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August 5 2017

ICO Alert Report: Opus

ICO Alert Report: Opus

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What is Opus?(2)

Opus is a decentralized “music-sharing platform” that aims to eliminate the middlemen and unfair practices that exist in today’s music industry. They leverage IPFS (Interplanetary File System) in order to safely store and provide thousands of tracks per second. An artist who participates in the Opus platform is able to store their music on IPFS and sell access to those files to any user’s Ethereum address at a price that they control. This is completed through Ethereum smart contracts and allows artists to maintain ownership and complete control of their music.

Unfortunately, in the current music industry there is little reward for artists to participate. The dawn of the digital age has made it essentially impossible for artists to sell music to individuals anymore. The ability to copy and paste music files renders the purchasing process obsolete. Instead, consumers are focused on access to an artist’s music through curated streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. Artists get the raw end of the deal though, earning as little as $0.0003 per song play on some streaming services. The need for consumers to purchase individual artist’s music is no longer valid. Opus aims to change this through their platform. Their aim is to be the first publicly adopted, music-sharing platform that is fair to artists, uncensorable, and easy to use for consumers. Currently, the project is working on the following:

  1. Optimizing the infrastructure layer of file distribution and setting industry standards.
  2. Auditing the distributed protocol layer on Ethereum smart contracts.
  3. Finalizing the Universal Music Reference Number (UMRN) registry.
  4. Improving their application layer, which is the final API interaction between the Ethereum blockchain, IPFS and the user.
  5. Further developing their live music player running off the blockchain, which is one of many application gateways to the Opus platform.
  6. Developing additional platform governance models (e.g monthly dividends for platform activity, discounts by contract music ownership) and a contract-level marketing fund.

Crowdsale Information
The crowdsale period will start on July 24, 2017 at 23:00 GMT and end on August 21, 2017 at 23:00 GMT.

OPUS uses an ERC-23 token, so you must send funds from an ERC-20 supported wallet. Exchange wallets will result in the loss of funds.

You can contribute by clicking “Show Address” on the ICO portion of the website, here. You must use 50 GWEI and 200,000 gas in order for the transaction to complete. OPUS lists tutorials for contributing on the same webpage.

There is a variable max contribution amount of 1,000 Ether + 1% of the total contribution received. There is a hard cap of $20,000,000.

Token Distribution Information
There will be 1,600,000,000 Opus tokens (OPT) in total:

1. 900,000,000 are being sold during the crowdsale.

2. 600,000,000 are distributed to the OPUS foundation, developers and angel investors (there is a lock-up period of one year for 95% of tokens).

3. 100,000,000 are being reserved as “ecosystem tokens” that will be used by the foundation to vitalize the music ecosystem. Things like early-adoption rewards, marketing bounties, license purchases and more are a part of the team’s plans for this grouping of tokens.

Tokens will be distributed and tradable within 48 hours after the crowdsale ends.

OPT Token Pricing
Contributors are incentivized to purchase OPT early through the following format:

Week 1: 8,000 OPT per 1 Ether contributed (+ an additional 2,000 OPT)
Week 2: 7,500 OPT per 1 Ether contributed (+ an additional 1,500 OPT)
Week 3 and 4: 7,000 OPT per 1 Ether contributed (+ an additional 1,000 OPT)

Base Amount: 6,000 OPT per 1 Ether contributed

Allocation
900,000,000 are being sold during the crowdsale.

600,000,000 are distributed to the OPUS foundation, developers and angel investors.

100,000,000 are being reserved as “ecosystem tokens” that will be used by the foundation to vitalize the music ecosystem for things like early-adoption rewards, marketing bounties, and license purchases.

Use of Crowdsale Proceeds & Lockout Period
45% of funds will go towards development.
25% of funds will go towards marketing and promotion.
13% will go towards artists and licensing.
10% will go towards operations and administration.
7% will go towards legal fees.

There is a one year lockup period on 95% of the 600,000,000 tokens distributed to the Opus foundation, developers and angel investors.

Team
Bokang Jia, CEO
Bokang has over 5 years experience in the software engineering industry. He previously founded Armageddon RSPS gaming, a successful Runescape private server.

Mateusz Mach, COO
Mateusz has previously earned “30 under 30” awards from Forbes. He founded the “Five” app, which allowed users to send hand signals to each other. This quickly became successful among teens and in the deaf community. He is an investor in Opus and works closely with the Opus foundation on business operations.

Chenhao Xu, CTO
Chenhao is involved in infrastructure and full stack development at Opus, and manages the development team. He has experience with machine learning and application development.

Sam Peeters, Lead Developer
Sam works closely with Opus developers to build the underlying infrastructure with a focus on ensuring security within all of Opus subsystems.

Rehan Gotla, Business & Data Analyst
With a background in statistical science, Rehan is in charge of assessing market and platform risks, developing business strategy, and communicating with external groups.

Akira Rao, Full Stack Developer
Akira works closely with the team to drive the successful front-end and back-end development of Opus. He is in charge of ensuring the integrity of the Opus platform.

Robert Cohan, Senior Software Engineer
Robert is a software engineer with extensive experience in enterprise level systems. Having previously worked at Oracle, Robert helps design the underlying technology driving Opus.

Michael He, Lead China Ambassador
Michael is a known researcher within Chinese academia. He leads the expansion of the Chinese market, including promotion, marketing, and development.

Mustafa Khan, Lead Graphics Artist
With over 7 years experience in graphic design and animation, Mustafa oversees the graphical user interface, including developing the Opus core players and Opus website.

