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August 13 2017

ICO Alert Report: Obsidian

ICO Alert Report: Obsidian

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Pre-Sale Information
The pre-sale period has ended and has distributed over 3.4 million Obsidian tokens (ODN) to 704 participants. The first four weeks allowed for 20%, 15%, 10% and 5% bonuses to contributions, respectively. The final week (ICO week) will not have a bonus.

The Obsidian platform’s minimum goal has been reached. There was a hard cap of 29.4 million ODN tokens for the pre-sale.

Crowdsale Information
Unlike the pre-sale, there will not be a bonus structure for the crowdsale. Contributing 1 Bitcoin will allow contributors to receive 21,433 ODN tokens, and contributing 1 Ether will allow contributors to receive 2,192 ODN tokens. ODN token amounts needed to run a masternode are as follows for the crowdsale period:

August 12 — August 19, final ICO Week
1 Masternode ≈ 4.57 ETH or 0.4666 BTC

The crowdsale will end on August 19, 2017 at 3 a.m UTC. In order to participate, contributors must create an Obsidian account (email and password) here. Only Bitcoin and Ether are accepted for contribution.

Token Distribution Information
There are a total of 98 million ODN tokens being created. There are a total of 58.8 million ODN tokens available during the pre-sale and crowdsale. There is a pre-sale hard cap of 29.4 million tokens, leaving 29.4 million tokens available for the crowdsale.

Whatever tokens are not sold in the pre-sale will be available during the crowdsale. Whatever tokens are not sold during the crowdsale will either be burned or not created, whichever route is easiest from a technical standpoint for the team.

An additional 10% of total tokens will be created through the Proof-of-Stake system being used. This 10% creation will exist for at least the first two years the platform is running, and will be evaluated to determine future needs.

Allocation
 — 
14.7 million ODN tokens will be reserved for the core team members.
 — 24.5 million ODN tokens will go towards direct OSM licensing, integration, and ongoing development. ODN tokens from this group will also fulfill the need for "stock options" to incentivise additional teammates, (2nd tier developers, designers, etc.) marketing, and any other ongoing Obsidian costs. The use of these funds will be decided by the core team via majority vote.
 — 60% of ODN tokens will be offered to participants during the pre-sale and crowdsale.

Use of Crowdsale Proceeds
50% of the total amount raised will be divided between two escrow accounts:
 — The first account will contain 60% of the total and will be used for advertising, marketing, developers, daily operational costs of the company and similar expenses. This will also include a monthly salary for the core and 2nd tier members of the team.
 — The second account will contain 40% of the total and will be kept as company assets for ensuring compliance with all the appropriate regulatory agencies.

The remaining 50% of the final amount raised from the ICO will be divided and stored between the members from the core group. The final use of this amount will always be decided by majority vote of ICO founders and is intended for funding ongoing Obsidian-related work.

Team
Peter McClory, CEO & Business Relations Manager
Linkedin
Peter most recently worked as managing director for Curve Agency Limited, a marketing and advertising firm that provides a wide range of high quality Drupal development, support, and hosting for organizations across the UK and in Europe.

Raides J. Rodriguez, Lead Developer
Raides will act as the lead developer for the ODN coin wallets. Further information was not found.

“blackstone,” Senior Developer 
This is the only name that is listed on the team website here. blackstone will act as the main developer for the Obsidian Secure Messenger (OSM).

Alan Sheston, Software Engineer
Linkedin
Alan has previously worked for IMS Health as a software engineer, and most recently as a senior report engineer for Equian. In addition to his software engineering roles at Obsidian, Alan will act as webmaster and oversee social networks with Jordan.

Jordan Schneider, Marketing & Business Development
Linkedin
Jordan has previously worked as CEO of Beatpals, a music streaming service platform. In addition to marketing and business development for Obsidian, he will handle bounty campaigns and act as social media manager.

Karl Markov, Software Engineer
Karl will hold the role of software engineer at Obsidian. Additional information was not found.

