This week we're taking a look at a project that you might not be so familiar with, but you should be – Ethos.
In their own words, Ethos' mission “is to make the daunting cryptocurrency market accessible to everyone, accelerate adoption of blockchain technology and democratise ownership of cryptocurrencies.”
It would seem, then, that Ethos is a company whose mission is not only admirable on the face of it, but one that fully synergises with the cryptocurrency movement too, and could be the product that finally leads to mass adoption occurring. If it can all be achieved it will be no small feat.
In this article we're going to delve into both the features and services Ethos plans to offer, as well as the people behind the company, and give our opinion on whether or not they'll really be able to, as they put it, “put the power back in the hands of the people – where it belongs.”
What is Ethos?
Ethos is a people-powered cryptocurrency platform that will offer a combination of financial services and features, all based around a universal mobile wallet that will allow people to securely invest in and store cryptocurrencies using any fiat currency they want.
More features and a 'social community' element will be added at a later date, something Ethos hopes will differentiate it from other mobile wallet projects.
Let's take a closer look at each of the main aspects of the Ethos platform.
The Universal Wallet:
The Ethos universal wallet will allow people to store their coins and tokens easily and securely. Having all your coins in one place, and being able to transfer them at any time, instantly, for free makes it an attractive and useful tool. However, there are other wallets around that do this job. So what is it that makes the Ethos wallet different, if anything?
Well, the Ethos wallet will come with state-of-the-art security in the form of smart keys. Without going into the technical details, Ethos claims this level of security is the absolute best available and should mean that anyone can store their coins in their Ethos wallet using just a single key (creating peace of mind for many, we're sure). Keeping everything in one place, rather than spread across several wallets, would be of huge benefit to anyone currently investing, or thinking about investing, in cryptocurrencies.
In addition, the Ethos liquidity network will allow anyone to deposit, withdraw, send or exchange any assets instantly, and instantly diversify your holdings to better protect against the volatility of the cryptocurrency market (and boy is that market volatile – seriously, it's not for the faint of heart).
Throw in the fact that it'll be a mobile wallet, helping you manage your assets from anywhere at any time, and everything's sounding great so far.
The universal wallet is the first part of the Ethos platform that will be released, and it'll have a fiat gateway added to it at a later date, allowing anyone to buy any cryptocurrency with their local currency (dollars, pounds, yen etc.).
That's a huge deal because right now you need to buy Bitcoin or Ethereum first, and then use that to trade for other coins and tokens. Eliminating that step means saving on time and transfer fees, and makes Altcoins (any coin or token other than Bitcoin) much easier to acquire (which should lead to a drop in Bitcoin's dominance of the market).
Sounds pretty good so far, right?
Further down the line, Ethos plan to introduce 'Ethos Social' - a community platform built alongside their Universal Wallet that will educate its users on investments and cryptocurrencies, making it easier for people to learn and participate in cryptocurrency investing. The easier it is for people to get involved, and the more they can learn about it, the better for them and for cryptocurrency as a whole.
Ethos claim that people will be able to earn rewards and points via rating systems, reviews and prediction contests. There'll even by an opportunity to become an Ethos Expert and start advising others.
This is a real USP for the Ethos platform and will help first-time investors and crypto newbies with their first steps into the world of digital currencies. Building communities (something we know a tiny bit about here at Converge) helps bring together like-minded people and provide great value to those who are a part of it.
In addition to 'Ethos Social', the team also plan to introduce 'Ethos Bedrock' at a future stage. Ethos Bedrock is, in their own words, “a sophisticated, high-performance API architecture that will power the crypto and future finance applications of tomorrow, seamlessly integrated with the ETHOS token and ecosystem – and solid as a rock.”
There's not a huge amount to comment on here, other than to say it's pretty cool they'll be sharing their tech with businesses.
Ethos is also adding a tool to its platform to help people with their taxes (something that's currently a major issue and pain point in cryptocurrency investing) and there'll likely be more tools and features added over time as well. On the face of it, this is a project with an exciting roadmap.
