Wings (WINGS) Investment Analysis
In order to understand wings’ value proposition, it is important to first understand some key concepts while investing in cryptocurrency. First, use case scenarios are king. Use cases refer to how much a cryptocurrency is used by a broad consumer group and the frequency by which they use it. Adoption is another factor, adoption refers to the rate by which new investors and members of the crypto community decide to use one cryptocurrency more than another. When thinking about adoption rates consider a cryptocurrency like a phone company, there are technically many, many options for what type of phone to purchase but the odds are you own either an Android or an iPhone – that is because these brands are your preferred choice to the alternatives – these brands now dominate the market and the companies are worth significantly more as a result. It may seem simple, but that analogy is useful for thinking about cryptocurrency. Bitcoin and Ethereum have the most infrastructure and provide the most utility which is why these two cryptocurrencies are at the very top – because they have been most widely adopted.
To further understand wings’ as an investment, it is absolutely essential to first grasp current industry trends. In early 2016, the rise of alternative cryptocurrencies, or altcoins, has led to a new market all of its own. By mid-2017, the altcoin market has dominated investor interest in the crypto space. This is because altcoins provide application specific functionality tailored to a particular industry or trend. Understanding the current trends has become the most powerful tool in a cryptocurrency investors belt. The trends in crypto all regard how a blockchain adaption of some existing business model or framework can be improved through the use of cryptography, smart contracts, or distributed ledger technology. The most important trend to focus on for wings regards prediction markets and business analytics. The prediction market trend began with a small project called Augur, one of the first Ethereum assets ever developed. At first, during the alpha testing of Augur, the majority of testnet users thought the project was nothing more than a poorly constructed gambling site posing as a business analytics tool. Though it turned out to be so much more. Augur became a top ten cryptocurrency in 2017 and has since been challenged by several new competitors (most notably is Gnosis). But some of the new prediction markets, like wings, do not go after the same general market. Wings is the first prediction market to focus its efforts solely on one sector – ICOs. (ICOs are the biggest overall industry trend in crypto right now, “Initial Coin Offerings” allow people to become early investors in new projects. Recently, some of the most notable ICO's such as AdEx and OmiseGo have already yielded some astonishing returns of exceeding 20-30x in two short months).
The wings platform provides a simple, elegant solution to some very real problems faced in the rapidly emerging ICO economy. But they do so with an interesting twist. The wings platform is one of the only crypto projects that boasts tangible use cases. Through brilliant partnerships and a complex algorithm underpinning the network, wings users can stake their currency on a prediction and if they are closest to the actual result they will be rewarded generously. The project is very new, having just launched a couple months ago, it is still in pre-beta. In its’ current state the wings prediction markets only provide “ICO price discovery,” which means that you can only make a prediction on how much money an ICO will raise over the course of its fundraising efforts.
Although the project is in an early testing phase, the wings team has done an incredible job closing six major deals with some of the best ICOs to come out this year. The rewards for predicting these ICOs each paid out more than one million dollars (cash equivalent) to wings forecasters. To put this in perspective, let’s look at a few examples of some forecasting events which have already taken place on the wings platform. If you had $1,000 worth of wings at $.40 per wing and staked it on the AdEx forecasting for example, you would have received $172 for locking up that prediction for only one short week – given you were early and accurate with your prediction. That is not an isolated incident, in fact people who invested in wings 4 months ago and participated in all six forecasts have earned more than 400% in returns from forecasting rewards. Don’t forget, the rewards are bonuses, the wings price has moved up 3,000% over the past 4 months as well. The additional 400% is all take-home earnings that came in addition to the appreciation of the wings price. That is what makes the platform so valuable. As wings develops new forecasting tools and expands its presence, the rewards will increase and the number of forecasting opportunities will also increase. That means larger returns and more of them. This all comes in the beta phase which will launch in September of this year. (the wings team will actually be unveiling the beta at a major blockchain conference on September 9th – the news of which will likely dominate the crypto news cycle and once it has diffused properly the price will likely reflect an increased anticipation of the release)
