What inspired Icecat to launch a coin?
The Icecat team sees a great business opportunity for the ICURY and related Distributed Ledger Tech (DLT). It’s unique for a product content syndicator. Icecat has a unique and dominant position in this market, is already active as a provider of secure databases, and believes that the ICURY has great and global potential for its e-commerce ecosystem.
How can I get ICURY?
Please, note that currently the ICURY team will only consider applications for more than 100K Euro or Icecat ecosystem users.
Why is Icecat applying DLT/blockchain tech in its ecosystem?
Icecat already contains four (distributed) ledgers, i.e. append-only secure databases in its environment:
- Product Ledger: its append-only records of unique product data-sheets.
- Editor Ledger (or Editor Journal): its append-only records of changes to the contents of product data-sheets
- Taxonomy Ledger (or Log): its append-only records of changes of the Icecat taxonomy, i.e., the data definitions (categorization, specs, spec types, spec groups, brand names, units, category-spec relations, etc).
- Statistical Ledger: Icecat records on user/product-level product data-sheet downloads. This ledger is critical for brand clients.
ICURY transactions are currently based on ERC20 and stored in the etherium blockchain. At the moment that value transactions are based on these ledgers, it’s logical that state-of-the-art Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is used to handle secure (peer-to-peer) value transactions.
Further, there are a number of application areas in Icecat that are useful for storing other types of database transactions using DLT to avoid tampering with data:
- Proof Of Quality (POQ): the acceptance of a new or update of product data-sheet as posted using POQ algorithms. The POQ algorithm leads to a score between 0 and 100%, where a score of 50% of higher implies that a minimal quality level is reached upon which the Icecat syndication network can accept the data-sheet. The results of POQ need to be securely stored as a reference to the ecosystem and its community.
- EDI transactions: in the ecosystem, Icecat is supporting Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) between suppliers and resellers, i.e., exchange of price and availability information, electronic ordering, and order status updates. This is also a typical domain in which DLT is useful as these business-to-business transactions need to be recorded in a secure database that is untamperable.
There are a few reasons why existing mainstream (public) blockchain technologies such as bitcoin or ethereum might not be meeting the requirements of Icecat: the low efficiency, the lack of transaction speed of a few transactions per second (tps) instead of millions of tps, the environmental cost of POW, and the so-called forking problem, to name the main ones.
For its own purposes, Icecat will have to make use and develop DLT that fits its needs for decentralization and its requirements for speed and efficiency. It’s unavoidable that Icecat will continue to deploy its own DLT platform applications for its own very specific purposes. The DLT applications, such as Proof Of Quality software nodes, are currently being created by the Icecat development team. Over time, more and more blockchain applications will be created in-house.
What’s the competitive advantage of ICURY?
Icecat’s main competitors in the sphere of product content are CBS/Cnet, Gfk/Etilize and Nielsen/Brandbank. Currently, none of our main competitors investigate, invest or apply DLT/blockchain or introduce a utility token. Icecat is also unique in its open content and open source approach in the market. (The blockchain community actually also is mainly an open source community, sharing software sources freely). The open content approach already led to Icecat being market leader in terms of global use of its database.
If Icecat succeeds in applying the ICURY in the POQ and other processes, this would greatly accelerate the production of high-quality product data-sheets through the Icecat network. The announcement of the ICURY already triggered partners in its competitive space, to discuss how they could post high-quality product data-sheets to Icecat’s global community using the POQ software.
What will be the value development of the ICURY?
We’ll see. Icecat entered a phase of internal pilots with the ICURY, which will organically be expanded to its ecosystem partners. To determine interesting use cases in addition to simple transactions, and store of value.
Of course, the growth in value from its initial value depends on many factors of which many are not under the control of Icecat or the ICURY team.
In general, it’s in the interest of investors in the ICURY that the value will develop positively, at least not drop below purchase value. At the other hand, it’s in the interest of stakeholders in the ICURY ecosystem that the value will become stable, the moment that it’s used for transactions.
Are pre-sale bonuses stimulating long-term or short-term profit focus?
We adopted an investor’s suggestion, based on conversation, to lock-up bonus tokens as well, to stimulate a long-term profit focus of ICURY buyers.
