FA Series III – ALQO
FA Series III – ALQO ($XLQ)
Finally we have another installment of our FA series ready. This time about a project I’ve wanted to cover for ages ALQO ($XLQ).
A couple of notes and disclaimers before we dive into it. The next few analyses will be focused on low and mid caps the reason being projects in this range offers better opportunity for higher returns and usually they are harder to analyse than their big cap counterparties. It’s extremely important to also point that they are obviously a way riskier and sometimes very hard to evaluate in details.
It’s also important to disclose that we, at Nix Crypto, personally own ALQO masternodes and as much we want it to succeed we do not turn our eyes away of its flaws and the mistakes the team has made so you can expect a thorough review.
So what is ALQO?
According to their website ALQO is: “a 3rd Generation Crypto Currency which offers Instant Transactions. It is created as a Multipurpose Coin so that Alqo will be used as a connection tool in the so called “Alqo Planetary System”.
The planetary system and its planets being simply a cool way to refer to an ecosystem of applications and solutions and that’s exactly what makes ALQO a promising project. The so called planets for now are: a mobile app to track your masternodes, a portfolio web application, a masternode hosting service, a payment solution and an exchange.
While the first two are a nice to have, I fail to see how they add value to ALQO itself however the other 3 can surely make the network stronger and drive up $XLQ demand.
The masternode hosting while, which has been discontinued for reasons I will point below, offered a way to pay for hosting using ALQO which might not seen much but it was more than more other similar masternode projects managed to do. The obvious downside was having the majority of masternode, if not all of them, hosted within the same data center, which doesn’t add much to decentralization and reliability.
The payment gateway will allow ALQO to be used as a mean of payment and will be connected to Bitfineon their Swiss based exchange. Bitfineon, which is due to launch Q4-2018, is definitely the “planet” which I’m more excited about. Having $XLQ pairs and, in the future, fiat pairs will unlock a massive potential for the network. Crypto exchanges are still a hot product in the space and definitely there is room for more of them.
The ALQO team took a very lean approach on regards to funding. With no ICO and a very small premine (0.17%) that will be burned at some point this year they went for a startup bootstrap mindset that’s hard to see in crypto these days and that speaks to the confidence of the team on the product they are building.
I don’t want to digress too much from the objective of this article but something that’s important to point that something many many new “investors” in this space get terribly wrong is that if their project, whichever it may be, has money it’s more likely to succeed. Coming from the startup world myself I know for a fact that having money, especially a lot of money can do much more harm than good. You would be surprised to know that there is much more startups dying because of a poor product fit, a solution nobody wants or simply bad administration than for lack of money. Keep it in mind when investing in your next ICO.
Back to ALQO, as said before I praise their approach to funding however it doesn’t blind me to their mistakes and misjudgements. Starting with the two first planets I mentioned: the masternode app and the web portfolio. While as I said they would be a nice to have, it’s clear that they would take resources of their very small team and due to the unlikeness they would be able to monetise them I wonder why took them so long to put these planets on a development hold. The same applies to the masternode hosting service, while it had some interesting points, namely allowing for $XLQ payments and helping people with no expertise to “run” a masternode it, as mentioned above, contributed very little to the decentralization of the network and the only reason I can think of for running it for so long is the need of an extra line of incoming for the project.
There has been also struggles with miners that even caused a series of unplanned hard forks a few months ago and led to a series of actions taken unilaterally by the team. More recently a series of delays and issues with Liberio, ALQO’s lightweight wallet, caused widespread complaints within the community and ultimately led to the reorganization that put on development hold the masternode app and the web portfolio and the discontinuation of their hosting service.
Once again I have to bring back my years of startup experience, despite the risk of boring you to death, to say that delays and issues are pretty common in the startup world, what matters here is not the problems themselves but the way the team handles them. ALQO team was, in my opinion, pretty mature in acknowledging their mistakes, being transparent with the community, asking for help and taking actions that, even if a bit delayed, were the correct ones to allow them to focus on delivering their core business.
Finally, it is very easy to be led astray by the community. Crypto investors, myself included, tend to be very impatient always looking for the shorter path to get rich and if a team is not really focused on delivering a real product they can be pushed to simply look for meaningless partnerships and exchange listings to simply inflate token prices in the short term but adding zero value to the project in the long run.
As someone looking from the outside, I believe the ALQO ecosystem is leading in the right direction they will certainly be more bumps on their way but if the team sticks with their attitude I see good chances of ALQO becoming an important player in Europe. Bitfineon will be their baptism of fire if they can deliver it with high standards of security and usability they are definitely a contender to watch in the coming years.