In 2017 and 2018 many projects were launched using Ethereum’s ERC20 token and subsequently scheduled token swaps onto their native tokens once their own blockchain was ready.
They launched using ERC20 for several reasons, including:
- Ease and speed to launch
- Access to funds during the ICO craze phase
- Exchange Listings: ERC20 token means all exchanges could instantly list new tokens with no additional tech requirements and associated costs
- The use of ERC20 makes tokenization less risky for everyone involved since the tokens adhere to the same standard.
Asides ERC20 tokens, the Ethereum network offers other types of tokens for projects including:
- ERC223: which allows users to send their tokens to either wallet or contract using the same function transfer. Thus, eliminating the potential for confusion and lost tokens. Examples include ChainLink (LINK) and ShineCoin (SHC)
- ERC721: they are usually non-fungible tokens such as Decentraland (MANA) and 0X Protocol (ZRC)
- ERC621: This token standard is an extension of ERC20 and allows projects to modify the total supply of the tokens they created.
- ERC 1155: allows developers to issue multiple types of tokens as fungible, non-fungible, and semi fungible. An example of the ERC 1155 is the Enjin multiverse where the items created in the game can be both fungible and non-fungible tokens.
- Other token standards including ERC735, ERC865, ERC725, ERC1400 and more. (They are extensions that serve different purposes to the ERC20 and ERC721 tokens)
What is a token swap
A token swap is a process whereby a cryptocurrency is transferred to another blockchain at a predefined rate. Token swap usually occurs when a crypto project launches its own blockchain and wishes to move its tokens from another blockchain (like Ethereum) to its new network. In some cases, the projects don’t have their own blockchain but decide to move their tokens to another platform, such as Mithril (MiTH) moving from Ethereum to Binance Chain. After the token swap, the ETH pairing of the tokens is usually removed from exchanges and only that of BTC is left.
Token Price Influences
My intention when I started researching this question was to confirm the best time to buy or sell tokens for projects heading into a token swap I researched over 20 projects, some that are still in various stages of their token swap.
It is important to note that external forces can have significant impacts on the outcomes of a token swap. These include bull/bear market stages; the marketing and communication quality, duration, budget and success at attracting enthusiasts; the number, and relative quality, of the exchanges that listed their ERC20 token and if/how they supported the token swap and the enabled native token trading; the tokens liquidity; the market cap of these projects; the level of short term speculation activity prior to a token swap, etc. This is not an exhaustive list of external factors, just a list of several variables that also influence the token price.
I found that the primary driver that dictated token price success are the exchanges. Specifically:
- Will the exchange support the token swap
- Will they list the new native token (note: some exchanges can only list ERC20 tokens e.gIDEX)
- When will they list the native token
I will leave it up to you to consider and evaluate the influence other variables that I mentioned above may have had on the projects that have already completed their token swap, and the projects that you may be evaluating right now.
Should I Sell Before Or After The Token Swap
Firstly, this is not financial advice. I am sharing the process and results of my research to make my own decisions. Again, this is not financial advice.
From the 20 projects that I researched I divided them into two groups and then compared the results:
- Group 1: This group comprised native tokens that were listed on exchanges immediately after the token swap.
- Group 2: This group comprised projects were there were, or still are, delays in listing their native token on exchanges.
One of the key criteria for a token swap to be successful is that the exchanges that already list the ERC20 token needs to support the token swap and confirm a date that they will enable trading of the new native token. The difference between Group 1 and Group 2 is influenced directly by the exchanges, so it’s critical that the project management team have a good relationship with the exchange and manage all communications with their token holders and the crypto community.
If an exchange does not enable trading of a native token after the token swap, then effectively, token holders are now holding a non-tradable token. This situation is exacerbated when a percentage of tokens have not participated in the token swap and continue to trade on the exchange. We have found examples of token swaps where this happened and the negative impact on their token price was significant.
We have provided a matrix below comparing 15 projects comparing token price over 4 data points: First 24 hours, 3 days, 7 days and 30 days post the token swap date. The projects include EOS, Tron, Icon, Aion, WeOwn, Binance Coin, Augur, VeChain, PundiX, IOST, Tomochain, Mithril, Matrix AI, Zilliqa and CyberMiles Token.
