Membrana (MBN) Project Analysis
In another edition of our project reviews, we decided to have a look at Membrana, a decentralised trading platform.
So what is the deal with Membrana? In this review, we will dig deep into this project and give you all the answers. We took an in-depth look by examining the project, its team, tokenomics, community and technical analysis, among other metrics.
If you wish to skip to the summary to see the SWOT analysis, matrix score and rating, click here.
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Membrana is a decentralised platform for trading and asset management on the cryptocurrencies market. The platform utilises smart contracts on the Ethereum network and allows investors and traders to facilitate a mutually beneficial, secure and reliable contract for assets under management.
The project’s mission is to create safe, transparent trading and investment experience for its users while also looking at new business opportunities.
Membrana was launched to the public with a working platform in May 2019, and they completed their IEO on ABCC exchange in the same month.
The core aim of the Membrana project intends to bring investors and traders together for concluding mutually beneficial blockchain-protected contracts for the trust management of cryptocurrency assets. Membrana provides investors and traders with a transparent, decentralised and secure system, which controls the process of concluding and executing a contract up to the point of revenue gained by both parties.
Utilising the power of smart contracts while also introducing a level of transparency for all parties involved, the platform aims to change the way trust management funds operate in the cryptocurrency industry.
To avoid risks for both the investor and trader, and to make trust management transactions more profitable and safe, Membrana has developed a unique algorithm to solve the following problems with its unique contract-type trust management solutions.
One of the main issues faced by users in the cryptocurrency space is around the trading of assets on multiple platforms. Users often have several exchange accounts and all the associated management that comes along with this, such as entering different user names and passwords, 2FA code when logging in, different interfaces on each exchange, and the result is often a tedious experience for the average cryptocurrency users.
Membrana aims to solve this by providing a decentralised trading platform which allows users to enter the API key for an exchange onto the platform and giving them access to trading at several exchanges on one platform. The current exchanges supported on the platform are Binance, Bittrex and Huobi giving users the option to trade over 1200 pairs and the team plans to add more exchanges over time, eventually aiming to facilitate trading on every significant exchange from its platform.
Membrana provides with advanced tools on the platform for efficient trading which include Advanced UI/UX, conditional orders, Analyzer, Algo-trading and Algo builder, crowd predictions, messenger notifications and other features planned.
The platform aims to allow any user who trades cryptocurrencies on any exchange in the space to use their platform for trading or investing.
The scope for adoption for Membrana is a significant one as they are targeting all potential traders and investors in the cryptocurrency industry with the potential of gaining new users as more traders/investors get interested in this asset class. By integrating exchanges for trading on one platform, the project has the potential to attract users from the exchanges that Membrana facilitates. Currently, the platform integrates trading on Bittrex, Binance and Huobi, with plans to add more exchanges as the project develops. There are now over 200 cryptocurrency exchanges in the industry, so there is room to add many more exchanges over time.
We feel that the projects main scope for adoption lies in its asset management feature, which has the potential for attracting the most number of users and lead to mass adoption of the platform. Asset management in cryptocurrency is currently done in several ways, including paid trading groups, signal services and investment funds.
Membrana’s current focus is on growing their user base and brand awareness of their platform, while also developing the platform and the utility for the MBN token. By utilising the MBN token in the platform ecosystem in the form such as staking rewards and zero % trading fees, the project has the potential to increase its user base both in terms of traders and investors to the platform.
The current user numbers for the platform include over 3300 user registrations and with 560 of these users registering for KYC. The number of registered users who have KYC on the platform is probably a more indicative reflection of the active user base on the Membrana platform. As mentioned above these users could either be using the platform to trade themselves via the exchange API or copy trading from other traders.
There are currently over 211 active traders registered on the platform, indicating that the registered traders recognise the potential benefits for them. Traders are rated by ranking, with detailed statistics around their returns and trades listed on a leaderboard.
While this number may seem relatively slow, it can also be reflective of a lack of brand awareness around Membrana and their platform and also the general state of the cryptocurrency markets.
