Our goal is to make Utrum, the number one place for crypto research. If we do it, it means we are catering to $200 billion industry. We wish to become Facebook for cryptos. — Sridhar Panasa, September 2019
This is a sponsored article. To learn more see here.
The thing about Utrum is that it’s fun. And you can’t say that about many cryptos.
For many the process of researching a coin involves many, many, many websites and countless hours. From coin price aggregators like CoinMaketCap, CoinGecko and CoinPaprika, to twitter streams, subreddits, forums, discord channels, telegram rooms, news networks like the one you are reading now and countless more sources of information.
Once found our eyes filter the deluge of noisy information and with laser focus identify the good data, and discard the bad. Or at least that’s the idea.
Whether in pursuit of money through lucrative investment or because we’re in it for the tech or something else, there is a need to manage and filter good information in a timely manner. That is the goal of Utrum.
As surely as necessity is the mother of invention, when a friend of Sridhar Panasa (Sri) asked him for places to research cryptocurrencies and avoid scams Utrum was conceived. At first glance Utrum is a “crypto playbook to find comprehensive information, quality reviews, market predictions, insights, in-depth reports, news and events of every crypto project.” However as we will soon discover Utrum is much more than that, and altogether more compelling.
Utrum believes that by developing an Artificial Intelligence backed, a community-driven platform which rewards users for their help in reviewing, rating, analyzing and predicting crypto projects, assets, and teams, these problems can be solved. Through the use of blockchain, Utrum is creating an ecosystem of supportive and educational guidance for investors of all caliber, as well as a marketplace for projects and providers to showcase to a targeted investment-rich community. Utrum will also implement community-voted moderators whose job it is to help regulate and manage the ecosystem according to community governance.
Being a one-stop shop for all things crypto only becomes a gripping proposition when we learn how Utrum is at its core a decentralized and incentivized crowdsourced platform with a unique rewards system, and some other surprises.
What does ‘incentivized crowdsourced’ mean?
It means you get money, OOT tokens to be precise, for sharing content and opinion.
For writing reviews, analysis or even making price predictions users are rewarded. What’s more users also earn OOT tokens by voting on the quality of the content. The higher the quality of the content the more highly it is rated by the wisdom of the crowd. Utrum users can therefor enjoy increased confidence in the quality of the data, while at the same time earning rewards for its curation. As Sri explained to me in discord:
The current problem of Cryptos is not lack of information, it is about quality and reliable information. Utrum is providing that with the help of crowd wisdom and blockchain.
One very unusual thing about Utrum is that users can vote for free and the Utrum platform pays the content creators AND the voters from the fund pools set aside for that purpose. This creates a great incentive for ensuring participation. Rewards are split 70% for content creators, and 30% for voters, and the amount of tokens the system rewards each day is correlated to the daily active users.
Of the 216 million total supply 60% of OOT tokens will be gifted as rewards to users of the platform. The How it Works section of the Utrum site describes the many revenue streams. In addition 15% of monthly revenues will be used to burn tokens, all payments for services are made in OOT, and the platform offers 7.2 % annual interest for locking tokens.
- The Platform will earn revenues from Crypto Developers through Ads and Job placements.
- The Platform will earn premium subscription revenues from investors for buy/sell market analytics and detailed reports.
- Utrum Marketplace for buying and selling crypto-related services will earn 1% in transaction fees for the Platform.
- The 7.2 % Hold Rewards will help to control circulation supply.
- The Platform will burn 15% of monthly revenues to reduce inflation.
- Utrum will pay 5% of monthly revenues to Top Performer of the month (OOTER of the Month — OTM) which will help us to retain good talent on the platform.
How can such a generous reward system scale to millions of users?, I asked Sri.
Its a very simple logic here. We are paying out rewards and at the same time we are getting OOT back as ad and jobs placement revenues including buy/sell analytics subscriptions. So, OOT will always be in circulation.
