The All-In-One Crypto Platform
Midas Protocol is a new ICO (initial coin offering), backed by Regulus Investment and Capital Holdings, which aims "to be the smartest universal wallet for all essential crypto needs from safekeeping, intelligent trading, portfolio management, easy conversion to fiat and spending of cryptocurrencies." <1>
For new cryptocurrency investors it can be a bit overwhelming and they must either rely on centralized exchanges to hold funds or figure out how to set up several wallets of their own. The first option relinquishes control of their cryptocurrencies and puts full trust in entities which have proven to be vulnerable, while the second approach requires some basic technical knowledge and juggling multiple wallet clients. Midas Protocol offers an all-in-one solution where users can store, exchange, monitor and transact with cryptocurrencies, in a multi-platform client suitable for all levels of experience.
Midas Protocol Highlights
Started: Q1 2018
Market cap: $14,060,160 <2>
Price per coin: $0.03 <3>
Reddit subscribers: N/A
Twitter followers: 282
Facebook likes: 217
Telegram members: 2,200
Circulating supply: n/a
Total supply: 500,000,000
Consensus method: ERC20
Midas Protocol features
The host of features offered by Midas is extensive, but some of the notable ones include:
An encrypted, multi-currency wallet;
Advanced cryptocurrency portfolio integrated with the wallet;
Trading with linked exchanges directly from the platform without exposing private keys;
The ability to spend crypto on any website supporting cryptocurrency payments via the wallet;
News and market alerts tailored to the cryptocurrencies in your portfolio;
Trading leaderboards with the ability to follow top traders and copy their trades;
Order types beyond what is available on existing exchanges; and
Multi-platform coverage including iOS, Android, Windows, Mac and Web.
The Midas Protocol platform
Midas Protocol connects a number of services, described further below, to the Midas Wallet. These connections are mostly handled via API's which come in four levels of access: <5>
Level 1 (Informative): allows apps to push information to the wallet and show content;
Level 2 (Portfolio sharing): enables access to the user's trading history which then informs trading tips, coin analysis and predictions;
Level 3 (Make orders): allows apps to carry out trades, though users can set limits such as max daily volume, max bid, etc.
Level 4 (Deposit/withdraw): enables apps to deposit and withdraw from exchanges when needed.
The Midas platform will be connected to a number of centralized and decentralized exchanges. Kyber Network will be the first exchange to be integrated and will likely be followed by Airswap, Bancor and NeonExchange before proceeding to centralized exchanges. <6>
Having several exchanges linked directly to the wallet offers a number of benefits. For starters, the ability to transact across several cryptocurrencies without the need to move funds from a wallet to the exchange which has a particular coin. Furthermore, the Midas platform will monitor prices across linked exchanges to determine which exchange has the best rate for specific pairings. Users can configure a setting called "slippage" for the percent deviation they are willing to accept and the system will then determine which exchange to transact on based on liquidity and least slippage. The ability to execute orders on multiple exchanges concurrently will be added at a later phase. <6>
One concern with linked exchanges that I've raised before (see my Blockport review) is around network lag brought about by the complexities in communicating with external exchanges and in executing trading strategies on them (more on this later). However, as Minh Chu, CEO of Midas Protocol, explains:
With DEX's such as Kyber Network, the trade/exchange can be executed directly from [the] wallet with small latency. The trade logics are processed at the backend of [the] Midas platform, [which] sends actionable event[s] to [the] user-wallet or smart-contract to execute [the] trade. We also have [a] plan to build a separate backend trading engine to support trade[s] with top CEX's over API. For those users [who] already [have] their fund[s] scattered over many exchanges, they can use advanced supportive trading functions on Midas platform to trade and manage their fund on CEX's. <7>
Cryptocurrencies are a quick moving market and I still have my doubts until I see the platform in action but the fact the team have thought about a separate trading engine and have experience from advisors such as Victor Tran gives me confidence that they can overcome this issue.
The Midas Wallet has a simple, intuitive design but on the backend it will store the full blockchain node in your wallet including history, offline transaction signing and encrypted private keys. However, the wallet does not actually download the full blockchain, rather it requests that information via the Midas Wallet service which enables the storage of several tokens with minimal resources. The wallet can also be used to pay for e-commerce
transactions through Simple Payment Verification (SPV), provided the site supports crypto payments.
