Project overview

Agora stands out as the first blockchain voting solution that is architected to meet the performance needs of a mission critical election. It allows anyone anywhere to vote online from a digital device in a fully secure, easy and certain way. Agora is composed of five technology layers: the Bulletin Board permissioned blockchain, Cotena (links the Bulletin Board and supporting cryptographic proofs to the Bitcoin blockchain), the Bitcoin blockchain, the Valeda network (a global decentralized network of trustless nodes that validate election results on the Bulletin Board) and Votapp (application layer of Agora). These layers communicate with each other at various instances throughout the election process to provide a cryptographically secure voting environment with auditable proofs.

agora plan

Token model

VOTE is the native token of the Agora ecosystem. It incentivizes citizens and selected organizations to contribute to a secure and transparent election process by acting as authenticators of elections worldwide. Agora is a global community of node operators maintaining a verifiable blockchain network which ensures a tamper-proof and 100% verifiable election process. It consists of two types of node operators:

1. Consensus Nodes
Selected politically neutral third-party organizations processing transactions and providing consensus on Agora’s blockchain

2. Citizen Auditor Nodes
Individuals who choose to enter a dedicated contract with Agora to verify the election process by auditing the consensus mechanism

 

Each time Agora enters a contract with a government or private organization that intends to run an election, a portion of the cash inflow is allocated to purchase the required Election Reserved Tokens. At the end of the election period, Agora pays the node operators with the purchased VOTE tokens for their processing and verification work.

 

Whitepaper

The Agora whitepaper is very detailed. It covers clearly the different layers of their architecture and how they interact with one another. It also explains the voting process and the role of the different actors on the platform. Additionally, the token model is also well defined. On the other hand, the whitepaper is lacking some critical information like the go to market strategy, the roadmap and the team members.

 

Team

Leonardo Gammar – CEO
Leonardo is a financial engineer, a pilot and a programmer. He received his first award at the age of 8 by President Chirac and patented his first invention at the age of 20, a CO2 emissions reducer for cars now widely used in West Africa. Afterwards, Leonardo built, ran and sold two profitable trading algorithms to one of the world’s top 15 largest hedge funds. He has since personally run a venture capital and algorithmic trading investment fund, Lae.vc and Lae.fund. Leonardo then began investing in academic research on new types of blockchain consensus models, developing mission driven projects which led to the birth of Agora and using this knowledge to offer blockchain consulting services through Lae Technologies Ltd. Leonardo studied Mechanical Engineering BSc and Financial Engineering MSc at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL).

 

Boris Kaplounovski – CTO
Boris started his career in JavaCard team at Sun Microsystems, working on the implementation of an app store for J2ME applications. Afterwards he joined Intel to create open source implementation of Java, which was later integrated in Apache Harmony. Boris then took part in the Intel XML Gateway project, a software solution for accelerating, orchestrating and securing applications based on service-oriented architecture, working on BPEL compiler, cryptography and interoperability testing. After 7 year at Intel as a lead software engineer, Boris decided to switch technology stack and apply his competence to e-commerce.

 

He joined AviaSales as CTO and 9th employee, organizing a highly effective development process and helping the startup to become N°1 online seller of airfares in Eastern Europe.

 

Khadija Masri – CSO & Head of Business Development North Africa
Her Excellency Miss Khadija Masri has been a career diplomat for more than 30 years. She is a former ambassador of the Republic of Tunisia in Sweden, former ambassador of the African Union at the United Nations in Geneva and former Head of Partnership department at the African Union, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She has been a member of the African Women Leader’s Network, in New York, since 2017.

 

Igor Novogran – Head of Back-End Team
Igor is a research engineer, a cryptographer and a programmer. He developed high practical skills in cryptography during the 5 years he spent working at the Committee for State Security of Belarus. He later joined the R&D center of SK Hynix where he designed algorithms which are going to be used in the next generation of storage devices. He was also involved in the development of a blockchain-based poker application and protocol (totalpoker.io). Igor studied Applied Mathematics and Cryptography at the Institute of Cryptography, Telecommunications and Computer Science (IKSI) in Moscow.

Agora Roadmap

Agora RoadmapICO terms

The token sale starts in October (no exact date).

 

Ticker: VOTE

Token type: ERC20

ICO Token Price: 1 VOTE = 0.0510 USD

Hardcap: 20,000,000$
Presale: 17,500,000$

Total Tokens: 1,000,000,000 VOTE

Available for Token Sale: 50%
Min/Max Personal Cap: 1 ETH/ TBA

Accepts: ETH

 

Agora is doing an airdrop in collaboration with Airdropalert.com to build a community and distribute their tokens to a wide network. The cap is 15,000 participants over two phases. Each person will receive approx. 87 VOTE tokens (~$8) and approx. 22 VOTE tokens (~$2) per friend they refer.

Token Distribution

agora token

 

Use of Proceeds

funds

 

Community hype

Telegram: 17,720 members

Twitter: 12,857 followers

Reddit: 9,016 subscribers

 

Strengths

  • The Agora team is excellent at marketing and have been covered in TechCrunch, Business Insider and World Economic Forum.
  • Agora allows anyone to vote from their mobile, without having to go to the physical voting location

 

Red flags

  • The fact that the demand for VOTE tokens is dependent on governments buying them means that it is entirely dependent on Agora getting contracts.
  • Agora were being very misleading when they say that the Sierra Leone presidential election of 2018 used their services. They have since rectified this information.
  • The amount of tokens governments are required to buy is quite low (1M$ worth of VOTE for a 50M+ people election). This means that unless Agora is used for a multitude of big elections every year, the demand for its token will stay very low.

 

Ratings

Team: 8.7/10

The Agora team is solid. They are very experienced in software development, blockchain technology and diplomacy. They also have an impressive PR team, which is necessary if they want governments to use them for their elections.

 

Token Model: 5.25/10

The token model is quite weak. Indeed, the VOTE token is only used to pay nodes who verify transactions during the election process. There are very few incentives to hold VOTE long term.

 

Token Distribution: 8.5/10

The token distribution is excellent. The team members and advisors have a 3-year vesting cliff which ensures that they will not dump all their tokens after the ICO is completed. Also, a substantial amount of tokens is given away in “null elections” which will help kickstart the validator ecosystem.

 

State of the Project: 4.3/10

Agora is still far from completing their voting app (Q4 2019) and their roadmap is quite vague and doesn’t include technical updates or go beyond the app release.

 

Market: 3.2/10

Even though the election process could definitely benefit from blockchain technology, it is a market that is very stagnant and without any significant growth potential.

 

ICON score: 6/10

 

Conclusion

At Icon Partners, we consider Agora to be an interesting project that shows a different potential use case for blockchain technology than just transferring money. Their team is impressive and have the reach and connections to make this project grow. However, most governments are still on the fence about blockchain and convincing them to rely on it for their elections will be a challenge. Their token model is also lackluster and unless Agora becomes the standard for elections worldwide, the value of the VOTE token will keep being pushed down.

 

We encourage you to do your own research and come to your own conclusions when investing in an ICO. All the information in this review are either facts or ICON Partners’ opinions and should not be used as investment advice.

 

Links

Website

Whitepaper

Telegram

Twitter

Reddit

 

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This document is intended for informational purposes only. The views expressed in this document are not, and should not be construed as, investment advice or recommendations.