Komodo (KMD) – Hard to understand, ambitious and massive project with lots of room for improvement and need for clarity

Author: Kaloyan Roussev
Date: 9 September 2017

Do not make investment decisions based on this article – read the disclaimer before you proceed and leave the website if you disagree with it.

It is 9 September 2017 today. This review takes into consideration investing in KMD at its current price at $2.87

Komodo – the answer to the ICO legality problem?

How do I rate an investment in this project at the current price? (TL:DR)

The price went up recently because of the hype around the Stockholm announcement from Friday. Now it might be time for it to settle down for a bit, and then for whoever believes in this project will be a good time to buy before further bullish events. I would buy at around $1-1.20. I WILL buy below $0.80.

Many users complained about the lack of professionalism in the presentation here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWzYXQlw6PA and there’s a great deal of sloppiness in the entire operation behind the project – this might make up for an undervalued potential (a bargain price) but it might also be a reason for things to remain that way. Can’t make the call on this one.

Project/token summary

Update: You can read some clarifications on the project and its backstory further down in this article by their team member Jason.

Komodo is a part of something larger, called SuperNET (That’s also their slack name) – https://www.supernet.org/ and it is a rebranding of BitcoinDark (BTCD) – http://bitcoindark.com/

Komodo is yet another platform to run Dapps on, but its competitive edge comes from their innovation around decentralizing the ICO process – https://www.reddit.com/r/komodoplatform/comments/6yvy1k/fully_decentralized_ico_using_the_komodo_platform/ in an attempt to sidestep the ICO legality issue. Here is a very involved user’s take on the dICOs announcement: https://www.reddit.com/r/CryptoCurrency/comments/6z0a4t/my_take_on_the_announcement_komodo_intends_to_be/ Here is a good sentence that might sum up what Komodo is all about: “My very rudimentary understanding of this would be, as I state in the title of the post: Komodo means to become to Ethereum and NEO what Monero (and ZCash/Dash) are to Bitcoin. A private and anonymous platform, where people can freely make decisions according to their own laws, rather than those of other another country.”

They offer white-label solution for enterprises that need an own blockchain (similar to ARK)

Komodo is somewhat sloppily implemented, chaotic, well-meaning project, intertwined in the web of supernet, iguana, monaize, barterdex – it is all over the map, and it lacks good presentation skills, it requires the potential user to be very persistent in their research.

You might wanna also look into Monaize, which will be the first project running on their platform, and who are supporting Komodo financially. They are an e-banking platform for small businesses and freelancers.

Here are some important related keywords: smart-contracts in many languages, private transactions, lightning network, agama wallet, UQUID card. http://barterdex.supernet.org/ is supposed to be a decentralized exchange that allows for atomic swaps (users transfering cryptos to each other without having to send them to the exchange first) but for the life of me, I can’t find where the actual exchange is, and how to use it, if it exists, although information on it exists from a year ago (and I don’t know how Komodo relates to it – maybe if this becomes reality, Komodo will be a base currency there? Educated reader, please help me out here)*; and also from the same developer: http://jumblr.info/

* Found out later on that it is in development ATM

Agama Iguana confusion? https://www.reddit.com/r/komodoplatform/comments/60ovmg/announcement_iguana_has_been_renamed_to_agama/

BarterDex (InstaDex, EasyDex.. OMG) confusion? http://coremedia.info/blockchain-news/item/814-supernet-announces-bounties-for-barterdex-gui-development

Branding/Positioning – in the “platform for decentralized apps” market category, we already have the established leader- Ethereum, and the viable alternative (under fire) – NEO, and the now supposedly better alternative to the alternative – Komodo. And there are some other dapp platforms as well (RISE, if they deliver, district0x, to some extent). This is a tough spot. According to branding research done in the past century, the two leaders in a category more often than not, take 80%+ of the market share and the mind share (association with the utility in the consumers’ minds), so the remaining crumbs are spread across many guerilla competitors with narrower niches in the category. Seeing that Ethereum is $300+ and Neo is what – $20-30, at $2.87 Komodo might be in the right place, with a bit more to gain (after all the crypto scene is one where technical specs have a much higher power over brand perception, because most crypto investors are tech-savvy).

I think the notion of “decentralized ICO” should become their keyword, their UFC. They should focus their branding around it. It should stand out. Not the “Independent blockchain, micropayments, security, anonymity, decentralized economy” or “komodo is money, fuel, gateway” thing that I can see at every crypto website I visit.

Token utility – a reader suggested that we explain what is the actual utility and purpose of the coin for each project. Komodo tokens will be the GAS of the komodo platform and they will be used up in operations on it.