Midas offers several approaches to storing wallet and trading data. As far as free options, it can be stored locally in the wallet with the ability to import or export data or it can be stored on the Midas cloud, thus allowing users to run multiple clients across multiple platforms in sync. Midas also offers the option of saving data on the Midas Storage Blockchain, which will store encrypted data on the blockchain for a small transaction fee. In terms of security of the wallet itself, all private keys are encrypted and the platform comes with additional security in the form of 2FA on app and on web. The team are are also considering integrating Civic, uPort and U2F on the desktop app and web wallet. <9>
Initially the wallet will support Bitcoin, Ethereum and all ERC-20 tokens and plan to add support for NAV, DASH, Monero and other coins in the future. Originally the team planned to support staking for POS cryptocurrencies such as NAV Coin but unfortunately this feature has been removed from scope (the site should be updated to reflect this soon). <10> I was a huge fan of this feature but understand the technical complications behind implementing staking and in all likelihood it would have require users to keep a copy of their wallet online at all times, hindering the goal of making the wallet easy to use for everyone.
Although the details are confidential at this time, Midas is also working with banks and payment gateways to enable fiat funding directly to the wallet. Initially the team are focusing on the ASEAN market so those currencies will likely be the first to be supported. It will be dependent on jurisdiction but the ability to make fiat-to-crypto and fiat-to-crypto transactions with the exchange-connected wallet would be huge for consumer adoption and simplifying the process of investing into cryptocurrencies. <11>
The ease of use, features and multi-currency support offered by the Midas Wallet should reduce the need to maintain multiple wallets and encourage users to move away from exchanges where they don't truly own their funds. Making crypto ownership simpler and controllable via a single platform is a major step towards mass adoption and Midas Protocol is playing a role.
The Midas Protocol platform will include portfolio monitoring and performance statistics which can be displayed in BTC, ETH, USD or other fiat currencies, similiar to apps like Delta or Blockfolio. However, that's where the similiarities to existing products ends.
The Midas Portfolio will not only provide an overview of performance but it will benchmark portfolios against the market average (across the top 20-200 cryptocurrencies, dependent on portfolio size). Furthermore, since it is directly linked to the Midas Wallet, which stores blockchain history and trades, there's no need to manually enter transactions. In the future, the AI will actually be able to analyze your portfolio and suggest trading styles and top traders best suited to you.
However, arguably the biggest feature is automatic portfolio rebalancing. As far as I'm aware there's no portfolio solution out there right now that does this - if there is, let me know, I'd love to check it out. My one concern with automatic rebalanced revolves around capital gains tax (CGT). Several countries charge CGT on crypto transactions and given the volatility of cryptocurrencies it's likely that portfolio allocation would shift frequently and at times dramatically. In order to rebalance to a specified allocation, the platform would have to execute cryptocurrency trades which would then trigger CGT. Luckily, the Midas Protocol team have thought this through and will give users full control over the frequency and triggers for rebalancing, as well as portfolio allocation. <13>
Trading services and leaderboard
Most exchanges, whether a DEX like IDEX or a CEX like Binance, are pretty straightforward in terms of trading offerings. There's some information on order book depth, trade history, charts covering price action and users have the ability to set buy and sell orders. Some exchanges are restricted to only limit and market orders while others take it one step further and offer stop limits as well. With Midas, they add on to these offerings with the addition of advanced order types including: <14>
Trailing stop-loss, which reflects price movement and increases as a cryptocurrency's price rises, thus protecting profits;
Conditional trailing stop-loss (example on right <15>), which is the same as above but the user can specify a certain point where the trailing stop-loss kicks in;
Multiple standby order, which allows users to set orders using a specified amount of funds for all of them rather than splitting those funds across coins. As an example, Bob has 1 bitcoin that he wants to use to purchase alt coins and is looking at ARK, POWR, BAT and XLM. Bob can either split his funds into 0.25 BTC orders for each, or watch to see which currencies hit his target buy zone and then log in to make his purchase. With multiple standby orders, Bob can instead set a 0.5 BTC order for ARK, a 0.25 BTC order for POWR, a 1 BTC order for BAT and a 0.5 BTC order for XLM even though the total of the orders exceeds 1 BTC. These orders will then trigger as the buy prices are reached, to a maximum of Bob's specified order, until the 1 BTC is used up across the transactions.
