Written by Zach Quezada

VP of Business Development — ICOAlert
March 27 2018

Auctus (AUC) — ICO Alert Report

Auctus (AUC) — ICO Alert Report

What is Auctus?

Auctus is the world’s first blockchain based retirement planning platform, powered by Ethereum smart contracts, which allows users to create diversified portfolios, consisting of traditional asset classes and cryptocurrencies.
— Raphael Vantroost | CEO

ICO Alert Quick Facts

  1. Smart contract powered retirement plan platform
  2. 1 ETH = 2,000 AUC tokens
  3. March 27, 2018 — March 31, 2018
  4. 70,397,500 total available / 138,000,000 total supply
  5. 950+ ETH raised in Pre-ICO — Soft cap reached

Q&A with Raphael Vantroost — CEO

ICO Alert: For those who are not familiar with Auctus, can you explain what it is, and what the team aims to accomplish?

Vantroost: Auctus is the world’s first blockchain based retirement planning platform, powered by Ethereum smart contracts, which allows users to create diversified portfolios, consisting of traditional asset classes and cryptocurrencies. Auctus’ mission is to empower the retirement saver and provide the information and tools needed to make well-informed decisions, which include analytics, risk management and robo advisory.
The team aims to accomplish the goal of creating a global community-driven platform that relies on smart contracts and blockchain technology to cut all the middlemen in retirement planning. The platform connects customers to financial advisors and developers and also provides the tools and dashboards all in one place. The strategy of combining traditional equity and bond investments with cryptocurrencies is attractive to people that are already exposed to cryptocurrencies and want to lock in the profits and also traditional investors that want to feel more in control before exposing themselves to crypto assets.
The platform provides the user an aggregated view of all retirement savings, from government regulated IRA/401k plans, voluntary traditional retirement plans, as well as crypto wallets. Only by having this holistic view, well-informed decisions and a long-term professional strategy can be established.
Advantages:
Smart Contract Powered Fee Structure
Blockchain Robo and Human Advisor Tracking Record
Fee transparency
Decentralization of ownership, decision making and operational processes

ICO Alert: How does the Auctus token (AUC) function within the platform and why is it needed?

Vantroost: Auctus Platform will be exclusively accessible through the AUC token. To create an account and start saving for retirement, users will need to hold a certain amount of tokens in escrow using the platform smart contracts.
Users with AUC in escrow can access the platform and use built-in tools and standard features. Inside the platform, users can get tailored recommendations (how much to invest and asset allocation) from human and robo advisors.
In addition to being a platform currency, which enables efficient and frictionless transactions between participants, the AUC token will also be used to prevent users from paying in advance for bad services or advice: The AUC held in escrow in exchange for a particular recommendation will be gradually released to be transferred to the human advisor or developer if the returns meet the predictions, as well as the fluctuations (volatility), do not exceed tolerated levels of risk. The parameters such as vesting period and tolerance will be auditable before the purchase of the service or tool. Users can redeem the tokens in case of bad advice.
The token is needed in order to keep the platform open source and run by the community. The token is used to align the interests of all the parts involved and to incentivize users that are rewarded with AUC tokens to keep the community growing. It is very difficult for a competitor to copy the platform once the marketplace is filled with offers and people are using the token as the main exchange mechanism.

ICO Alert: It is a widely held belief that most cryptocurrency users are young and middle aged males. How are you planning on gaining traction with retirement plans specifically when the market is bare of both the female and older individual demographics?

Vantroost: In our understanding, some of the most significant barriers that prevent older people and women to join the crypto space are risk intolerance and entry barrier due to lack of technical knowledge.
To overcome these barriers, our strategy is: first, to bring a user-friendly platform that makes the access possible even for those with low technical experience with blockchain. Regarding the risk intolerance, this is one of the primary goals from Auctus: to assist on building mixed portfolios where users can, if it’s of their wish, be exposed to the valuation of crypto assets according to the level of risk they are willing to take while being also backed by the stability of more traditional assets.
In addition to the strategy described above, we are also targeting at making retirement planning more interesting and attractive to the young and middle-aged males that are currently highly exposed to cryptocurrencies. We have been following a lot of surveys and studies that show that millennials aren’t saving, as they feel disenfranchised. Cryptocurrencies are giving them hope, but retirement planning requires a more structured approach. That is where Auctus is stepping in. With the tools provided by the Auctus Platform, users can make projections and run analytic tools on the amount they are able to save, creating different simulations before making decisions to lock in their profits.

