As an e-commerce professional for over ten years, I am all ears when it comes to ICOs that target the online retail niche. Yes, there are a few crypto payment gateways available, and you can use them in a crypto environment, but frankly, they are not made for the masses. I see customers flipping way too often when it comes to a simple PayPal transaction – no way they will send money in an irreversible transaction to a wallet address and wait for six confirmations and 32 minutes to get a success message. Aunt Marry just won’t do that to purchase her new fire-red KitchenAid online. If you want to pay in cryptos, many people welcome the added privacy – PayPal, for example, is the opposite, you have to tell them the color of your undies, in front of being able to use their service – and just don’t talk about the fees for retailers… But are crypto payments any better until now? Not really, you also pay high fees, the transactions are traceable (see Bitfury), and they are often slow as hell. I mean the crypto payment gateway tech is cute for the current state, but honestly, it is yet far away from being usable for the masses.
E-commerce is growing more day by day, and it became already a fixed part of the modern life. Cryptocurrencies are on their way to achieve that, too – but there is a gap when it comes to connecting both. This is the bottleneck SONDER is attacking with their ICO, which is about to start soon.
Sonder ICO Facts Sheet
Whitepaper: Whitepaper / OnePager
Social Media: Telegram | BitcoinTalk ANN | Twitter | Medium | Youtube | Facebook
Pre-Sale: 03/25/2018 – 04/10/2018
Token Sale: 04/11/2018 – 05/25/2018
Pre Sale Bonus Structure: 25-27 March – 15% bonus.
The minimum size of investment – 10 ETH;
28-4 April – 10% bonus.
The minimum size of investment – 5 ETH;
5 – 10 April – 5% bonus.
The minimum size of investment – 1 ETH
ICO Plattform: Ethereum ERC20 Token
Hard Cap: $ 6M
Maximum Supply: 240 000 000 SNR
Allocations: 70% of total SNR token supply will be sold in the crowdsale, 10% will be locked for a year, 10% locked for 6 months and 10% reserved by the company to engage the community.
Token: SNR (ICO price: 1 SNR = 0.00007 ETH).Once the mainnet launched, all SNR tokens will be converted into SonderCoins.
Solved Problem: Secure crypto payment gateway for e-commerce projects with easy API integration and fast, fee-free transactions.
ICO Video Review
The E-Commerce Payment Gateway by Sonder
Sonder creates a payment gateway and additional tools for the implementation of cryptocurrencies in e-commerce stores. This is indeed a challenging task, as it is mandatory to keep the payment process simple for your customers. If it is not simple, it is garbage – every online retailer knows this. Lousy payment flows will costs you conversions and lower your revenue.
I recently purchased something with an online store that makes use of the payment gateway by coinpayments.net. Yes, they created quite a good solution for the current state, and I can imagine crypto-familiar people using it. But how many are like this % – wise if you run a regular online store? <1% would be my bet – and this shows an urgent need for a user-friendly solution for the general consumer. Cryptocurrencies are thought as a method of payment, and an ultimate goal on the road to mass adoption is its everyday use for regular transactions. If we want to see it firmly growing and used by the masses parallel to fiat currencies, we need a solution like Sonder. Secure, fast and easy crypto payments for the consumer, easy integrations for the store owner and transactions with no fees.
Do you have the PayPal app installed and sent already a payment with it? Then you can imagine partly what Sonder is going to do. Please have a look at the consumer site of Sonder in the video below:
The Features of Sonder
The set of features by Sonder is well-thought and shows a clear structure:
- A very easy to use payment gateway (for both retailers and customers) for crypto payments for services and goods
Please see the video above to get an impression.
- Cryptocurrency wallet connection to online-stores just in some clicks
- Connection bridges via API and SDK
The API (Application Programming Interface) is a programming interface. If you look at the API in general, you can find a lot of services that provide solutions for development and enables the connection to the payment system and the use of its features.
The SDK (Software Development Kit) extends the functionality of the program and allows another programmer to create their applications on top of it, so the base of the tools is expandable.
