NNS developrs the same features for NEO Exchange. Ethereum ENS - a somewhat similar project - was launched a year ago and did not become widely popular since then.
The process of integration of existing chains into Blockchain Communication Protocol may be complex and lengthy. Currently, the Beta version is not available. The product has been in development only for 3 months, according to GitHub. The comparable technology Ethereum ENS was launched a year ago but did not gain significant customer base and was barely integrated into cryptoexchanges.
The exact fee size for Blockchain Name Service has not yet been disclosed and is subject to change.
The company valuation after reaching ICO Hardcap will be around 39M EUR (45M USD). This figure seems high if compared with NNS, which aimed to raise 3M USD. The given funds allocation is not detailed and gives only high-level distribution.
There are no marketing specialists in the team. The team is not concentrated in one place and is spread around Europe and the USA.
Blockchain technology has provided a way to maintain consensus across all nodes with no central authority. However the technology faces real-life implementation issues, such as complexity for an end customer. Currently, exchanging tokens issued on one blockchain into tokens issued on another blockchain is not a trivial procedure and it needs to be conducted through a trusted 3rd party. Moreover, the public keys are long and hard to remember series of letters and numbers. This results in a slow adoption of blockchain technology by end customers - which is one of the biggest factors stopping blockchain technology from retail consumers usage growth. To address these issues, new protocols that allow setting DNS-like names for public keys are developed. There is such a protocol in Ethereum network - Ethereum ENS - the Ethereum Namespace Auction. ETH ENS was launched in May 2017 but did not gain large public adoption since then. However, some of the names on this platform may cost up to 1M USD (for example "exchange", "payment", "wallets"). Recently, the same protocol was announced for NEO system - NNS Protocol. To sum up, this market niche seems attractive; however, IOV is not the first project to enter this segment.
The first technical whitepaper was published in December 2017, which has been clarified regularly, according to GitHub. The product development has been started around March 2018, according to GitHub. Most of the GitHub contributions were made by Ethan Frey (Lead Developer) from March to April this year. Currently, Beta is not available but the team aims to publish it by Q2 2018. The team will also publish IOV Wallet V1 by end of Q2 2018. Version 1 of the protocol, IOV Wallet V3 and Deployment Tools to deploy a blockchain implementing BCP will be released in Q4 2018. The technical roadmap gives a good explanation of what will be done during the next 12 months. Essentially, the project aims to create a system that includes: 1. A protocol called the Blockchain Communication Protocol, or BCP, which new blockchains and wallet providers can implement to get immediate benefits. 2. A decentralized blockchain database called the Blockchain Name Service, the first DNS for all the active Blockchains. Blockchain Name Service lists all active blockchains, their respective tokens and the IP addresses of their bootstrap nodes. It is the first blockchain implementing BCP. In addition, IOV will introduce the IOV Wallet, which will be the first wallet to implement the Blockchain Communication Protocol. It will allow to store, observe, transfer, and exchange tokens.
The IOV Token is the fuel to the IOV Blockchain, the Blockchain Name Service. The Blockchain Name Service registers blockchain definitions, blockchain names, value address names, as well as who owns these names. A IOV Token is necessary as a stake for the Validators to participate in the blockchain. The fee paid for every Blockchain Name Service update is settled in IOV Token. The exact fee size has not yet been disclosed and is subject to change.
IOV aims to attract 25M EUR (29M USD) while selling 65% of tokens. Therefore, the company valuation will be around 39M EUR (45M USD). This figure seems high if compared with NNS, which aimed to raise 3M USD. However, when compared to the auction system developed by Ethereum ENS, which attracted 50M+ USD bids for a total of around 70K ETH names, this figure does not seem that high. Funding raised through the IOV Token Sale will be used to fund the key pieces of open source software of the IOV system which includes: The Blockchain Communication Protocol, The Blockchain Name Service implementing the Blockchain Communication Protocol, The IOV Wallet implementing the Blockchain Communication Protocol, Templates and deployment tools for the creation of new blockchains, implementing the Blockchain Communication Protocol and blockchain generator, Initial support service to help the adoption of the tools. Here is the repartition of the proceeds per category: 50% Software development, 30% Marketing/Sales, 15% Admin/Legal, 5% Ecosystem.
Currently, there are 10 people working at IOV, 4 of which have a technical background. Apart from marketing, all core competencies are covered by the team members. All core team members have entrepreneurial experience as founders of several successful startups, such as Uptogo Software, Pixicause, Cercle.Co, Lydi and hold degrees from Northwestern Missouri State University, Caltech, Paris 1, Paris Dauphine. According to their LinkedIn profiles, the core team members are located in Berlin, Paris, and New York. Isabella Dell - co-founder of IOV - worked as System Architect at Lysk - one of the first ICO projects, conducted in early 2016. Ethan Frey - Lead Developer of IOV - previously worked at Ableton, Orderbird, Panono, and Tendermint prior to joining IOV. Overall, the team has two good technical specialists, the rest of the team does not have that deep expertise in software engineering or decentralized ecosystems.