How much does Icecat intend to raise with its token offering?
The primary objective of token offering is to get a token with sufficient ownership among Icecat’s ecosystem stakeholders that the ICURY is sufficiently accepted and has potential for trade on exchanges of choice, and it gets a daily market price (liquidity). Icecat is anyway deploying the resources to invest in the continued development of the ICURY and related distributed applications.
Currently, there is in the Netherlands still no regulation for token sales, as long as the tokens are not defined as money or other financial instruments. Anticipating regulation in the future, also in The Netherlands and Europe by extension, we might decide to limit the issuance window to below the 5 million euro “prospectus” threshold that currently applies for issuing securities in The Netherlands.
When is the White Paper finalized?
The components are already there: the Position Paper (tech white paper), the Light Paper (summary of main token terms), the ICURY Terms of Token Sale, this FAQ, the Prospectus Icecat (related to its listing) and other business documents, and several press announcements.
We will only release a White Paper, the moment we have reached a sufficient number of technical milestones to underpin the viability of ICURY, and sufficient interest through whitelist registrations.
What are the ICURY milestones and how will these be reported?
The milestones are in the Light Paper, further discussed in the Position Paper, and will be elaborated further in subsequent position papers. We communicate updates through our icury.com site, through Telegram and newsletters.
On what exchanges will the ICURY be traded and what is the importance of listing for ICURY?
For price forming and trade it’s critical that ICURY will be listed. Price forming and trade (liquidity) is important to underpin the value perception of the ICURY to motivate content providers to join this initiative and feed product content through the POQ process to the Icecat network.
Icecat is an established business and many exchanges are interested in having Icecat on board. At the same time, Icecat wants to take care that we don’t list at exchanges in high risk countries or with shady reputations or security issues.
Icecat has already a concrete proposal to be listed on a new, European exchange, that is focused on high security and conformity to expected Know Your Customer (KYC) regulation. At the same time, the ICURY team recognizes the need and expectation of the crypto market to have the token listed at a mainstream exchange. Icecat will negotiate and select an exchange that is believed to provide ICURY holders with great security, reliability and tradeability.
What is the vision of Icecat for the use of ICURY in its ecosystem?
The main ideas are worked out in the position paper Tokenizing the Dominant Open Content Syndication Network in the E-commerce Market as updated from time to time: https://iceclog.com/icury-tokenizing-the-dominant-open-content-syndication-network-in-the-e-commerce-market/
By March 1, Icecat acquired the majority of Syndy.com, which strengthens Icecat’s ecosystem in the supermarket of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) vertical, working -among others- for Alibaba and Tencent in China. This further expands the potential use case of the ICURY.
What is the value of 1 datasheet in terms of ICURY?
At the start we will incentify every product data-sheet that passes the Proof Of Quality (POQ) test with a 100% score, with 1 ICURY. We will allow POQ “miners” over time to set their own prices so that free market principles will form the price. As long as there’s no transparent free market yet, the ICURY team will fix the price at max 1 ICURY.
What platform will be used for token distribution?
We have created ERC20-compatible (ether) tokens. Longer term, we see the ether network as too slow and expensive for the Icecat ecosystem. We’re now working on an integration of the ERC20-tokens into the Icecat front office for its users.
What is the smart contract ID?
The contract ID is 0x8903e8f101d86ea097efe104a3d53f4c42cb44bc. The contract can be seen on Etherscan, for example.
Icecat’s philosophy is to keep smart contracts as simple as possible. The more complex a smart contract, the higher the risks of unintended consequences, including security risks.
What are the DLT skills of the team?
We have a core Icecat dev team of around 20 developers, who are increasingly involved in ICURY integrations in relation to existing infrastructure. Icecat works with external consultants regarding DLT specialisms or services that we don’t source internally (yet). A simple smart contract is created internally. The Proof Of Quality application is developed internally.
What does Buy Back mean regarding the proceeds distribution?
It means that Icecat will take care that proceeds, in case of an ICO, will be reserved to buy back ICURY, the moment that the fund manager has the opinion that there’s oversupply or that there are other circumstances in the ICURY ecosystem that require back back. This will require a human decision by the board of the issuer (Icecat). Buy back is intended to be handled through an exchange and will be transparently communicated. It might or might not be optimal to use a smart contract for this.