Many traders have looked to margin trading platforms such as Bitmex, trading legacy markets or trading altcoins on exchanges not currently supported by Membrana. The recent restrictions for US residents on Binance could also have had an impact on adoption.
The identified competitors are in the socialised trading and tokenised funds markets, and the main competitors in these sectors are Iconomi ($21M Market Cap), Genesis Vision ($6M Marketcap), Melonport ($4.6M Market Cap), Caspian ($4.3M Market Cap), Covesting ($1.7M Marketcap) and Blockport ($814,000). The other two platforms that facilitate asset management for cryptocurrencies include Etoro and Shrimpy.
Etoro is a platform for trading legacy markets, has a user base of over 10 million users and introduced its cryptocurrency trading element in 2017. Shrimpy is an exchange trading platform which allows users to trade on their favourite exchanges via one interface and API keys, while also allowing users to replicate the trading and portfolios of listed traders. Etoro and Shrimpy both don’t have any market cap listed.
Based on the combined market cap of the projects listed the market size for asset management platforms is around $39M. This figure represents 0.00014% of the total market cap of the whole cryptocurrency asset class.
There is no public data available as to the current combined size of the assets managed by these trust management and socialised trading funds; however, research in the summer of 2018 indicates a market size of USD 94M with an annual expected growth rate of 17.1%, meaning that by 2023 we could see USD 207M of cryptocurrencies under the management of trust funds.
The team at Membrana have a more positive outlook on the size of the cryptocurrency asset, stating that they believe the size of the asset management market in crypto could be up to $50 billion in the upcoming years.
The team say that they have looked at the competition in the market, identified the differences in their approach and how they feel the project offer more value than the current projects in the same sector as outlined in their Whitepaper
Membrana state that they are the only platform that provides a contract system which allows for secure and transparent trust management of assets. They differ from their competition in several ways as a result.
Currently, their competitors have no risk management option or portfolio management option for the investor. Membrana addresses this by allowing the investor to set an identified stop loss for their portfolio, as a value percentage of the initial amount the investor placed in the smart contract. Traders also indicate the maximum loss per trade, adding another level of risk management.
The platform also allows for the investor to choose which trader they require to manage their portfolio based on the transparent trader rating system which utilises smart contracts to track and display a traders history, with the transparency of the information confirmed by the hash sum (sha 256) stored in the Ethereum block. By allowing the investor to track traders performance, it will enable freedom of choice and flexibility for the investor to choose their portfolio manager, while also allowing for traders to transparently display their terms, returns and gain recognition based on performance.
By utilising this smart contract method, Membrana offers a transparent, secure and flexible trust management service for both investors and traders on its platform, giving it an edge over its current competitors.
More information around the competitors can be found in the projects business plan.
The flagship product for the project is its Trading/Asset Management platform which is currently in Beta and can be accessed from the project website.
Overall the project utilises a wide range of technologies to support the platform and its features. There are several features implemented into the Membrana platform, which include:
- Safe transfer of funds in trust management
- A contract between Investors and traders
- Confirmation of past trader’s profitability using blockchain
- Distribution of investor’s assets among several independent traders
Some of the technologies used by Membrana to achieve the above are:
- Smart Contracts
- Exchange API
- Protection of investor’s API Keys
|✅ POSITIVE||⛔ WEAKNESS||📝 IMPROVEMENT|
|Real-world use case with a large potential market||Platform launched in bear market||Increase adoption|
|Product is in active development with a beta platform available to users||Currently only 3000 registrations on the platform, with 1000 KYC registrations a more reflective figure of active users.||Registering more traders should be a priority for the team as investors will follow|
|Utilising several blockchain technologies to facilitate the trading on the platform||There are less than 250 registered traders on the platform|
|CIRCULATING SUPPLY||57,728,032 MBN|
|MAX TOKEN SUPPLY||643,500,000 MBN|
|% MAX SUPPLY MINTED||8.8%|
|MARKET CAP (30 DAY)||$284,910 USD|
|VOLUME (30 DAY)||$26,846 USD|
|VOL TO NETWORK||9.1%|
|AVG PRICE 30 DAY||$0.0056 USD|
|TRADING PAIRS||BTC, USDT, ETH, KRW|
The team seem to have carefully considered the use case for the token and identify the different utilities of the token between user to platform and user to user which are outlined below:
- Paying commission fees
- Commission fees on the platform are charged in MBN tokens.