On top of that we are burning 15% of monthly revenues till we reach 15% of total supply. At the end there will be 184 Million. We plan to burn 15% of revenues every month. For example we made 1000 USD a month in revenues, we burn 150 USD worth of OOT. So, according to my calculations, we will never spend the full reserve.
Basically members who earned OOT are selling to devs and other members who wish to spend OOT for ads, job placements and subscriptions. Utrum is a perfect community business model where we are sharing revenues with our members in the form of content rewards. Unlike many other blockchain projects where token or coin is store of value, we have at least 4 different use cases for OOT coin.
You’re probably beginning to think that a platform with seemingly infinite capacity for reward would be abused by bots siphoning all this “free” money.
However Sri has spent a great deal of his career peering into the darkside of the Internet as CEO of OnlineGuards
Since 2008, we have been providing Identity Protection and Cyber Threat Intelligence services to businesses around the world.
Sri has done all in his power to combat Sybil attacks and abuse through an arsenal of anti-cheat mechanisms rather than a fee-for service model. This arsenal is borne of his experience detecting and combating cyber attack threats. OnlineGuards is under NDA to not reveal client identity but Sri was able to tell me “We work as a backend partner for many big names.”
Security measure include AI systems to detect gaming and unusual activity, manual moderation, and 2FA authentication to post content and cast votes.
Even if an attacker succeed creating multiple accounts, he needs to enter 2fa code for every post and vote which makes it virtually impossible to game the system.
The amount one can cheat the system is also limited by the amount of tokens the platform pays out in a 24 hour period, a figure capped by how many daily active users the Utrum serves.
Moderation is not manual completely, its semi automated. We wish to have both aspects in our system human and automation. Automation will flag suspected posts based on copied content, spam, vote manipulation. Moderators will take a look and that is how we train our system. In the long run, 70% of the content will be processed via automation. As we are a community portal, we will increase the number of moderators as we become popular
As is always the case with cryptocurrencies the incentives of any given platform are always aligned with the principles of the game theory they employ to keep participants honest.
We observed Steemit closely and fixed the problems they have in Utrum: vote manipulation, bots, upvoting trending posts, group voting
Utrum uses all the data it collects to produce two key metrics for rating both crytpos and users.
Utrum Trust Score (UTS)
- Utrum Trust Score (UTS) is assigned to crypto projects and in Utrum’s current beta release is a score based on the average score of all reviews.
- In future the scoring algorithm will be more complex and granular as is explained in Utrum’s documentation. UTS will not be assigned to a project unless 5 reviews are posted for the project by members.
Utrum Reputation Score (URS)
- Utrum Reputation Score (URS) is a dynamic score assigned to users of Utrum’s platform.
- As a content producer URS is the average verdict received for content based on member voting
- As a voter it is based on your distance from the mean score for a post in any of the four categories. If your vote deviates too far from the mean average of other votes cast you do not receive a reward as is explained in the Utrum Reputation Score documentation.
- The blind-voting lasts for 5 days after a review, insight, report or prediction are created, and nobody can see the votes cast by other users until that period ends.
- URS will affect earnings with higher scores earning increased rewards, and vice versa.
Abuse of the Utrum portal can result in account banning.
The Utrum Story
The Utrum Story published on the website gives us a glimpse into the beginnings of Utrum and sets the stage for what has come to fruition two years after these events unfolded with the recent launch of the Utrum platform on August 22nd 2019.
A grassroots project, Utrum was born out of a Komodo Slack conversation between a few cryptocurrency investors. Founder and Project Lead for Utrum, Sridhar Panasa, had observed the multitude of scams, misinformation, and chaos plaguing the crypto-investment community at large. Having previously run a Threat Intelligence company, Sridhar has a habit of looking at new technologies from a strong security perspective.
“I saw members running around from telegram groups to facebook groups trying to get information about investments…” said Sridhar Panasa, Utrum’s Founder and Project Lead. “There was no clear authority or means by which to sort through the noise. One day I got this idea. How can we stop scams from happening and identify the quality information about cryptos? I brought the idea up to Komodo’s lead developer JL777 and he created a slack channel for us in Komodo’s slack. There I began discussing with Chris (Chris Maarseveen) and Gürkan (Gürkan Aygörmez), and the three of us worked on the whitepaper.”