- In-App P2P exchange service
You can exchange one coin/token to another directly within the system on peer-2-peer base.
- Fast transactions
Immediate execution of transactions will be achieved due to a high speed of forming blocks, the consensus between the masternodes, reasonable emission schedule and the system-friendly rates with no fees.
- Anonymity features
This is one of the critical points by Sonder: (wallet address mutation, transactions obfuscation, IP-hiding, digital signatures and other) Privacy coins will be a big deal in the future, and the features by Sonder are outstanding for this section. It is more than just a privacy coin like Monero, as it also offers privacy rich wallet and payment gateway features.
- High-yielding masternodes
With masternodes you can earn cryptos in an energy-efficient way without specialized equipment, Sonder will be Proof-of-Stake so you require only a computer, laptop or mobile devices and the needed amount of tokens to run a masternode. Read more here about masternodes.
This is a pretty round set of features and sums up everything e-retailers, and customers might need to get ready for sales and purchases with the help of the blockchain. Some more words on the API/SDK and why it is such a big thing: If you are an online retailer and you have a payment provider, you will need additional acquirer contracts with banks/card issuing institutes. Quote from the whitepaper:
“The API / SDK connects directly to the payment systems allows to get rid of banks in the role of the mediator, as well as a consequence of getting rid of the expensive fees for payments that benefits both buyers and sellers.”
With conventional payment methods like Credit Card or PayPal the retailer stays in the mercy of the banks: if your chargeback rate goes up too much or if PayPal decides to freeze your account for whatever reasons – your business will be blocked. The e-commerce I run uses PayPal as well, and from one day to the other, they have frozen our account. It was a simple reason, I just had to submit additional documents, though there have been 20k blocked for over a week – this hurts the cash flow. Things which won’t happen if one uses Sonder.
ICO Check – Is Sonder worth the investment?
How is the whitepaper/website?
The website is realized in WordPress, but that is ok – the actual standard for building sites nowadays. The content on the website is unique and has not been copied. It explains the idea in short words and makes it graspable for the most. We found some small typos in the whitepaper, but this is no big deal in our opinion, we read it to do due diligence and not to correct a class test – nevertheless, they should be fixed. The important thing is that the project makes sense, the product is eagerly needed to step furtherly into the direction of mass-adoption. The whitepaper explains everything in details and with words, the most will be able to understand – interested folks should get the concept of Sonder, even if they are not too tech-savvy. The whitepaper is pretty detailed and often shows an explaining character at the same time, so the author did an excellent job to go into the detail and to pick up newbies at the same time. The Sonder ICO follows a multidimensional route, and there is undoubtedly much work to do. If you read the whitepaper, you might ask yourself – how do they want to achieve all of this with just 6M as hard cap. While other ICOs can’t set their max hard cap high enough it seems, Sonder makes a difference. Maybe we do have some realistic planners here, which just don’t want to waste the participants’ money? We will ask that in an upcoming interview. The bonus structure of the pre-sale is reasonable: no fancy-schmancy 50 – 100% Bonus, but down-to-earth values, we can cope with. The funds and token distribution is interesting but raises some questions, we will ask in an upcoming interview we are preparing right now. Things we want more clarification: While we can see that the development is the most cost-intensive part, the part for security ($300,000k) and legal ($120,000K) stuff seems very low. As an actual privacy token, proper legal consultation and foundation is a must. Same goes for the security: Sonder has many security features and their wallet and code base needs to protect the user funds. However. from the team listing, they have permanent staff on board for that, so this might be a reason. Nevertheless, we are curious about the answers and will update here.
What is the use of the tokens?
The tokens will be used as “fuel” for the Sonder platform.
All charges for providing transactions using applications are paid in SNR-tokens. The majority of services within the framework of the platform will work using Sonder tokens. Sonder tokens are needed for the implementation of the purchase and sale of products or services, in process of which a certain cycle of financial or commercial transactions is carried out with the help of Internet technologies.
It is not yet clear to us if these tokens are only to be used by retailers if they make use of the payment gateway of if end-customers will need SNR tokens as well. We can imagine the first option is the case and that would make the most sense. We will research this with the upcoming Sonder interview.
