The Bitjob ICO, a student freelance marketplace aimed at China and India, has set out with a big idea, but without knowing any of the specifics relating to operations, its too difficult to know whether this ICO has staying power.
When I do these reports, the first thing I do is hop in either Telegram or Slack to have a chat with the founders, developers and or community manager. It’s an essential part of my DD process to ask questions I have about the project and also to see how and what sort of answers I’m given. My questions come from issues in the whitepaper and other factors which I could see arising later in the future for these young companies.
When I first started talking with the Bitjob team, I wanted to know a few things. First, how will it compare to other existing competitors, namely Upwork and Freelancer.com. The biggest advantages for a crypto-version of these services would be their fees. Upwork charges a flat percentage fee which reduces as the client pays over a certain level for the lifetime of the contract.
“Specifically, Upwork charges the freelancer a fee of: 20% for the first $500 billed with the client. 10% for lifetime billings with the client between $500.01 and $10,000.” From the Upwork website.
When I asked Bitjob about their fees, Elad Kofman, CMO and Co-founder, told me that they would not disclose their fees publically, but that I should trust them that would be lower and the service would be cheaper. This line of response was similar during my entire enquiry. I would ask for specifics and Elad would respond in a very general way about the efficacy of their model without ever providing any details.
Specifically, I asked for the following fees: “full fee structure for both users and employers, fiat to STU fee, Stu to Fiat fee, subscription fees, BJE.M fees, DPR fees.” In response Elad gave me the following answer, “We won’t publish any info about the fee structure. We have solid numbers on our business model, but it is too early at the moment – You can rely on the fact that the fees will be cheaper than Fiverr & Upwork.” He then added “BUT – as experienced businessmen – we understand that giving you ‘numbers’ that will make you satisfied, numbers that may change in the instant future due to countless reasons – is making a fool out of ourselves and not respecting you in any way.”
Unfortunately, I can’t rely on someone’s word when determining whether I want to invest money in a company or not. Concrete details, especially concerning how the company Bitjob plans to be able to fund operations, further development of the platform and expansion.
Furthermore, it’s Bitjob’s responsibility to provide their full business plan to investors, as they are the ones trying to raise several million dollars. They need to demonstrate the viability of their project and provide investors the necessary information to conduct their own due diligence.
When it comes to the whitepaper itself, I’ll let the following picture sum up my view.
A large portion of their whitepaper was completely negated and contained false, old details. The team even admitted that these details were false and the whitepaper contained a mistake. I can’t review a whitepaper which is not up to date and doesn’t contain all factual information.
When I brought up the issue with the team as well as pointing out that their wp contained very little details, I was met with what seemed to me as annoyance and aggression from Bogdan Fiedur, CTO and co-founder. Instead of thanking me for finding the issue and then offering to send me a new updated WP, the senior Bitjob staff member responded to me with hostility. After he asked me if I had written any whitepapers (this is irrelevant, I’m not the one raising money), he told me “Obviously I would like to learn how one writes white paper without errors.” I told him that I wasn’t the one trying to raise money during an ICO and he responded “I’m just wanting to see if your money is where your moth is.”
I’m still surprised that Bitjob lets a senior member of their staff talk to an investor and interested party this way.
Bitjob’s lack of transparency and hostile responses are indicative of a larger issue with the company. These should be trivial matters for a company trying to do what they want to do. Ultimately, I still have no response to my answers and I hope that others will ask the same. They need to provide these details, even if its preliminary.
Because of their actions, I can’t in good faith summarize and or analyze any of their whitepaper due to the following discrepancies: the whitepaper is filled with errors and mistakes, which the team has admitted themselves, the team was combative about providing information on fees and other issues which could affect long term success, and senior staff are able to aggressively speak to interested parties while representing the company. Until these serious issues are resolved, I will not be reviewing their ICO.