What is UTRUST? In this UTRUST review, we will explaining how they are positioning themselves to become the Paypal of Cryptocurrencies.
Through the introduction of buyer protection, UTRUST are merging the safety of fiat currencies payment systems with the many advantages of Cryptos. This could be a huge step towards mainstream Cryptocurrency adoption so keep reading if you want to learn more…
YOU WILL LEARN:
What Is The UTRUST Project About?
Are They Solving Real Market Problems?
Is UTRUST A Good Investment?
What Is The CryptoGurus Opinion On UTRUST?
- What Is UTRUST?
- How Does UTRUST Work?
- What Problems Are UTRUST Solving?
- Will UTRUST Token Prices Increase?
- The Team
- ICO/Token Sale Details
- Extra Points
- Follow Future Posts
1. WHAT IS UTRUST?
In our own words:
- UTRUST will be a payment gateway that aims to become the Bitcoin/Cryptocurrency contender to Paypal.
- It will unique to other Crypto payment gateways in that it offers buyer protection – just like Paypal – hence eliminating some of the most significant risks involved with Bitcoin/Crypto payments.
What Are Payment Gateways?
A payment gateway is an API that websites can use as a means of accepting payments. Still confused, right?
The easiest thing to say here is that Paypal is an example of a payment gateway. As is Stripe.
Essentially, they are a method to allow websites and shops to accept alternative payments types to using your debit/credit card.
The Next Big Step For Mainstream Adoption?
In our opinion, payment gateways are one of the biggest steps in introducing Cryptocurrencies to the masses. Imagine if, when buying things online, you had the option to pay with Cryptocurrencies and the process was as simple as checking out with Paypal.
Suddenly, we could see a huge rush of Cryptocurrency users actually spending their coins for real purchases, rather than just HODLing them.
“Tom, isn’t this already possible through payment systems like Bitpay and Monetha?”
I’ll move on to Bitpay shortly under the section labelled ‘Current Market Problems’ but, for now, I would like to discuss Monetha because there isn’t much of a difference functionally between them and UTRUST and yet the difference that does exist changes everything.
Monetha was a recent ICO that I was quite excited about; it is a payment gateway that is also intending to be the Crypto-contender to Paypal.
However, Monetha have missed out something huge; Buyer Protection
Let’s say you order a product and it arrives faulty or it never even turns up. Using Paypal’s buyer protection, you can request your funds back and have them validly returned to your bank account.
With Monetha, this isn’t possible; once you’ve paid for the item, the funds are gone and you cannot get them back. From a buyer’s perspective, this simply isn’t acceptable.
In today’s world, buyer protection is an absolute must. Without it, Cryptocurrency payments will appear scary and off-putting.
The key to on-boarding the general public is to provide a Cryptocurrency payment system that is very similar to what they are already comfortable with (e.g. similar to Paypal) and buyer protection is fundamentally important for this.
UTRUST will offer customers buyer protection.
Their plan is to use the benefits of Cryptocurrencies (unhackable, cheap and trustless) and merge them with the safety of fiat currency payment systems (buyer protection and a number to call if things go wrong) such as Paypal.
With UTRUST, users will be able to spend their Cryptocurrencies in a safe and reliable manner.
UTRUST will be the ‘first cryptocurrency payment platform to deploy consumer protections’.
We’ve briefly covered what UTRUST is and why buyer protection is essential to encourage mainstream Bitcoin/Cryptocurrency adoption.
Now let’s run through the buying process so you can understand the next biggest selling point in this UTRUST ICO which relates to how it works.
2. HOW DOES UTRUST WORK?
The process goes like this:
- Merchants will list products on their website as normal and integrate the UTRUST system just like Paypal
- The buyer selects an item to buy and checks out via UTRUST (choosing this over Paypal if he wishes to use Cryptocurrencies)
- The buyer selects on of their existing Cryptocurrency wallets as a source of funds (e.g. their Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin wallet)
- The buyer will be shown the total amount to be paid including a a 1% commission and exchanges conversion fee (from Crypto money to fiat money)
- The buyer hits the ‘Buy Now’ button and their chosen Cryptocurrency is converted into fiat currency immediately (for an additional fee)
- This fiat currency (USD, EUR etc.) is held in escrow hence the buyer protection
- Once the holding period is over, the merchant will receive their fiat currency.
Huge Selling Point:
Merchants receive FIAT currency (USD, EUR etc.) NOT Bitcoin/Cryptocurrencies
Until recently, most people thought that shops would have to begin accepting Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies for us to spend them.
That’s not the case; once platforms such as UTRUST and TenX are running, we will be able spend Cryptocurrencies while shops can still receive their regular currency. It’s a huge win-win
What If There Is A Dispute?
- The buyer will open a dispute. The merchant and buyer will enter a resolution chat between the two of them in order to try to settle the dispute
- If both parties are still not happy after 7 days, the buyer can escalate the claim to a UTRUST mediator
- The UTRUST mediator will collect evidence from both sides and have the final say on which party is correct
- If the buyer is correct, a refund will occur with an additional 2% fee charged to the merchant
- If the merchant is correct, the funds will be released and they will be paid
- If one party is found to be lying, their trust score will decrease found to be lying, their trust score will decrease
What Does The Trust Score Mean?
