Disclosure: Smith + Crown was a compensated advisor to this project.
What is the project?
Indorse is developing a platform for crowdsourced endorsements about one’s professional background, certifications, and skills. It aims to be a decentralized professional social network similar to LinkedIn; however the Indorse platform will focus primarily on user-to-user verification of claims made in profiles. LinkedIn has become a go-to source for information about individual’s professional background. One weakness of LinkedIn as a reliable source of information is that all data on the network is self reported–there are few measures available preventing users from making false claims, or even making entirely fake profiles. While LinkedIn features an endorsement function for special skills, there is little incentive for users to make use of it and nothing preventing users from making spurious endorsements.
Indorse proposes solving these incentive problems by leveraging distributed consensus and tokenized rewards. Each claim is submitted to an odd-numbered group of users for review. Users are given the choice to indorse or flag the claim and the majority side is rewarded with a distribution of tokens. If the majority agree that a claim is likely to be true, then an “indorsed” badge is added to that user’s profile.
The business model underlying the company also resembles that of LinkedIn: i.e. the social network will generate data about people, their connections, and the crowd’s belief in the veracity of those data, and Indorse will monetize that through advertising, recruiting, and other potential services. A native Indorse Token (IND) will be the sole means of paying for services on the Indorse network. Half of all IND revenues will be distributed to users based on how many rewards points they’ve earned (more on this in the next section).
What is the token being sold?
Indorse will launch on Ethereum with an economic system composed of two ERC20 tokens and an off-chain reward points.
- Indorse (IND): An ERC20 token, IND will be the only means of buying services on the network. Advertisers and recruiters will need to acquire IND in order to run campaigns. Each month, half of all IND received as revenues are put into a smart contract that is distributed to network participants. IND will be liquid and tradable on external exchanges.
- Indorse Rewards: Indorse Rewards are off-chain points that users earn when they complete certain actions on the network. Endorsing a claim about someone–essentially voting whether it is true or false–generates one reward point for reviewers on the majority side; indorsers who vote against the majority aren’t given reward points. Each successfully verified claim a user makes about themselves generates one reward point. This acts as a positive incentive for people who are determined to make “true” claims about their skills and experience. Indorse Reward points vest over three months, after which 50 percent IND in the revenue smart contract are distributed pro rata amongst reward points holders. The remaining 50 percent will be used to fund operations of the platform.
- Indorse Score (SCR): An ERC20 token that is non-transferable and non-divisible. SCR tokens are required to post updates to profiles and to indorse or flag claims. SCR functions as a measure of reputation and represents one’s contribution over time to the network. When a user votes to indorse or flag a claim, they stake a single SCR. Making verified claims and voting with the majority when reviewing claims increases one’s score, while making rejected claims and voting against the majority reduce one’s score. The amount of SCR in a user’s account cannot drop below one. In the current version, a higher score yields a greater probability of being selected as an indorser.
The token being sold in the sale is the IND, and participants will receive a small amount of Score tokens. No more IND will be minted beyond the initial distribution. Score Tokens are minted according to actions on the platform. Rewards are off-chain and recorded with the software.
What is the project and technology status?
Indorse made their project code available on github on July 28th, 2017. The Indorse github account includes repositories for the proof of concept backend, a protocol for anonymous voting, and the pre-sale smart contracts. According to their Github, the Indorse POC will be released during the first week of August. The POC, which will likely be invite-only, will support account creation, claim-making, the anonymous ‘indorsement’ process, and reputation and rewards distribution.
According to their roadmap, a proof of concept for their platform and a third-party audit of their smart contract library will precede a limited alpha version.
The Indorse team has successfully secured the rights to the domain indorse.eth, which will be used to host the pre-sale and token sales.
Who is the team behind the project?
The Indorse team is fully transparent about their identities; almost all members and advisors have links to external profiles. Both founders have publicly acknowledged their involvement in the project.
Founder and Project lead David Moskowitz has been an dotcom entrepreneur since the late 90s, when he became an owner of iKaiwa.com, an english education media company based in Osaka. David founded Coin Republic in 2013, a Bitcoin education and media company based in Singapore. Since 2015, David has been the director of Attores Pte. Ltd., a technology company working with colleges in Singapore to place diplomas on the blockchain.
The Indorse team has an in-house development team lead by Founder and CTO Gaurang Torvekar. Gaurang has provided technical expertise on a number of projects starting in 2012 including an eBook publishing platform, a healthcare technology company, and a singapore fintech firm. In these roles, Gaurang has lead development teams as a project lead and a CTO.
Many of the other members of the development team appear to be part time or heavily involved in other projects. Few of them have publicly acknowledged their involvement in Indorse on their LinkedIn profiles.
- Smart contract developer Dave Appleton is a member of the technical staff at HelloGold and the Director of Technology at Calistra Research Labs. Dave has referenced his involvement on LinkedIn.
- Senior Developer Harsh Nene is a software engineer at Helping and the founder and Creative Director at Blimp.
- Senior Developer Kedar Vaidya is also a co-founder of Blimp.
- Designer Gauri Gadgil identifies herself as a freelance graphic designer.
Advisers and early backers
Indorse lists nine advisors including Matthew Tan, the CEO and Founder of Etherscan, Kc Chng, the CEO of DigixGlobal, Benedict Chan the Director of Engineering at BitGo, Inc. and Dushyant Bhatia the co-founder and director at Gozoop.
Coinsilium, a blockchain accelerator, invested $100,000 SGD in Indorse through a convertible loan agreement. Two members of the Coinsilium team are listed as advisors to Indorse.
|Incorporation status||Indorse Pte. Ltd. Sinapore, 2017|
|Team openness||Fully transparent|
|Blockchain Developer||Gaurang Torvekar|
|Technical White Paper||Yes|
|Available Project Code||Yes|
|Prototype||Proof of Concept code avaliable in github|
|Role of token||Sole means of payment|
|Token supply||160 million|
|Distributed in ICO||56 million|
|Emission rate||No new coins created|
|Consensus method||Proof of Work|
|Sale period||August 8th, 2017 to September 7th, 2017|
|First price||0.001 ETH|
|Investment Round||First public offering|
|Token distribution date||2 weeks after crowdsale|
|Min investment goal||15,000 ETH|
|Max investment cap||50,000 ETH|
|How are funds held||Smart contract|
|Minimal Viable Product||Q4 2017|
|Bonus schedule||No Bonus|
1. Why do we look at this? There are rare occasions when projects reference people as part of the team but those people aren’t actually affiliated in anyway. This is rare but it can be a feature of the industry. We generally try to verify if a person has clearly stated or acknowledged their involvement independent of being listed on the website (in a bio, LinkedIn, a video interview, social media announcement, etc.)