From Algorand to ThunderCore, is the academic aura a token of poison?

Another star project chief scientist left the job.

On the morning of August 5th, the ThunderCore English Community Telegraph Group and the Chinese WeChat Group Administrator announced that ThunderCore co-founder and technology core Dr. ElaineShi did not continue to sign after the end of the two-year contract.

According to block rhythm reports, some investors in the community said that the project team had already known this and had concealed it, and that the project side "sneaked the slap." According to the data of Bituniverse, the current token price of ThunderCore Token (TT) is 0.006 US dollars, which is close to 80% compared with the decrease of 0.029 USD in the last year of this year. The decline rate in the last week is 22.93%. . It is understood that ThunderCore private equity first round of 0.01 US dollars, the second round of 0.02 US dollars, the third round of 0.1 US dollars. The third round of private placement investors and secondary market investors may have suffered a lot of losses in the investment of this project.

In the official group, many investors lamented the “buy and get into the set” and slammed the project “should shovel, waste wood, crazy line, servant street”.

Once academic aura

In fact, two months ago, the project was in doubt. At the beginning of May, the ThunderCore project was exposed to the 50 million and 30 million chips that were transferred to Upbit and Firecoin before the start of the transaction, and the investors thought that it was “cash-up”. As soon as the news came out, the community began to panic, and the price of TT tokens plummeted 50% on two days. However, at the time, the respondent's response was that the original plan was to be issued as an employee in the future, and there was no intention to sell it.

Dr. ElaineShi, who left the company, is an important asset for Thundercore's fame. As a co-founder, ElaineShi has a strong academic background. He graduated from Tsinghua University with a master's degree and a Ph.D. in Carnegie Mellon Computer and taught at Cornell University. And in the blockchain field, there are also many title blessings: the forerunner of the smart contract and distributed algorithm industry, and the co-founder of IC3 (Distributed Smart Contract Initiative). ElaineShi's departure, an industry insider commented, "This will let ThunderCore's story go on."

Looking back at ThunderCore six months ago, it is also a star project with a Silicon Valley technology big bull and a $50 million holding of a well-known investment institution. At that time, investors should have a hard time imagining that the future Thundercore will be so rough.

Academic founder who left midway

If you break into the controversial blockchain star project this year, Thundercore is by no means the only one. It has the same kind of difference, and also the "founder's departure" and Difinity.

This pair of Ethereum's Silicon Valley star public chain, the vision is to create a "world supercomputer", and announced the creation of a smart governance mechanism – "blockchain nerve center system" (BNS), the system is meaning: once significant System events, errors can be recovered, minimizing damage and impact. The co-founder Tom Ding has an enviable background. Public information shows that he got a bachelor's degree in computer science when he was 14 years old. He was called a child prodigy when he was a child. He graduated from the China Europe Business School MBA at the age of 20. He has been in Ali and Ebay. Worked too.

With the above background, the project was favored by capital. In 2018, it received financing of 166.9 million US dollars including well-known encryption funds such as a16z and Polychain, with a valuation of up to 2 billion US dollars.

However, in June of this year, Difinity smashed moths frequently: first, the telegraph group's announcement center was hacked and released fraudulent information; then the media exposure Tom Ding had already withdrawn from the team, and was fascinated by the study of "longevity," committed to physical extinction. After that, consciousness persists.

At present, Difinity is far away, and the trace of the project is even more embarrassing.

All of these projects have star professors, well-known capital and blessings of magnificent blueprints. Therefore, they are sought after by many investors and regarded it as the next Ethereum or the next EOS. Even if the private equity is difficult to grab, it must be boarding. But once the core asset "star founder" leaves, often face the dilemma of the capital story is hard to say.

For the Zilliqa project, which is known for its fragmentation technology, in the previous public information, Dong Xinshu and technical director Jia Yaoqi, graduated from the National University of Singapore, and Amrit, a research director graduated from the University of Grenoble, France, are Zilliqa's “three. The carriage, but the current Zilliqa official website has disappeared from the Dong Xinshu, and the three have changed into two. Although the public opinion that can be affected is not big, it will be worthwhile to defer the progress of the project.

Academic bulls still involved in the project

In addition to Thundercore and Difinity, which have already been "overturned", what are the star blockchain projects that are also the trend of the times in 2018?

Oasis Labs, which targets Ethereum and is trying to break the bottleneck in scalability and privacy protection of current public-chain projects, received $45 million in financing last July. The list of announced investors includes the a16z crypto, the currency incubator, Foundation Capital, Metastable, Pantera and Polychain, which are among the world's largest cryptocurrency investment institutions. Professor Song Xiaodong, founder and CEO, has a reputation as the "mother of computer security."

Conflux also received $35 million in financing in 2018, with a valuation of more than $400 million. Investors include Sequoia China, F2Pool, Fire Capital, Metastable and IMO Ventures. The creation team includes the Turing Award winner, Yao Zhizhi, Dean of the Institute of Interdisciplinary Information at Tsinghua University, and Yao Jiaban, who led the team.

Although the two did not send negative news, the pace in 2019 seems to be slightly slower. What is even more worrying is that these academic gold-plated projects often gain a high valuation in the primary market due to the glamorous founding team background. After entering the secondary market, the aura of the founding team brand is only supported. Can you still pay for the capital market?

At least Algorand's answer is obviously not.

As a representative project shared with Cosmos and Polkadot to be treated by major exchanges, the founder title is definitely the biggest label for Algorand, and founder Silvio Micali is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) & Turing Award. The vision is to solve the “impossible triangle” problem in blockchain projects. In 2018, Algorand, in addition to the $4 million venture capital, added an additional $450 million.

The Dutch auction launched a few months ago is even more gimmick, attracting a large number of spectators and group followers. But as of today, the price of the currency that fell more than 80% compared to the opening price is a big surprise. The subsequent revisions of the Dutch auction rules have caused market turmoil.

Although the failure of bidding and market operations can not be linked to technical strength and subsequent potential, but in the eyes of investors, "Turing" worship has become a "small zero" mocking.

New impossible triangle

After the first year of the public chain 2018, I thought that the bubble of the bear market was squeezed out, but the controversial performance of the star projects also seemed to indicate that the slogan "Technology is king" did not work in the capital market.

Algorand's example of secondary market education proves that brand strength is not the only need for a qualified blockchain project team. These academic projects, which aim to solve the "decentralization, performance, and scalability" impossible triangle, are facing a "new impossible triangle": a decent team image, a good-looking k-line, and a satisfied private equity investor.

The team image is a masterpiece of academic projects, but the good-looking K-line and satisfied private equity investors are difficult. After the exchange, “pump and dump” and all unlocked sell-offs are the most normal exit operations. If the exchange is far away, private equity institutions will become popular in the secondary market through IEO and OTC. The goods are cashed out; and the good-looking K-line, if not for the wave field, has experienced the misunderstanding of the majority of the circulation in the ninety-four yuan, but it is difficult to really grasp it in its own hands; in addition, stay in the stars and hold the moon. The academic projects in China may also lack the “earth” of listening to the market voices such as the community grassroots coins.

The beginning of ThunderCore and the development of Difinity warned investors that the so-called "technical aura" may be a false mirage. The big cows may not be core members, and may have retired early because of the unbearable commercial interests. However, due to the stability of the project, it will not be the first time to speak. Only those investors who are in the air and have information asymmetry become the green and oily leek under the sickle.

Produced by Odaily Planet Daily

Author | Aloe

Edit | Lu Xiaoming