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November 30 2017

ICO Alert Report: Bloom

ICO Alert Report: Bloom

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ICO Alert Quick Facts

  • 0.001518 Ether per 1 BLT token; 75,000,000 of 150,000,000 BLT sold
  • Decentralized credit scoring through Ethereum and IPFS.
  • ICO whitelist now available; ICO starts November 30, 2017 and ends January 1, 2018.
  • Luis from Aragon and Joe from District0x in advisory roles.
  • Over 15,000 Ether raised already and the initial live release is three months ahead of schedule

What is Bloom?

Bloom is a protocol and blockchain-powered platform for assessing credit risk through the process of identity verification as well as enabling access to credit staking. The goal of the Bloom network is to securely expose anonymized information about financial networks and historical payments so both lenders and borrowers benefit.
In layman’s terms, Bloom is a global decentralized credit scoring system available to anyone — even the unbanked and underbanked.
Bloom’s flexible ecosystem will allow users to have access to credit services which work globally and are extremely secure and transparent thanks to the blockchain’s inherent features.
Bloom aims to solve several key problems in the credit rating system by:
 — Eliminating the risk of identity theft.
 — Providing an efficient global credit scoring system.
 — Bringing efficiency and improvements to an outdated credit assessment system.
— Jesse Leimgruber, Founder

Q&A with the Bloom Founders

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

Bloom: The Bloom token allows organizations to participate in evaluating user identities and creditworthiness. It also serves as the voting token to guide the evolution of the Bloom protocol.
BLT serves four major functions for the Bloom protocol:
Protocol Voting — BLT will perform the function of a voting token and serve as a proposal mechanism for instituting changes to the BloomScore phases and algorithms. This proposal mechanism allows Bloom to maintain a credit scoring system that evolves according to the needs of its users.
Accrediting Attesters — Payment history providers and lenders will need to submit proposals to the ecosystem regarding why they are trustworthy, what their business does, and why their data should be included in the BloomScore. These organizations pay BLT as an application fee and, in turn, users who vote on their eligibility will receive a portion of that fee.
Network Currency — Identity attesters and risk assessors on the Bloom network will be able to set prices and receive payment for their services in BLT.
Invitation System — While the network is in its infancy without a wide array of attesters, it is more susceptible to attack. In order to increase the immediate resilience of the network, users will be required to put up a small amount of BLT as collateral for users who they invite.
If the Bloom Protocol didn’t have the BLT Token, then it would not be feasible to accredit data providers and identity attesters on a global scale. You need to have an element of decentralized governance in order to actually execute on the long term plan of the Bloom protocol. If there were no BLT Token, then it would be just a single legal entity or person dictating how the scoring mechanism works. With the token mechanism, other key players will be able to introduce new proposals and vote on them to help drive the future of the Bloom protocol.

ICO Alert: Describe BloomScore and what are some of the similarities, differences, and advantages it will offer over current credit scoring such as FICO?

Bloom: BloomScore is a dynamic and inclusive indicator of an individual’s likelihood to pay debts that adapts to the maturity of a user’s credit history. This score feeds in from the user’s BloomID as well as the data stored as part of the BloomIQ system.
The initial release computes a simple score based on past debt obligations and payment history. As the network grows with time, we expect to increase the sophistication of the score based on what usage best predicts outcomes. Proposed improvements will be vetted and voted on by the participants in the ecosystem in response to how real-world use of the protocol unfolds.
This means that the Bloom Score will evolve far more rapidly than legacy, highly centralized credit scoring systems.

ICO Alert: Describe BloomID and how it plans to address global identity. What are some of the problems that it will be solving?