- Payment for advanced features
- On the Membrana platform, there are various additional advanced features which are available on a monthly subscription basis. Payment can be made with MBN tokens or other cryptocurrencies, which are automatically converted into MBN.
- To receive rewards from stacking – the user shall commit their tokens on Membrana platform in Stacking menu. There are two levels of stacking: 1st – provide token rewards for holding a certain amount of MBN tokens and 2nd – provide full access and governance rights for COF and rewards in tokens and BTC.
- To fully understand the user-to-user utility of the Membrana token, the concept of the “Community operated fund” (COF) should be introduced.
- The community operated fund (COF) is a pool of digital assets, which is capitalised from Membrana Ltd, community members and external investors. The purpose of COF is to provide traders with assets for management and to create multiple business opportunities for Membrana customers. Absolutely anyone can take part in COF, performing as an investor or as an executor.
Access to margin contracts
- Users can receive access to a larger amount of trading assets with the help of COF. Users set up a margin amount and send MBN tokens for the platform smart-contract.
- Those tokens act as a collateral for the contract, while he receives a margin contract for management. With successful trades, the user gets the profit, and if he fails with his trading, the collateral is taken to compensate COF losses.
Participation in ICO/IEO pools
- Based on the COF, custom investment pools can be created. Users can join it with MBN token to receive additional bonuses provided by the projects.
Rewards and PoS governance of the community-operated fund
- Users can stack MBN tokens on the platform to receive the second level of stacking and superuser status. This level allows him to obtain COF funds for management freely and to perform governance of COF choosing traders to trust money for management. Additionally, it enables users to create their Fund, using Membrana software. And finally – users receive not only tokens as a stacking reward, but also BTC rewards which comes from IEO and COF operations.
- We feel that the team have taken careful consideration when introducing the utility uses for the token and by offering a range of incentives for platform users to hold the token. An example of a successful use case for a utility token the is Binance token (BNB) for the Binance exchange. The utility of the token has been a critical part of the growth of the brand and user base of its customers. By introducing a use case for users to hold the token, the BNB token has been able to grow and avoid the issue that many other tokens face, which is their lack of utility.
|✅ POSITIVE||⛔ WEAKNESS||📝 IMPROVEMENT|
|Large amount of supply burnt||Vested tokens due to be released onto the market soon|
|Several utility cases for token||IEO raised significantly less than anticipated with the project raising just over 10% of its anticipated funds|
|Team and advisor tokens vested||Low number of token holders with less than 300 token holders|
The team behind Membrana is listed on the project website alongside the company information. Membrana LTD is a registered company since 6th July 2018 in the Cayman Islands and can be verified by the company details provided on their website. The project also has a LinkedIn profile.
Membrana has a large team of developers, financial advisors, business and development officers, researchers and promoters. All of the team have transparent identities, linked-in pages, and many of them frequently interacting with the community through update videos, medium articles, community events etc.
12 out of the 13 team members listed on the website have their Linkedin profiles listed and of these 11 out of 13 indicate their role at Membrana. Three of the team members are no longer listing Membrana as their current employer; however, this can be common for people who are possibly working on several projects at once or work as contractors.
The team is headed by Yuriy Gerasimov CEO and Co-Founder of Membrana. Yuriy has over five years’ experience in running companies starting several projects in Russia since 2014.
Vyacheslav Mychkin is the CTO for the project and is one of the most active developers in terms of commits in Membrana’s Github.
Kirill Romanov is the CMO for the project and highly active in promoting the brand awareness for Membrane and engaging with its community in their social media channels.