Charlie Breach, Art Lead
Responsible for overseeing the graphical elements of Opus to ensure a good user experience throughout Opus core apps. This includes designing the UI of the mobile app.

Arief Zul, Marketing Lead
Arief has extensive experience promoting projects and startups. He is in charge of designing and structuring the marketing components of Opus.

Note: The majority of the team information was taken from the Opus website and was unable to be verified elsewhere.

Social Media
Bitcointalk: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2011065
Slack: http://slack.opus-foundation.org/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCo5UJmWcifx6UfsAyHNzQFQ
Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/opusfoundation/
Email: info@opus-foundation.org
Wechat: https://opus-foundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/wechatQR.jpg
Telegram: https://t.me/opusfoundation

All ICO information can be found on the Opus website or in their whitepaper.

Technological Specifications(1)

Opus aims to make their platform both scalable and reliable. We’ve broken down their platform in the following structure:

IPFS Storage Layer and Ethereum Smart Contracts

Interplanetary File System (IPFS) is a peer-to-peer distributed file system that connects computing devices with the same system of files. It’s similar to one BitTorrent “swarm” (re: group of peers sharing the same torrent). By using the IPFS technology, Opus is ensuring that at no point could the information stored be censored by any party, including Opus themselves.

The IPFS system enables the Opus smart contract to index individual music tracks onto permanent and immutable hashes (an alphanumeric “value” of a fixed length). Each hash is the reference point for the associated track of music. As artists wish to exchange their (encrypted) music with users, they do so with the help of an Ethereum smart contract that interacts with this IPFS hash and facilitates the user-to-artist transaction. This smart contract is fully transparent and allows users to view the transaction to artists in exchange for access to their music. Opus provides a great diagram to aid in understanding:

Opus Universal Music Reference Number (UMRN)
UMRN is a proposal from Opus that would act as a music registry in the same way ISBN works as a registry for books. This would be generated cheaply through the use of smart contracts and stored on the IPFS swarm. This registry would be cheap enough for small artists to participate, but also allow Opus core (music) players to identify millions of different tracks across IPFS.

Front-end user applications
The Opus API will allow third parties to create their own music players, but Opus also plans to release their own core (music) players. The Opus whitepaper showcases wireframes for mobile and desktop applications of a core player. Here is one example:

The Opus token (OPT) and other Opus platform projects(1)

The Opus token (OPT) is used for transactions across the Opus network, as well as a crowdfunding mechanism for the Opus Foundation as a whole. OPT is exchanged at an amount set by artists to decrypt (re: purchase) songs. It is also used by artists to reward users for sharing/promoting their music.

Artists are financially incentivized to use the platform due to a lack of fees. Currently, music streaming services will take up to 80% of an artist’s revenue, while Opus will only take 1–3%. Further, artists are able to reward users for sharing their music with others via social media and more. This is done through smart contract bounties and aims to increase the overall sale of an artist’s music. An option under this program could be to give users who promote a bounty address for an artist’s music some portion of the purchase made by other users. Users are incentivized to participate in the Opus platform due to the ability to own and stream the music anywhere they go. With the help of IPFS, users will never have to worry about their access to any music they have purchased previously. The overall aim is to create a positive feedback loop between artists and their fans where both can work together through the Opus platform.

The Opus Treasury and DAO
The 1–3% of fees taken by the Opus platform are used to create the Opus Treasury. This is essentially a marketing and development fund to sponsor different programs that are voted on by the community. The more OPT a user owns, the more voting weight they hold. The Opus Treasury will help ensure that decisions, just like the platform, remain decentralized in nature. The Opus DAO allows any user to submit a proposal/request to the community. In order to cut down on spam requests, this will burn 1,000 OPT to complete and will have a one month window for a “Yes/No” voting structure.

Roadmap(1)

The following roadmap is listed by the Opus team:

2016
July 2016 — Started development
Aug 2016 — Formed official Opus development team
Sep 2016 — C++ custom blockchain infrastructure
Oct 2016 — Storage layer/infrastructure implementation (Sia, Storj, IPFS)
Nov 2016 — Technical alpha
Dec 2016 — Opus Ethereum smart contract development

2017
January 2017 — Seed round from external investor, consolidated name
March 2017 — Audit Opus Ethereum contract; team expansion Opus API development; development on Opus DAO
April 2017 — Optimizing the Opus UMRN registry; added UI/UX and web designers; working with small artists; development on artist bounty system
May 2017 — Beta release, optimization and website; Opus crowdsale development; optimizing APIs
June 2017 — Security audit and press release; Opus DAO beta testing; official launch
July 2017 — Crowdsale and fundraising + business outreach
August 2017 — Expand team by on-boarding new developers and advisors + join the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance
September 2017 — Fully implement voting/governance DAO in addition to the bounty system
Oct of 2017 — Publish documentation on Opus API
Nov of 2017 — Optimize, test and audit Mainnet release
End of 2017 — Mainnet release

2018–2019
Integrate with the release of the Raiden software from the Ethereum team; scale the platform

The Opus team lists projections for their platform, use cases, and more in their whitepaper.

View the Opus Website here.

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Disclaimer: This report is intended to provide a helpful overview of this particular ICO. This is not investment advice and does not constitute any solicitation or endorsement of any investment. Any investment you make is done at your own risk and at your full and absolute discretion. The contents of this report are the property of ICO Alert. All rights reserved.

References:
(1) Opus Website, Opus Foundation, (2017)
http://opus-foundation.org/

(2) Opus Whitepaper, Opus Foundation, (2017)
https://opus-foundation.org/whitepaper.pdf

Topics: Blockchain, Music, Ethereum, Ipfs, Distribution