Bloom: BloomID lets users establish a global, federated identity with independent third parties who publicly vouch for their identity information and legal status. These are some of the core elements of BloomID:
All of BloomIDs are federated: The creation of a BloomID must be tied to a real world identity.
Trusted attesters verify identities: The Bloom protocol relies on established nodes to “attest” to a user’s identity information. These verification providers are not anonymous and are the same verification providers that financial institutions and governments currently use.
Trusted attesters verify identities: The Bloom protocol relies on established nodes to “attest” to a user’s identity information. These verification providers are not anonymous and are the same verification providers that financial institutions and governments currently use.
BloomID is designed to mitigate fraud in the network:
Fake identity creation is mitigated: While a user could apply for a BloomID with fake information, it would not receive attestations. Just as a transaction without confirmations may not be valid, an ID without attestations may not be legitimate. It also isn’t a guarantee that a transaction is valid if just one or two confirmations are present. Similarly, one attesting node does not necessarily guarantee a valid ID. However, for every attestation that an identity receives, the probability of that Identity being fake drops.
The costs to attack the Bloom protocol exceed the financial gain from a loan: Each identity attestation requires payment of BLT. This means that brute forcing PII until an attestation is received would require exponential cost and would be easily detectable.
A brute forced identity will not have credit or payment data: In the event that a fraudster successfully generates a fake ID on the Bloom protocol, they would not be able to import any payment history. Payment history is pulled in from different attesters (cell phone companies, utility bill companies). This means that even in the worst case outcome of a fraudulent BloomID, the financial impact on the Bloom protocol would be minimal as this user would not qualify for any loan of financial substance.
There are many kinds of identity attestations that can be supported by BloomID. Below is a non-exhaustive list of attestation types:
1. Electronic ID Verification: Verification of an identity data by cross-checking supplied information with a multitude of public records, private records and governments from around the world.
2. Documentary Verification: Verification of an identity document, like a passport or a driver’s license, and whether the image of the person on the document matches the user submitting the scan of the document.
3. Social Verification: Verifying the identity information of users via social networks like Facebook and analyzing their friend graph to help reduce fraud.
4. Sanction Screening: Ensuring that a user is not on one of the many global sanction programs operated by various governments around the world.
5. Politically Exposed Persons: Ensuring that a user is not considered to be a politically exposed person (someone with a prominent political function who is at high risk of potential bribery or corruption involvement).

ICO Alert: Describe the current problems involved with cross-border credit scoring and how the Bloom protocol plans to solve them?

Bloom: The problem is simple, but devastating: credit histories are not portable across countries, forcing individuals to re-establish their credit track records from scratch when they relocate. The Bloom protocol starts with communities within the U.S. who are underrepresented in the credit system to hone the initial score. Internationally, we are looking at inferring different lending properties for a given person by looking at the larger overall network they seem to be a part of.
For example, as you crawl through the connected nodes on a user’s graph of peer-to-peer credit vouchers on Bloom, if a user has 25 edges/stakes, you end up visiting approximately 300,000 nodes by extending three or four nodes out. Each of these nodes will have their own reliability score, a certain peer score, a certain number of loans, different repayment characteristics, and even unique sizes of loans. At a global level, this influences what a risk evaluator can assume from your history and that risk makeup will change based on the country in which you’re currently located. This would form the basis of a more in-depth analysis that will be conducted on a market-by-market basis to help shape the score on a global level.

ICO Alert: What is BloomIQ and can you walk us through a potential use case?

Bloom: BloomIQ is a system for reporting and tracking current and historical debt obligations that are tied to a user’s BloomID and encrypted and stored on IPFS.
The primary use case of BloomIQ is to allow a user to import existing credit history to this decentralized system, reducing the need for credit-established users to build up their credit quickly.

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 the rest of 2017 and 2018?

