• Riley Hundt

Building on Blockchain pt. 4 ft. Proof of Review

Updated: May 2, 2019

Their story, mission and our interview with the Founder. Building on Blockchain is an interview series, to find details on this series start here: [link].

We are very proud to present the fourth part in our interview series with Growdigi, Founder of Proof of Review.

Building on Blockchain pt. 4 ft. Proof of Review

Welcome to Building on Blockchain pt. 4! 

Proof of Review has created a review process that is setting the standard for the way blockchain projects are launched to the public. By encouraging transparency as an industry standard, they aim to promote self-regulation in the mining industry and give the public the chance to fundamentally analyse a project before considering investing their miners or bitcoin. Below is the story behind Proof of Review, their mission, and our interview with the Founder, Growdigi. Thanks again Growdigi.

Summary Proof of Review (POR) launched at the end of October 2018, wanting to set a higher standard for the mining community. To do this, they created an objective review for Proof-of-Work cryptocurrencies. 

Prior to Proof of Review, there was no real standard for launching a blockchain project to the public. Typically, developers publish a minimal amount of information upon a projects launch. Miners, traders and investors have to research several points of information to gather enough fundamental knowledge about a project. Typically there would also be gaps of information that a miner or investor may not know about such as the structure of the project, the team and the team members experience.

In just a few months, Proof of Review’s system is quickly becoming an industry standard. Publishing over a dozen institutional grade coin-reviews, and soon to be reviewing mining pools and exchanges. Thanks to Proof of Review, the industry is becoming safer for everyone that is involved.

This is positively changing the way that projects are interacting with the public. The surrounding communities are accepting this standard, making it clear to us how Proof of Review is Building on Blockchain.


Background:

In the past few years, thousands of cryptocurrencies have launched online, many of these are launched by anonymous developers. For a long time, there wasn’t a community accepted standard for the way these projects launched (there also isn’t any external regulation). Because of this, scams and scam-coins popped up left and right, taking advantage of the fact that there are very few experts in mining or blockchain. Almost nobody was verifying the team, the code or the fundamentals for these projects, and very little information was provided to the public by the project team on launch.

People quickly got tired of the scams, and some people decided to do something about it. The idea behind Proof of Work starts with an expert miner who wanted to change the status quo. In 2016 Growdigi created a review system for himself, using this review system before mining a new coin. The coin would get rated based on criteria like: Who is the team? What’s their experience? What are the metrics of the coin? What is it? What industry is it in? How many are there? Was there a pre-mine? Is it delivering value? Etc.

After some time, Growdigi decided to combine his analytical skills and mining experience and offer it as a service to the general public to give them more knowledge about projects within the sector. This is important, because right now there are few people experienced in the mining sector of this industry and some investors are isolated from this market due to a lack of knowledge. During the summer of 2018 the concept for Proof of Review was born and was launched in the Autumn of 2018.

Today:

Today, the team has grown to 6 people and they have over 20 years of experience in the blockchain industry collectively. The team is made up of analysts, miners, content creators and more. The team is as follows: Growdigi, Michael Simons, Nik Patel, Miles, Amborid and Dum.

The reviews are incredibly detailed (15–20 pages avg.) and include all the information someone could ask for. Details like: project info, coin metrics, fundamental analysis, code review, whitepaper and roadmap reviews. What’s better than that? They give developers the option to confidentially verify their identity using a government issued ID.

We can tell you that we have not found another source that comes close to offering this much verifiable information about a cryptocurrency project. The POR team also keeps track of the updates from coins they have already reviewed. From the perspective of a user or consumer, Proof of Review is needed, (thankfully free) and a well rounded service.

From the perspective of a developer, a standard review takes 2–4 weeks to process. Reviews are free for projects with no funding attached (meaning no ICO’s, pre-mine, etc.). If the project has a source of funding such as a premine, developer fee or ICO, the cost of the review is capped at $1000. The cost of the review is definitely reflected in the review, as they are the highest quality and most in-depth blockchain and cryptocurrency reviews we can find today.

Here’s how the process works:

It’s a pretty simple review process, but sometimes simple works best. Right now there is little-to-no regulation in the mining sector of the blockchain industry, so having a company take initiative from the inside is the best thing users could ask for. POR is encouraging transparency, which is one of the best ways to make this industry a safer environment for everybody involved.

The founder of Proof of Review puts it this way:

“We hope people use these reviews as a filter to get objective information about a project before deciding to invest their time, money & energy .” — Growdigi

Besides, who could be better at setting an industry standard than a handful of experts who have been here longer than 99% of the industry?

Looking Ahead:

Later this year you’ll see partnerships announced, but the most exciting development won’t be until after 2019. POR is launching a platform for reviewing coins, exchanges, mining pools, and escrow services. The platform will serve as a way for developers to verify their identity and give them an environment to promote their skills and project. The public will also use this platform to vote on projects that should be reviewed for free.

