Emotiq ICO Overview
The Emotiq ICO and EMTQ token sale are raising funds to build an accessible, user friendly blockchain protocol which maximizes both privacy and scalability. Emotiq features its own programming language for smart contracts based on natural language, called Ring. The protocol is designed specifically so users without prior coding knowledge can now read and create smart contracts.
This may sound fascinating and clever; but unless you have $100k to invest, this is where you hop off the bus. In the face of regulatory uncertainty (and like many current ICO projects) the team has been forced to cancel the public portion of their sale – they will be offering private sale investment, as detailed here.
Of course, the EMTQ tokens will eventually reach secondary exchanges, and diligent researchers will still find much in this ICO review to be of interest. We just wanted to inform our readers up-front.
Emotiq ICO Value Proposition
Emotiq propose a universally accessible protocol for creating smart contracts with the goal of igniting the next phase in the evolution of dapp development. The catalyst for making this dream a reality is through natural language smart contracts, created in a native programming language based on plain English. Non-programmers use Ring to create contracts, which are then converted into Lisp language and can be tested in the Ring VM Sandbox before being committed to the blockchain. For programmers, smart contracts on Emotiq can be written directly in Lisp.
For every blockchain protocol, scalability is paramount; yet imagine a scenario in which anyone can create a smart contract without prior programming knowledge, and the necessity becomes even more palpable. To achieve the goal of scalability, Emotiq is built on OmniLedger for high-throughput facilitated via sharding. Along with scalability, Emotiq make privacy a crucial focus, with zero-knowledge proofs employed for transactions, ensuring they do not appear on the public ledger.
The Emotiq platform consists of three primary components:
Blockchain: the chain is built on top of OmniLedger and scales horizontally through sharding. Emotiq also employs UTXO to further increase scaling capability, enabling both independent and parallel transaction processing. For the consensus mechanism, Emotiq utilizes Proof of Stake.
The Ring VM: a sandbox that enables experimentation with smart contracts for refinement through an interactive environment prior to committing them to the blockchain. The Ring VM runs smart contracts written in the native language as well as most Ethereum-based contracts.
EMTQ is the underlying token of the Emotiq blockchain and is a native token to the protocol. The primary serves primarily as a vehicle for value transaction for payments, services and resource consumption on the network. EMTQ will be distributed upon the launch of the mainnet in Q4 2018.
Emotiq ICO Team
Joel Reymont (CEO): Joel began his journey as a software developer in 1993, having worked with the likes of Merrill Lynch, Thomson Reuters, Mozilla and many others. According to his LinkedIn, he has owned his own software development business for nearly 16 years. Prior to Emotiq, Joel served for 6 months as CTO with Aeternity.
Vladimir Lebedev (VP of Engineering): Vladimir has more than 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur and technology leader in the fintech, telecom, and media industries. Standout roles throughout his career include CTO of the first Russian stock exchange after the fall of the Soviet Union and more recently, as COO of Data Storage Systems at Russian tech giant Mail.Ru Group.
Emma Cooper (COO)- According to her profile on the Emotiq website, Emma practiced corporate law before moving on to work with the US State Department on counterterrorism. The URL to her LinkedInon the Emotiq ICO website is down.
David McClain, PhD (Chief Rocket Scientist): David has 5 decades of experience in computing, 3 of which predominantly involving Lisp. Befitting his current title, David has held various senior level positions in the aerospace industry, including as Principal Scientist on the Raytheon ExoAtmospheric Kill Vehicle project. Yes, he actually destroys space missiles. His GitHub is available here.
More information on the entire 10 member team is available here.
Emotiq ICO Strengths and Opportunities
Emotiq employs solutions like OmniLedger, zero-knowledge proofs, UXTO and the Ring VM to optimize both scalability and functionality. These optimizations serve another purpose beyond just laying foundation for a large user base without programming knowledge. Without skilled developers to build out the ecosystem from an early stage, the net appeal of the project will diminish overall. Therefore, a critical piece of the puzzle for Emotiq involves onboarding developers who are more proficient in other programming languages besides Lisp.
The sheer market dominance of projects built on EVM makes any mechanism for easing developer onboarding quintessential to the future of the project. To this accord, Emotiq purportedly supports a certain level of backward compatibility with Solidity, facilitated by machine translation. Through this feature, the native virtual machine can run Ethereum contracts and therefore support Solidity-proficient developers interested in leveraging any potential advantages they find in Emotiq.
Emotiq ICO Weaknesses and Threats
Emotiq wager their bet on the assumption that a natural language layer will make smart contracts more readable and usable, thereby facilitating mass adoption. As one member of the Emotiq ICO team put it, “reading a smart contract written in Ring should be as easy as reading the newspaper.” While the idea may seem appealing at face value, a closer look reveals some potential pitfalls.
To illustrate the potential of natural language programming, the whitepaper draws a distinction between the complexity of smart contracts and legal contracts: “It is impossible to understand the behavior of current smart contracts without using a computer to evaluate them. Legal contracts, in contrast, can be easily read and understood.” From a layman’s perspective, “understanding” a legal contract is best done with expert assistance (i.e. a lawyer), as even a simple misinterpretation could spell disaster.
Correspondingly, smart contracts written in plain English are also subject to misinterpretation. As a non-programmer executing a smart contract written in Ring, I’m forced to trust my own interpretation of the language, as well as the creator of the contract. Smart contracts are only as “smart” as the people writing them, and the notion that natural language code is the key to millions of non-programmers creating and executing viable contracts is highly doubtful.
Based on social media indicators, the community support for the Emotiq ICO is at the lower end of the scale for a protocol. The long-term success of a protocol is dependent on both developers to build out the ecosystem and a support base of enthusiasts to sustain awareness and engagement, especially when taking into consideration the sheer number of competitors in the protocol sphere.
As for ecosystem growth, the whitepaper outlines tentative plans for a blockchain education and developer marketing program, though no specific date for this is set. At this stage, any strategies for growth beyond the Q4 2018 mainnet launch remain vague at best.
The Verdict on Emotiq Labs ICO
A cursory look at the Emotiq ICO reveals one of the most head-turning teams in the space, and along with it, a project that’s both novel and ambitious. Yet the the gulf between the vision and reality quickly becomes apparent upon further examination, not simply from an abstracted, conceptual standpoint, but from a close-up look at the fundamentals.