The two most successful token swaps to date are EOS and VeChain. EOS, which is currently the sixth-largest cryptocurrency went up by 26.4% (24 hours), 17.5% (3 days), and 12.7% (7 days) after its token swap.
VeChain recorded similar success, going up by 23% (24 hours), 22.6% (3 days), and 3.4% (7 days) following its token swap.
With their native tokens listed on exchanges immediately after their token swap, both these projects recorded significantly more favourable price performance. However, the success level of these two projects could also be attributed to the marketing hype surrounding them. EOS had the biggest ICO in the history of the crypto space, generating roughly $4 billion in the process. EOS mainnet launch was also eagerly anticipated by the crypto community since it was going to provide competition to Ethereum by offering a faster and more scalable blockchain compared to Ethereum.
As an ERC20 token, EOS was listed on 34 cryptocurrency exchanges and the eagerness of most of the exchanges to partake in the token swap would definitely have contributed to its success. The token swap was also immediate, with tokens frozen as soon as the mainnet was launched. The token swap ended on June 2 following the mainnet launch, with unswapped tokens lost afterwards.
Vechain was designed to boost transparency and product management in the supply chain sector, which saw it generate a lot of interest from shipping companies and other businesses in the industry. The team allowed the token swap for 6 weeks, from July 21 to September 1st, 2018. Vechain was listed on 26 exchanges prior to its token swap and 19 of them participated in the swap process.
CHX has been the worst performer on the list. While the token swap began on June 1, 2019, 30 days later their native coin is yet to be listed on any cryptocurrency exchange. Although BitMax helped with the token swap and WeOwn have stated that BitMax will list their native token, as of 4 July, almost 5 weeks after freezing ERC20 tokens, BitMax has not enabled their native CHX token to trade.
After 30 days of not having their native token listed on any exchanges, the CHX token price has dropped by 50% since the start date of token swap on 1 June. According to the team, there is no time limit for the swap as users are allowed to do so whenever they wish. This decision may also have impacted price as it removed any sense of urgency for token holders to migrate to a native token.
Whilst comparing multiple token swaps helps identity projects with better metrics it is important to research what other factors influenced these results, and if there are patterns to help identify what has impacted success across more projects. The most successful token swaps on the list had a well-defined timeline, making it a matter of urgency for holders and exchanges to carry out the process. Projects with open-ended token swap dates such as Own, and Zilliqa performed negatively by comparison in the days and weeks that followed the toke swap initiation.
The two most successful projects, VeChain and EOS had very good products and excellent marketing team. Some of the tokens that performed negatively on the list like Cybermiles and Mithril are less popular and known in the crypto space. So their lack of market presence could have played a role in their price action post token swap.
With the exception of CHX , as projects reached the 30-day mark post token swap the price of the tokens tended to follow the market trend. EOS, for instance, dropped by 28% 30 days after its token swap, implying that the positive impact of the token swap had waned and the general market conditions affected the price performance.
Most of the token swaps were carried out between last year and this year. However, token swaps carried out last year had more significance to those conducted this year. In 2018, EOS, Tron, Icon, Vechain, AION, and Pundi X all went through a token swap. This year, the biggest names are Binance, Zilliqa, and IOST.
The stated purpose of my research was to identify if I should sell before or after the token swap. My research showed that a few weeks after token swap projects tended to return to following the market trend, which means that any potential price benefit needs to be looked at over a shorter time frame. I chose a 3-day time period after the token swap.
Token BTC price 3-Days after tokenswap
When I look at both EOS and VeChain I note that at the time they both had considerable brand recognition, market presence, and well communicated token swap. The market was also still relatively favourable.
When I remove both EOS and VeChain from the 3-day results above, it is clear that the potential gain of a few percent is not worth the risk of engaging in a token swap, especially as over half of the projects showed negative results and also carry the risk of delay native token listing.
Corporate treasuries under pressure need multi-banking trade finance technology
By Andrew Raymond, CEO, Bolero International
The pressures on corporate treasuries in global trade have continued to mount since an HSBC survey last December found many felt ill-equipped to meet the demands placed on them.