ICO Alert: What specific issues do retirement plan holders currently face when investing in a traditional retirement plan? How will Auctus solve the issues mentioned?

Vantroost: It’s common to see news from all over the world of traditional retirement plans that left their customers on loss due to a variety of reasons either do fraud or bad management. Savers have no control and no transparency to check where their money is being invested and how the economics of the fund is going, which prevents them from decision making. They are blind dependent of the fund managers. We believe that this is one of the primary reasons of why young people have lost interest on this kind of savings.
Auctus will provide a user-friendly platform to attract millennials and make them feel good about having control over their retirement savings. They will have a clear vision of where their money is and different risk acceptance people will be able to choose different portfolios, with the support of experts to assist in their decisions. Being built with smart contracts, fees will be 100% transparent and auditable.

ICO Alert: You’ve recently released your Alpha platform. Can you give us any updates on its performance? What has been the reaction from your community?

Vantroost: We are having excellent feedback from the community. Here are some quotes:
“Overall simple and smooth — looking forward to seeing more features.”
Will Harborne, Project Lead at Ethfinex
“It is an impressive first iteration of the platform. I am very excited to see what it will look like once more assets, and asset management capabilities are added,” Philippe Castonguay, formerly of 0x and an advisor to Auctus.
“It is a very simple application; intuitive, pleasant to use and it does everything it proposes. I was surprised by the usability of the system, which shows the focus and dedication of the team regarding UX” said Rafael Ferreira of Amadeus Relay, a 0x Protocol relayer built for dApps.
Also, reactions collected on Telegram were all positive and no performance issues were detected. We released the alpha 10 days ago and we currently have more than 100 active users, but we will start a gamification campaign to incentivize more people to test the platform.

ICO Alert: What are the guidelines when choosing the specific cryptocurrencies and traditional assets that will make up these retirement portfolios?

Vantroost: Users are able to create their own portfolios in a modular way, subsequently run analytics and long term-projections, as well as consulting human and robo advisory.
The platform will have built-in automated tools to evaluate the risk of the portfolio and make it clear to the user to support decision making. In order to incentivize the advisors on giving reliable advising, the payment for it will gradually be released as long as the reality meets the predictions on pre-defined milestones and the fluctuations (volatility) do not exceed tolerated levels of risk. Users will also be able to evaluate/rank the services and products offered in the marketplace, taking part on the quality control process.

ICO Alert: You state that Auctus will be a platform “for the community, by the community.” Can you go into detail on this vision? How will the community interact together on the platform?

Vantroost: One of the features of the platform is a decentralized marketplace that is
sustained/supported by the community. Token holders using the platform will be able to evaluate/rank the services and products offered on the marketplace, taking part on the quality control process.
The platform will also allow users to post, comment and vote for new ideas, such as new features to be included by the development team or new asset classes that should be included in the analytic tools.
In addition, the code is open source and the community is welcome to make pull requests on our GitHub.
Ultimately, we aspire to even organize the operations in a transparent and decentralized way, from decision making to accounting. Auctus intends to use Aragon’s platform , or a similar solution, to achieve this goal.

ICO Alert: You have a stated goal of announcing strategic partnerships in Q1 of 2018. Have you made any announcements up to this point? And in the near future?

Vantroost: The strategic partnerships started even before 2018. Since October 2017, we have been collaborating with companies from traditional markets, such as Symetrics, and with other Ethereum projects, such as Amadeus Relay.
Q1 of 2018 has been exciting in the matter of partnership and crucial from the strategic point of view for Auctus. The connections that were announced so far are:
Jan. 7 — Auctus partners with RCN Global lending
Jan. 22 — Auctus joins Melonport lead MAMA regulatory initiative
Jan. 27 — Former 0x developer relations manager, Philippe Castonguay, to join Auctus’ Advisory Board
Feb. 16 — Auctus joins the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance
March 7 — Cofound.it Partnership
March 8 — Cofound’s senior startup advisory Mitja Pirc joins as Auctus advisor
Besides that, we are in close contact with other key projects from the community, working together planning on integrating as soon as the deliveries start to come. Among these projects, we have active conversations with 0x, Aragon, Request, Melonport and others.