These order types will give users full control over their trades and should appeal to advanced traders, particularly those familiar with Forex markets where these order types are more common.
In addition to advanced order types, Midas will also introduce trading strategies. Users can create programmable trade strategies either via a custom script or created through a simple drag and drop interface within the platform. <16> Furthermore, the Midas platform will make use of data from users' open and closed trades, real-time market orders and movements, as well as blockchain data in combination with AI/ML to provide valuable trading advice based on user preferences and trading strategies. This trading advice will include automated technical analysis (TA) to determine and execute exits and entries. Initially the platform will analyze technical indicators such as MACD, OBV and RSI, but in later phases will attempt to determine breakout and consolidation patterns such as bull flags, as well as identifying support and resistance points. <17>
There is some competition in this space, as other platforms such as Taylor allow users to specify trading strategies and automatically carry them out when indicators reach set levels. However, support/resistance identification and technical patterns are not offered by any competitors that I'm aware of so it will be interesting to see if the team can be the first to implement that and how accurate it will prove to be.
Lastly, Midas also offers a trader leaderboard which gives users the ability to follow top traders and copy their trades, similiar to the Blockport platform. By default, users are opted out and do not appear on the leaderboard but Midas allows traders to opt in to share their portfolio and trading data in order to verify their performance; once users opt in they are eligible to rank on the trading leaderboard. Midas Protocol will provide a strong incentive to traders, allocating 10% of service income to be distributed amongst the top 10% performing traders. Furthermore, traders are able to set a monthly fee in Midas Tokens (MAS) which users can pay to follow their portfolio and trades. <18> In order to prevent market manipulation, traders will have a max number of followers based on the size and liquidity of their portfolio, however even with this limitation there are clear financial benefits available to traders.
Users are able to see not only the ranked traders overall, but Midas will also maintain several sub-leaderboards based on size of portfolio, liquidity and types of cryptocurrencies. The platform AI will provide trader recommendations based on the composition of user portfolio and trading style and the inclusion of sub-leaderboards will ensure a suitable match is available. Users may follow an unlimited number of traders but they must pay the fee in MAS, per month per trader, which will give them access to the trader's detailed portfolio and allow the user to be notified of future trades, or if desired, automatically follow future trades.
Overall, the combination of advanced order types, AI-powered and programmable trading strategies, as well as trader leaderboards, delivers a strong product offering in itself and should attract both experienced traders and new investors.
Midas monitors real-time market and blockchain data and processes it through AI and ML in order to provide information on market trends, trending coins, pump and dumps and more. This information is then presented via a news feed and through custom alerts which can be tailored to only the coins in a user's portfolio; Midas can even send scheduled reports. Not only does Midas provide a central news feed for the information relevant to you, it is powered by real-time market and blockchain data.
The Midas Protocol (MAS) token and the Midas Foundation
The MAS token has a number of use cases across the platform, as seen above. Firstly, MAS is used to pay for value added services within the platform. These services are split across three tiers of membership: <21>
Free: limited functionality including storage of multiple cryptocurrencies and the ability to place buy and sell orders via connected exchanges;
Lite: same as above, but with some technical analysis and automated tools, as well as the ability to follow traders (but not copy trades);
Pro: full functionality including all of the above, all trading features, market information and alerts, and the ability to copy orders from top traders.
Pricing is subject to change but initial estimates are $5 USD worth of MAS per month for Lite and $9 USD worth of MAS per month for Pro. The team plans to offer advanced features in trial packages to encourage adoption. <22>
Secondly, as described above, MAS is used across the trading leaderboard. Users pay a monthly fee, which is set by the trader and of which Midas takes a 5% cut, in order to gain portfolio access and copy trades. Thirdly, MAS is used to pay out top performing traders in return for sharing their high ROI trades and portfolios.
Lastly, MAS will be used to fund the Midas Foundation, a decentralized crypto fund which Midas Pioneers (more on this below) can submit promising projects to be reviewed by the board of trustees. If it passes board review, then Midas token holders are able to vote on whether to fund the project and 51% approval results in the project being funded. Projects funded by the Midas Foundation must provide a bonus structure to Midas token holders as follows: <23>
If the project is pursuing an ICO, the project must accept MAS as a payment method and must provide a discount and bonus to the Midas community; or
If the project is pursuing a traditional model, MAS holders who contribute to the funding will become a shareholder with a certificate of shares and voting rights.
