One of the hottest ICOs at the moment is from the Go Network, which intends to create a digital currency in which transactions are much faster and cheaper than those of more traditional cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
This will be achieved using a “mobile first” platform in which transactions are carried out “off-chain”. The aim is the make cryptocurrencies more useful in the everyday world and open them up to a far wider audience than they have today.
Once the technology is established, the aim is for Go Network to develop into a significant segment of the Ethereum infrastructure.
Let’s take a look below at how the Go Network will work, its benefits and the details of the ICO.
Mobile payments are snowballing. In 2015 global mobile payments amounted to $16 trillion and it’s estimated that by 2020 this will have grown to $21 trillion generating payment revenues of $2.2 trillion. Go Network believes that ultimately the operability of cryptocurrencies will depend on their compatibility with mobile payments.
There is a discontinuity between what is needed for mobile payments and what cryptocurrencies can provide particularly regarding latency. While the latency of Ethereum is considerably faster than that of Bitcoin, it still is in the region of minutes and likely to get worse in the future.
Furthermore, it is relatively expensive and highly variable. While various programs are already addressing this, they are directed at desktop rather than mobile platforms.
State channels are one such approach to improving transaction time. These permit off-chain transactions. What happens is a smart contract sets the maximum transfer allowed between actors, while any number of off-chain interactions can be made up to that limit. Only these actors can access the coins deposited in the smart contract which provides both actors with the necessary security.
For all intents and purposes, the off-channel transactions are equivalent to on-chain transactions. Altogether, this substantially reduces transaction fees and latency. It has been described as an “Ethereum superhighway”.
However, this approach has some problems: on-channel latency affects channel creation; and funds deposited are effectively locked until the channel is settled.
The Go Network approach is to incentivise actors to keep channels open for a long time and to settle them free from disputes ultimately. When two actors open a state channel, they must deposit Go Network tokens (GOT) which are refunded once the channel is closed less a fee for maintaining the channel through its lifetime. The longer a channel is kept open, the higher the refund will be.
An additional feature will be mediated transfers. When a state transfer is processed, the mediators who handle the transaction will be rewarded in GOT. While this will be an additional cost for the actors, it functions as an extra incentive to reduce the number of new channels opened. Mediators will be able to set their fees creating a competitive marketplace.
As the Ethereum network expands, the cost and number of transactions will grow. This will encourage the uptake of Go Network off chain transactions. As the number of GOT are limited, the expectation is that the value of GOT will rise with increasing demand.
100,000,000 GOT tokens will be minted, and 50% of these will be available for purchase. The remainder will be distributed as follows:
· Team: 25%
· Advisors: 5%
· Business and technical development: 20%
The public sale begins on 11th June 2018. A sliding bonus will be available starting at 15% on day one then 10% on day 2 and 5% on day 3. No bonus will be available after day 3. Key points include:
· Total number of tokens: 100,000,000
· Token sale: 50,000,000 GOT
· Token type: GOT Ethereum ERC20
· Payments accepted: ETH
Strangely I could only find one review of the Go Network ICO and that one wasn’t particularly favourable:
Hopefully the other ICO rating sites will review the Go Network ICO soon so there is a little more to go on.
The Go Network are taking on a competitive field in terms of launching new cryptocurrency for payments. There are already some big players in the field and new entrants such as Credits have recently entered, promising much faster transaction times and lower transaction fees.
However, by focusing specifically on mobile payments Go Network may be able to carve out a niche for themselves and achieve success. Certainly mobile payments are only going to grow and grow and making sure cryptocurrencies can be used efficiently in the global mobile payments system is going to be crucial to their take-up.
There is massive interest in the project with close to 70,000 Telegram group members and 50,000 Twitter followers, so don’t be surprised if the ICO sells out.
It is a good sign that they won an award at the Eth Waterloo and hopefully that means they have the technical skills to pull this off. If they do then the whole crypto community could benefit from it.