substantial upside for token holders if the team can deliver on their vision by the middle of 2019, or even a little later. At the time of writing, ORCA has yet to announce its public token sale date but has stated on its Telegram group that an announcement is impending.