The Utrum team comprises some well-known Komodo contributors like Emmanuel and Chris Maarseveen in addition to developers Sri has met in his career in cybersecurity. The ten core members are accompanied by several ambassadors responsible for PR and community building. Furthermore James “JL777” Lee, Komodo founder, sits as adviser and SuperNet an early investor.
Utrum is Komodo smartchain. What that means and why Komodo was chosen over its competitors is explained in an article written by Sri and entitled Why did we choose Komodo over Ethereum and Neo? The key reasons are as follows:
- Komodo provides an independent blockchain and Utrum is not dependent on Komodo at any time…unlike other projects built and reliant upon ETH and NEO.
- Komodo provides bitcoin level security for the Utrum asset chain using a delayed Proof of Work (dPOW) mechanism.
- Komodo integrates $OOT (the Utrum token) directly into Agama, their multi-currency wallet and AtomicDEX, their Decentralized exchange.
- Komodo Decentralized ICO — In a DICO, the sale is performed within the dICO exchange app using electrum servers. The sale process is completely decentralized without any point of failure.
Utrum launched their DICO last year and reached their softcap target of $1M by selling 10% of their total supply. The bear market has not been kind to Utrum but they have managed to release their platform nevertheless. Sri hopes to raise VC funding for the platform in return for the 15% of tokens held back for that purpose, and will use those funds in part for marketing the portal.
Rather than post dozens of screenshots I thought I’d include just a couple and instead make a short video showing the main sections of the Utrum platform, most notably the four categories for user created content and voting: Reviews, Predictions, Insights and Reports. You will also see the cryptocurrency aggregator which can drill down by category and sort by market cap, rank and price change.
Please watch the vid now!
Both cryptos and Utrum users can be favorited and followed enabling platform users to see and receive notifications for only the information they most care about.
News and Events for all cryptos is also available, and notifications for any projects you follow appear in My Feed, a powerful feature for filtering information which is operates much like twitter.
In the above detail from the My Feed section of the portal we can see that because I am following Binance Coin I have received a notification about an upcoming event, and because I follow Pirate Chain I have received notification about a new review.
Following individual users is another feature of the portal. In this second example above Benedict who I follow has written a review on OmiseGO, and this too appears in My Feed. You may also notice that the star in the bottom left is now highlighted, a nice detail reminding me I have already voted on his review.
As you can see Utrum provides an intriguing mix of different features and sources of information: a mashup of steemit, coinmarketcap, news portals, review sites, prediction markets, and twitter.
All the text of posts on Utrum is enshrined on the tamper-proof Utrum blockchain and in future media files will be uploaded to IPFS. Here we can view in the Utrum explorer a transaction for one of my posts .
Having played with the platform for almost two weeks I can attest to how fun it is, and engaging. I have never come across anything quite like Utrum and will continue to use it after this review has been published.
Since Utrum is a community focused project I reached out to the OOTers for some feedback and testimonials.
Regnar, a long-standing Komodo member who helped Sri with early testing of the platform was eager to share his experiences, and did so at great length and with great thought.
I have been around the Komodo ecosystem for a couple of years now as a community helper, often get asked to help with testing products and services, which is really cool to me. Often it’s an app, a website, wallets, etc. but I gotta admit when Sri asked me to try the beta for Utrum I was completely unprepared for how big of a project it actually was and how far along they have come since their dICO. Utrum is the pretty logical combination of about eight different entities in the crypto space, which until now have remained separate, for some reason. There’s coin prices, volume, and info like CoinMarketCap, updates of calendar events like CoinmarketCal, news from coin teams like Medium, price predictions and voting on them like Cindicator, reviews of projects and their updates, products, and offerings like Revain, content rewards for both creating and voting on content, like Steemit, and some of the traditional information about teams, funding, experience etc that you’d see on Crunchbase. I know that seems like a lot, and it seems like it would be cluttered but Utrum has done a great job taking all the most vital and useful parts of these things and incorporating it into the platform. They tie their coin OOT into the whole process with rewards for creating quality content, voting on content and reviews, as well as with an OOTer of the month (OTM) which gets 5% of the platform’s monthly revenues, which to me is a fantastic way to reward your champion content creators.