The Midas Foundation will be set up in Singapore according to the Singapore Law on Trust Fund and Society Act and will focus on funding projects in the ASEAN region. Part of the allocated funds will be used to donate to charity projects and philanthropic funds in the region as well.
In summary, MAS will be used to pay for premium services, to follow top traders and their trading ideas, to pay out top performing traders and to contribute to promising ICO's and startups, all of which provides clear token value and will reduce token supply over time. If that wasn't enough, MAS holders are also able to vote on new features for the platform and Midas has plans to buy back and burns tokens periodically in order to limit supply. <24>
Midas ICO and Pioneer sale
There will be a total supply of 500M MAS with 25% kept by the core founders and team, and a further 25% used for operations, marketing and advisors. Tokens kept by the team will be vested as follows:
10% released after 6 months;
20% released after 1 year;
20% released after 2 years;
20% released after 3 years;
20% released after 4 years; and
10% released after 5 years.
The long-term distribution of these tokens should incentivize the team to continually develop and improve upon the platform.
The remaining 50% of MAS will be available via token sales in two rounds. The plan is for half of these to be available in the Midas Pioneer sale, which will officially begin on May 25th and run until June 10th, though it's looking as though a larger portion may be sold due to high demand. During the Pioneer sale, MAS will be offered at a rate of 13,500 MAS per ETH with a max cap of 10 ETH for individual pioneer contributors and a max cap of 2000 ETH from private pioneer contributors. Bonuses above the 10,000 MAS crowdsale rate will be locked until 3 months after the completion of the ICO. In addition to the bonus rate, Midas will also be offering a number of early adopter incentives to Pioneer sale participants including the ability to submit projects to the Midas Foundation. Additionally, Pioneers will also receive a Pioneer badge on their profiles which entitles them to a lifetime 20% discount on all premium features. <26> Lastly, the team has said that Pioneers will be the first users to gain access to test early versions of the platform. <27>
The crowdsale will take place from July 1st until July 15th and as mentioned above, even though 25% of MAS supply was planned to be available for this, demand for the pioneer sale may change that. For now, the team have stated that if the pioneer sale receives overwhelming demand they will reserve a minimum of 5M MAS for the public crowdsale at a rate of 10,000 MAS per ETH.
The team have put together a great early adopter incentive package so if you're interested in the platform it's definitely worth getting involved in the Pioneer sale. The standard bonus rate is 35% though the pioneer sale offers a 50% MAS bonus, 15% above what you'd receive otherwise, plus early access to contribute.
Above is Midas Protocol's high level roadmap. Although there's no working product at this time, if the team can adhere to their roadmap timelines, it's not far off. Alpha launch is expected in Q3 2018 while the Beta and mainnet should roll out in Q4 2018/Q1 2019.
In terms of marketing, Midas plans to leverage their integration with Kyber Network to acquire an initial user base and will introduce in-app rewards to encourage users to sign up for the platform. These rewards will be in the form of non-transferable MAS and can be earned both by referring new users and by new users activating accounts. The team also will coordinate further marketing activities around key launch dates.
Every ICO investor always wants to know about exchange listings. There's no guarantees in the ICO market and teams are generally under strict NDA policies, however the CEO is confident about future exchange listings:
Midas is backed by Regulus Investment and Capital Holdings (RICH), a private fund and ICO consultancy service provider. RICH is a founding member of GITA (Global ICO Transparency Alliance) where they work hand in hand with many exchange to help clean up the ICO scene. That relationship will help [reduce] the cost of being listed on exchanges. <29>
This comment from the CEO certainly gives me confidence about the likelihood of exchange listings after the ICO and those associations should open up future exchange integrations within Midas Protocol as well.
The Midas Protocol team is largely based in Vietnam and Singapore and boasts extensive blockchain experience, with many of the core team members having played a leading role in existing cryptocurrency projects including TomoChain, Kyber Network, ZCoin and NEM.
