GoNetwork has a vision; mass adoption of cryptocurrencies. The team behind GoNetwork sees mobile accessibility and interoperability as the keys to achieving this. They want to create a highly scalable, low cost, and low latency first mobile network infrastructure for Ethereum.
The team intends to do this by creating a state channel off-chain network similar to the Raiden Network for Ethereum and the Lightning Network for Bitcoin. A simple explanation of how these networks work is that they reduce bottlenecks by taking on transactions that would otherwise be done on the blockchain. GoNetwork is funding its development work via ICO; the date has yet to be announced as at the time of this writing.
Let’s see what GoNetwork is all about and what they are trying to achieve.
The Team behind GoNetwork
The GoNetwork team’s name gained prominence when they won the ETHWaterloo hackathon, allegedly the world’s largest Ethereum hackathon. Their winning project was something called the Pocket Platform. The idea behind the platform is to teach kids financial literacy by creating a ‘smart contract debit card’. Parents can then teach them financial management skills by incentivizing various spending patterns using the smart contract. The team created this project within 32 hours.
Prior to this, the GoNetwork team had created various mobile games, including Happy Park, a game that had once entered a weekly Top Ten list of top-grossing iOS games. The team is also responsible for Dubsquad, a social networking app where people can share dubbed videos of themselves.
GoExchange – GoNetwork’s First Product?
The first product that GoNetwork is bringing to the market as part of its masterplan to bring cryptocurrency to the masses is GoExchange. The team describes GoExchange as “a scalable decentralized virtual goods commerce platform for mobile platforms”. It sounds like a standard e-commerce mobile platform that uses cryptocurrencies.
The GoNetwork team claims that GoExchange already has an alpha (first release) version and have a link called ‘Try MVP’ on their website. However, you will notice the link only brings you to GoNetwork’s GitHub page which does not appear to contain any MVP at all. Further, the last repository on said page was last updated in mid-October 2017, over three months ago.
This is definitely a red flag for GoNetwork. But it isn’t the only red flag to be found, and you should be aware of them before making your decision on GoNetwork’s upcoming ICO. Let’s start with….
GoNetwork’s Missing Whitepaper
In a blog post announcing its ‘master plan’ for the project, GoNetwork links out to its ‘updated whitepaper’ for further details. The problem, as you would probably have noticed is that clicking on the link gives you an error 404 page.
There is no whitepaper, and based on some research it looks likely that there never was one. You wouldn’t be able to tell from looking at GoNetwork’s Twitter page, which contains sporadic updates about the popularity of its Telegram channel and links to positive reviews about its product.
You would think that the lack of a whitepaper when the ICO is so close at hand would be something the GoNetwork team would be rushing to address, but they don’t seem too concerned about it at all. And the lack of a whitepaper isn’t the only red flag raised by others that they have not addressed.
Major Red Flags That Remain Unanswered
Over on GitHub, user icochecker has posted a list of issues related to GoNetwork, none of which have been addressed by the team. There are also ample screenshots taken from Telegram conversations with the GoNetwork team, and their response has been unsatisfactory, to say the least.
It is worth reading through these issues in detail, as well as the user comments which note further problems they have with GoNetwork. But for the time-challenged among you, here’s a summary of the issues raised, and how the GoNetwork team has responded to them.
#1 – Request for information on company registration details ignored
The GoNetwork team responded by stating that the information is available in the (now non-existent) whitepaper. Subsequent follow-up questions (seven in total!) were ignored.
#2 – GoNetwork team ‘still unsure’ which company the ICO will be conducted under
Users then searched several Canadian corporate and business registration databases and sent it to Xun Cai (one of the co-founders) on Telegram. He responded by saying that they are setting up an entirely new company that will be used for the ICO only. Then he went on to say how busy the team was and that they would not be able to answer everybody’s questions.
#3 – No Smart Contract Verification
GoNetwork does have some smart contract code posted up on its GitHub here. But because the whitepaper is now missing, these cannot be verified.
#4 – Lack of Code Updates
As mentioned above, the GoNetwork team hasn’t made any updates to its code on GitHub for over three months now.
#5 – No Working Product
Despite claims about the alpha version of GoExchange, it appears nowhere to be found.
#6 – High Funds Allocation to the GoNetwork Team with no Vesting Schedule; Questions Ignored
In the upcoming GoNetwork ICO, the target amount is $30m, which seems very high for such a project (and the hardcap will likely be even higher). Further, 25% of these funds are allocated for the team, which seems ridiculously high. They also haven’t mentioned any vesting schedule for their allocation, which raises the question – just what are they going to do with their huge cut? The GoNetwork team has conveniently ignored these questions also, except stating that once their smart contract is live, a vesting schedule will be posted.
#7 – Anonymous but Highly Suspicious Screenshots
Some users on the Telegram chat received screenshots alleged showing co-founder Xun Cai, discuss how the GoNetwork ICO is, to put it bluntly, nothing but a moneymaking scheme. When these screenshots were posted on the Telegram channel, the admin promptly deleted them.
The subsequent response by the GoNetwork GitHub admin was even funnier, claiming that Xun Cai had been hacked! When users questioned whether it was Xun Cai’s computer or Telegram that had been hacked, the admin gave a long-winded explanation noting that based on its ‘security audit’, Xun Cai’s email had indeed been previously compromised. Needless to say, many users remain skeptical, noting that signing up for Telegram does not require an email address, only a mobile number.
#8 – Censorship on the GoNetwork Telegram
A few users who have challenged the GoNetwork admin on their responses to the legitimate questions have reported having their accounts banned from the Telegram group.
Is GoNetwork a Scam?
At this point, there is no conclusive evidence pointing to the fact that GoNetwork is a scam ICO. As the team has correctly noted, they have not asked anyone for any funds yet. But there are plenty of reasons to be highly skeptical of this ICO. If you haven’t made up your mind yet, you should join their (apparently unlimited) whitelist, as well as their Telegram group and do some research of your own. But if you want to stay on the safe side, then this ICO has way too many red flags for a conservative investor.
What do you think of GoNetwork? Is it nothing more than a money grab scam ICO, or are they really legit? Let us know your views in the comments below.