UTrust – The First Crypto Payment Gateway with Full Buyer Protection

Utrust
ICO
2

UTRUST ICO

I was pretty hyped when I reviewed Monetha a few months ago. I really thought that the system was an interesting application for the blockchain and from repeated conversations with co-founder Justas I came away feeling that they were setup for success. Having had some time to think about their project, there was one issue which separated them from acting as a service like Paypal or Stripe, in that their only form of buyer protection was in the form of their rating system. A seller would build their reputation by using their token and ecosystem, earning a rating as time went along.

The problem with this system though is that a lot of businesses which are run very well make mistakes at times. Packages are delivered to the wrong address, items come damaged, or they never come at all. In each of these cases, a buyer would normally request a refund, to which the payment provider (i.e. Paypal) would work with the parties to resolve the conflict. Depending on the size of the selling company and the terms they have with their payment gateway, if there was a problem, funds could be withheld from 30-90 days or until the issue was resolved. In fact, the seller probably wouldn’t even receive payment for the purchased item until it was delivered; when the tracking number would be registered as delivered to the buyer’s address.

In our modern economy, this kind of buyer protection is normal and expected. As a consumer, I want to know that my interests are protected during every stage of the sale. In Monetha’s case, they do not have any protections such as this, they simply rely on the veracity of the seller to gauge how reputable they are. In order to build a trustworthy, safe, and attractive payment gateway for crypto, buyer protection needs to come first and is what Portuguese company UTrust is planning to provide to the crypto community.UTRUST

In its most basic form, UTrust acts as a payment gateway between crypto and fiat. Users can use any major coin or token to pay for goods and services, just like Paypal. When a transaction is made, UTrust immediately converts the payment to fiat and then places it in an escrow account. Then, depending on the trust rating of the seller and monthly turnover, the funds are held for a predetermined time before they are released. For new sellers, this could be several days, while for larger, more experienced sellers, the holding period could be a matter of minutes. By holding the funds, UTrust will be able to ensure buyers that their transaction is safe and protected. Afterwards, if no disputes have been raised, funds are released and the buyer’s rating increases. If there is a dispute, the parties try first to resolve it themselves, however if it must be escalated, UTrust will act as the arbitrator and decide in favor of one party.

UTrust

What’s more important is that UTrust will be able to process any coin or token with enough liquidity. When I spoke with Nuno Correria, who is extremely accessible and active on Utrust’s social channels, he told me that their goal is to be able to process as many crypto types as possible so they can open up market opportunities for the greatest amount of people. For sellers, they get the choice what kind of currency they want to receive their funds in, with most probably choosing cash to negate crypto’s high volatility. However, if a seller wants to receive crypto they can, but they will have to specify it in their settings. Additionally, sellers only pay 1% fees for the transaction, a much lower sum than what Paypal and other services charge.

UTRUST TOKEN

I haven’t mentioned the token yet, which is an important part of the ecosystem, but not for the reasons I originally thought. To be clear, a user doesn’t need to own the UTrust token to use their services. In my last review of Confideal, this was the dealbreaker, because it made their token useless and just a way for them to raise funds. The UTrust token UTK works in a somewhat similar way, both systems waive a 1% fee if the native token is used, however, in UTrust’s case, the token is what’s used to pay refunds and it allows for instant transactions, instead of having to wait 30-40 minutes for a Bitcoin transaction to clear. At first, I thought it was important to force users to use the token, but Nuno said that adoption rates were more important, which I can understand and agree with now. The major difference between a system like Confideal and UTrust is the ease of access and barriers to entry. With the former, companies could be using smart contracts to transact millions of dollars in one deal and so having the fees paid in Confidela’s token makes sense, but for UTrust, the application needs to merge into the background as seamlessly as possible.

UTrust

Long term token holders will benefit from the incredibly huge burn the company plans for the next 10 years or so. Each year, they plan to burn a maximum of 50 million tokens until their supply is reduced from 1 billion down to 100 million. I’m doubtful of this in the long run as 50 mil tokens only represents 5% of tokens in the first year, but by year 10 it spikes to around 30%. They would have to reinvest massive amounts of capital to facilitate this burn. We will see what happens though.

One issue is that the platform will not be running until Q2-3 2018, which means that this token is a six month hold at least. Nuno said that development and beta testing with a select few merchants would begin in Q1 and 2, however, full release of the platform could take longer. But, if they hit their hard cap, Nuno thought that these development times could be lowered with access to greater capital and better developers.

One thing I have to say I like about this ICO is that there is no massive bonus tiers or discounts. UTrust raised 3.5 million USD in their private sale, but this comprises less than 10% of the total fund raise and represents only 15% of total tokens issued. Nuno said that he and his team were highly against any special private sales as it made the actual ICO unfair for those who had to wait. I personally asked several for several different offers, however, he denied everyone of them, even getting tokens at ICO rate allocated before the crowd sale date. I have to give it to him for his honesty and integrity regarding this matter.

Team

The team is from of Portugal and CEO Nuno has a background in several commercial textile ventures. His CPO Roberto Machado is lead dev and has worked with AT&T, Betfair and Airtel. The rest of the team looks pretty solid. I would hope they get some more big name advisors on as they go forward to give them the introductions necessary to gain a substantive market share in the future.

Conclusion

I was pretty excited for Monetha, but UTrust appears to have solved a lot of the issues which I didn’t even realize they had at their core. I had a really great interview with Nuno, he was very, very open about the project and answered all of my questions. I think the project actually has merit because of it’s applicability in the space. While I may wish that the token would have more use, its not a traditional ecosystem to have a token. I’m extremely interested to see how their token sale goes and will probably be taking part.

Website: UTrust.io

ICO SUMMARY

PRE-ICO START DATE 28th August 2017, 4pm GMT

ICO START DATE TBD October 2017, 2pm GMT

ROUNDS 1 Pre-sale + 1 Single Round

TOKEN SYMBOL UTK

TOKEN POOL SUPPLY 1,000,000,000 (1 billion)

PRE-ICO ROUND VALUE $0,03 (3 cents)

ICO ROUND VALUE $0,065 (6.5 cents)

MAX CROWDSALE CAP $49 MM (forty-nine million)

ACCEPTED CONTRIBUTIONS BTC & ETH

TOKEN PROTOCOL ETH, ERC20

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