Dr. David Nguyen Vu, chairman and CFO, has been the chairman of Regulus Investment and Capital Holdings for 5 years, is the president of the blockchain intelligence group TokenViet.io, is the president of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce in Singapore and has acted as an advisor for several ICO's including bigbom, suchapp and kambria.
Minh Chu, CEO, was the cloud chief architect at VCCORP for 9 years before leaving to co-found TomoChain, a successful blockchain project that recently completed their ICO. When asked why he decided to pursue the Midas Protocol project, his response was as follows:
Midas protocol is my brain-child project that I cherish for a long time. I want to create a top-of-its-class platform for traders/investors, which in turn would help [bring] the decentralization ideals closer to reality and more mainstream. Users will keep their cryptos in their wallet, not in CEX's. To do that, they must have a much better system that allows them to trade/exchange/manage cryptos in a much [more] efficient and hassle-free way. <30>
Ngoc Nguyen, CTO, has extensive experience as a programmer and is a core developer for Zcoin. He also led the development of the 2nd most popular web browser in Vietnam, Cốc Cốc.
The remaining core team members, Phillip Phung (CMO) and Long Phan (COO) bring a wealth of professional experience to the table.
Lastly, the advisors on this project are great and bring experience from working cryptocurrency initiatives. Victor Tran is the lead engineer and co-founder of Kyber Network and Long Vuong is the CEO and project lead for TomoChain and former project lead for NEM. Thuc Vu is an AI and algorithms expert currently leading Kambria, a decentralized AI and robotics platform. Giang Trinh and Nguyen Pham both hold executive positions in investment firms.
I really like the proven blockchain experience this team has, with most core members having played a major role in one or more established projects. This gives me confidence that the team will be able to pull this project off as well.
What sets Midas Protocol apart
All in one cryptocurrency platform that promises to deliver far more within one experience than any competitor;
Platform design is intuitive and should appeal to new investors while advanced trading features will appeal to experienced traders;
Automated technical analysis inputs;
Access to multiple exchanges should provide liquidity and access to the best prices;
Social trading will appeal to experienced traders as a revenue source and will appeal to new investors who want to copy proven performers;
Social trading aspect is verified based on blockchain data;
Clear use case and demonstrable value of the MAS token within the platform;
Additional token value dervied from funding initiatives via the Midas Foundation;
Relationships with exchanges and the ICO space thanks to backing by RICH;
The team have strong backgrounds and have played pivotal roles in other projects;
Automatic portfolio rebalancing and advanced order types;
Some proceeds given to charity initiatitives;
Team tokens are vested long-term;
Strong early adopter package;
Initial marketing plans in place; and
Initial launch is not far off if roadmap is adhered to.
Concerns about Midas Protocol
As with similiar multi-exchange concepts, I have my hesitations about network lag and multiple systems communicating until I'm proven otherwise;
Unclear how the team will handle the KYC/AML elements required by CEX's and whether this process can happen via the platform itself or whether it will have to happen externally on the exchanges;
No working product, though it's rare finding an ICO with one these days;
Indicator-based technical analysis should be straightforward to implement but I'm uncertain how effective pattern identification will prove to be;
Lack of staking is a disappointment though I certainly can't hold it against the team;
Limited following and hype at this stage, but the pioneer sale has not even started yet and their following is growing quickly; and
Main plan for initial adoption places a lot of hope on the Kyber Network community.
There are a lot of competitors that offer features similiar to Midas Protocol. However, very few, if any, offer a complete package as comprehensive as Midas.
Blockport is another platform which offers both social trading and cross-exchange trading and has a number of similiarities to Midas. Both are great projects and I have personally participated in each, however there are some key differences. Blockport's initial focus is in Europe while Midas is focusing on ASEAN countries. Midas offers more advanced portfolio features as well as more order types and a grander vision of AI-powered technical analysis. I would also argue that Midas has a stronger token use case. Ultimately, I like both and someday they could work together but if I had to pick one I'm backing Midas due to the differences described above and greater confidence in the team behind the platform.
Abra is a multi-currency wallet and portfolio with the ability to exchange cryptocurrencies and fund via fiat currencies. However, Midas simply outdoes them in terms of features including portfolio rebalancing, advanced order types, multi-exchange integration and automated technical analysis and news. Similiarly, Bread Wallet is a strong multi-currency wallet but does not offer much functionality beyond that.
