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November 30 2017

ICO Alert Report: Sola

ICO Alert Report: Sola

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ICO Alert Quick Facts

  1. Next generation decentralized social network.
  2. $0.1 = 1 SOL
  3. November 27, 2017 — December 22, 2017
  4. 50,000,000 total available / 150,000,000 total supply.
  5. 600,000+ users currently use the platform.

What is Sola?

Sola (short for “social layer”) is a next-gen decentralized social network whose users reach a bigger audience and make money from their content. Sola doesn’t use the concept of following — instead, it spreads information like a viral disease to the most interested users, applying AI algorithms combined with users’ reactions. We aim to become the top spot to share, consume, and publicly interact on non-private information of any kind in the most effortless way. You have something to say, we show it to those who care. Automatically.
— Ilya Zudin, Sola CEO

Q&A with Ilya Zeudin, Sola CEO

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

Sola: We were looking for ways to implement a business model in a way that accelerates growth instead of alienating a user base and came to the conclusion that the best way is to begin to perceive the users as partners, and not as a product that we have to sell for a living.
SOL is a utility token with a monetary function that powers Sola economy. It allows us to split revenue from advertising, user payments, and partnerships with users, providing a strong financial incentive to use service and create quality content. Being a cryptocurrency, SOL can be used both in Sola ecosystem to purchase its services and outside too. It allows every user to participate and make some money, not just top creators and influencers. It’s impossible when using fiat currencies.

ICO Alert: How big of an issue is the handling of user data and privacy? Is it possible to give the users more control in this area?

Sola: It is the most criticized aspect of centralized social networks, but we consider this as a symptom and not the cause. The reason is that people receive nothing in exchange for their data and have no choice to opt-out of tracking and use service for a fee.
Users could and should have more control both on content, infrastructure, and functional levels. The only thing it should be based on is their actions, not their votes or something. Sola innovates on all three levels.

ICO Alert: What separates Sola from current attempts on decentralized social networks like Akasha and Steemit?

Sola: The essential part of a social service is not underlying technology, but a social experience. Until you try to make something niche, a mass audience doesn’t care about technology; users care about experience. Steemit basically is a Reddit clone for a crypto-community, Akasha is a rudimentary Facebook functionality that works on blockchain. Even if they succeed with development, they will face competition with social media incumbents. I can’t see any way they would get mass adoption with a “me too” proposition. There is no single example on the market.
The other thing is that it’s 2017 today. People use social networks on mobile and Sola as a mobile-first service and a pure user experience is king here, while all these decentralized contenders require a master’s degree in IT to understand basics and used on desktops like it’s 2010.
Sola is different than any other social media, uses different principles, and provides a novel experience. It worth noting that with 650,000+ users, Sola is bigger than Steemit (430,000) and Akasha (<10,000) combined.

ICO Alert: What is Plague and what is its relationship to the current Sola platform?

Sola: “Plague” was the first phase of the project launched in 2014 to research new methods of spreading information. The second phase, called “Sola” implements the business model and decentralization.

ICO Alert: Can you take us through a specific user case on Sola?

Sola: For example, I shared this post about the way dollar was popularized in the U.S. in 1933 on Facebook, Twitter, and Sola. Once posted on FB and Twitter, it was shown to my friends and followers I gathered for years, received three likes on Facebook and none on Twitter, also no comments. Once posted on Sola, Sola AI algorithms tried to understand what this card is about and started to show it to people who might be interested in seeing it based on a lot of parameters — card content, it’s type, location, language, my previous interactions history, etc. People who receive it decide whether they think it should spread further or not. On Sola, it receives 66 thoughtful comments, people made 1,277 decisions to spread it further, and I earned slightly above $20. And this all without any effort to build the audience — any user can have the same experience just after the registration. An audience is defined individually for every post based on AI algorithms and other users decisions.
Our proposition is really simple — share things you care about, and we will do the rest. There is always someone who cares about the same things, and we will find them for you. Also, you’ll make some money.

ICO Alert: What has been the initial community reaction to the release of the Sola application?

