As cryptocurrencies develop, there are an increasing number of projects that are providing solutions for niche problems that do not require a blockchain solution. Projects are branching further and further away from the original, idealistic goal of transferring value between two parties without the need for an intermediary.
In light of this, PumaPay is a real breath of fresh air in the current cryptocurrency climate. There is a clear gap in the current market for a trusted cryptocurrency payment and billing option to successfully link businesses with their customers. After a recent, highly-successful private sale – in which a near-unprecedented $117m was raised – PumaPay is now set to position itself as the smart payment solution, using a blockchain-based solution to connect existing, disparate payment methods.
PumaPay’s ‘Pull Payment’ protocol is designed with the aim of bringing crypto-base payment processes to the forefront of daily life. Their approach specialises in enabling merchants to ‘pull’ crypto funds from the accounts of their customers through the use of blockchain billing, improving existing payment-processing systems and distancing itself from other, more primitive cryptocurrencies that rely on ‘push’ methods.
The Pull Payment protocol allows for billing to be improved through the Ethereum blockchain using smart contracts. Token holders are able to simplify scheduled payments, monthly subscriptions and pay-per-view systems by authorising businesses to implement ‘pull’ actions. Once an end user has accepted a vendor’s terms, ‘PullContracts’ will allow business to connect to customers and pull funds from their wallets. The implications of which will lead to innovative payment mechanisms for vendors to take advantage of as they no longer rely on traditional ‘push’ actions.
PumaPay's Goals, Vision and Roadmap
PumaPay’s goal is to trigger the end of traditional, out-dated credit card processing systems, replacing them with a service that redefines – and, crucially, simplifies – the business-to-customer billing procedure. PumaPay is targeted to embrace the fast paced, 21st century technology-driven economy. Their goal is to build a modern cryptocurrency payment mechanism using the PumaPay payment protocol
The PumaPay ‘Pull Payment’ protocol will enable commission-free business transactions, establishing an immutable, ledger-based trust between businesses and their end users. PumaPay targets to bridge the gap between merchant and customer, allowing crypto payments to become part of everyday use, whilst simultaneously reducing the risk of fines, chargebacks and fraud.
Using blockchain-based billing, users will be able to authorise the methods by which companies are able to access their funds. The customer will be able to select pre-authorization of payments and set specific withdrawal limits giving freedom to the vendor to establish innovative pull billing options.
After their hugely successful ICO – and with the first version of their wallet already available on Google Play/the IOS App Store – PumaPay have already shown that they are effectively meeting the targets laid out at Q2 2018 of their roadmap.
The next stage, Q3 2018 will see PumaPay initiate the second version of their wallet and software development kit, which will allow third-party applications to integrate with their infrastructure and thereby progress implementation of the Pull Payment mechanism.
By 2019, PumaPay aim to have released the third iteration of their software development kit, as well as the PumaPay Wallet 3.0 on Android, IOS and also Chrome. At this stage they will target to implement Pull Payment mechanism with launch partners such as livestream giant ‘ImLive’
At the moment full details of this roadmap and details of how their protocol components will be implemented are awaiting confirmation, which is admittedly not ideal. However, we anticipate that the early closure – and runaway success - of their private sale will have a direct positive influence on the speed and scope of the project’s development.
Value of project – Use case
The real benefit of the PumaPay payment protocol is its use of ‘PullContracts’. The PumaPay pull protocol overcomes existing issues that the likes of Bitcoin or Litecoin face in that these are ‘push’ only payment options. By allowing Pull Payments through the use of Ethereum’s rightly-vaunted smart contracts, PumaPay are able to authorise monthly crypto subscription fees, implement pay-per-use billing charging by the minute, implement single online and offline payments and restrict payments based on predefined user preference.
The main advantages for business’ is the money they will save on fees and other processing costs. Through a decentralised billing layer, PumaPay estimates 15% worth of profit can be added to a business’s bottom line through reducing transaction costs. For large businesses this could amount to millions of pounds a year in savings
An exciting time for the project will definitely be toward the end of the 2018 when we begin to see real-world applicability of the PumaPay token. The team has already signed up 40 early adopters who will be implementing PumaPay and we imagine the business development team will be busy over the next 6 months securing more early adopters looking to integrate the payment protocol.
