IRIS Network ICO Overview
The IRIS Network ICO and IRIS token sale are raising funds toward an inter-chain service infrastructure and protocol. IRIS Network lays the groundwork for a network of distributed ledgers capable of integrating disparate business services, including public and proprietary chains in addition to enterprise legacy systems. IRIS Network is itself an instance of Cosmos, and will expand the interoperable ecosystem as a regional hub.
IRIS Network ICO Value Proposition
The IRIS network aims to deploy the same topology as Cosmos while adding a set of complementary features to the ecosystem. IRIS will connect to the Cosmos Hub, making an expanded set of functions available to any participant connected at any point in the network. IRIS full nodes, developed with the IRIS SDK (an extension of the Cosmos SDK), will provide both a service-oriented infrastructure and integration of IPFS.
The first component of the project is the deployment and integration of the IRIS Hub with the Cosmos Hub, and will include the launch of a mobile client to access the network. The core function of private and public chain interoperability is provided by the IRISHub.
The second component is the IRIS Service Layer, referred to as iServices. This layer enables service definition, binding (provider registration), invocation and querying functions throughout the entire network. iServices is designed to bridge the gap between blockchain and conventional enterprise applications, giving developers access to a complete set of off-chain functions for integrating business logic. The layer also serves as an adapter between proprietary chains, legacy enterprise systems and the IRIS Hub.
Diagram of IRIS Service Infrastructure
IRIS Token Economics
IRIS Token (IRIS) is the primary means of exchanging value between users. The token is utilized both for staking and payment of fees. The token also provides voting power for participating in governance of the network.
IRIS is required to pay for Hub fees and can also be used to reward service providers. However, the network will support a multi-token model that allows service providers the freedom to charge using a series of whitelisted tokens, which will initially include the Cosmos Network native token (ATOM) and ETH.
A flexible payment system is employed to ease adoption and boost the number of inter-blockchain transactions in different currencies, which will increase the demand for IRIS tokens to reward validator nodes.
IRIS Network ICO Team
IRIS Network is the result of collaboration between several blockchain enterprises – Tendermint (currently building Cosmos), Wancloud (a subsidiary of Wanxiang Blockchain) and Bianjie AI. Tendermint provides technical oversight and development support to the IRIS Network team. Wancloud acts as a strategic partner for growing the IRIS Network ecosystem. The core team members derive from all three organizations.
Harriet Cao (Co-founder) is the founder of Bianjie AI, a Shanghai-based startup that produces proprietary blockchain solutions for AI-based business collaboration. Prior to establishing Bianjie AI, Harriet has spent more than 16 years at IBM Research, serving in a variety of capacities, including Director of the IBM Research Shanghai Lab and Head of Big Data Analytics at IBM Global Labs. Harriet has an MS in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University and an MEng in Automation from Tsinghua University.
Haifeng Xi (Director and Co-founder) is the Chairman and Co-founder of Bianjie AI. After returning to China from the US in 2009, he held three consecutive CTO positions, the most recent with Wancloud. Haifeng has an MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Maryland and an MEng in Automation from Tsinghua University.
Jae Kwon is the CEO and Founder of Tendermint and Cosmos Network. He is also President of the Interchain Foundation, established to develop open-source software and protocols for the “Internet of Blockchains”. As an integral facet of the Cosmos ecosystem, Jae oversees development of IRIS Network. Jae holds a BS in Computer Science from Cornell University.
Tom Tao serves as VP of Wanxiang Blockchain and is responsible for consulting services, the Wancloud BaaS Platform, and the ChainBase project accelerator. Prior to joining Wanxiang, Tom served in both managerial and executive roles at IBM and Hewlett-Packard. He holds an MS in Physics from Fudan University.
The IRIS Network team includes 30 members in total, 25 of whom are developers. There are six advisors currently supporting the project. Among them are Yubo Ruan, Founder of 8 Decimal Capital, and Adrian Brink, Core Developer and Head of Community at Tendermint/Cosmos.
IRIS Network ICO Strengths and Opportunities
The team behind IRIS Network has already successfully developed blockchain products, including Blockchain Edge Analytics Network (BEAN), a permissioned chain for distributed data analysis in the health care sector. IRIS Network will incorporate this an instance of this product into the service layer as a tool to obtain data for analytics models.
Enterprise users of the proprietary chain will have access to external sources of data offered by other participants on the network, enabling use cases such as a secure, distributed AI-training through IRIS Hub.
The whitepaper presents a theoretical example of a consortium chain between a hospital and a medical insurance company to illustrate this use case- medical insurance claims can be written to the ledger while statistical data for research is collected in a secure manner and invoked by 3rd parties in return for a reward.
Because IRIS Network and Cosmos are integrated, the service layer can be invoked from any blockchain within the ecosystem. While IRIS Network is referred to as a regional hub, this does not limit access to services in anyway. Regional participants will connect to the network via IRIS Hub, but the services are universally available. On the network itself, the team has made significant progress and the testnet is currently accessible to the public.
IRIS Network ICO Weaknesses and Threats
The value add IRIS Network brings to the Cosmos ecosystem will only hold weight insofar as Cosmos itself is utilized to connect disparare blockchains. This interdependence means the trajectories of each network are largely intertwined.
The Cosmos ICO was conducted in April 2017 but the mainnet has still not launched. With the Cosmos mainnet release TBD, it’s unclear at this stage which instance will launch first. Further, there is no shortage of interoperability-focused networks competing for users, with several established projects leading the way.
While parent company Bianjie has purportedly been working with several enterprises on the development and deployment of BEAN, IRIS Network has not announced any agreements to pilot use of the public network.
The existing partners using Bianjie’s proprietary chain could hold some potential as future users, but in and of themselves don’t signal any real demand for the public network.
With a team comprised almost entirely of developers, resources for marketing and building interest among the target demographic of B2B users are limited. Without dedicated resources to raise awareness in the community and among potential enterprise customers, the network will see little adoption.
The Verdict on the IRIS Network ICO
The IRIS Network ICO offers a comprehensive foundation for an integrated network of interoperable blockchains. Through the iServices layer, a multitude of use case scenarios become possible through new configurations of public and private chains. The multi-token model and provision of a developer-friendly SDK serve to further facilitate this aim through ease of adoption.
While efforts to market the project appear limited, the team has made significant progress on development of the network. With a finished product on the horizon, now is the right time to start building a user base.
We have been in discussions with the IRIS Network ICO team and our ratings are based on conversations and information that they have asked us to keep confidential. Please note that our review does take into consideration the token data that has been shared with us, but we have been specifically requested not to share the token metrics that we have seen at this point. We will share them as soon as they are made available by the team.
As a Top 10% rated ICO, we will look to make a small bet on the IRIS Network ICO.