I like how easy this all is too, it’s a website, just like you go to CMC for prices, CMCal for events, etc. You could just go to Utrum for a one stop shop. I never really sought out TA charts for different coins, and try to keep my ear to the ground particularly in the Komodo ecosystem where I’m native, but in following some good content creators on Utrum I’ve been exposed to a lot more TA charts and the reviews with them, as well as reviews for projects and apps that I didn’t even know about. It’s been an enlightening experience for sure. I admittedly have Utrum running in dark mode with a Brave browser plugin haha which I showed Sri some screenshots and think he’s for implementing a dark mode eventually. Utrum has a lot of room to grow as a platform, it’s got all the potential to be an essential tool for every crypto investor and enthusiast. I think with such an easy on boarding process, you don’t have to download or buy anything, you just go to the URL and sign up, Utrum user base and content will grow quickly and make the content there valuable for everything.
The biggest challenge will be to stand out in the cryptocrowd and gain users. As I said, it has an easy on boarding process, but it’s still difficult to get users to join something new. Utrum is really a place to share information with one another, be it TA charts, reviews, events, prices or something else. So the more users that are there to view and rate content, the more content creators will want to be there as well. Sort of like having to get both sides going at the same time, one wont immediately drive the other, but after it gets rolling there will be a positive feedback loop.
YorkLab, another very active Utrum member and ambassador for the project also provided valuable insight.
Although I’ve been involved with Utrum from the beginning, I had no idea how useful it would be until the portal launched. The two areas I never gave any thought to before is News and Events. You get news for any coin of your choosing; or if you can simply choose to follow all cryptocurrency news in general and never miss a thing. I find myself going there every day now. The same goes for the Events section; it amazes to see all that is happening virtually every day in the crypto world. Lastly, voting can be addictive! You can vote on anybody’s post, and it’s so simple; just one click and you’re done. Then on top of that you get paid for voting! Making money with just a few mouse clicks is a no brainer to me.
Finally two more bite-sized testimonials came in from twitter.
To end this review I will revisit Regnar’s testimonial.
As I said, it has an easy on boarding process, but it’s still difficult to get users to join something new.
I cannot agree more and hope this review serves to bring in more users and grow the Utrum membership. The larger the community grows the more enriching the experience will be and the more the wisdom of the crowd will surface the most valuable content and contributors.
The platform was launched only a month ago on August 22nd. There are many features yet to be added and many community-suggested improvements on the task list (like a dark theme).
The Utrum roadmap has many milestones left ahead of it, and with its strong foundation Utrum deserves to attract a loyal following to join the portal in its evolution.
We wish to make Utrum the number one place for crypto research, that is our goal. If we do it, it means we are catering to 200 billion industry. We wish to become Facebook for cryptos.
Also well worth watching is this recent Crypto Rich interview.
You have to try Utrum to really appreciate it, so go to the Utrum portal and sign up for your free account now. Since I will continue to use the portal long after you have finished reading this I am also including a referral link in the Tips section below.
Thanks to Sri for sharing your time, and for your patience
Thanks too Regnar and YorkLab, FtrSaroth and Crypto Sharifa for your testimonials
What does Utrum mean?
Utrum is the Latin term which means “whether”, as in “or”, and we chose this for a portal where members are voting and choosing between two opposing viewpoints…” whether this or that.”
What is the significance of OOT?
Utrum is pronounced “Oothrum” in Latin, so we took the first three letters from this pronunciation, “OOT”, for our Token symbol. However, for our project, Utrum is pronounced “You Trum” and OOT is pronounce exactly as it’s spelled, “OOT”
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