Since then the pandemic has caused massive disruption and has overturned many carefully-laid plans. The same pressures identified in the survey remain, but have intensified. Treasurers still face ever-more complex flows of information from multiple systems while relying substantially on manual processes. At the same time they are expected to drive change and provide strategic insight.
It was no surprise then that two-thirds of treasurers in the survey were planning changes to the technology they used as part of transformation programmes to increase efficiency and bring greater visibility to treasury operations.
Reliance on manual methods and paper documents makes little sense and is unsafe
As we move through the pandemic, pressure on cashflow and working capital remain potent factors. Many treasurers working for enterprises engaged in global trade know that continuing to use manual methods to manage credit lines, and important trade finance instruments such as letters of credit (LCs) or guarantees is hard to justify in an age of digitisation and multi-banking trade finance solutions.
Not least because of the constant problem of fraud and forgery in relation to paper documents, which has led some banks to withdraw from involvement in commodity trade finance. The allegations of prolonged major fraud against the oil trader Hin Leong in Singapore are a case in point, sending tremors through the trade finance world. Court documents reportedly allege the fraudulent use of 58 import letters of credit that were not supported by any underlying transaction. Forged bank statements, bills of lading, sales contracts and invoices are also allegedly involved in very substantial fraud designed to cover losses and give a false impression of liquidity.
The case has not just exposed the susceptibility of paper trade documentation to forgery – it has also prompted some well-known European long-term commodity finance banks to withdraw or review their activities in this field. None of this makes everyday operations any easier for corporate treasuries still using paper in trade finance.
Reducing fraud through digitisation of trade finance
With fraud such a substantial problem, treasurers need to think hard about digitisation and how it reduces the risks. Paper documents can be forged when out of sight while being couriered around the globe. Once a document is digitised, however, fraud or forgery become extremely difficult because of encryption and audit trails. The electronic document remains completely visible at all time, but only to those engaged in the transaction and only the legitimate holder can amend it.
Increasing the efficiency of each trade transaction through digitisation
Digitisation substantially reduces the chances of fraud, but it also transforms how treasuries manage credit lines, letters of credit and guarantees, vastly increasing the speed and efficiency of transactions. It also maintains relationships with preferred banks.
In a digitised workflow, automation takes care of the data-uploading for LCs, while transfer between parties is at the click of a mouse across secure digital networks. LCs are notoriously complex instruments requiring close attention to detail and strict compliance with the rules governing their use. Compliance-checking can also be automated to reduce the administrative burden on treasuries and increase accuracy.
These advantages are important because the use of paper under LCs can imperil a transaction at many potential break-points. Documents must be presented physically, often to a prescribed location. Yet being time-limited, LCs (and bank guarantees) often expire before they are used, or their presentation periods are found to have been exceeded. Prevention of these problems requires constant supervision and many hours of work. When lines expire, new and potentially more expensive credit must be negotiated, while failure to present on time threatens transactions, leads to substantial extra costs, delays in releasing cargo and poor relationships between counterparties.
Consolidating credit lines and trade finance on a single, easy-to-use platform
The most effective form of digitisation for corporate treasuries is through a multi-bank trade finance platform which will slash the time involved in supervising credit lines, LCs and guarantees. An exporter may have thousands of LCs and guarantees with dozens of different banks. Optimising their use still requires laborious logging in and out of banking portals. Finding a single LC or guarantee relating to a transaction can be very difficult.
If treasuries implement multi-banking trade finance solutions, they will eliminate the need to toggle between different bank portals. They gain quick and easy access to all their banks, along with far greater visibility and control of all their credit lines and individual LCs. From a single platform they can manage and edit all their trade finance documentation and electronic presentations, as well as open account transactions and electronic bills of lading. All tracking and reporting is accomplished with a few mouse-clicks, while communications with banks remain secure. This is a major advantage when remote working is on the increase in so many areas of the globe.
As the world changes, but the pressures intensify, there is an urgent need for treasuries to grasp greater efficiency and visibility in their management and optimisation of credit lines and trade finance. It makes the adoption of multi-banking trade finance solutions an obvious first move.