Upcoming on Wings
Let’s look at what is coming in September’s beta launch and why the improvements are so important and how they enable the platform to scale beyond being a simple price discovery tool and into a full on “decentralized decision-making market.” First, it is important to understand why these ICOs decide to pay wings forecasters up to $1 million for their services. The answer is actually very simple: Marketing. Wings, even in such an early phase, has established itself as the go-to crypto startup endorsement tool. In fact, the reason I invested in AdEx was because I saw the wings forecasting of it, seeing that wings endorsed the project cleared my mind of any fears and objections I had regarding whether or not the project was legitimate – which is becoming a serious problem with ICO investing. After noticing that wings’ endorsement had resonated with me at such a high level, I decided to take a deeper look into investing in wings itself. The wings platform is quickly becoming the most effective “megaphone” for crypto startups to spread the word about their projects and guarantee funding is achieved. Wings has by far some of the strongest community support of any project, virtually everyone in crypto knows about it and uses it to some extent or another, but there are still so many people who have missed the greatest investment of all standing right in front of them – wings itself. The fact that it is already a part of the mainstream crypto conversation and ushers so many tangible and realized use cases, it is shocking that the project is still valued at just $60,000,000. Wings is the perfect marketing tool for ICOs because it is able to precisely target the cryptocurrency investors who are most likely to invest in these projects but may not have heard about them otherwise. All it takes to start a cryptocurrency company is to have an idea, make a website, have a whitepaper that explains the idea and a roadmap to make it a reality, you don’t even need a prototype – all you need to do is put your project on the wings platform for forecasting and that effectively cuts out all the work of developing a marketing strategy and does not require any capital beforehand in order to market the startups fundraising efforts.
The wings beta in September is not only going to provide more opportunity for forecasters, it is also going to became a much stronger tool for startups. The great thing about the rewards structure/early predictive efforts of wings’ forecasters is that the startups holding their ICOs will soon be able to use the data and adjust their fundraising “hard caps” accordingly – meaning they could raise millions and millions more than they may have otherwise had they stuck to their original plan. The new features offer startups more hands-on, useful information and advice from the community as to how they could make their project better. For example, if you have a high forecasting reputation and propose an idea for how to make the project better, people could stake wings on that proposal and those people will be rewarded accordingly if the company implements that idea. There will be all sorts of new extra predictive markets coming soon, many of which will be unveiled on September 9th. What we do know is that the September’s beta release will bring the “decentralized decision-making market” (DDMM) to fruition. There is no other project quite like it, the DDMM could prove to be one of the most powerful blockchain applications yet. It creates a rare win-win-win scenario for everyone – forecasters, prospective investors, and crypto startups – all benefit greatly from the DDMM. There is no downside to using wings for anyone and it provides a high utility for everyone.
In September’s beta, they will be implementing the forecasting reputation system. This means that people will be able to build reputations and monetize those reputations with the community. For those interested in forecasting but don’t have the technical knowledge to accurately predict an ICO will be able to stake their currency on someone else’s prediction with a high reputation, that person whose prediction is being staked upon will receive an additional reward from the earnings of the person who staked on their forecast. The concept is explained very well in the wings whitepaper, in their words, “Those participating in forecasts on the WINGS platform receive a public rating representing their ability to make correct forecasts. WINGS DAO implements a liquid DAO governance system that allows for fluid delegation of votes. Token holders can loan ("delegate") forecasting to other token holders ("a delegate") who have, for instance, higher reputation. In WINGS forecast ratings influences the reward that both the token owner and his delegate receive. A higher rating signals a participant who outperforms and therefor other token owners should be willing to loan their forecasting right to the particular participant, creating a meritocratic decision-making system.”
Core Development: Very Strong. (8/10)
The core development team is one of the strongest of any crypto startups out there right now. The team has a lot of experience and has proven their ability to develop a strong work product, especially considering that wings only raised ~$4,000,000 in funding during their ICO.