Is Icecat on ICO watch sites?
Icecat doesn’t want to be associated with the typical ICO: a team with no business and no track record. Many current ICO benchmarks are too often far from independent and are biased.
For that reasons, Icecat has first focused on general PR, and announcements in its community and some crypto events. Although Icecat has not launched its ICO yet, Icecat has nevertheless registered for a number of ICO watch lists, but Icecat will not pay for such listing as some sites require. Secondly, Icecat will step by step expand its PR, media reach and continue to present the ICURY on relevant conferences and shows, and in conversations with its key business clients.
When will sale dates be announced?
We only allow whitelist registrations, currently. With serious investors (100K+ eur), we’ll enter in conversations. Currently, we primarily focus on our own Icecat community and our reach through PR, conferences and our own network. During this period, we are taking care of including feedback in our documentation, improving the website(s), finalizing exchange listing negotiations and checks, running technical pilots, and all the other aspects that will make the ICURY a success. As an established business, we want to do everything right. We’re in it for the lang-haul.
Apart from press releases, we hardly see social conversations about ICURY in crypto communities. Why?
We don’t want to be associated with the typical ICO, as these are too often construed as a scam, or just a lightweight team without any substance.
We made indeed press announcements. Got a lot of requests and responses, and because of this we are now speeding up all efforts to introduce the ICURY and its associated DLT solutions.
We are an established global business, with a big and professional e-commerce community. First of all, we are communicating the ICURY and related developments within our own, existing community of 70,000+ Icecat users. Responses are positive. Our community trusts us as a reliable and professional global service provider, which has a deep understanding of e-commerce challenges and technologies. Second, we are selective regarding social media. We use existing Twitter (~6,500 followers) and LinkedIn (~13,000 connects) handles, our existing icury.com blog and business Skype network, and have started for new investor interaction the Telegram t.me/icurycoin group. We have already a vivid developer community in Icecat’s ecosystem as can be witnessed on GitHub.
In the current phase, we receive already sufficient interest, registrations and commitments to make sure that we can meet our ICURY objectives. That’s very encouraging as we mainly did PR thus far.
The further we progress in the ICURY roll-out, the further we step up our marketing efforts. We’re used to build successes with our community, step by step, over the years.
Are sponsors (brands) and other clients of Icecat also investing in ICURY or making use of the ICURY?
ICURY and the Icecat DLT solutions are and will be part of our standard services. The ICURY will initially be used to resolve micropayment issues, which can be settled against periodically charging an Icecat account (or wallet) with ICURY. We’ll make the ICURY a natural part of our technical service infrastructure. An easy and logical mechanism for settling accounts.
There are initiatives and ideas to use the infrastructure as a loyalty application as well, which can generate a trove of market intelligence (but still respecting individual privacy). Our experience is that when we develop solutions that make sense, clients are inspired to work with us on new project ideas, not yet anticipated.
How do regulators see the ICURY?
According to Dutch law and regulation, ICURY is currently not a security, financial instrument or money, that is to be regulated by AFM (Authority Financial Markets) or DNB (Dutch central bank). We have discussed the ICURY concept with the respective authorities. The opinion is that our offering documentation is currently not subject to AFM or DNB approval. Nevertheless, regulation might change in the future and we keep authorities informed as Icecat is a listed company, and we want to provide authorities the opportunity to share their opinions in advance with us. That is appreciated by authorities. As there’s convergence within the EU, the opinion of most regulators within the EU will be progressing quite similar.
In the US and Canada, ICURY is highly likely to be seen as a security the moment that it becomes tradable. That’s why we don’t offer ICURY to US and Canadian residents, unless they are so-called “accredited investors”. In China and Vietnam, ICOs are forbidden. So we don’t offer tokens there. Also in Singapore there are restrictions.
We’ll work with the local authorities to make sure that we can roll out the ICURY as part of our global services in any country, to mitigate the legal risks.
Should I pay in Euro (fiat) or via Ether?