How can financial services companies deliver great customer service and retain customer loyalty?
By Chris Angus, Senior Director, 8×8
The reality many banks are facing now is that given Amazon Prime can deliver goods to our doors in less than 24 hours, even during a pandemic, consumers expect the banks they use to keep up with their needs.
People want to be able to access their bank accounts, services and speak to an expert within a matter of minutes, whether it’s via an app on their device, web-chat or over the phone – their expectations are high. Adding to this, the World Health Organisation has advised consumers to use cards instead of banknotes during the Covid-19 pandemic – changing the way consumers pay for products.
With the recent health crisis forcing contact centres to shift to home working, collaboration can be more challenging, especially without the appropriate IT systems and applications in place. A delay in communication or unavailable information can, over time, cause reputational damage.
According to Deloitte, the bank of 2023 will look very different from today, making it clear that financial institutions should consider how they prepare for the future.
- Review your business communications strategy – both inside and out.
A crucial part of this preparation needs to be on reviewing business communications – both internally and externally – ensuring that employees can seamlessly collaborate and connect regardless of their location.
And technology is key to this movement, not only between teams, but also with customers. With the right communication tools in place, employees can gain better insight and deliver services that meet customer expectations. This results in not only satisfied customers, but also happier, and more motivated employees. All of which goes towards truly building a solid foundation for business recovery and continuity.
For many businesses right now, the future feels uncertain, so it’s important to consider the flexibility of solutions before deployment. Cloud computing, for example, allows businesses to stay nimble, scaling up and down their requirements to reflect the needs of the business and their customers.
- Implement an ‘Operate from anywhere’ strategy
The first half of 2020 was defined by the need for agility, an adjustment in how we operate our day-to-day lives and how we communicate both professionally and personally. The remainder of 2020 and beyond will focus on the application of technology to define how we reinvent working and connecting with each other, our customers, partners, and beyond.
To deliver great customer service, while ensuring employees are happy, productive and most of all safe, businesses need to be able to operate from anywhere. Yet, for many with contact centre requirements, this is not an easy transition. Enabling contact centre agents to work flexibly and from remote locations is now a critical component of business operations that must be top of mind for the entire C-suite.
Agents need to have the right tools to ensure they can continue to provide the same level of customer service, from any location. For an operate-from-anywhere strategy to be effective, organisations should consider how they can combine voice, team chat and video meetings on a single technology platform.
The use of multiple apps for multiple purposes can have the opposite effect than intended. Unifying communication channels enables collaboration and productivity while minimizing complexity. It also means a more streamlined and efficient experience for both employees and customers aiding great customer service.
- Meeting expectations is key
Not only have recent events affected contact centres operations, but the traditional, in-person branch experience has also been significantly impacted. Bank branches can now only accommodate a small percentage of customers. These restrictions have accelerated the impetus for businesses to meet their customers’ needs online, but also, the expectations of customers have also evolved rapidly. Virtual instant communication between businesses and consumers is now becoming a basic customer need. For financial services, this means considering digital-first applications, such as chatbots or instant messaging, where possible.
Businesses now also need to be where their customers are and offer them an omnichannel experience. Via the cloud, businesses can continue to serve customer needs through multiple channels such as voice, video, email, SMS and more.
While meeting expectations needs to be a priority – it’s not enough. Financial services institutions need to ensure they meet those expectations at speed, being the new battleground for competition. When it comes to finances, consumers expect their problems to be dealt with at speed and to the highest standards.
In summary, taking a technology-first approach which enables both employees and consumers to operate and access their data and communication tools from anywhere is the defacto business priority. Helping the financial services industry empower employees to better serve customer expectations with speed and accuracy – and ultimately delivering great customer service.
How payments can help streamline operations and boost customer satisfaction in the vending industry
By Darren Anderson, Business Development Manager, Self Service, Ingenico Enterprise Retail
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an astounding impact on the payments industry, causing cash usage to plummet as contactless and card-not-present volumes soared. Of course, this phenomenon was not unforeseen by payments professionals, who had predicted such a movement away from cash, but not at the speed the virus guidelines facilitated. In fact, due in part to the hygiene perks of contactless payment methods increasing its adoption, 50% of customers think that cash will disappear completely at some point in the future.
