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cryptocurrency January 29, 2018

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ICO Alert Quick Facts

  1. PolySwarm is a marketplace where security experts build anti-malware engines that compete to protect you.
  2. TBD = 1 NCT token
  3. 2.6.2018–3.8.2018
  4. 50,000,000 total available / 50,000,000 total supply
  5. First 37,604 ETH contributors will receive 20% bonus

What is PolySwarm?

PolySwarm is a decentralized anti-virus and cyber threat intelligence market made possible by Ethereum smart contracts and the blockchain. PolySwarm brings enterprises, consumers, vendors and geographically-diverse security experts together into a single marketplace for more complete cyber threat detection. Experts craft and maintain competing software, “micro-engines,” that quickly identify the latest threats, attempting to outperform their competition. PolySwarm’s “Proof of Work” is threat detection accuracy: the market rewards experts who are best able to defend enterprises and end users.

PolySwarm Team

ICO Alert: How does the Polyswarm token (NCT) function within the platform and why is it needed?

PolySwarm: Nectar is used as the currency for all transactions within the marketplace. Ambassadors offer Nectar as payment to Security Experts who submit accurate assertions. Security Experts use Nectar to place bids of confidence on their assertions. The Nectar that accurate Security Experts earn comes from the Nectar offered by the Ambassadors and the Nectar placed as bids by the inaccurate Security Experts. Additionally, there are fees in the marketplace associated with most transactions, and those fees are paid in Nectar.

Nectar serves to isolate PolySwarm from external market forces, including the value of Ether (ETH) and the performance of applications that transact in Ether. Nectar-based isolation will allow for more consistency in PolySwarm market behavior, enabling participants to transact with greater confidence and reducing perverse incentives that would otherwise harm the PolySwarm Market.

ICO Alert: What benefits does your blockchain technology offer to the cybersecurity industry?

PolySwarm: There are benefits for everyone. For the Security Experts, we will enable them to participate and earn income from a marketplace that is open to them regardless of where they live. Everyone is on an even playing field, so those who have the most skill, keep current, and are efficient, will be the best rewarded.

Additionally, Security Experts often develop analysis and detection tools for niche threats. They can build those analysis and detection tools into a micro-engine and connect it up to the marketplace to provide that threat intelligence to all customers.

For security service providers (Ambassadors), they will be able to provide a more broad threat intelligence picture to their customers because the marketplace gives them access to so many more Security Experts.

ICO Alert: What is your strategy to acquire clients?

PolySwarm: We have a multi-pronged approach, targeting enterprise, ambassador and security expert onboarding, respectively.

At a high level, we will foster a network effect, playing enterprise interest toward security experts (more bounties available) and then security expert interest toward ambassadors and enterprises (increasingly quality threat intelligence). This two-sided effect will naturally encourage uptake on the opposite side.

1. Sponsor PolySwarm integration into existing incident response (IR) and defensive toolkits.

PolySwarm will offer Nectar bounties (from Swarm Technologies, Inc’s holding) as reward for open source contributions to widely used IR, defense and forensics toolkits. Specifically, we will target open source projects like Facebook’s osquery, and The Sleuth Kit / Autopsy. By making it trivial to use PolySwarm with these tools, PolySwarm seamlessly plugs into existing workflows. Some users will choose to leverage PolySwarm and any such leverage will help create a network effect.

2. Partnership with existing threat intelligence vendors, offering early Arbitership as incentive to plug into the network.

Existing threat intelligence companies will desire to become Arbiters in the PolySwarm ecosystem. PolySwarm will offer designated arbitership to chosen Arbiters to help bootstrap the network. This will be a limited time offer, after which Arbiter must maintain high ecosystem throughput to maintain their status.

3. Hackathons, competitions, and sponsorship directed toward information security expertise, with an emphasis toward markets that already participate heavily in vulnerability bug bounty programs.

We will target information security conferences in Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin and South America in particular.

ICO Alert: You mention that Antivirus and VirusTotal have a limited threat coverage. Can explain their limitations and how PolySwarm fixes this issue?

PolySwarm: Today there’s an $8.5 billion year spend on single-vendor anti-virus solutions. Enterprises have to pick one vendor to protect their users, but vendors miss things occasionally and if your vendor misses something, you’re vulnerable to malware.

A market of single-vendor solutions rewards duplication of effort across vendors, discourages investment in specialized detection capabilities and encourages vendor lock-in via mutually incompatible software packages.

VirusTotal combines a large number of anti-virus products, but when those anti-virus products have a large overlap in coverage, there is still a lot that is missed. And VirusTotal does not employ niche detection systems, which Security Engineers around the globe have in-house.

Our thesis is that Enterprise anti-virus subscriptions should be directed into PolySwarm and our market should reward anti-virus software maintainers for protecting users against that threat. We do this by using the blockchain to bring global security experts, enterprises, and end users together so that we can ensure Enterprises are covered much more broadly, and quickly, than they would be with a single vendor solution.