Currently, we don’t require payments for ICURY yet. We will prefer wire transfer (EUR, USD) over cryptos, as this simplifies KYC (Know Your Customer) checks. Take care that token registration details match with your bank account details. If you pay by Ether, we need to perform the KYC check.
I am a USA or Canadian resident, can I join?
In the USA and Canada most tokens, and we assume also the ICURY, are seen as securities, the moment that they are “managed” AND that you can expect to make profits, e.g., by trading it on an exchange. As Icecat has not registered the ICURY with US SEC or respective Canadian authorities, only “accredited investors” can join. To join, we need to make sure your company or you yourself qualify as an “accredited investor”, and we need to perform a KYC check.
What’s the KYC check?
KYC or Know Your Customer is enforced by regulation that authorities increasingly apply to the domain of token exchanges, and thus token offerings. If a KYC check is required, please, provide our administration with your passport copy (front side plus back side). In certain cases, we also might need a proof of residency, for example by providing a utility bill on your name.
POQ checks including QA can be seen as an analogy to miners in a traditional blockchain network, how is it different?
As for the QA (quality assurance) process, currently, our editors are in charge. In the future we would like to find a way to automate, speed up and decentralize the process. Rewarding POQ (Proof Of Quality) results with ICURY is something we’re piloting. POW (Proof Of Work), as standard for bitcoin and siblings, is extremely (energy-)inefficient and expensive as servers are wasting time on increasingly hard cryptographic puzzles. POS (Proof Of Stake), as Hyperledger applies, is more efficient. But, still not efficient enough for Icecat as we need to facilitate big catalog imports, which might require millions of transactions per second to be handled at a very low cost. Hence the POQ blockchain application development. Our existing and documented APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) can already handle such numbers of database transactions per second. For rewarding ICURY, we pilot coin transaction infrastructure that can keep up with this speed requirements and provides untemperable DLT.
Why denominate ICURY in Euro?
As we’re an European based company that is publicly listed in The Netherlands, we feel that it’s more appropriate to use the euro as denomination instead of USD. We position the ICURY as a next generation coin, a 2.0 coin, issued by an established company with long-term objectives. We’re currently providing services that are priced in EUR, even if they are paid in USD, GBP or CAD by business clients. It makes therefore more sense to denominate the ICURY in EUR, then in any other currency including mainstream cryptos.
An additional concern is that the value of cryptos is too volatile to be pegged against, and that the intrinsic value of cryptos is subject to fierce debate.
Why are you not publishing your consultants and advisors in your documentation?
In the classic world of IPOs (Initial Public Offerings or “beursgang” in Dutch), it’s not done to present advisors as a selling point or endorser. In the USA, authorities have warned celebrities not to endorse ICOs. We believe it’s a malpractice to promote an ICO with (celebrity) advisors. In Icecat’s case, it’s an existing business with a great reputation in its niche, and it’s existing team of more than 170 staff with vast experience in tech, e-commerce and online, that is presenting and developing ICURY and its blockchain ecosystem. We are going to make this an ever increasing success, and do this with the help – but ultimately independent – of external advisors.
Who are Ledgable/Tacxe and what is its role?
Blockchain cloud provider Ledgable is a venture (startup) of the investment group that is also the major shareholder in Icecat (Netvalue/iMerge). Ledgable is already deployed in a number of client projects as a high-speed, secure blockchain-infrastructure, and is also used as the blockchain basis for a new exchange under development. The working name of this exchange was Tacxe, which has recently changed to Xscro (~ “escrow”), to indicate its focus on developing a secure and safe environment for storing and trading value (tokens). Xscro intends to trade 2.0-type tokens with intrinsic value against fiat only. Xscro is not yet launched. The concept has been shared and discussed with DNB (Dutch National Bank) and AFM (Dutch Authorities Financial Market) to secure that the exchange stays out of their crosshairs, and at the same time if KYC/AML regulation proof in case that the future regulator environment changes.
Therefore, Icecat is very closely monitoring the progress in the technical development of Xscro, as this is potentially a great opportunity for listing the ICURY from the start, and supporting f.e., ICURY/EUR and ICURY/USD trade or conversions.