Bloom: Development is progressing incredibly quickly. We are pleased to announce that the first four major milestones have been completed ahead of schedule. The initial live release of the platform will launch in December, three months ahead of schedule.
UI and Interface for Bloom Invitation & Voting System
Status: Complete
Original Timeline: January 2018 (Completed ahead of schedule)
Begin Working with Five Initial Lending Partners
Status: Complete
Original Timeline: March 2018 (Completed ahead of schedule)
We’ve announced a number of lending partners, including: ETHLend, Fundary, Everex, Lendoit, Self Lender. We will continue to publicly highlight partners we are working with over the next few months. We are onboarding early data providers and lending partners from now through next year.
Secure Protocol Expansion Outside of Lending
Status: Complete
Original Timeline: April 2018 (Completed ahead of schedule)
Traditional credit reports are used outside of lending for ID verification, anti-fraud, mitigation of Sybil attacks, etc. Bloom is a protocol-level solution for all dApps, not just lenders. While our initial focus is lending, we have secured our first trials for mainstream applications.
Decentralized micro-task protocol, Gems is using Bloom to prevent Sybil attacks and ensure a high quality user base.
Bloom Invitation System & Voting
Status: Complete
Timeline: Deployment will occur in mid-to-late December
Original Timeline:
April 2018 (Completed ahead of schedule)
Voting with a Bloom account
Phase 1 will allow for users to use BLT to invite their friends and colleagues to seed the initial network securely. Users with BLT will be able to vote on early development-related proposals for the future of the network.
Timeline: In progress
Bloom Token Sale
Status: Ready
Timeline: November 30, 2017, 9 a.m. PT — January 1, 2018, noon PT
Bloom is fundamentally a network. To reach its full potential, it is critical that the community is strong from the beginning. We’re building a multi-sided protocol, with lenders, borrowers, and data providers. If any of those three aren’t there, the value is eroded for everyone else. We’re creating something novel, and it’s going to impact all kinds of people from all around the world — it’s vital that many perspectives and interests are taken into account as we build out the protocol.
Tokens Become Transferrable & Usable in the Network
Status: Ready
Timeline: January 1, 2018
Following the completion of our token sale, the BLT tokens will be transferable and able to be used in our voting dApp.
BloomID: Identity Matching
Status: Currently ahead of schedule
Timeline: Q1 2018
Phase 2 will deploy an application allowing users to verify their identity and get matched with their BloomID. During this phase, users will be able to confirm identity information and connect data for BloomIQ.
Credit Staking
Status: On schedule
Timeline: Q1 2018
Peer to Peer staking modules will be built first, followed by organizational staking. We are working with a number of peer-to-peer lenders and data providers to collect the data and partners needed.
BloomScore and BloomIQ: Creditworthiness Assessment
Status: On schedule
Timeline: Q2 2018
This phase will allow users to check their score, as well as open up a developer ecosystem to lenders to check a given user’s BloomScore, providing sufficient privileges are granted from the loan recipient. BloomIQ will launch alongside this.
Lending Tests for Lender Partners
Status: On schedule
Timeline: Early Q2 2018
In early Q2, we will start doing live tests with select lenders to offer trial loans to borrowers on the Bloom network. These will not be tied to real fiat.
Live Loan Trials for Lender Partners
Status: On schedule
Timeline: Mid-late Q2 2018
We have secured initial lenders interested in processing live loans through Bloom network. We expect this to begin immediately following our lending tests in early Q2.
Bloom User App Release
Status: On schedule
Timeline: Late Q2 2018
We will release the first version of the Bloom app, enabling a easy, secure, mobile interface for network participants. This will also allow users to check their score and participate in the ecosystem even easier.
Eventually, this will expand to a fully decentralized lending ecosystem.
Lender Partnership Program Open
Status: On schedule
Timeline: Early Q3 2018
By Q3, there will be general availability for anyone to do loans. This will be a developer ecosystem for the network to accept lenders that do not necessarily need to go through approval of the Bloom team.
Bloom Credit Protocol Launch + BloomCard
Status: Preliminary work under way
Timeline: Q3 2018
Once the risk assessment and scoring protocol is complete, Bloom will launch the BloomCard. The BloomCard will serve as a brand new way for individuals to display creditworthiness and improve their BloomScore.
Democratized Autonomous Credit Infrastructure
Status: Preliminary work under way
Timeline: Q4 2018
Over time, BLT flows through the network. Lenders, data attestation providers, and borrowers will all own Bloom Network Token and their amount acquired will correlate to their influence on the network. We will make moves towards international expansion at this point, upon establishing a robust credit framework.