The POR team released their own POR token in 2018 in a series of airdrops to interested users. This token will be used on the platform in the future, but initially it only serves marketing purposes. The reviews are also being uploaded as podcasts for listeners. Next to the other coin-reviews in the POR pipeline, soon you’ll see reviews done for mining pools and cryptocurrency exchanges. Looking ahead, it appears the Proof of Review team will be bringing their value and integrity to many corners of the blockchain industry.


We spoke with the Founder of Proof of Review, Growdigi.

Growdigi strikes me as a freak of passion. He’s well-spoken and practical, both are qualities we want from people who are looking to better the industry, from the inside-out.

Below is our Q & A:


  • ELC: Tell us about your background- what lead to your early involvement in mining and blockchain? Growdigi: “Before crypto I was a social worker for 5 years, working with families with sever social issues; homelessness, drug abuse, child abuse. So, I got burned out of that after a while and started a clothing business in 2013. My brother had been mining bitcoin at home for a couple of months in early 2013, and we made a deal to get a shared unit to place the miners and my business in one place. After a few weeks, the miners were shutting off all the time; my brother would ring me from work, explain how to fix them and have me turn them back on and eventually I got interested and I started learning how to mine. I then installed a bitcoin payment method on my website for the clothing that I was selling to start accumulating bitcoins, and developed my spec mining skills. In a nut-shell I’ve been working full time in crypto for 4 of the last 5 years, seen a whole wave of change in the industry- but one thing that hasn’t changed is the way proof-of-work coins are launched, marketed and managed. Mining is my niche in the industry and something that I’m most experienced in.”

  • ELC: How would you explain the significance of the value that Proof of Review brings to the industry?  Growdigi: “We provide an institutional grade review to the general public and to institutional investors, giving them an overview of a project and which aims gives the projects we’ve reviewed more exposure outside of their core community. Currently the industry still promotes projects based on price movements, rather than its fundamentals, which can often lead to the general public getting burned when investing into a project. We want to give miners and investors a factual review covering the overhead of a project which we hope will help change the mindset of the way people invest into projects in the future. We want to change the model from “buy and then research” to “research and then buy”. We hope people use these reviews as a filter to get objective information about a project, before deciding to invest.”

  • ELC: Why do you charge developers to review? Why not review for free? Growdigi: “There is significant time that goes into making a review for each project. We currently provide a review, a podcast and ongoing updates for each review as part of our service. We charge developers who have a funding stream a fee for the review and balance this out by offering free reviews to projects who have no source of funding. We are also offering development teams the chance to request that their community crowdfunds the review and a couple of reviews listed on the site have actually been crowd-funded this way.”


  • ELC: What do you think about regulating cryptocurrencies and blockchain activities? Growdigi: “I don’t feel comfortable with external regulators coming in and regulating this from the outside. I believe they don’t know how this industry works. They will use traditional guidelines they use in traditional markets and try and apply them here- but they are not relevant. The challenge is regulation and how do we handle that? I think internal — self regulation is a lot better way to do that.”

  • ELC: Where do you think the blockchain industry will be headed in the next few years? What will it look like? Growdigi: “I think that equity investment in projects is going to be the new wave during the next few years. People are sick of investing into coins that really have no value or offer any equity into a project — apart from the “that’s the way it was always done” argument. People would much rather invest into a business that is generating revenue and get a return of that via an equity share or a dividend. I also feel that in the next few years regulators will clamp down severely on exchanges. Exchanges are a lot easier to regulate and right now the popular business model with exchanges is to make their money through listing fees. Many exchanges don’t care about the validity of a project as it is in their interest to list as many as possible to maximize their revenue from listing fees. This environment allows for scam projects to continue to operate and the exchange is a centralized point where this is facilitated.”

  • ELC: What’s an average workday like for the Founder of Proof of Review? Growdigi: “The first point of work when I get up is to check social media channels, emails, comments and updates from the team, new orders, or any feedback. Once I’ve done that, I’ll prioritize the current work load and any outstanding work or outstanding reviews that need to be done. Most of the day is spent processing any review related work. Then I will usually liaise with the POR team, and any projects we might be reviewing for more information or adding updates to the projects we have already reviewed. I’ll also spend some time of the day contacting new teams and developers, marketing the project and aiming to get some new teams on board for review.”

  • ELC: Who do you think is Satoshi Nakamoto? Growdigi: “I’m pretty sure it’s the U.S. government. With all the information that’s come out in the last couple of years with the liaisons the early dev’s had with the CIA, NSA- It makes sense to me that it was a group of individuals from some sort of government organization, maybe a shadow organization; but I genuinely think it was the U.S. government.”

A big thank you to Growdigi and Proof of Review for giving us the pleasure of an interview, and encouraging transparency in the blockchain industry. We are supporting your mission!

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Edits: Grammar