Braintrust Crowd Sale (Coinlist)

Braintrust Crowd Sale (Coinlist)

By bengy | Idle Musings | 5 Sep 2021

Braintrust - Coinlist Braintrust - Coinlist


Wow, this particular CoinList crowdsale came out a bit fast with a very short lead in time. A maximum of about 2 weeks between annoucement and registration deadline and the actual sale! So, this is a bit of an interesting one as it is a tokenisation of an already operating platform.


Braintrust - Coinlist Braintrust - Coinlist


Braintrust is a freelancing platform which aims to connect companies and freelancers. Taking a quick look through their website, it is really quite tech job oriented with mostly programming or project management sorts of jobs up for offer. I guess I will take a bit more of an explore around when I have time in between juggling kids, music and moving to the other side of the planet!

Freelancing platforms using cryptocurrencies have been popping up in recent years. Mostly, they have focussed upon low-paid, low skilled tasks. Sort of like a human bot farm or something that would replace Amazon Turk. In general, I have wondered what the point of introducing a completely new token is other than enabling the founders to scrape out some value and to retain control of payments and offers. If there were a truly decentralised job board, I would have thought thtat it would be more appropriate to pay in an existing widely accepted cryptocurrency or stablecoin rather than creating a new token with unknown and likely zero value.

So, I'm starting to wonder what Braintrust brings to the table that would give a reason for the existence of the Braintrust token. The primary reason at the moment appears to be the fact that it allows the "decentralised talent network" to take ownership and have some say in the governance of the network. It is a lofty goal, but in the end, the actual workers and "talent" have very little say if things follow in the direction of DeFi governance tokens. Individual people will have very little governance vote power in comparison to the whales and there is very little incentive to vote, especially if voting is on-chain. So, in essence, a lofty principled goal that denies the fact that tokens (like everything) tends to clump.


Braintrust - Coinlist Braintrust - Coinlist


Perhaps the most interesting thing about he Brainstrust crowdsale is the fact that it is actually up and running already. It is a new platform, having launched only in the last couple of years. So, it is interesting to see how it has developed over time. It appears that the platform was designed with an eventual decentralisation process in mind? The platform doesn't take a cut of earnings in comparison to other platforms, but I guess that that revenue must come from somewhere... and I suspect that it has something to do with tokenisation?


Braintrust - Coinlist Braintrust - Coinlist


However, it does appear that there are some decently sized and well known companies that have used the platform to meet their remote job requirements. It is incredibly hard to tell from the marketing blurb as to how much or how valued these interactions have been for the companies and "talent".


Braintrust - Coinlist Braintrust - Coinlist


Even after reading the key-highlights and the other documentation... I'm still not convinced about the value of BTRST tokens for anyone who is less than a whale.... well, at least on a functional point of view. Users can stake the tokens to increase their profile visibility, but that appears to be all there is from the user point of view. As an outsider to the network, it is purely an "investing" longshot and nothing functional as far as I can see.


Braintrust - Coinlist Braintrust - Coinlist


The CoinList crowdsale follows a vary familiar format for users of the platform. There is the usual quiz and registration process and then the two rounds for different prices and lock-up. The times are very nice for Western Europe and America, meaning that I won't need to wake up at crazy hours of the morning just to see what position in the purchase queue I am in... but I do hope that the priority queue will make another appearance!

The sale is the day after the Immutable X (IMX) token sale which is also being hosted on CoinList, so I will have to make a bit of decision about how much to allocate to each sale. I am definitely more interested in the Immutable X sale and so I'm thankful that that one is first so that I have the first option on how much to allocate there IF I get a purchase spot. That said, I do like to spread out the moonshot bets... so I will make sure that there is enough to at least cover a minimum purchase option on both of these Braintrust rounds. I am all too aware that what I think is a decent token/platform use case is coloured by my own experiences and bias... so, it isn't a great idea to just pitch all in on something that I think is important!


Braintrust - Coinlist Braintrust - Coinlist



Braintrust - Coinlist Braintrust - Coinlist


As always, it is a good idea to see what the other classes of investors have as far as lockups and distributions. It is definitely not so much fun when other classes unlock just as you are being locked, it implies that you are likely to be dumped upon!

As we look into these details, we can see that the largest groups will be the incentives for when the network goes live. It also indicates why there was such a hurry about the announcement for the sale, the network is due to go live this month! It is still weird that that they have the crowdsale announcement so close to network launch... Having the sale so close to launch is pretty normal, but the announcement so close makes it all feel a touch rushed. Other projects have generally had around a month lead time.

One thing that isn't so much fun to see is that the crowdsale tokens will be unlocked a month after launch on a linear release schedule. That isn't a problem in itself, but the two other early purchasers (Early Contributors and Early Token Purchasers) will have had their tokens already unlocking for at least a month to 6 months! So, there is definitely the chance for being dumped on there...


Braintrust - Coinlist Braintrust - Coinlist


Again, there is another section on the use case of tokens. Governance is the leading token use case, and again... I don't think that is as big a deal as it is made out to be. Most people aren't going to be holding enough BTRST to make a difference one way or another, and quite often the proposal thresholds are way beyond an average user.

There is a staking mechanic to try and ensure some level of trust between job posters and applicants. However, to me, this is a bit of a circular problem in that the tokens need to have some degree of worth in order to make it a real incentive to dissuade bad behaviour. At least in the early days, the tokens aren't really worth enough to make that a real incentive.


Braintrust - Coinlist Braintrust - Coinlist


As you can see, the platform has been up and running for a couple of years. Braintrust was founded in 2018, but actual operation doesn't appear to have started until early 2021. So, this is a very new platform and the potential for growth is there... if it gains traction. It will have to compete against existing freelancer platforms that pay in crypto/fiat and it does distinguish itself in avoiding the low-skilled Turk jobs.

However, I'm still a bit dubious about what gives the BTRST token long-lasting value... at the moment, I just don't see it. That said, I'm willing to trust the CoinList vetting process on this... I'm all to aware that my own views and bias don't allow me to see value where others might! So, this will be a bit more of a pragmatic token purchase rather than one that resonates with what I think and believe in!


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I am a Musician (Violinist/Violist) specialising in Early Music living in The Netherlands. I have a background in Mathematics and Physics due to an earlier tertiary level study... and so, I'm still quite interested in Science and Technology related stuff!

Idle Musings
Idle Musings

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