There are 11 listed advisors for the project, and they include technical, financial and legal advisors all with transparent identities and linked-in pages. A search of the advisory team shows that 9 of the 11 advisors have their LinkedIn profile listed, and of these only one advisor lists their role at Membrana.
The most notable advisors for the project are Maria-Noel Nsana, who was the Vice President of Citibank for their AML Compliance division. As mentioned earlier in the review, compliance and regulation was one of the legal issues that may arise for the project in the future. Sam Kushed is the founder of Salus MBN and the chairman of the Coinbar crypto fund, which is an early private investor into Membrana.
Several advisors have extensive experience in advising ICO, IEO and STO projects, including Timo Trippier and Hans Choi.
There are eight listed partners for the project alongside the two venture funds, Coinbar and First Block Ventures.
Among the listed partners for infrastructure are Cipher, Trust and Toshi, which are mobile browsers allowing Ethereum authorisation, allowing users to access platforms such as Membrana.
Membrana is also partnered with Hacken, a leading security project in the cryptocurrency sector and the projects smart contract was reviewed in December 2018, with no vulnerabilities discovered. Hacken is a tokenised ecosystem which provides a wide range of security services for companies of different types and sizes like ICO startups, well-established IT and blockchain companies, as well as governmental organisations. The variety of services includes Vulnerability Assessment, Smart Contracts Audit, Anti-Phishing, and Bug Bounty.
Other notable partnerships include Zeus, Herdius and Credits who are working in a similar trust asset and contract management sector as Membrana.
|✅ POSITIVE||⛔ WEAKNESS||📝 IMPROVEMENT|
|Registered company with public/transparent team|
|Wide range of skills and experience|
During the development of the project, Membrana recognised the need for an external audit of its platform and smart contract.
In December 2018 Hacken published their security audit of the Membrana token smart contract and 0 vulnerabilities were discovered.
|✅ POSITIVE||⛔ WEAKNESS||📝 IMPROVEMENT|
|Independent code audit||None identified||None identified|
|No security issues identified|
There is an impressive number of community members, with over 12k followers on Twitter and over 60k members in the Discord. However the number of members in the community is not reflected in the number of users on the Membrana platform or as holders of the MBN token.
The majority of the MBN community discussion occurs within its Telegram group.
There are admins and moderators active across all messaging-based platforms answering support queries and other questions.
The CEO, Yuriy Gerasimov, holds an AMA every two weeks in the Telegram, which is published on the projects Medium page.
The average Twitter engagement is 14.1 per tweet, which is 0.36% of its total 10.4k follower audience. At a rate of 14.1 engagement per tweet, this is around two times higher than the average engagement rate across all industries [ref].
The COF funds are distributed and allocated to users based on a governance model. Investors can participate in choosing which trader should be managing their assets. This is done to have a more diversified and balanced portfolio of traders.
|✅ POSITIVE||⛔ WEAKNESS||📝 IMPROVEMENT|
|High number of community members||No discord channel||Increase brand awareness/adoption of platform|
|Number of community members not reflected in users on platform or as holders of MBN token|
Price is down around 75% from the IEO price in BTC terms, with price finding a floor around the 20-30 satoshi region.
Areas of interest on the downside would include a return to the previous levels of accumulation, and alternatively to the upside a breakout above 100 satoshis.
|✅ POSITIVE||⛔ WEAKNESS||📝 IMPROVEMENT|
|Listed on several exchanges|
|Progressed through one price cycle|
In summary, the MBN project scored 72/100 based on our scoring matrix and we rate the project at A- grade.
- This review is a sponsored review on behalf of the Membrana project.
- This review is intended for educational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be considered as financial advice.
- Before investing in any project, we recommend you do your own research + consult a registered financial adviser.
- All information listed is accurate at the time of publishing in October 2019.
- We use a combined rating score out of 100, covering all the listed metrics for project reviews.
- Each metric is rated out of 2, including a potential bonus point in every metric.
- We also reserve the right to award a bonus point for outstanding achievement for a project.
- Our rating and grading framework is available here.