Upcoming bullish events – the release of the BarterDEX exchange

 

Website: https://komodoplatform.com/live/
Coinmarketcap: https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/komodo/
Exchange: https://bittrex.com/Market/Index?MarketName=BTC-KMD

  • Website: does it look good/presentable – looks okay. Some sloppiness here and there – although their live stream has ended, they still haven’t removed the youtube widget from their website. There is a copy/paste error in the footer and the Twitter link leads to their facebook page. The developers page is eye-hurting red. “As seen in the press” section is present but there are no articles in it.  No link to the roadmap or whitepaper, although they are to be found on the same domain via Google search.
  • Roadmap – a google search lead me to this: https://komodoplatform.com/infographics/our-vision-and-roadmap/ – I don’t know how to get to it from the main website. It is extremely uninformative although it looks pretty.
  • Whitepaper – yes, found it via Google search https://komodoplatform.com/whitepaper/ it is entirely focused on the algorithm. Nothing about the platform itself.
  • What is their progress according to the roadmap – they are working on the decentralized atomic-swap exchange BarterDEX
  • Website: Is it a quick wordpress template, a 2-hour html job or a custom design with lots of work, money and thought thrown at it – looks custom and bad.
  • What new does this cryptocurrency bring to the world, what problem does it solve, what does it stand for– enables developers with many programming languages to build decentralized apps, but most importantly at this point – DECENTRALIZED ICOs. And also – Whitelabel blockchains.
  • How does the cryptocurrency name sound (does it sound legit and like a good brand name) – reminds me of the Roman Emperor Commodus, the son of Marcus Aurelius, who wasn’t a very good emperor. There are also other things named Komodo out there. Weren’t there other available options for a better name?
  • How does the logo look – looks good, different.
  • Is it a PoW, PoS or PoW/PoS coin, what is the mining difficulty or APR, does it suffer from inflation – This is interesting – dPoW (delayed proof of work) which piggybacks on an existing bitcoin-type blockchains to utilize their work, it is said to be more efficient than PoW because it doesn’t waste electricity. Their whitepaper goes on and on about it, if you’re interested in the technical nitty-gritty. It also has a group of Notary nodes (reminiscent of the DPoS system) elected by stakeholders. Here’s all I found on inflation (from bitcointalks) “Supply starts at 100 million. Average inflation rate is 5% + mined blocks until 200 million is reached in approximately a decade or so.”
  • Who is behind the cryptocurrency – are they shady figures, or have they placed their names and pictures on the website; what is their track record and reputation; do a quick google/github research on them – couldn’t find anything, but I guess these guys here https://youtu.be/ZWzYXQlw6PA?t=1674 , might be the people behind the project, couldn’t hear their names well. Showing their faces, introducing themselves, this is enough proof for me that they aren’t shady figures (at least not too shady)
  • What is the limit on supply of coins in circulation – 200 million
  • Is there a link to the source code – https://github.com/jl777/komodo – a user had suggested that they move the source code under a more authoritative repo named after the project. It is a ZCash fork
  • When was the last commit made, and how frequent are commits– a couple of days ago. Incredibly sloppy though – all the commits are called “Test”, but looking at their contents, at least it’s real code.
  • How many developers participate in the coding – 1
  • What the project survival relies on – the Bitcoin blockchain (although their whitepaper says their dPoW operation can attach to another bitcoin-type blockchain). Legality issues – their claim to be able to sidestep the ICO legality problems, I don’t know if it will hold.
  • Will this project survive a cryptocurrency bubble burst and does/will it have enough of a following that needs it every day – I don’t think so. Only a handful of the leading cryptos will remain, and this is a rebranded copy, a fork, a me-too in the dapp space. However, if BarterDEX becomes one of the big exchanges, and Komodo is a base currency there, that might not be the case. Atomic Swaps and decentralization in exchanges is huge.
  • Competition – Ether, Neo, Rise, ARK

Exchanges and trading

  • Which exchanges (and how reputable they are) is the coin traded on – bittrex – good one!
  • Daily trading volume – $41 million!
  • Market cap – $289 million
  • Are there buy (support) or sell (resistance) walls – perfect equilibrium – can go either way.
  • How does the chart look – the rise in price was due to the announcement they did live on youtube. Could’ve went up higher but it coincided with bittrex being down and China local exchanges FUD.

Social

  • Is there a Bitcointalk forum Announcement thread – https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1605144
  • How many pages is it – 600+ (I guess it was first a BitcoinDark one, then got renamed to Komodo)
  • History of the coin according to the forum and general public impression of the coin throughoutread the first 10, last 5 and several random pages – starts out with BTCD swap for Komodo tokens conversation and bounty hunters hunting bounties. KomodoPlatform is a project member, actively participating. At page 100 they announce that they are hiring 5-6 people using the ICO funding. jl777 the developer is also there. Constructive discussions. How to use the wallet, how to participate in the ICO, how to swap coins. It seems that there’s always something brewing in Komodo world, so if that remains to be the case, there might be more reasons for the price to go up. There was a bug in March that brought the price way down, that was fixed later on. In the latest pages more and more enthusiasm is apparent. Many users being confused about the many interconnected things in the Komodo universe. People bullish on the price in the near future.
  • Do they have a blog, anything interesting on it? – they have a blog with one blog post on it https://blog.komodoplatform.com/
  • Is there a slack channel http://slackinvite.supernet.org/
  • How many members on slack – 4k+
  • General sentiment on slack – constructive discussions
  • Is there a Twitter profile for the cryptocurrency and does it post regular updates, how many followers https://twitter.com/komodoplatform/ 13k followers, very active
  • Is there a Facebook page for the cryptocurrency and does it post regular updates, how many likes https://www.facebook.com/KomodoPlatform/  – 1.4k likes, very active