Ethos is another universal wallet with built-in portfolio, rich performance data and coin insights. Ethos also plans to allow users to established a ColdWallet which will be kept offline and is a strong security offering that Midas does not have, in addition to biometric unlocking and verified wallet domains. Overall, Ethos has a strong product offering particularly in regards to security, however it does not offer trade analysis, social trading or portfolio rebalancing so it still needs to be complemented by other platforms.
Taylor is an automated trading and trading signals platform which offers advanced trading strategies similiar to Midas. However, it's sole focus is around trading and it does not offer fund storage, portfolio monitoring, social trading or any of the other features available on Midas.
Ultimately, Midas Protocol offers a comprehensive platform that brings together a suite of features you'd need several different platforms to cover. It's like Blockport, Abra and Taylor all wrapped up into one user friendly platform, with some additional features to boot.
Firstly, I'd like to thank the Midas Protocol team for making themselves available to answer my many questions and allowing me to quote them in this article.
I believe Midas Protocol is a comprehensive all-in-one cryptocurrency platform which will appeal to new investors and experienced traders alike. The simplicity of the multi-currency, exchange-integrated platform in combination with a central, tailored newsfeed and the ability to copy trading ideas from top traders will go a long way to attracting new investors to the cryptocurrency space. Meanwhile, advanced order types, portfolio rebalancing and the ability to profit from sharing performance data will attract even hardcore cryptocurrency investors. I have plenty of concerns over how all the different services and exchanges are going to interact but the team has already delivered many successful projects, and they believe in themselves, which makes me believe in them as well. When asked what makes them think they can deliver such a comprehensive platform they responded:
Our team and advisors are very experienced in building successful mass-consumer product as well as large-scale complex system[s]. We also have close relationship with many exchanges, e-commerce platforms and relevant authorities. With that, we are confident of our ability and capability to solve the puzzles and push things forward. <31>
I really like Midas Protocol as a long term bet due to the extensive features offered which could see it become an all-in-one platform with large scale adoption.
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References and Notes
<1> Quoted from page 2 of the Midas Protocol whitepaper
<2> Based on ETH price at time of writing - target goal is 20,000 ETH
<3> Price, market cap, supply and logo are taken from midasprotocol.io. All social stats taken directly from social media pages
<4> Image taken from page 6 of the Midas Protocol whitepaper
<5> Adapted from page 9 of the Midas Protocol whitepaper
<6> Adapted from conversation with Minh Chu, CEO of Midas Protocol
<7> Quoted from conversation with Minh Chu, CEO of Midas Protocol
<8> Image taken from midasprotocol.io
<9> Adapted from conversation with Minh Chu, CEO of Midas Protocol
<10> Adapted from conversation with Minh Chu, CEO of Midas Protocol
<11> Adapted from conversation with Minh Chu, CEO of Midas Protocol
<12> Image taken from midasprotocol.io
<13> Adapted from conversation with Minh Chu, CEO of Midas Protocol
<14> Information taken from pages 9-11 of the Midas Protocol whitepaper
<15> Image taken from page 8 of the Midas Protocol whitepaper
<16> Adapted from conversation with Minh Chu, CEO of Midas Protocol
<17> Adapted from conversation with Minh Chu, CEO of Midas Protocol
<18> Adapted from conversation with Minh Chu, CEO of Midas Protocol
<19> Image taken from midasprotocol.io
<20> Image taken from midasprotocol.io
<21> Information taken from pages 20-21 of the Midas Protocol whitepaper
<22> As per conversation with Phillip Phung, CMO of Midas Protocol
<23> Adapted from page 19 of the Midas Protocol whitepaper
<24> As per conversation with Minh Chu, CEO of Midas Protocol
<25> Image taken from midasprotocol.io
<26> Information taken from page 20 of the Midas Protocol whitepaper
<27> Adapted from conversation with Dr. David Nguyen, Chairman and CFO of Midas Protocol
<28> Image taken from midasprotocol.io
<29> Quoted from conversation with Minh Chu, CEO of Midas Protocol
<30> Quoted from conversation with Minh Chu, CEO of Midas Protocol
<31> Quoted from conversation with Minh Chu, CEO of Midas Protocol
All other information is either adapted from the whitepaper and other research or is personal opinion.
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