Indorse is the new LinkedIn, only this time users keep ownership of their data, and skills claims are more reliable. This is interesting for existing and potential LinkedIn users as well as for investors. For software developers, Indorse is an example of a very interesting trend.
A Decentralized Professional Network
When I first stumbled upon Indorse and read the white paper, I was immediately convinced that the idea has some merit, to put it mildly. I especially liked the idea of taking ownership of my own data.
Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate that the nice people at LinkedIn let me create a profile for free and that they provide me with a nice platform to connect to people that I relate to professionally. However, if the information I put in about myself, as well as information about others in the form of endorsements, is sold for a profit, why don’t I get my cut? And now we are talking about endorsement, how valuable is it if I claim that I am an expert in, say, Docker, then have 5 co-workers endorse me as such? Maybe they stand behind my claim, but maybe they simply endorse me because they pity my lack of Docker experience.
Indorse will aim at solving both these problems, by creating a platform for a skills economy, in which skills are seen as commodities. The platform allows for users to claim that they possess certain skills and for other users to try to verify such claims and, if verified, to indorse it. The platform has a clever mechanism that ensures that it is in the interest of users to be honest – dishonesty will be punished.
BTW, endorse is the commonly used English term that you already know, on the other hand indorse is mostly used in American English and is a signature on a legal or financial document.
What’s in it for Developers
Indorse will be built on the Ethereum block-chain distributed app platform.
I have no doubt about block-chain technology being an important part of the new truly distributed internet, and so far it seems that Ethereum has by far the most momentum. BitCoin may be more popular by now, but is limited to currency.
In contrast, Ethereum also stores smart contracts in its block-chain, while its currency Ether (or ETH) is mainly used as fuel (gas) for transactions. Ethereum also allows easy creation of custom currencies (also known as custom tokens).
Smart contracts are programs written in the Solidity programming language. For example, a smart contract can be used to create a new custom token with a few lines of code and a few easy steps.
IMHO, learning about block-chain technology and Ethereum must be on any serious software developer’s continuous learning TODO list, and it is great to have good examples like Indorse for inspiration.
What’s in it for Investors – and what is an ICO
If a good old company like, say, Saxo Bank go public we call it an IPO, an initial public offering and Saxo Bank’s stock will be registered on a good old fashioned exchange.
Not so with Indorse. They will do an ICO, an initial coin offering. Indorse is one of many recent ICOs.
Technically, this means that a custom token, called IND, will be created and the public is offered to buy the token, thereby funding the Indorse project.
Any developer can create a new token, but doing a full ICO takes a bit more than that. Indorse has teamed up with TokenMarket, a company that helps with ICOs.
In addition to that, Indorse has registered with the Wings platform. Wings users can do educated guessing on how well the Indorse ICO will go.
Is IND a good investment? The short answer is that I really have no idea. You could win big time or you could lose all invested money.
But if you check my forecast on Wings you will see that I lean to the positive side. Well, at least I expect the offered IND tokens to sell out.
But even if all IND tokens sell out in the ICO, it does not necessarily mean that it is a good investment. First of all the liquidity of IND, as well as the liquidity of any other ICO coin, is lower than the liquidity of money. Also, the ICO is essentially a way to take money from investors, nothing more, and investors must scrutinize the mechanisms for getting money back in the case of the business getting successful. I am not saying that Indorse does not have a good plan for that, I am just saying that each investor should make up her own mind.
The serious investor will always do due diligence. Fortunately, a clever mind has already written about exactly that on SteemIt, and I strongly encourage potential investors to read this post. Also the serious investor will think about her motivation for each investment – is it in line with her investment strategy or is she simply afraid to miss out when everybody else is cashing in?
As I have already mentioned, I find the idea of Indorse to be very convincing after having read the white paper.
On the other hand, as a developer I dislike that I don’t have access to neither the product nor the source code yet.
The product is supposed to be available in a pre-beta version, announced on Slack, some time end July 2017.
It is currently being discussed internally in the Indorse team how the code – or some part of the code – can be made open source. At the time of writing there is nothing in GitHub.
So, will you join the IND token sale? It is open for pre-sale at the time of writing this, but you need to invest at least 10 BitCoin or 100 Ether in order to participate in the pre-sale. If that is too much for you, a general token sale will open shortly after.
Finally a word of caution – there have been several attempts at phishing Ether from investors, so don’t send Ether to any address unless you are absolutely certain that it is the correct address. I suppose that statement is universally true, but in the case of ICOs there are bad guys out there that seriously want to trick your crypto currency from you.
This post is quite different from what I usually write – stay tuned for more developer-centric posts on block-chain in general and Ethereum contract development in particular. If time permits, that is (I do have a day-time job). But for now …
As a current LinkedIn user I look forward to using Indorse.
As an investor I will closely watch IND.
As a developer I want to learn how to make such a distributed app on Ethereum.
My Ether addy is 0x6B1c08c8D867314045384Eb0c5a3799375eec6F9. (Addy means address in block-chain geek slang.)
I do not own IND (well, nobody does at the time of writing because the Ethereum contract has not been made yet), but I expect to receive some through the Indorse bounty program on BitCoinTalk.