Lester Shad, Project Manager
In addition to his role as project manager, Lester will act as webmaster and a developer.

Social Media
Bitcointalk: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2004871.0
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theobsidianplatform
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ObsidianCrypto
Medium: https://medium.com/@obsidian_crypto/early-insights-for-investors-in-the-obsidian-platforms-odn-cryptocurrency-1020879bd18f
Slack: https://join.slack.com/obsidianproject/shared_invite/MjA4NTI3NjcwNTEzLTE0OTkzNzY5NjAtYjA1Zjc2YjI4OQ

The ICO information above can be found on the Obsidian website or in their whitepaper.(1)(2)

Q&A

ICO Alert: Obsidian is aiming to create a truly decentralized, private and secure messaging platform. Can you please briefly describe what the Obsidian platform is and how it will function?

Jordan Schneider, Marketing & Business Development Lead: The Obsidian platform is a comprehensive system that will be able to host various different types of applications, starting with our flagship application, the Obsidian Secure Messenger (OSM). It will run on top of the Obsidian network and leverage the benefits of that system for providing secure transactions between messenger clients.

ICO Alert: The Obsidian whitepaper mentions that the WhatsApp and Facebook messenger apps process 60 billion messages a day. How scalable is the Obsidian platform to ensure it can handle a similarly large level of traffic?

Obsidian: That’s a very good question! Such a performance is very impressive and a true challenge in the cryptocurrency space. 60 billion messages per day makes about 700,000 messages per second, while Bitcoin can process about 7 transactions per second.
There are other decentralized systems that also handle very high traffic. For example, the global SMS traffic per day is estimated to be at 23 billion messages per day. This is somewhat decentralized when you look at how SMS messages are delivered across operator boundaries and home countries.
However, the best example that demonstrates how powerful decentralized networks can be is the internet itself which handles all traffic, including Facebook and WhatsApp’s message traffic. Clues we use from the Internet Protocol for the Obsidian Messaging service are:
● Addressing — Messages have an address header that provides information on how they can be transported in the direction of their receiver.
● Segmentation — in the same way the internet is divided into subnets, groups of messaging nodes can also make up subnets.
● Routing — A routing algorithm provides the logic that determines how messages have to be transported to reach their destination effectively.
We are certainly only at the beginning of this part of the development process and we’ll use temporary designs to enable use of the messaging app until we reach the final goals listed above. With that being said, we are building this platform with scalability in mind.

ICO Alert: The roadmap on the Obsidian website states that development on the Obsidian platform started in 2014. What is the current development status of the Obsidian blockchain and Obsidian Secure Messenger? Is the roadmap on the website scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017? Are there any partnerships in the works for the Obsidian platform?

Obsidian: The Obsidian blockchain is close to release. We are currently optimizing certain parameters of the coin and performance features of the nodes, such as a hash algorithm that uses less power on mobile devices than the X13 algorithm in the STRAT blockchain. Also, we are currently finishing the public block explorer for our blockchain and designing the wallet UI. We’ll soon let the community test the coin and wallets on the testnet, and then go live on the main chain when it is deemed developmentally sound.
The messenger is currently available as an alpha version and features the encryption described in question 4 of this Q&A.
The next important steps are to ensure our wallet performs adequately in everyday use, and to receive listing with key exchanges. For the messenger, the Windows 10 prototype version must be completed in it’s base feature set and be brought to iOS and Android. The speed of progress will just vary depending on the amount of contribution received from the ICO.
We have reserved a significant amount of ODN coins for strategic partnerships and VC investment. Once the ICO has completed we will be in a more appropriate position to divulge information regarding partnerships, but can say now that we have a very positive outlook on upcoming partnerships.

ICO Alert: Obsidian Secure Messenger (OSM) messages are encrypted at origin and decrypted only when they reach their final destination. How possible is it for a bad actor or government body to intercept these messages and brute force unlock them?