The team has a powerful commitment to the project and takes care in their work. They are very active on community forums, constantly engaging the community and receiving feedback on how they could improve the platform (which they take very seriously).
The only reason that I give their core development 2 points down is due mostly to their lack of funding. Considering their working on only ~$4 million the platform is coming along well and it serves its core purpose flawlessly. However, the website is quite laggy and the design needs some work, though this is mostly attributed to still being in the pre-beta phase. Aesthetic appeal is a lot more important than many people realize, the website is fairly bland right now though that should change once they’ve finish developing the core tech.
Business Development: Very Strong. (9/10)
The business end of wings is highly sophisticated, the incentives system perfectly connects companies to primary users and subsequently primary users to secondary users. Partnerships are designed to benefit everyone involved, it is a rare example of a true “win-win-win” scenario.
The business development on the platform is progressing at a staggering rate, while still perfecting their tech the business development team has already made waves with some of their key partnerships (Bancor/Coindash). The team definitely has a major strength here, there is no doubt that as they progress the partnerships will only get better and therefore generate great interest in the platform.
All around wings has strong business development and great management. After having an issue sending wings, I sent a ticket to support and received a detailed response within 8 minutes. Definitely wonderful people managing this project.
Use Cases: Strongest. (10/10)
The wings platform generates genuine use cases, incentivizing wings holders to use the platform and not just flip for a quick profit. The fact that investors in wings are also typically users means that the majority of the currency is staked during a new prediction – demand for the currency increases during new predictions and supply is lowered. Due to this gap between demand and available supply, the use cases generated on the platform will draw in new investors and users with every new partnership.
Risk: Low. (3/10)
Though it is a great project with great potential, it faces several unavoidable issues. Firstly, the ICO markets are becoming oversaturated (which is good in the short-term though) but in the long-term the oversaturation could potentially lead to a collapse of the ICO markets all together. (I don't believe that is all that likely personally, but it is a concern which others fear)
There is a new mild risk that recently came down from the SEC’s announcement regarding ICO regulation, leaving the greater ICO market in a state of ambiguity. How these new regulations are going to affect the markets is mostly unknown but likely benign in relation to wings. However, there is the absolute slightest possibility that this great project could be pegged as a “security” which means that wings would be subsequently sued by the SEC for “securities fraud,” which would lead bankruptcy. Again the odds of this occurring are very low and but should be weighed into the decision-making process when considering wings as a long-term investment.
The platform has a long way to go still, development is not complete and there is a lot that can go wrong in the time it takes to finalize their work product. New startups may pop-up accomplishing the same tasks with a better product and/or better partnerships, etc. (Unlikely, wings pretty much dominates this market segment)
Currently wings is going uncontested in the ICO prediction market, which is a very big market on its own. The wings team is in the process of cornering a large market as we speak, which makes the reward outweigh the vast majority of the risk.
Investment Rating: A+
Current Market Cap: $60,000,000
Target Market Cap (Short-term): $180,000,000 - $240,000,000
Wings has a great deal of potential considering the platform is still in pre-beta and already has so many key partnerships. Wings peaked earlier this year at nearly $100M but fell due to profit-taking and fear during the major market crash which occurred in early-June. Since then its most key partnership with Coindash led to an unfortunate disaster after the ICO was hacked, however wings has shown great resiliency as this has not had a significant effect on the price. The community support is overwhelming, over 350 pages on bitcointalk, and 17K+ followers on twitter. The team is great, they have a ton of experience, very strong management, and an outstanding community outreach program. Wings is currently uncontested in a potentially multi-billion-dollar market which is a great sign of the projects overall potential. When the platform officially launches and more partnerships are announced, wings will get more exposure and many new users.
Ultimately, wings is a very strong project. It has a lot of room to grow and will be able to realize much of that growth in the very near future. I strongly recommend considering this investment, read through the wings white paper and I guarantee you will not be disappointed with what you read. Also look at the wings blog for news and additional information. Check out the wings.ai website and look at some of the previous forecasting that has already taken place. Look through the forums in which the community discusses the wings project to see how people feel about it.