Does the team have the needed experience?
The team looks pretty solid from the first view. There are several important persons in play for a project of this size. Jokubas Drazdas, the CEO and Co-founder of Sonder, has a severe financial background with his past role as financial controller at the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania. I find it pretty interesting that a former member of the Lithuanian government is starting a service with this ICO, which provides blockchain retail payments. As a former government employee, he might have inside knowledge that could be helpful to the goals of Sonder. The Co-Founder and Advisor Kenjiro Tamaki is a name in the world of thermal transfer labeling machines, and I would like to learn more about his role in this ICO.
If we skim through the Linkedin Profiles of this ICO, we can find quite a few former and/or current positions like Barclay’s, Eberstein, Berent, AIG, Netwatch, and INVL. It is important to know that not all of the team joined Sonder as a full-time employee but as a freelancer. I found it important to have a legal advisor directly aboard: Alaa al Aridi takes care of this.
What I don’t like in general, when ICOs brag on their websites with big-name advisors. I’ve seen way too often, that these guys just cash in a big cheque to allow the ICO to list them on their website as an advisor. This is just a game of deception often and I am glad to see that Sonder, does not play this game and uses the available funds responsibly.
Please see the Sonder Team here to get a vivid impression:
I performed a reverse image search on all the team members, and there have been no doubles with other names etc.
Is there a clear roadmap and is it realistic (the goals achievable)?
The roadmap shows that there is a focused route to follow. I assume the milestones to be set as ambitious but doable, which seems to be a good balance. It will be interesting to follow this roadmap, I guess that they will be able to achieve their targets. Most important thing to me here, is that it is realistic and the goals are set in an logical order. This is a fact that convinces me about Sonder – it is all made up in logical steps – the whole holistic concept and how they want to get there (the roadmap). What does it take to eat an elephant? Right you have to slice him into tiny pieces and go from there.
How about their GitHub?
The Github shows only the initial setup but not yet much of movement. For the current state of the project, this is common, though we need to have an eye on the future development. I am sure they have much code already done on their machines and are questioning themselves when to release to the public. This is a crucial point most ICO issuing companies are unsure about as it is a two sided-sword. On one hand you want to show off that you are active and you are working hard to achieve your goals, on the other you are publically provide the base you are building, which makes it easy for copycats.
Which risks are investors taking?
The most significant risk I can see in this project is the unknown future, authority-wise. All kind of regulations will kick in within the next years, and some of them might be conflicting with the project’s goals, I could imagine. Sonder is not a project for anonymous purchases per se, but for ultimate security. Anonymous technologies are just an instrument for achieving absolute security level of payments and the storage of cryptocurrencies. Sonder has no relation to the DarkNet and has not the intention to provide solutions for that. And still, anonymous purchases might be a thorn in the eye of governments. Here it will be crucial how the Sonder team reacts – flexible and versatile moves will be inevitable, and we are confident that these characteristics can be found in the team.
The Sonder ICO is about to close a critical gap: providing a secure and easy payment gateway for cryptocurrencies that is fit for mass-usage, along with privacy features that still search for something similar. The bottom line of the project is about fast transactions, privacy and an easy way to connect crypto to e-commerce. This is not senseless solutionism, but a down-to-earth approach concerning real, practical mass adoption. The team has no “big” celeb names on it but is real as it gets and puts much of the needed background together on one table. Most of the past or current positions are a good match for this ICO. The tokens are not expensive in comparison to many other ICOs, but the maximum hard cap is not small; therefore the price per token won’t be remarkably high post-ico, though we can imagine a good return on investment with this one short-term – and even more in the long-run. The use of POS masternodes, has shown in the past that it can stabilize the price, keeps it stable in rough times and also decreases the circulating supply of tokens at the same time. As Sonder is a Proof-of-Stake (POS) project, the token holders are encouraged to hold with the upcoming masternodes. Without giving any investment advice, we can see industry professionals, who have a crypto affinity, participate in this ICO and can imagine a succesful and needed product in the future of cryptocurrencies.