Thailand-based project Carboneum wants one thing above all: to make investing in crypto easy for the masses.
“We want to make a platform that will allow people to invest in cryptocurrency,” says project founder and CEO Max Kortrakul. “The best approach is to develop a social trading platform, which allows people to learn from each other.”
Developed by the same team that brought you StockRadars, the popular mobile analytics and trading app boasting about 800,000 downloads, the Carboneum protocol seeks to democratize investing by providing the man on the street with the insight and real-time information now monopolized by a very small group of people. It also helps those new to the crypto space learn the ropes faster by linking them with expert traders, or “leaders,” who earn rewards for making profitable trades.
“The business model is very simple,” says Kortrakul. Social trading generates revenue only when one condition is met – the leader makes a successful trade, earning profits for themselves and their followers and platform fees for Carboneum, a “win-win-win” situation.
Crypto trading as a social activity
Current social trading platforms allow investors to replicate the transactions of expert traders. However, the centralized structures of these trading platforms don’t allow users to verify which trade orders have been replicated, and are also vulnerable to single points of failure.
Carboneum, on the other hand, hopes to leverage the transparency of blockchain technology to develop a decentralized social trading platform, one that lets users see exactly what’s being done with their money.
“The concept of social trading is follow the leader,” says Kortrakul. “But the best thing and the beauty of the blockchain is that all the transactions are transparent. So you can get all the data publicly and see who performed best over the past month without any approval from the wallet. All those transactions are transparent already. So we just make use of that information, make it useful.”
Best of all, an application built using Carboneum would give the uninitiated a teacher – or teachers – who can hold their hands, digitally speaking, as they explore the brave new world of cryptocurrency investment. It’s a shortcut to learning the art of the trade. Kortrakul likens it to learning golf. “If beginners want to start trading, it’s very hard to learn by themselves,” he says. “It’s just like when you play golf. If you try to learn it from a book or from watching Youtube, it’s not like playing with a pro.” On Carboneum, you learn rather than study.
To give users a vehicle to use Carboneum, the team is upgrading its CarbonRadars mobile cryptocurrency analytics app, turning into a DApp with social trading functionality. The upgraded DApp should be released in the first quarter of next year. Kortrakul stresses, though, that Carboneum itself is an open protocol that other developers can use to power social trading DApps of their own creation.
Whale watching in a safe environment
One of Carboneum’s more interesting features is its “Whale Watch,” a function designed to give users insight into the wallets – and more to the point, the trading habits – of the world’s biggest crypto traders. Though we don’t know who these traders are, explains Kortrakul, blockchain records all the transactions – you know that right now, at this given moment, someone is transferring from one wallet to another. When tied together with historical pricing, this allows you to see who the best performers are over a given month.
“I myself actually love to do this a lot,” he says. “If you follow a wallet, you see the trend of the wallet itself.”
It’s all very simple, he says. “If you want to follow any wallet in the world, you just scan it and start to follow them forever. Whenever a transaction happens, the app will alert you. So it’s very handy to manage all your investments.”
This all sounds very fun, you might say, but you don’t want to risk your children’s college fund gambling on crypto. Fear not – Carboneum includes a “Safety Belt” feature that gives an automatic stop-loss order when the price reaches a set level. This lets new traders minimize their potential losses, giving them something money, either fiat or crypto, can’t buy – peace of mind.
“If you wear a safety belt, you can move in only a limited amount of space. It’s exactly the same thing,” says Kortrakul. “For the crypto world, new users know the upside is unlimited, but the downside is also unlimited. The key is to limit the downside and make it simple for the users.”
Moving to ICON
Originally built on Ethereum, the Carboneum project is moving to ICON’s blockchain, the migration scheduled for the first quarter of 2019. ICON serves as Carboneum’s technical and strategic partner, providing technical and business support. Kortrakul cites ICON’s thriving community and ecosystem. “We see ICON as a very powerful partner,” he says. “There are a lot of things that can happen on the ICON platform. There has been a lot of movement in the community of ICON. We see there’s a bright future.”
“We all know the blockchain industry is very new, so for a longer future, we believe that you need not just a token, but to beef up the entire ecosystem,” he adds. “ICON has showed us that there is a lot of initiation going on and that there a lot more players in the ecosystem.”
Kortrakul hopes Carboneum can boost ICON’s presence in Thailand, a country where, he says, ICON has not been very active. He sees a lot of potential in Thailand’s local ecosystem, too, potential that ICON could tap into. Having people on the ground – people like Carboneum – could help ICON grow even faster. Language localization would be nice, too, he says.
Still, the biggest challenge the Carboneum project faces, he says, is a problem all blockchain projects face: showing people why they should use the technology.
He thinks the first step will be giving consumers something they can actually use.
“Right now, we keep talking about blockchain technology and how it is going to change the world,” he says. “But actually, in the real world, nobody is getting into blockchain that much yet. The real game will begin if they get some case that shows the real benefit of the technology. They don’t even need to know they are using blockchain. They just know that their life has become better with the technology.”