- The trust score dictates how long funds are held in escrow
- If a merchant has a very low trust score, the buyers’ funds will be held for a long time for a long time
- As the merchant uses the platform and is found to be reliable and honest, their trust score will grow over time and funds will be released to them much more quickly with each purchase
- There is clear incentive for merchants to maintain a high trust score and, therefore, there is an incentive to act in a trustworthy manner within the UTRUST platform
3. WHAT PROBLEMS ARE UTRUST SOLVING?
We say this time and again yet so many people I speak to seem to forget this incredibly important point:
Businesses are created for one purpose; to solve problems
- Netflix was created to solve the problem of having to rent individual movies from a store for expensive prices (remember Blockbuster?!)
- Uber was created to solve the problem of expensive taxis
If a business does not solve a real problem, it is incredibly unlikely that it will succeed.
So what market problems are UTRUST specifically solving?
There are 2 main competitor sectors so we will discuss how they’re solving the problems of both of these sectors:
- Regular (Fiat) Currency Payments – Paypal, Stripe etc.
- Cryptocurrency Payments – Bitpay etc.
Paypal Market Problems
- Seller Fees – Paypal charge a minimum of 2.9% but can go as high as 5% after hidden fees are accounted for.
- Physical Goods – Paypal only apply buyer protection to the purchase of physical goods
- Exchange fees – According to the UTRUST Whitepaper, Paypal and Bitpay ‘provide exorbitant internal exchange rates’ when converting between foreign currencies
- Fraud – Paypal is a centralised system that holds your money and is therefore subject to hackings and fraud
- Fake Chargebacks – Paypal merchants suffer from fake chargebacks – when a user asks for their money to be returned with no legitimate reason – because the system is set up heavily in favour of the users and they are believed without producing much evidence
- Seller Fees – UTRUST will charge 1% for seller fees
- Physical Goods – UTRUST will cover all physical good plus the majority of virtual goods and services also
- Exchange Fees – The UTRUST whitepaper dictates that they will ‘connect to multiple cryptocurrency exchange providers to offer very low exchange rates’
- Fraud – With the UTRUST system, you will hold your own funds (and your private keys) so the risk of fraud is eliminated
- Fake Chargebacks – UTRUST will implement a fairer system where both merchants and buyers will provide evidence equally. A UTRUST mediator will then fairly decide which side is correct.
- Seller Fees – UTRUST regularly quote 1% as their fee. However, this doesn’t include the conversion from Cryptocurrencies to fiat currency. With this included, what will the real fee be?
- Physical Goods – Paypal doesn’t cover services or virtual goods. There must be a reason for this decision so what is it? Perhaps, it is too difficult to mediate if there is a dispute with services or virtual goods?
- Exchange Fees – UTRUST claim that Paypal and Bitpay ‘provide exorbitant internal exchange rates’ when converting between foreign currencies. Without real numbers provided, it is difficult to know if this point is valid
Bitpay Market Problems
- No Buyer Protection – If the merchant doesn’t deliver the item or it is faulty, buyers have no means of getting their money back
- Bitpay only accepts Bitcoin – Bitpay doesn’t accept other commonly used Cryptocurrencies
- Exchange fees – Bitpay and Paypal ‘provide exorbitant internal exchange rates’ when converting between foreign currencies
- Buyer Protection – Buyers will be able to appeal and potentially be refunded if the merchant has not been truthful or the product is not as expected
- UTRUST will accept many Cryptocurrencies – In their whitepaper, UTRUST describe how they will accept Bitcoin, Ethereum Litecoin, Dash and Monero to begin with. They also plan to add to this list regularly
- Exchange Fees – The UTRUST whitepaper dictates that they will ‘connect to multiple cryptocurrency exchange providers to offer very low exchange rates’
4. WILL TOKEN PRICES INCREASE?
This is another incredibly important point that many people overlook when investing in Cryptocurrencies.
When you invest in a company, you are buying shares. As the company makes profits, the shares increase in value. In other words, you are investing in the value of the company rising.
With the majority of Cryptocurrencies, the coins/tokens don’t represent shares. Therefore, the company can increase in value (i.e the CEO and employees get rich) and yet the coin/token may actually fall in value.
The ONLY factor determining token price is supply and demand on exchanges.
Obviously, supply and demand are affected by many factors but the price all comes down to the combination of these two. Because of this, it is essential to ask yourself the following question:
Will there be token demand on the exchanges?
If the answer is no, token price will fall. If the answer is yes, the token price COULD rise. This idea is the most important element of any investment and yet so misunderstood with Cryptos.
So, let’s look at the demand.
What Are The Sources of Demand?