The unattended market was ahead of the pandemic in terms of contactless alternative payment method (APM) adoption, and it continues to upgrade its offerings to suit a wider range of industries. Nevertheless, the pain point for vending operators is that they’re often not sure exactly how these technologies work, or how to implement them. And with payments offerings constantly evolving, it’s becoming harder for vending operators to know which solution would be the best fit for their business.
As such, one easy way for vending operators to ease this load is to partner with a knowledgeable payments advisor who can not only provide the best solutions for their business, but guide them through the process and any need-to-knows. It’s also important to investigate the payments trends across the vending market, what the future might bring and what vending operators need to know about newer payments technology and the value it can bring to their unattended retail business operations.
Vending through the pandemic
Coronavirus has impacted the unattended market in various ways. In some cases, vending machine use has decreased as a result of lower footfall and closed premises. However, the nature of vending being self-service, for many it’s just been a case of upgrading systems to meet new guidelines and hygiene recommendations to start boosting their usage again. As cash usage decreased over the course of the pandemic, cards and APMs stepped in to provide a host of benefits, and as customers use and enjoy these seamless technologies, they are fast becoming the preference.
These developments have provided the opportunity for vending operators to embrace newer technologies which, although ultimately positive, can prove daunting if such retailers are not accustomed to working closely with payments. Fortunately, the vending market is in a great position to take advantage of new contactless technologies, being already low on human interaction and having 24/7 capabilities.
What’s more, the market can not only cater to consumers’ evolving needs, but it can also provide the flexibility and reliability that consumers are relying on as the world around them is changing. Many new technologies can also improve the general operations and management of vending, offering features such as easier on-the-go stock management and maintenance notification technology.
Keeping the consumer in mind
Consumers today want to enjoy the latest innovations and best-in-class customer experiences. These shoppers believe that self-service is a time-saver, and they also view cashless and contactless as faster and more seamless ways to pay – a fact which is reflected in the recent consumer demand for a wider variety of APMs. Customers now expect even more options to pay for their goods and services, from QR codes, to in-app payments and more.
Alongside the cashless trend, data-security and customer experience are two other factors driving the vending market evolution. With constantly evolving fraud developments in the online world, good security is more pertinent than ever, and has to be a central consideration to vending operators – as well as ensuring a seamless customer experience.
From a customer usage standpoint, mobile payments are becomingly increasing popular, as driven by the Gen Z market. According to our research, 63% of Gen Zers have said they would pay more for a mobile experience.
Trust and a good experience are also considerable factors across all customer groups, with 95% of customers claiming their loyalties lie with a company they trust, and 86% willing to pay more for a positive experience.
To appeal to ever-hungry consumers, vending operators need to provide the options they want. In the unattended market, this is relatively simple – not only do they provide a convenient and reliable method of payment for customers, but they also avoid face-to-face interaction. They can also supply a range of different products and accept a variety of payment methods to appeal to all customers, no matter their preference.
Using payments to drive revenue
Driving revenue is a two-pronged approach – you need to appeal to customers to keep them coming, and streamline operations to reduce overheads. In order to meet both parties’ expectations, it’s important to respond well to new vending challenges, taking note of the solutions that enable merchants to provide their customers with the payment methods they prefer.
Payments are complicated, so there’s no need to worry if you’re not hugely familiar with the offering out there, or unsure where to start – that’s where a payment service provider (PSP) can assist. With the expertise that a PSP brings, along with the technological solutions they offer, vending operators can improve customer journeys in all unattended environments.
Such technological solutions are flexible and can cater to specific business needs, while providing easy, quick, and secure payment methods that protect both the business and the customer’s personal data. They can also improve operational efficiency, increasing business performance with features such as real-time reporting and smart transaction management, to provide a best-in-class customer experience.
With smart devices, a secure gateway and advanced acquiring capabilities, PSPs can help vending operators design a flexible vending solution tailored to their individual and specific needs. To find out more about unattended retail and how your company can benefit from Ingenico’s unique expert knowledge, get in contact with Ingenico Enterprise Retail today at www.ingenico.com/smartselfvending.
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