Classification: ERC-20 Token
Function: Payment Platform
Project status: In-Development
Circulating supply: 641,462,769 HST
Total supply: 999,999,999 HST
Market cap: $188 230 835 USD
Exchanges: KuCoin, Binance, EtherDelta, Gate.io, Decentrex, COSS
Consensus algorithm: Proof of Stake
Public ICO start date: 2017.10.13
Public ICO finish date: 2017.10.17
Request Network is an ERC-20 token which is trying to redefine how payments are processed. This includes the processing of online payments, invoicing, as well as auditing and accounting. Request Network also allows for the transparency of government offices and NGOs. Request Network is trying to revolutionize how payments are processed by bringing it to the blockchain, which results in cheaper, easier, and more secure payments, and allows for a wide range of automation possibilities.
The Request Network is built upon 0x, Civic, and Aragon. 0x is a cross-currency settlement system that will allow users to send and receive money in the currency of the sender and receiver’s choice. Civic offers anonymity, allowing the user to request payments without sharing their identity. Finally, Aragon will help companies by providing automated accounting and auditability.
Although Request Network is still fairly new, it has managed to attract a number of supporters, including Y Combinator, iExec, and Quantstamp. Moneytis, where the REQ team originated, was also backed by ING. The current status of ING’s relationship with REQ is uncertain.
Online Payments: The use of Request Network to handle online payments removes the middleman from the payment process. Currently, the most popular online payment companies, such as Shopify and PayPal, take a commission of 1.5 to 6 percent. This is a fee that gets passed on to the customer and makes online shopping more expensive. Additionally, through traditional methods, payments can take time to process. However, Request Network allows the user to seamlessly accept and send payments, securely and cheaply, through the blockchain. Their whitepaper currently estimates fees at 0.05% to 0.5% of the transaction sent, with fees decreasing as the network volume grows due to a portion of the fees collected being burned and partially used to finance the network.
Invoicing: Business-to-business invoicing can be quite challenging. Today’s invoices are sent through paper or email formats, which must be copied. This can result in errors and delays, bringing small business owners close to bankruptcy as they wait for their invoices to be paid. With Request, companies can share bills directly via the ledger, which eliminates duplication and allows the company awaiting payment to be able to detect a delay immediately.
Auditing and Accounting: Request Network aims to improve the audit and accounting system through a smart auditing process. The current system in place for audits and accounting is expensive and time consuming. As an example of how expensive this process can be, in 2014 Microsoft paid Deloitte $46.2 million in auditing fees. Furthermore, in the computer consulting industry, the cost of an accounting officer to process a single invoice is between $5 and $15. Request Network’s ledger will contain all standardized accounting entries and can automate real-time accounting, which will “improve auditing, automate factoring, simplify expense reporting, make escrow simple and reliable, and detect and automatically pay taxes.”
Internet of Things (IoT): The Internet of Things is one of the more innovative areas that Request Network will be expanding into. Starting in Q4 of 2018, Request Network plans on launching the IoT framework. IoT is transforming how business is conducted by connecting devices to one another in order to streamline business operations in every industry sector. This will allow any device with an on and off switch to connect to the internet. By 2020, there will be an estimated 26 billion connected devices. Request is looking to provide “a strong and clear framework for the Internet of Things to interact financially,” through handling advanced payment conditions, including late fees, down payments, and taxes.
Transparency: Financial transparency is one of the more overlooked benefits of the Request Network. Openness and transparency creates accountability in government and NGOs, and one of the biggest criticisms for these sectors is how they are spending their resources. Request Network is addressing this issue by providing an easy way for city halls, governmental organizations, and NGOs to be fully transparent with how finances are allocated.
The Request Network team is made up of a number of financial industry experts who have long-standing experience with blockchain technology. Prior to working on Request Network, the team worked on the Moneytis project, which is a portal that provides money transfer exchange rates, fees, charges, and savings from over 300 money transfer service providers.
Chief Financial Officer
Christophe Lassuyt has experience as a financial manager internationally, across North America, Europe, and Asia. After graduating from business school (NEOMA Business School), he began his career as a Computer Management Controller before becoming an International Financial Director at Amaris and Virtua.
Chief Technology Officer
Etienne is a “blockchain enthusiast” who graduated from the French engineering school Lyon INSA in France. He hosted Christophe at Amaris in April 2011 in Geneva, Switzerland, where he was lead developer and manager of IT projects. It was there that he shared his passions for blockchain technology, before becoming CTO. In 2014, he created his first blockchain project “Snapsoko,” later renamed as the “Blockchain Network,” which was integrated into the Moneytis project. He has lectured on the links between blockchain and money transfers in Miami for the International Money Transfer Conference, and in Paris for Blockchain France and Visa Europe.
Back-end Engineer, Solidity developer
Vincent graduated from the prestigious French Lyon INSA university, with a background in research, and worked for the CNRS in association with Stanford University. He has also worked on collaborative science projects in the Natural History Museum of Paris. Following this, he joined Moneytis on the blockchain network project for international money transfers, and has also improved the Neomy project from a research and development point of view by making it function autonomously. Vincent strives to bring transparency and values to the projects he works on, and Request is an ultimate opportunity to give transparency on a global level.
Full Stack Engineer
Elliott is a full-stack developer with experiences in consulting and fintech. He works to write clean, elegant, and effective code by integrating state-of-the-art Web technologies. He discovered Ethereum for the first time in 2016, and has since never ceased trying to imagine the full breadth of its applications. First with Moneytis and then with the Request project, he believes he can bring simplicity and transparency to the future of trading.