ICO Alert: In regards to paying out bounties after a confirmation from relevant parties, how will you handle disputes if something was subsequently proved that a ground truth is wrong?

PolySwarm: Excellent question (all of these are excellent questions)! If ground truth is wrong (Arbiters are wrong), this could be mean one of two things: (1) the Arbiter honestly got it incorrect, (2) the Arbiter is malicious.

For #1, PolySwarm will correct itself much like today’s market corrects itself — one vendor detects WannaCry, publishes it, reaps marketing benefit, other vendors jump on the detection bandwagon. If they’re more pointed about it, Vendor X calls out Vendor Y for failing to protect customers against a threat that Vendor X uniquely identifies. Again, the benefit here is a marketing coup. This process happens externally from the core market — it’s a feedback loop driven by a natural desire to win customers. It’s how it works today and how it’ll work in PolySwarm.

For #2, this is more complex. I believe this is best addressed by maintaining a record of trustworthiness of participants/reputation. This is not something that will be built into the market, but one of those “secondary market” value-added services we expect to arise.

Additionally, a secondary market we think will spring up, namely insurance. We think some experts may want to pay a nominal fee per assertion to insure their assertion against arbiter failure. How that works probably varies so widely by jurisdiction that it’s hard to pin down. Of course, Commercial entities could be made to accept a terms of use that make this sort of liability moot.

ICO Alert: How far along is the project today and when can contributors expect to use the platform? What does the roadmap look like for 2018?

PolySwarm: We’re working on a prototype right now and will launch a contest this week (around January 20). A usable end-to-end MVP will be available prior to token sale on February 6. Those are the hard dates we’re working with right now. I can say the rest is ASAP, but a large portion of what we’ll be funded to do is community engagement and onboarding folks, which is less of a technical task, more of a personal one. As such, we’re avoiding specific dates for, e.g. 1.0, because gaining traction in the community is a more difficult thing to schedule than, e.g. GitHub tickets on technical issues.

ICO Alert: As a non-PolySwarm question we like to ask for unique predictions for the ICO and cryptocurrency space in the future. What is your outlook for the next 3–5 years?

PolySwarm: Things are evolving quickly in this space — it’s difficult to predict 3–5 months out!

In general, we see the field maturing. We’ve already seen substantial maturation from the 2017 ICOs to the early 2018s ICO. People are demanding more: published code, noteworthy backers, vesting periods, etc.

Our CTO, Paul, served on a panel at UCLA recently and was asked if he were to assign a percentage to hype versus revolution to what’s happening in blockchain, what would the breakdown be? All the panelists had different answers, Paul’s was 40% revolution, 60% hype. We see those numbers inverting and then some, very quickly.

On the legal front, we’re looking forward to working with governments to help establish regulatory sandboxes that reduce risk for new companies leveraging blockchain in innovate ways.

On the information security + blockchain front, the recently announced Decentralized Cybersecurity Consortium (DC2) is an exciting partnership where we will collaborate with other infosec and blockchain companies to develop best practices for blockchain-based cybersecurity.

On the economic growth front, we’re looking forward to seeing economic growth on the island of Puerto Rico as the decentralized blockchain solves many of the centralization problems of the past; some refer to this vision as Blockchain Island.

ICO Information
The main ICO will begin on February 6, 2018 and will end on March 8, 2018. There are a total of 50,000,000 Polyswarm tokens (NCT) available during the main ICO, representing 100% of the total NCT supply. A hard cap of 50,000,000 is set for this period.

TBD = 1 NCT token

Current accepted currencies for Polyswarm include ETH.

Polyswarm is an ERC-20 token, so it’s important that contributors use ERC-20 compatible wallets to send funds to the ICO smart contract, and to receive the Polyswarm tokens.

Token Distribution Information
There are a total 50,000,000 NCT tokens being created, with 50,000,000 available during main ICO.

Contributors will have their tokens distributed shortly after the end of the ICO. Visit the PolySwarm website for more information and the contribution address.

70% of NCT tokens will be sold during the token sale.

15% of the remaining 30% will be “airdropped” to enterprises, vendors, and Security Experts interested in helping bootstrap the PolySwarm ecosystem. Recipients will be chosen at Swarm Technologies’ sole discretion.

The final 15% of tokens will be used by Swarm Technologies in a manner that best accelerates adoption of the PolySwarm ecosystem. As an illustrative example, tokens may be offered as incentive to participate in PolySwarm “hackathons.” This allocation will be at Swarm Technologies’ sole discretion.

ICO Proceeds


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  1. Polyswarm Website, Polyswarm (2018)
  2. Polyswarm Whitepaper, Polyswarm (2018)

Source: ICO Alert