PumaPay’s links with big business is a very big plus point we must consider when analysing use case and value in the real world. In addition to the 40 early adopters it is very likely we may see big names joining the project through 2018; this is a strong point to consider when considering timing an investment in the project.
More than 40 companies are on board with the project, 30 of which include adult entertainment businesses, a particular area PumaPay has targeted to drive adoption in their whitepaper. PumaPay highlights livestream giant ImLive.com as one of its launch partners who they hope will help drive adoption within the adult industry. As one of the pioneers of livestream platforms in the adult industry, Puma Pay hopes ImLive.com will ‘play a crucial role in demonstrating the advantages and potential of PumaPay, thereby encouraging more businesses to adopt PumaPay and become part of the ecosystem.’
It is worth noting 75% of Pumay's early adopters are linked with the adult industry. This is something that has both negative and some very positive connotations depending on your stance. In the past pornography has had outstanding success in encouraging the adoption of emerging technologies. You only have to look at what pornography did to the mainstream adoption of VHS, the internet and most recently what it is doing with VR to understand the possibilities that come with the adult industry adopting this new payment method.
On the other hand it may be possible that the payment system could become branded as a sole payment facility for the adult industry. Whilst this could provide a problem marketing the product outside of this industry it is also important as an investor to remember this industry alone has a market size is in the tens of billions of dollars.
PumaPay recently declared their public sale as closed on 7 May 2018, after raising an outstanding $117m in private sale. The ICO was closed before it had the opportunity to reach public sale, with the original goal being $150m (as detailed in the whitepaper) meaning the first opportunity for public investors to purchase PMA tokens will be when they are listed on exchanges.
The $117 million sold produced a total of 78,042,956,829 tokens; this places the value of each PMA token at $0.0015. Looking at the total circulating supply it puts the project the very high end of the market, comparable to the likes of Ripple, Tron and Dentacoin, all of which have similar large circulating supplies but have definitely not suffered from growth. What this means is the market cap required to move the price needs to be a lot higher than low market cap coins such as Zcash or Veritaseum.
Whilst this could be seen as a weakness to investors used to targeting the volatile nature of low supply coins to make a quick profit, the intentional large supply actually makes sense for a company looking to establish a reliable payment facility.
By having a large supply the risk of volatility is greatly reduced, which makes the PMA token more attractive to businesses looking to implement cryptocurrency as a viable payment method. In the past businesses like PayPal have turned away from the likes of Litecoin and Bitcoin because of the volatile nature of the currency. Having a larger supply in this case is a sensible decision that fits their business model.
The PumaPay private sale was so successful that a public sale was not needed, the private sale provided sufficient funding eliminating the need for a public sale. Thus the ability for the public to access tokens will be limited to the PMA token hitting exchange, the scarcity of the amount of tokens available to the public will likely lead to increased hype. The limited availability of tokens to the public and clear confidence from private investors may be a factor that increases excitement, however the project may be jeopardised by the limited amount of time the project has been in the limelight.
Whilst I don’t think this will be the case in this situation, the abrupt end of the token sale could have limited its outreach to a bigger audience prior to hitting exchange. When looking at social media influencers such as Ian Balina, The Crypto Lark or Boxmining, very few of them have mentioned the project and coverage as a whole has been quite minimal (so far). However, this means that hype for the project can only grow as more coverage builds surrounding the project. The confidence in PumaPay demonstrated by the amount raised from private investors alongside strong collaborations made with established businesses is a strong signal that this is a legitimate project and will be successful once fully operational.
At time or writing, PumaPay Telegram group (https://t.me/PumaPay) has over 16,000 users, but a relatively small Twitter following of 3500 and a small Reddit community. The #PumaPay hashtag is currently being tweeted an impressive 500-600 times a day and the team has a very capable marketing team, who consistently blog relevant content (https://blog.pumapay.io/) and are active on PumaPay’s various social media outlets.
