Bytom — Update I

08.02.2019

TL;DR. Ecology:2 (2). Technology:3 (3). Decentralization:2 (2). Valuation:4 (3). Rating:3/10 (2/10)

Six months have passed since the initial BD Ratings article on Bytom. Let's continue to explore the project.

2018-08-08: USD 0.244907, Satoshis 3 698.

2019-02-08: USD 0.076520, Satoshis 2 226.

In the beginning of September, a Hackaton in Boston was announced by the Bytom team. Furthermore, token holders were still migrating to the newly launched mainnet, and the Bytom team published details on how to perform this migration. Apart from the migration, the team also focused on developing mainnet features like Equity - the Bytom smart contract language - and an SPV light wallet.

October began with a new full node client release, Bytom wallet 1.0.6. The version fixed a couple of bugs, came with a Chrome plug-in and lets users create private keys and restore them from mnemonics. During this month, a Bytom Global Dev competition was held in China on Bytom DevCon, encouraging diverse ecosystem projects. The event was well attended. Next developer event occurred in San Francisco in January 2019.

Ecology

It was a long time ago BD Ratings noticed such an inactive international community for a relatively large cryptocurrency. Looking at the subreddit, it is evident that the Bytom team itself tries to stir up some activity, but there is really no one there to respond. Exactly as predicted in the initial rating analysis, marketing practices based on spam lead to a disloyal community. These practices continue to this very day, by the way.

There are consistently around 1 000 transactions per day on the Bytom mainnet - a slight increase since 6 months ago. Most of these stem from coin mintage however and does not count as contributing to chain activity. The Global Bytom Dev Competition gave rise to a couple of new dapps, which is positive. By inspecting the roadmap for 2019, it is clear that the Bytom team now focuses on facilitating dapp development which could give rise to a future increase of the use of the blockchain. BD Ratings await the result of this development of a broader ecology.

Grade: 2

Reasons: Extremely low visible community activity. Low on-chain activity. Scammy promotion offers. Application development.

Technology

Organizing hackatons is a much better use of funds than giving them away in useless Twitter retweet spam events. These hackatons also help to develop the technical community and the overall competence of Bytom developers. Bytom also ran a Global Dev Competition, encouraging developers to build on Bytom.

There is sporadic activity on GitHub, with at least a handful of contributors. New developer bounties have been issued, which encourages talent to develop on Bytom as well as to look for vulnerabilities.

The consensus mechanism's alignment to algorithms used for potential AI research is still a weak point for the chain as a whole. It is untested and may very well fall in to stable game theoretic solutions that are not optimal for the blockchain itself. BD Ratings assumes that the choice of consensus algorithm is mainly a result of greed by either the Bytom team or Bitmain, or both. It is probably not a result of researching what solution produces the most log term resilient blockchain.

Grade: 3

Reasons: Still active GitHub with multiple developers. Bug bounties as well as developer meet-ups. Still relatively untested consensus mechanism and blockchain.

Decentralization

According to at least one source, f2pool currently has more than 50% of total hash rate on the Bytom blockchain. This is obviously serious and BD Ratings can't assume the underlying mining entities are small and decentralized. On the subreddit or in news feed from the team itself, nothing relating to this fact has been discussed by the team. f2pool has earlier seen purely to its own interest when mining empty blocks on the Ethereum blockchain.

The Tensority mining algorithm is still untested and may lead to a single hardware manufacturer obtaining a majority of the hash rate. Bitmain is the current producer of related ASICs, which means the company might continuously be one step ahead of regular miners. This fact is possibly already reflected in the unprofitability of mining on Bytom.

Grade: 2

Reasons: Mining pool centralization. Untested mining algorithm.

Valuation

At time of writing, Bytom is valued to around USD 105M, CMC #53. This is too high considering the weak fundamentals around the project, with emphasis on low economic activity, dangerously large mining pools and AI-focused mining algorithms.

Grade: 4

Reasons: Low community activity. Scammy team practices. Centralization and untested consensus mechanism.