ICO Analysis: Cashaa

Cashaa’s core offering is providing peer-to-peer payments and remittance services at the cheapest possible rates to the banked as well as the unbanked population of the world. Cashaa also offers other services like microlending, p2p insurance, trading exchange and a multicurrency wallet.

More than 2.5 billion people are unbanked according to Cashaa’s whitepaper, although recent estimates put these numbers to around 2 billion which is still huge! Having a bank account is important as it is the only gateway to financial inclusion and the global economy. Along with limited access to traditional financial products such as microlending and insurance, it is not possible to receive aid, foreign remittance and money transfers without being dependant on untrusted third party providers who charge exorbitant fees. Even for those privileged with banking accounts, transferring money for remittance and money lending across international borders is still very complicated, time consuming and expensive. Just have a look at this compilation of foreign remittance fees across the globe.The average fee for money transfers to Africa is 12 percent!
Cashaa’s peer to peer platform offers remittance services at cheapest possible rates along with full spectrum of financial services for the global banked/unbanked population.

We believe there should be an efficient alternative to existing payment and banking systems. Our blockchain-based payments system aims to lower financial inclusion barriers and provide financial services to the banked and unbanked. Our vision is to build the payments and banking infrastructure for the future We believe there should be an efficient alternative to existing payment and banking systems. Our blockchain-based payments system aims to lower financial inclusion barriers and provide financial services to the banked and unbanked. Our vision is to build the payments and banking infrastructure for the future.

Cashaa’s unique solution for international transfer and remittance is based on a peer-to-peer model which involves local traders dealing with cryptocurrency part and not the actual users.

For example, suppose a person based in the US wants to remit money to his family in India, who don’t have access to traditional banking. Rather than converting his money to bitcoin/cryptocurrencies, he will simply transfer USD to the Cashaa app. The Cashaa platform will find a trader who wishes to convert his Bitcoin to USD. Cashaa will then find a trader in India who wishes to buy Bitcoin using INR. The INR received is then send to the intended family member. The trader can transfer the amount via banking or through cash if the receiver is unbanked. Every transaction will be charged a flat fee of $1 and wholesale Forex rates. There are security checks in place like both the buyers and sellers putting 100% and 10% into an escrow wallet respectively to prevent fraud or using unique passcode when giving cash to the receiver. A low cost currency exchange will enable traders to exchange currencies and access forex at wholesale rates. Cashaa’s peer to peer exchange even allows traders to buy and sell cryptocurrency which is not available in their local country’s exchanges. For example, traders in India will be able to buy XRP directly with INR which is not possible at the moment.

Along with the banking app and the currency exchange, Cashaa will also create a multicurrency wallet which provides a full spectrum of customer centric digital financial services such as microlending, sending, receiving, payment and insurances with an easy to use interface.

Token

Along with being the key component that enables trading and governance, the CAS token provides a range of benefits to the holders. Each Cashaa wallet comes equipped with CAS tokens, and only traders with enough CAS can participate in the network.

The benefits of holding CAS tokens are:

  • Acquiring premium services in the Cashaa ecosystem (Membership) – Users can get membership once proof of holding some specific number of CAS tokens is submitted. The membership will provide certain privileges like zero fees, higher transfer speed, free overseas medical insurance, customer support amongst others.
  • Ability to trade cryptocurrencies anywhere in world (Trading)
  • Lower transaction fees for the $ 600 Billion remittance industry (Remittance)
  • Providing the credit score for lenders (Micro Finance)
  • Ability to participate in governing mechanism of CAS usage (Governance)
  • Secure P2P money transfers (Escrow)

The ICO begins on 6th November. 51% of the 1 billion CAS tokens will be distributed in the ICO and 20% will be reserved for the team. There is a hardcap of $32 million for the raise with the CAS price set at $0.1. Obtaining licences and establishing legal structures is a big part of the business which is why 35% of the funds raised are kept for it. There is a bonus of 40% for participants in the first 24 hours. Please visit here for more details.

One key thing to note is that a very generous bonus structure was awarded to the presale participants with bonus of 100% for contributors above $175K and 80% above $75K. The cap for the presale was $20 million, so there is some concern around dumping when the tokens list on exchanges.

The Team

Cashaa’s team is as good as it gets! There are 13 solid members in the team with the development team based in India and the UK.

CEO and Founder Kumar Gaurav has received extraordinary status (O1) by the United States Government, is the Chairman of Auxesis Group , an international speaker who ranks among the Top 100 Blockchain Influencers in the world , also founded Darwinsurance (Acquired by Esedra) backed by AIG , and is an advisor to many incubators & startups.

Cofounder Celestine Vettical was previously the Founder and CEO of Perfomix, an oilfield technology platform company which was acquired by Baker Hughes. He has a solid 25 years of industry experience behind him.
Cashaa also has a team of 11 advisers supporting the project which includes President of Bancor Bernard Lietaer. Cashaa was founded in June 2016, with the first public demo presented as early as September 2016 at Google Campus is Warsaw. A team always gets a high score when they have been working on the project for a while before the ICO, which shows their credibility.

Verdict

There are many platforms working on improving the international transfer and online remittance industry. I like Omise and Everex amongst them. One of the major difference of Cashaa with competing startups is that the users only transact in fiat currencies. It is the trader’s job to handle cryptocurrencies in the background, deal with liquidity, KYC/Regulations etc. This significantly removes the entry barriers for regular users. Providing the option of cash based transactions is a big positive as entire economies in developing countries are based on cash and there is a significant technology barrier to even operate basic applications . Amongst the competing startups, I see Cashaa getting significant market share atleast in the remittance space.

Risks

  • There was a 100% bonus structure in the presale for the top tier contributors. There might be some selling pressure as the tokens list on the exchanges.
  • Although there is plenty of room to accommodate many companies, there will be some competitive pressure in the early stages. Cashaa is a great project, no doubt! But even some of the competitors are offering great solutions and some will enter launch phase soon.
  • As with any business involving online money transfers and remittance in multiple geographies, there are a lot of legal hassles involved.

Growth Potential

  • Cashaa has a proven product for money transfer and remittance. Cashaa’s use case for a remittance and trading system involved over 12,770 registered users from 141 countries. This combined with the strong team lends a huge credibility to the project.
  • The product is well suited for the developing market’s usecase. Heavy dependence on cash and the lack of technological adoption are two of the most important issues projects face in these markets. Cashaa navigates through both of them.

Disposition

I feel a score of +6.5 out of 10 fits perfectly for Cashaa. The project gets its the investment grade rating taking into consideration the team, the well tested usecases, and the unique value proposition. There is a good potential to achieve a significant growth in the marketcap something similar to what Omise did.

Investment Details

The ICO begins on 6th November. You can participate in the ICO here.

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