The fact that the PumaPay ICO has raised an outstanding $117m during its private sale cannot be ignored. This places project as the sixth biggest ICO of all time (behind EOS, Siren Labs, Tezos, Bancor and FileCoin). These sorts of numbers speak for themselves, creating an expectation that both current and future investors can expect a lot of buzz around the project both before and once PumaPay is listed on exchanges.
Over the coming weeks we expect the PumaPay token to gather interest in the community ahead of its listing on exchanges. However, at the time of writing, for a project of this size and funding, the hype in the community is understated, suggesting there may be a lot of room for growth. This means that although the opportunity to invest at ICO has passed, there looks to be an opportunity to obtain PMA tokens before PumaPay really gains mass awareness in the space.
PumaPay have a fifteen-strong team listed on their homepage, as well as five advisors. The CEO, Yoav Dror has quite a secretive public LinkedIn page that hides companies that he was CEO of from 1997 to 2016.
On the official Ask Me Anything blog post on PumaPay's site, Yoav is asked: “What did you do before PumaPay? Tell us more about yourself.”
Yoav replies “I have over 20 years’ experience as a CFO and CEO of high-transaction volume companies. I hold an MBA and am an enthusiast for new technologies and an entrepreneur at heart.”
But which companies?
When considered in conjunction with the limited information available, this apparent cleansing of his previous history is can only be seen as a chink in PumaPay’s armour, and as a result has had a negative impact on the rating we have given PumaPay in this category.
Whilst we at TheCoinRadar are not in the business of unduly or unfairly speculating on the unknown, the fact that 75% of the companies looking to adopt the protocol are based in the adult entertainment industry does lend itself to the conclusion that Mr Dror’s previous history may indeed have been earned in that very same industry.
That being said, the adult entertainment industry is obviously highly-profitable and so any judgements made in this regard should be tempered by the pragmatism that business requires. Moreover, we do not know why the specific reason that PumaPay’s CEO has chosen to cleanse his LinkedIn. PumaPay’s private – and very significant – investors were not deterred by this knowledge and so this is not necessarily a red flag.
PumaPay’s Chief Technology Officer in comparison has a very open profile, detailing both an extensive and impressive work history and requisite experience. (https://www.linkedin.com/in/aristos-christofides-5839b639/) the CTO in question is also from Cyprus and, as mentioned, has years of experience as both a CTO and Director for a variety of large companies, including MPF Global markets – a position he still holds. Most recently, his current position details him as the CTO at Decentralized Vision – the parent company name of PumaPay, founded in 2017.
As we work our way further down PumaPay’s management structure, Giorgus Kourtellos (Chief Blockchain Architect), Pentelis Fouli (CFO) and Milenko Strika (Head of Product) are prime examples of an extremely capable team, detailing experience with IBM, ACCA and Polet Airlines. Each of these members has vast experience in their chosen fields and are clearly at the top of their games career-wise, with a succession of prominent roles under their belts. Notably their Chief Blockchain Architect, Giorgus has worked very recently as a Full-Stack Blockchain Developer for IBM.
PumaPay enters the market in an assured position, having achieved the sixth largest investment in the history of ICOs to date – all private sale, it must be reiterated. PumaPay is currently the most successful ICO of 2018 and therefore has a solid base upon which to develop their vision and progress their project through 2018 and beyond.
Unlike other projects, it is very easy to envisage genuine use case for the Pull Payment protocol and how it will be used in commerce. The confidence in the product can clearly be seen in the $117 Million raised by the 40 independent investors which is a very positive factor.
However, the project is let down slightly by lack of detail in their short 120-word development roadmap and we have a slight apprehension regarding the lack of transparency from the CEO. To combat this, we hope to see PumaPay expand on their yearly plan soon as they have mentioned on their homepage that they intend to do shortly. In addition to this it would be welcome to see more transparency from the CEO to increase trust from potential investors.
We are very excited to see how 2018 pans out for PumaPay. The project is in a strong position investment in a climate where many ICOs are struggling to source a fraction of what PumaPay has achieved. A successful 6 months could launch PumaPay as one of the first cryptocurrency projects that accomplishes mainstream adoption; we wish PumaPay the best of luck!