- The Token Buyback Program
- Using The UTRUST Token = Zero Conversion Fee
1. The Token Buyback Program
- Token Supply will begin at 1 billion
- UTRUST will a ‘percentage of transaction fees’ to buy tokens on the exchanges and burn them
- This will reduce the overall supply of tokens, driving up price
- A maximum of 50 million tokens will be burnt every year
- The goal is to reduce the tokens to a total supply of 100 million
1. Our Critique
- What percentage of the transaction will it be? 75% of the fee is very different to 10%
- Burning 50 million tokens is perhaps possible in the beginning but this gets more difficult as supply reduces and it costs more to buy 50 million tokens. Will they be able to manage it?
- Once the total supply reaches 100 million, the buyback program will stop. What will cause token prices to rise now? Admittedly, this point is moot for many years until they reach this time
2. Using the UTRUST Token = Zero Conversion Fee
- If you choose to use the UTRUST token, the 1% fee will be waived
2. Our Critique
- Unless people plan to use UTRUST very regularly, will people really convert their tokens from other Cryptocurrencies and hold them as UTRUST tokens?
- For me, the answer is no BUT UTRUST seem to think that they buyback program is the most significant means of raising token price so this point isn’t too much of an problem.
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5. THE TEAM
When looking through an ICO team, the famous phrase ‘Invest in people, not ideas’ come to mind. It’s based off the principle that an idea is only as good as the people who execute it. As an investor, I believe strongly in this principle.
Sadly, however, it is very difficult to analyse the team of any ICO. ICOs have team profiles on their website. The problem is: guess who writes their profiles? They do. Anyone can write a good profile on themselves.
Regardless, the UTRUST team appear to be strong. Their CTO has been the ‘former CTO in a leading digital payment platform company and is the current head of Development of a Swiss-based Cybersecurity company’ and other team members have similarly qualified background.
Finally, I like the size of the team – they have 17 members in their core team with a further 16 advisors. This is a much higher number than you see for many other Cryptocurrencies with similar valuations.
6. THE ROADMAP
- Q1 2018 – They will have the first API ready to test
- Q2 2018 – Development will continue and theback-end interface for mediators will be added
- Q3 2018 – ‘The initial pilot launch will feature a curated selection of merchants’
- With the initial pilot launch occurring in Q3 2018, the platform won’t actually be fully functional for another year
- This is such a long time away – especially in Crypto-world – that is raises the question of whether it is best to invest in the ICO or wait until afterwards once the hype has dropped down and token prices might potentially be cheaper?
- After all, the only factor driving demand over the next year before the platform launches is speculation
- You have to ask yourself if you think that speculation will drive prices up after the ICO or whether a new, shiny ICO will come along in the meantime and people will sell their UTRUST tokens to fund their next purchase?
We simply aim to open the eyes of investors by exploring all possible options in our analysis.
With that in mind, let’s move onto the ICO/token sale details next.
7. ICO/TOKEN SALE DETAILS
- ICO/Token Sale Link – https://utrust.io/ico
- Referral/Affiliate Code – N/A
- Pre-ICO Start Date – 28th August 2017 (Finished)
- ICO Start Date – 2nd November 2017, 2pm UTC
- ICO End Date – 9th November 2017, 2pm UTC
- Token Price – $0.065 (6.5 cents)
- Bonuses Available – N/A
- Token Supply – 1 billion
- Soft Cap – N/A
- Hard Cap – $49 Million
- Accepted Currencies – BTC & ETH
- How To Participate – Click this link and follow the instruction
Very Important Point:
Token price is irrelevant when investing. Hard cap is all that matters for judging whether an ICO is cheap or expensive and market cap is all that matters once the Crypto hits the exchanges.
If you want to learn more about this fundamentally important aspect of investing, make sure to have a read of our brief explainer article
- If UTRUST’s hard cap isn’t reached, the unsold tokens will be burnt
- For example, if only 500 million tokens are sold in the ICO, the remaining tokens will be destroyed
- This protects your investment from being diluted
8. EXTRA POINTS TO CONSIDER
- UTRUST’s Pre-ICO sold out in just 90 minutes, raising $1.5 Million
- Since then they have ‘boosted their infrastructure’ and are looking to sell out their main token sale as quickly as possible
- It is impossible to say whether they will hit their hard cap or not. However, it is fair to say that there could be high demand during the ICO
- Therefore, IF you plan to participate, I would recommend signing up beforehand and being ready with your contribution immediately after the ICO opens
- We believe that the project is very strong
- The price is relatively cheap; with a hard cap of $49 million, this would put the UTRUST platform as the 91st most expensive project on coinmarketcap.com (at time of writing)
- However, the platform will not be released for general use for another year – in ‘crypto-land’, this is a very long time
- People may sell their tokens after the ICO in order to fund other purchases. This could make you think that an investment post-ICO might better than during the ICO
That’s the end of the article! Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to check out our other articles for regular Crypto/ICO reviews and market updates
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Disclaimer: None of the above is financial advice. Always do your own research.
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This article has been provided by the CEO; Tom Heavey.