ICO Information
The ICO will begin on November 30, 2017 at approximately 9 a.m. PT and ends on January 1, 2018 at noon PT. These times are approximate because of the way the smart contracts handle block times. According to the Bloom website, the sale may start a few hours earlier or later. For the most up to date start time on November 30, 2017, visit the Bloom website.

There is a whitelist that can be applied for here. BLT is an ERC-20 token, so it’s important that contributors use ERC-20 compatible wallets to send funds to the ICO smart contract, and to receive the BLT tokens.

There is no individual cap on contribution and there is a minimum contribution amount of 0.001 Ether. The hard cap of the ICO is $50,000,000 and Ether is the only accepted form of contribution.

The price is 0.001518 ETH/BLT. For more information on the ICO visit this Bloom blog post.

Token Distribution Information
There are a total of 150,000,000 Bloom tokens (BLT) being created, with 75,000,000 available during the ICO. Tokens will be distributed when the ICO ends on January 1, 2018.

The allocation of the 150 million BLT tokens is as follows:

50%: ICO (75,000,000 BLT)
40%: The Bloom company (60,000,000 BLT)
10%: Community programs (15,000,000 BLT)

Use of Crowdsale Proceeds
Funds will be used primarily for the methodical orchestration of business development, user acquisition, legal, and compliance work in each of the new markets we enter. For more detail on our use of funds, please read this blog post from the team.

Team
Jesse Leimgruber, Founder
Linkedin
Jesse studied computer science at Stanford University and is an advisor to The Alchemist Accelerator, a Thiel Fellow, and a mentor at the European Innovation Academy. He’s served as a guest lecturer at Stanford University, The University of Southern California, and DePaul, among others. Prior to Bloom, Jesse founded enterprise analytics software, NeoReach. NeoReach provides analytics for Fortune 500 brands including Microsoft, Citrix, and Walmart, among others.

Alain Meier, Founder
Linkedin
Alain Meier studied computer science at Stanford University and served as a research scientist for Stanford Bitcoin Group. Founded by 21 CEO, Balaji S. Srinivasan, The Stanford Bitcoin Group is Stanford University’s blockchain research organization. Alain developed a number of open source cryptography projects including CryptoNote.me, an open-source service allowing users to send encrypted, single-view messages in seconds. Following his work at Stanford, Alain is serving as the CEO of compliance and identity verification company, Cognito (formerly BlockScore).

John Backus, Founder
Linkedin
John is a founding research scientist at Stanford Bitcoin Group and studied computer science at Stanford University. He is a Thiel Fellow and co-founder and CTO of the identity verification company, Cognito. John is an expert at identity infrastructure, previously engineering data preprocessing algorithms for large-scale entity extraction for deterministic and probabilistic record linkage. This is currently implemented into Cognito’s core identity resolution and record linkage infrastructure, now processing identity and compliance for tens of millions of cryptocurrency users globally.

Ryan Faber, Founder
Linkedin
Ryan Faber developed a behavioral recognition methodology designed to leverage online psychographic data for user acquisition. Using his research, Ryan launched Flatiron Collective. Flatiron now manages over $100 million annually in digital marketing spend. His developments in user acquisition have allowed him to become a 3x Webby Award winner and his methodology has been attributed to the exponential growth of numerous billion dollar brands.

Daniel Maren, Founder
Linkedin
Daniel Maren studied computer science at Stanford University. He founded the solar power electronics company, Dragonfly Systems, which was acquired by SunPower Corporation in 2014. Daniel remains an advisor to SunPower, guiding solar and storage product efforts and international business development. He has expertise in international infrastructure development, finance, and energy, where he is a recipient of a Forbes 30 under 30 award. Previously, he architected a biofuels program for Indonesian farmers, who struggle with seed and equipment financing.

Social Media
Website
Slack
Twitter
Blog
Telegram

View the Bloom Website here.

View the only comprehensive list of active and upcoming ICOs here.

References
(1) Bloom Website, Bloom, (2017)
https://hellobloom.io/

(2) Bloom Whitepaper, Bloom, (2017)
https://hellobloom.io/whitepaper.pdf

Topics: Blockchain, ICO, Crypto, Cryptocurrency, Investing