- The project does not align with the trend in the stablecoin field
- Stong competitors with more advanced technologies
- Not community-friendly focus on preventing anonymity and working closely with government authorities
- algorithms are focused on fiat collateral management - the idea widely hated in the crypto community as it is destined to be tied to the human factor
- no additional rounds are expected
- too much funds attracted for such a weak technology stack. The budget seems to be skewed to salaries, that may be considered as a cash-burn machine.
- strong focus on monetary research, but not the development
The crypto community is still looking for an alternative to replace a highly centralized Tether, that now is considered to be a benchmark to USD in the crypto valuation on markets. Tether is just collateralized by fiat and the community tries to get rid of such untransparent mechanics to fix rates. The final goal is to build up a system with no human factor within. The most advanced projects use decentralized lending terms management to depreciate or appreciate currencies as MakedDAO does. But these systems are so complicated that users are far from the total understanding of all the processes staying behind the stabilization.
Stablecoin field is competitive but is interesting for observation - here so many different ideas cross and no one knows what the solution will eventually be used by real users. So for now, we see a few experiments by teams around the globe, with different ideas - Reserve, Ampleforth, Basis, Havven, Compound.
The problem is that Saga wants to upgrade the old idea of the direct manual fiat backing as Tether does. Saga understands the problem of trust in the stablecoin field but aims to overcome this by just more trusted collateralization in more trusted financial institutions. We think this solution does not align with market trends, where technologies with no human factor will ensure trust,
Saga creates a digital currency, which is backed by reserves in fiat currencies (SDR basket) in trusted banks. One of the key principles for the project is to world closely with government authorities and financial institutions - this goal aligns with the tendencies on the crypto market nut may appear unfriendly for the crypto community. Moreover, Saga will demand KYC to prevent any anonymity.
A user may purchase SGA with crypto which then is converted to fiat to reserves. In the backwards operation, a user sells SGA on the platform and receive crypto back, so fiat reserves are shortened. SGA tokens are issued and reserved, and algorithms maintain the rates stable.
The project has very detailed whitepaper and monetary policy paper. But we found no MVP, roadmap or code. But the tech described is weak and does not require to much work to be done. Thus it is not a problem, that such information is not public.
The first tweet is dated to March 2018, so it is a year of the project's being public.
SGA is the Ethereum token. The team promises to use algorithms to manage both reserves: fiat and crypto. Specifications of the ecosystem demonstrate that human factor will be significant and some managers will influence the process of liquidity management.
The project has attracted all the funds needed and do not announce next round. ICO is not planned.
Crunchbase indicates that Saga attracted around 30M USD from Mangrove Capital Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners and some others. The tech stack does not seem costly, so it is unclear, why the team required so many funds.
Following terms are offered to accredited investors (quote): "Saga Genesis is offered as a token, SGN, to early supporters and investors. Proceeds from SGN sales will be used to construct Saga's Core ecosystem. When SGA is released as the official Saga token, holders of SGN may convert their tokens to SGA. The ‘conversion ratio’ represents the amount of SGA exchangeable for each SGN token. This ratio increases as Saga's economy grows, and is capped at a ratio of 15 SGA to 1 SGN, to prevent excessive weighting in the final economy. SGN is not a stabilized token, and therefore bears both higher risk and greater prospect. We decided to limit this risk to accredited investors; those with the means and expertise to conduct a careful due diligence process."
The team has a strong research focus and is backed by experienced developers and managers.
Ido Sadeh Man - CEO - 6 years as a partner in the Singulariteam VC funds (exits of around 250M USD), 11 years on the leading positions in Isralian IT companies & startups.
Shai Kritz - VP of Product - 10 years as a software engineer, 8 years in a few start-ups on leading positions.
Keren Orian Nadel - Managing Director - 2 years in Microsoft (marketing), 2 years as COO/CMO in Mobi (video/photo sharing startup), leading position in TheMaker (Isralian newspaper), 9 years in a tour company,
Barry Topf - Chief Economist - 33 years at the Bank of Israel (Monetary Policy Committee, Senior Advisor to governor Stanley Fischer). Held positions of Head of Market Operations, Head of the Foreign Currency Department, and Chief Investment Officer. IMF Consultant, advised about 25 countries on economic policy.
Ron Sabo - Head of Research - PhD in experimental condensed matter physics from Weizmann Institute of Science, lectures at the international program in Electrical & Electronics Engineering at Tel Aviv University.
Developers and engineers are also experienced and have the average relevant experience of about 6 years.