Suggestions for improvement

  • Branding: pick something unique and tangible to stand for, and shy away from the buzzwords. Decentralized ICOs, atomic swap exchange and white-label blockchain solutions are good suggestions
  • Presentation: get a copy writer to revamp your content, and do all of your public communications
  • Presentation: include a massive FAQ (or even glossary) on your website explaining each associated project, renamed project, ongoing endeavors
  • Presentation: include a real roadmap about projects with quarterly deadlines
  • Presentation: don’t ever do another live video like the one on Friday. Get better clothes, better tech and hire someone to organize this if you can’t
  • Website: fix the Twitter link in the footer, remove the youtube window with the live stream
  • Website: do not interlink between supernet and komodo’s websites
  • Website: add a whitepaper link and enhance the whitepaper to go beyond the dPoW
  • Website: add a link to the forementioned foremap
  • Website: add a team section with names, photos, linkedin profiles
  • Website: get rid of the “as seen in press” section
  • Website: get rid of the blog, or be more serious about it
  • Website: change the eyesore background in the developers section
  • GitHub: move to a Komodo repository
  • Slack: rename to something to do with Komodo
  • General: once all content is branded, worded and named properly, stop renaming stuff.
  • General: stop branching off into so many directions. Finish what you’ve started, and do it good. Have a few rock-solid projects other than a handful of half-assed ventures.
  • General: Presentation does matter. All the technical persons who believe otherwise, should get out of their caves and realize that perception of quality is greatly impacted by visuals. Potential investors and masses are unable of judging the technicals of a project, so when evaluating quality, in their minds they answer to an easier substitute question – does this look good, and do they look professional and as if they know what they are doing.

Popularity and perception

  • What does a quick google search tell us about the coin – articles explaining what the platform does
  • Are there youtube videos about the coin – several mentions by youtubers
  • What is the general sentiment in the comment section below the videos (constructive, fud/hype, calling out scam etc) – nothing stands out in particular as far as videos or comments below videos go. There was a video that was supposed to explain what Komodo does, and a comment below said “Nothing became clearer” – seems clarity about Komodo is defo an issue.
  • Is the coin associated with illegal/criminal activity or the dark web – associations with Monero and “security, anonymity” lead me to the conclusion that it might be used there if it became more popular 🙁

Clarifications on the project by one of their team members himself – Jason. His username on bitcointalks forum is polycryptoblog – you can get in touch with him if you have any questions:

SuperNET is a decentralized community founded in 2014 from the NXT blockchain. Due to disagreements, lead developer jl777, who was also lead dev of the BitcoinDark blockchain, moved its community there. Development continued there until the release of Zcash project. zkSNARK providing better anonymity than the ‘Teleport’ technology that he had developed so it was decided to create a new chain based off of Zcash, thus the birth of Komodo.

Other than zkSNARK there is little similarity between Zcash and Komodo

Komodo Differences:
~60% of coins generated are generated through a UTXO based interest mechanism, decentralizing coin production.
No Founder Reward
2 layer consensus mechanism with Delayed Proof-of-Work which allows Komodo and other blockchains to leverage the security of the bitcoin network ( or any other network if Bitcoin should one day not fit the job )
Bimodal mining: Mining is split between Notary Nodes and regular miners. Notary nodes mine approximately 75% of the blocks and have a round robin-esque preferential mining treatment by mining at low difficulty while regular miners mine at a 10x difficulty. This makes its harder for an attacker to compromise the network as notary nodes are elected by the community and it is visible if there is a malicious notary.

Website:

Information is currently spread out, between supernet.org and komodoplatform.com it is in the process of being consolidated onto komodoplatorm.com and a website revamp is in the process.

Github link : https://github.com/SuperNETorg

Developers: 5 fulltime developers as well as part-time help and volunteers. Additionally have several dozen individuals working on other aspects besides code development.

Will it survive the crypto bubble burst? : We were doing this stuff before we had any funds and would still do it if we didnt have any.

Komodo/SuperNET has many projects in parallel development. I understand that this is a point of contention for investors however its much like building a car from scratch, you need to build all the pieces first before you assemble it.

Komodo thread is 600 pages on its own, Bitcoindark has its own thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=684090.0 as well as there are multiple old abandoned threads about the various projects of SuperNET on NXTforum

 

I am sure I might’ve made some mistakes in this post or in my research. Please, forgive me, if I have, and contact me to tell me where I went wrong. It takes about 4-5 hours of my time to do a full research on a cryptocurrency, and I try to do at least 4 per week.

 


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