Sola: The reaction was overwhelmingly positive, and we didn’t expect it at all — usually, the majority is against any changes. Here you can see the announcements and our users reaction. We asked users once again one week after the launch and results was also positive.

ICO Alert: Can you explain the use of “stacks” and “cards” in displaying content on Sola?

Sola: Our goal is to make the Sola experience as simple and automated as possible. Cards are the perfect format for it. Sola operates with full-screen cards — the user sees one at a time. A card may contain all basic data types — text, image, video, links, etc. Later, there will be advanced formats that use phone sensors. Cards can consist of several “pages” — user can swipe through it.
We invest a lot into card creation automation. For example, we have a summarize feature — users can paste an article link, and our AI algorithms will make a summary of this article and automatically convert it into a multi-page card in a single tap. We think it’s a perfect tool both for ordinary users and media outlets who want to try our platform.

ICO Alert: The Ethereum network has occasionally suffered from slow transaction times. Is there any concern that this may affect the Sola platform?

Sola: It doesn’t matter — the Sola architecture is based on user-hosted nodes, and we use the Ethereum blockchain for operations connected with SOL, not any service-related operations. The worst thing that can happen is that user will wait for a little while trying to use his SOLs inside or outside the service.

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

Sola: I can see two possible scenarios. ICOs can follow the fate of crowd-funding (Kickstarter, etc.) that take off for a while and then basically disappeared. Or the hype will fade, ICOs will be regulated and became much closer to traditional venture investing. It will be an excellent thing for the market. As a 3-year-old company that raised venture capital funding, we structured our own ICO as a traditional VC early-stage deal. We have a working product with a traction and significant user base, reasonable deal size of $5 million, and reasonable valuations that leaves of lot of space for growth, readiness to grow together with a product while showing progress. We think these types of deals are the future of ICOs and the wild west will be over soon.
As for cryptocurrencies, I’m sure it won’t go anywhere. It is a perfect tool for consumer companies, and I expect to see mass-market giants will start to use it soon.

ICO Information
The main ICO begins on November 27, 2017 and will run until December 22, 2017. There are a total of 50,000,000 Sola tokens (SOL) available during the main ICO, representing 33% of the total SOL supply. A hard cap of $5,000,000 is set for this period. $0.1 = 1 SOL

Token Discount:
15% until $750,000 raised
10% until $1,500,00 raised
5% until $3,000,000 raised

Token Distribution Information
There are a total 150,000,000 SOL tokens being created, with 50,000,000 SOL available during main ICO.

Contributors will receive their tokens after the end of the ICO. You will receive your SOL to the ETH address specified in your application.

Visit the Sola website for more information and the contribution address.

Allocation
33%: ICO
37%: Development (vested for 3 years)
18%: Incentivize community (vested 1 year)
10%: Team
2%: Early users rewards

Use of ICO Proceeds
70%: Development
20%: Marketing
5%: Legal
5%: Advisors

Team
Ilya Zudin, CEO / Co-founder
Linkedin
Illya has more than 10 years of experience in the social services area, including two years of experience in the area of social games. Since 2011, he has been working on his own social services. Ilya’s area of expertise is artificial decision-making systems.

Pavel Panov, CTO / Co-Founder
Linkedin
Pavel has more than 10 years of experience in development and senior management. Since 2011, Pavel has been working on his own social project in collaboration with Ilya Zudin.

Maxim Belov, CFO
Linkedin
Maxim is a media company financial management expert, He has been a part of the Sola team for last two years. Before Sola, he had worked for five years as Operational Finance Director for CTC Media (the largest media holding in Russia, NASDAQ public corporation).

Vasily Zubarev, Architect
GitHub
Vasily has a degree in Natural Language Processing. He has eight years experience in backend development. He is also a machine learning and neural networks expert.

Social Media
Telegram
Twitter
Facebook
Linkedin

View the Sola website here.

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

References
(1) Sola Website, Sola, (2017)
https://sola.ai/

(2) Sola Whitepaper, Sola, (2017)
https://sola.foundation/Sola_Whitepaper_V1-1_EN.pdf

Topics: Blockchain, ICO, Social Media, Cryptocurrency, Crypto