Long-term visions are key to the success of any business, never mind those in the crypto world, so it's great to see so much planned for the future.
Who are the big players behind Ethos?
The Ethos team comes complete with people skilled in blockchain development, software and security, marketing, compliance and strategy. However, rather than talk about everyone, we're only going to focus on a couple of the senior team here, Shingo Lavine and Stephen Corliss. Information on the rest of the team can be found here.
Shingo Lavine – Founder & CEO
Ethos is the brainchild of Shingo Lavine, its Founder and CEO. It was Shingo who wrote the original Ethos whitepaper “Democratizing Cryptocurrency” (back when the company was called Bitquence – yes, it's gone through a rebrand).
Far younger than most blockchain project Founders at only 19 years old, and still studying at Brown University, Shingo is still recognised among his peers as an expert and thought-leader in the cryptocurrency space.
Stephen Corliss – Global Strategy & Compliance
Stephen is in charge of Global Strategy and Compliance and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Ethos team having had a long and successful career at leading Wall Street firms including Blackrock, UBS, Merrill Lynch and State Street (the pun was definitely intended).
Compliance and regulation are fast becoming two of the most important aspects of any blockchain or cryptocurrency project.
Why? Because regulating cryptocurrencies is likely the only way that Governments will begin to properly accept them, at least in the short to medium term. And like it or not, in our opinion, it's something that's going to have to be accepted by the crypto community. With regulation comes support from Governments, and with that comes mass adoption.
With Ethos having someone of Stephen's calibre on board, it puts them ahead of many other cryptocurrencies when it comes to regulation and compliance. And that can only be good news for the platform.
Why could Ethos be a game-changer?
The biggest pain in crypto right now is there's no easy, secure and fast way to buy, store, trade and send cryptocurrencies. As long as that's the case, mass adoption will be very slow.
There are several exchanges you can sign up to, all offering different coins to trade. There are several wallets (online, desktop, hardware and mobile) that you can download to store your coins, none of which are compatible with all the coins and tokens you can buy. And there are currently only four coins you can buy directly with fiat currency.
Taking the above into account, you can see the issues that everyone who invests in cryptocurrency faces. And you can also see why only around 1% of the global population have gotten involved.
If Ethos can crack their wallet (initially developed for mobile) and make it easy for people to get involved in the cryptocurrency revolution, then they'll pave the way for mass adoption, introduce billions, if not trillions of dollars into the cryptocurrency space*, and take one step further to achieving their mission.
* Think about it this way – the total cryptocurrency market cap is at $515 billion at the time of writing. And that's with around 1% of the world's population involved in it. Imagine if 50% were involved and you'll have some idea just how enormous this space can be.
What is the Ethos token (ETHOS)?
The Ethos token is a utility token (Ethos call it an 'access token'), which means it isn't just a form of digital currency like Bitcoin or Litecoin, but a token that can actually be used to access the features that the Ethos platform offers.
It'll also lower costs for transactions over the Ethos platform and allow for consumer control over their funds in the Ethos universal wallet.
This means the token has a value beyond that of a currency, and therefore more substance to it – likely increasing its longevity and stability in the market.
What is the Ethos token worth?
At the time of writing, each ETHOS token is worth around $4.50. Its all-time high was around $13.
How can I buy an Ethos token?
Until the aforementioned Universal Wallet comes out (Q1 2018, by the way), the only way to get your hands on Ethos tokens is by buying Ethereum first (via Coinbase), transferring it to an exchange like Binance, and then trading the Ethereum for ETHOS (which is currently listed under the former ticker, BQX).
Yeah, we know, it's not exactly a pain-free process, and further proves just how useful the Ethos wallet will be for the cryptocurrency space.
We'll be looking at a project that consistently flirts with a position in the top 20 cryptocurrencies, and one that promises to 'Unbank the banked' – OmiseGo.
**DISCLAIMER** – Nothing written in this weekly article should be construed in any way as financial advice. Always complete thorough due diligence before you invest in anything, and never invest any more than you can afford to lose.
Last week we discussed Litecoin - check out that article by clicking below.Coinverge: Litecoin