ICO Alert: How far along is the project today and when can contributors expect to use the platform? What does the roadmap look like for 2018?

Vantroost: So far, we are in line with our roadmap. In Q1 2018, we have closed essential partnerships, released our Alpha version on March 1st and the new version of the website on March 6th.
Our dev team is now working on the game/competition that we are about to launch to promote the platform. It will be a tournament to create the best investment portfolios using our platform. We are really excited about this competition because we expect to have the community engaged and this will help us to identify any existing bugs or problems, so we can move faster towards going to the main net. We will distribute rewards and try to make it most fun as possible to attract as many users as we can. We have also started to work on the smart contracts for the AUC token and for the token sale. In addition, we have a support team focused on keeping everything running well, both on the platform and KYC process.
After the completion of our token sale, we will have all the development team focused on adding all the analytics and advisory tools to the platform to release the beta on mainnet on Q3. Based on the progress we have made in this first three months of 2018, we are entirely confident that we will achieve the milestones on time.

ICO Alert: As a non-Auctus question, we like to ask for unique predictions for the ICO and cryptocurrency space in the future. Where do you see both in the next 3–5 years?

Vantroost: Over the last months, we have seen a lot of regulatory changes in the ICO space, specially news about the U.S. SEC, as well as security commissions from other countries, scaling the attention over ICOs. We see this as a good thing, since it will reduce the number of scams and frauds in the space. Even though more regulation will bring some additional bureaucracy, it will open the path for a lot of institutional investments that will not come to a market with no clear regulations as it is nowadays. We believe that nowadays a lot of projects and companies are able to raise funds before releasing an alpha or beta and this will change in the next years.
Regarding cryptocurrencies in general, we see a brilliant future ahead. We strongly believe in the potential of blockchain technology disrupting a lot of different areas. The technology is still in it’s very early stage and we need more people working, researching and developing in it. In 2017, we saw Bitcoin and blockchain gaining more attention in mainstream media outlets and a lot of promising projects and initiatives arising. The mainstream media attention increased the price fluctuation and may be seem as something dangerous, but we are getting closer to seeing the blockchain projects delivering products that can be used in the traditional markets. We believe that in the next 3–5 years, part of this hype and uncertainty around blockchain and cryptocurrencies will be gone, scams and frauds will be less common, there will be clearer regulation in several jurisdictions and we will have a lot of apps and platforms being used by the general public.

Pre-ICO Information
The Pre-ICO began on October 3, 2017 and ended on October 6, 2017. There are a total of 2,397,500 Auctus tokens (AUC) available during the Pre-ICO, representing 2% of the total AUC supply. A soft cap of $3,000,000 was set for this period.

1 ETH = 2,500 AUC token

ICO Information
The main ICO will begin on March 27, 2018 and will end on March 31, 2018. Mandatory whitelist registration is required before contributing during this period. There are a total of 68,000,000 Auctus tokens (AUC) available during the main ICO, representing 50% of the total AUC supply. A hard cap of $20,000,000 is set for this period.

1 ETH = 2,000 AUC token

Current accepted currencies for Auctus include ETH.

Token Information
There are a total 70,397,500 AUC tokens being created, with 138,000,000 available during the entire ICO period.

Auctus has a running Alpha. Check it out here.

Auctus is an ERC20 token, so it’s important that contributors use ERC20 compatible wallets to send funds to the ICO smart contract, and to receive the Auctus tokens.

Contributors will have their tokens distributed shortly after the end of the ICO. Visit the Auctus website for more information and the contribution address.

Restricted Locations
Restricted locations include the U.S., China, Singapore and Kuwait.

How to Contribute
Visit https://auctus.org/tokensale/

Complete KYC at https://kyc.auctus.org/home

Allocation

Use of ICO Proceeds

Roadmap

Team

Social Media

View the Auctus website here.

View the only comprehensive list of active and upcoming Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) here.

References

  1. Auctus Website, Auctus (2018)
    https://auctus.org/
  2. Auctus Whitepaper, Auctus (2018)

Topics: Blockchain, ICO, Cryptocurrency, Finance, Fintech