Financial Controller and Data Analyst
A graduate of ICN Business School, Laura plays the roles of internal auditor, financial controller, data analyst, and even customer support. She has mastered the accounting and auditing ecosystem, and spent several years in an international startup, Amaris, in Switzerland and Asia, before joining Moneytis in December 2015.
Julien has extensive experience in growth marketing, as well design work. He participated in Y Combinator’s collaborations with Moneytis. Julien trained himself in digital marketing and new technologies. His passion for the internet motivated him to become a Growth Hacker at Virtua (Switzerland) and Molotov.TV (France). According to Julien, working and traveling simultaneously increases productivity and learning opportunities, and he has supported this ideal by co-founding the “digital nomad” project Destinesia.
Below is the official roadmap as posted on the Request Network webpage. It should be noted that Request is already ahead of schedule, as they plan to deploy the website to create, display, and interact with Request in Q4 2017 instead of Q1 2018 as initially planned.
- Token launch
- First version of Request working with Ethereum on the test-net
- Proof of concept: Request Core working with a Bitcoin Oracle
- Release of the API to create, read, and update requests, in addition to the release of the technical papers discussing architecture, upgrades, and accounting implementation details
- The first iteration of Request working with Ethereum on the main-net
- Deploy management of cryptocurrencies to Request
- Deploy the website to create, visualize, and interact with requests
- Add Request management of accounting concepts, such as refund, credit notes, and purchase orders
- Working on partnerships with accounting, payment, and auditing firms
- Launching the “Pay with Request” project, an online button which will offer an alternative to the traditional “Pay with Paypal” and “Pay with credit card” methods
- External audits of the Request Contracts.
- Proof of concept of privacy using ZkSnarks
- Add management of fiat currencies to Request (USD, EUR, CNY, et cetera)
- Launching the “Request & Transparency” project, working with city halls, associations, and governments to publish real time information on their budget
- Organize discussion groups around payment requests with institutions, such as Worldbank, IMF, ECB, and the UN.
- Deploy the Escrow Extension to allow the release of funds upon delivery or upon satisfaction of other conditions
- Deploy the tax extension to automatically pay taxes in real-time
- Deploy the down payment extension to specify an amount to pay and specific date on which to process it
- Deploy the late fees extension to specify penalties if a business is not paid on time
- Add a reputation off-chain layer
- Deploy the governance system (vote/token chat)
- Launch the “Internet of Things framework” project
- Deploy inter-currency settlement through the REQ token to facilitate international payments
- Launching the “continuous payment” extension, which will act as a down payment with an infinity of micro payments
Every project is not without its faults, and Request is no exception. A word of caution to investors is that the project has a very ambitious roadmap, and if things do not follow or go as planned, the project may suffer for it. The team is currently working on two projects simultaneously (Moneytis and Request), and so time management is something that will have to be handled in a smart manner in order to allow both projects to prosper. Another issue is that other payment tokens which have already shown a great deal of success offer competition in the market. However, the Request team is fully aware of the difficulties ahead, and has already addressed the concern by comparing itself to its most-thought competitor as having a complementary relationship rather than being a rival.
Request Network is a long-term investment opportunity that has the potential to see substantial gains, assuming they are able to follow through with their ambitious roadmap. It is encouraging to see their ambition in action as they are already ahead of schedule. However, since the project is still in its infancy, this is a high-risk investment. The team has proven to be able to clearly explain their vision and plans in the whitepaper, and the project has gained noteworthy supporters already, such as ING, Y Combinator, and Quantstamp.
Research Team Recommendation
Request Network is still a project in its infancy, but the team is thus far making good on their promises and continually making headway. As the project has been consistently releasing developer updates, which has brought back attention, its value has been trending upwards again. We have yet to see its breakout moment, but this seems more likely every day as new investors discover it and take note of the potential.
After their ICO, REQ quickly lost a lot of steam when it hit larger exchanges, as the token value dropped below its crowd sale price. Those who have followed the project credited this to bonuses given out to larger investors, though the lack of attention surrounding the project after its ICO could have also been an additional factor.
Anyone looking to invest in REQ should be wary of the numerous external projects they rely on for some of their base functionality: 0x, CVC, and Aragon. Any progress in these companies is also likely to affect REQ directly. However, the reliance on the ability of the Ethereum blockchain to scale in the coming years, as the number of people who use it increases, is among the most critical. If Ethereum does not scale in time to meet its demand, REQ would have to look to other blockchains for wide-scale market adoption.
Ethereum does have a slew of updates coming for it, but the REQ team states that Sharding will be among the more crucial ones, which is not expected to be ready before 2020. Investors should keep in mind that this is a potential long-term problem, and does not necessarily impact the potential mid-term growth of 2018.
Even though Request plans to implement technology from other startup projects and will rely on some of these to varying degrees, it does not mean they cannot circumvent any upcoming roadblocks or partner with others that are more promising. The world of blockchain technology is flexible and ever-evolving, and there are several projects working on similar implementations.
We view this project as a potential sleeper hit of 2018, and expect the team to continue delivering on their promises, as they so far have proven. Potential investors are likely to see considerable growth in these coming months as the team adds more core functionality.
Congruent with their focus on transparency, the Request team actively keeps up their blog with any new announcements to let the public keep track of their progress. To date, they are currently ahead of schedule, and are planning on releasing the website to interact with Request in Q4 2017 instead of Q1 2018.
All content provided by IRG is purely observational and should not be considered financial advice. IRG is not an investment group, but a research group that meticulously scans the market for those projects deemed to have the most potential. Cryptoassets are subject to high market volatility and risk, invest responsibly at your own risk. Seek a licensed professional before making any investments.
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