Obsidian: That’s correct, OSM is currently using perfect end-to-end encryption, even in it’s alpha form. Each message is encrypted with a different encryption key, facilitated by Diffie-Hellmann key exchange, from which a key is derived and is used to encrypt a random 256 Bit symmetric key. The plaintext payload is compressed, padded and encrypted with 256 Bit AES, using the random key. It’s also signed with the sender’s certificate, to ensure the receiver’s message is coming from the expected sender and not a man in the middle.

ICO Alert: The Obsidian platform has more ICO participants than many ICOs are able to reach. Does the Obsidian team have a goal for the number of participants they’re aiming for with the crowdsale in order to ensure a large number of nodes are setup from the beginning of the alpha node client release?

Obsidian: Obsidian aims to have nodes all around the globe to create a completely decentralized and robust network. The goal is to optimize the speed with which messages are sent, files are uploaded & downloaded, and fortify the security of our network so that it cannot be brought down or compromised. While there is no set number to ensure this, we do believe that at current levels we have already reached a substantial and adequate number (this number will continue to increase). With 6 days left in our ICO and an extreme interest in Masternodes/staking, we have no doubt the network will be in great shape for the node client release.

ICO Alert: The current state of user privacy is generally considered a flawed one. Because governments and bad actors are constantly trying to access users’ private information, we’d imagine this software would be highly valuable to those with large messaging services that already exist. Has the Obsidian team thought about licensing this software to other companies for their use?

Obsidian: Textsecure is a good example of this, as they have licensed protocols from their Signal messenger to WhatsApp. However, it’s not obvious if the protocols used in WhatsApp are still the same as in the last publicly known form, if they are always applied, if they can be turned off at will, or what the financial incentive was surrounding the deal. So, at this time we are not sure if such a licensing deal would be helpful to the Obsidian investors or the Obsidian messenger community. When the impression is created that centralized commercial products are as free and as secure as non-profit decentralized projects it might mislead users to think commercial products are free from their inherent conflict of interest, and not under the control of government as much as they are. So, we’d rather prefer strategies of project financing that do not water down our brand in this way.

ICO Alert: As a non-Obsidian related question, are there any fun predictions or thoughts the Obsidian team has for the cryptocurrency space?

Raides Rodriguez, Lead Developer: I believe that the “crypto-world” of sorts will encompass the world one day, just like the Internet is doing today. When that happens, only a handful of coins will survive the battle. I think that the “crypto-world” of today will quickly turn itself into the “TomorrowLand” of many fantasies. The current state is the same as the United States during the last years of the “Wild West” era, just when the European-style refinements reached the East Coast and while the railroad started to make the land more connected than ever.
Jordan Schneider, Marketing & Business Development Lead: While my acquaintance above is a bit more vivid in comparisons, I too believe cryptocurrency is the wave of the future. Heck, you can see it for yourself in the change of mainstream thought towards it recently. I remember when I started dealing with Bitcoin in 2012–2013 and I used to hear people screaming about monopoly money, tulips, and other such things, basically laughing at my involvement. Then Ethereum came along, and I became an ICO holder. It was a gamble at the time but it sounded game changing, at which point people said, “LULZ cryptocurrency will never catch on, Ethereum is just more made up cash”.
Now it’s a different story. I can’t talk to a friend or client without them saying “Hey I saw more news about BTC (or ETH) today, so ummmm, how do I go about getting involved?”. With that being said the future is really uncertain still. Do I think blockchain is here to stay? Absolutely! Do I know what form it will be in? Not a chance. But man am I happy to be a part of this journey to find out.

View the Obsidian Website here.

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References
(1) Obsidian Website, Obsidian, (2017)
https://obsidianplatform.com/

(2) Obsidian Whitepaper, Obsidian, (2017)
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5ffnLUWqKkMMG1YTXUtNjNvOGc/view

Topics: Blockchain, ICO, Cryptocurrency