Even though a value is associated with the attention a piece of data can generate, many people still do not benefit from the attention economy. The Koii Network team attempts to address this problem by having built the attention economy within the network’s infrastructure, which means that every application built on the Koii’s framework will track attention and earn tokens daily. There is also a possibility to minting NFTs on koi.rocks and earning attention rewards for the views users’ content fetches. Because Koii relies on Arweave’s offered solutions, users don’t have to worry about content being taken down.
The Koii Network provides a suite of software tools that creators and developers can use to own their content permanently and earn rewards. The project’s ecosystem consists of the following elements:
- K2 settlement layer
- Proofs of Real Traffic (PoRT)
- The KOII token
- Finnie wallet
- Decentralized IDs (DIDs)
The network’s native token, $KOII, provides several utilities to the holders. $KOII token supply is not finite due to the daily minting of $KOII. However, a deflationary effect is built-in with the burn mechanism.
The project is located in Canada, which has enacted several crypto-focused regulations.
The project’s team members and advisors have backgrounds in computer science, UI/UX design, and DevOps. As a project incubated by Outlier Ventures, the project also enjoys many partnerships.
At present, however, the project is yet to launch a mainnet. Nonetheless, the project has demonstrated good traction so far.
Our researchers gave Koii Network a final rating of 54.53%. The breakdown of this rating is available at the end of this report.
PRODUCT & COMPANY DESCRIPTION
Introduction to Koii Network
The Koii Network is a protocol that focuses on building infrastructure for a more transparent and open internet. The project builds tools that creators and developers can utilize to own their content while earning rewards from published content’s attention. The protocol tracks the attention registered content spread across the internet using a network of lightweight Koii Nodes. These nodes constitute the network’s core and provide the means to build, run, and deploy dApps. The Koii Network has its native token, $KOII, used for governance, afford computing power, interacting with dApps, and uploading content.
Koii attempts to solve the problem of web content incentivization. What sets Koii apart is that it caters to content creators and developers. Because Koii’s incentive mechanism rewards creative content, such as NFT creators and dApp developers, under this incentive mechanism, creators and developers are rewarded with KOII tokens. The award is “relative to the amount of traffic logged by the gateways detailed in the Proofs of Real Traffic (PoRT) diagram” (see below). For this purpose, 1,000 $KOII are minted daily and awarded proportionally to owners of published content according to the number of views their material has received in 24 hours. Koii is also offering an Arweave-based decentralised identity (DID), which will allow users to create identities that they can use across various blockchains. The project has also released a set of standards for Atomic NFTs, a fundamental part of the Permaweb. Koii offers three different templates for standard NFTs, ERC-1155 bridge-compatible contracts, and Dynamic NFT contracts (experimental).
Proofs of Real Traffic (PoRT) diagram. Source: Lightpaper
The Koii ecosystem consists of the following elements:
- K2 settlement layer
K2 is Koii Network’s settlement layer that could expand the capacity of Koii Network to over 150 billion daily PoRT while also enabling near-instantaneous transactions. K2 provides increased payment security and accelerated communications. The structure comprises Koii task nodes (K1) built on top of storage networks, such as Arweave. These task nodes write and read data from other blockchains and transfer values using the K2 settlement layer to process transactions instantly. K2 also contains Rust contracts which expands the low-level efficiency of task executions. The K2 settlement layer has a transaction speed of up to 2,000 transactions per second.
Koi.rocks is a dApp powered by Koii. By utilizing the Arweave’s Permaweb, koi.rocks takes advantage of permanent storage to bring about Atomic NFTs, which are NFTs “where the asset and its content exist within the same on-chain location.” Koi.rocks also features a leaderboard that contextualizes the projects’ success according to how many times they have been viewed. Besides the leaderboard, koi.rocks helps propagate attention by monetizing each NFT via the Koii protocol’s daily minting of 1,000 KOII tokens. The team asserts that koi.rocks is the first service using the attention reward distribution. It is also the first Koii ecosystem application using PoRT (Proofs of Real Traffic).
- Proofs of Real Traffic
PoRT makes sure that gateway tracking, which monitors the amount of traffic moving into host gateways, and subsequent attention tracking made possible by the Koii protocol, are not abused by bad actors. PoRT makes sure that the system is not disrupted by network spamming or collusion of protocol participants pursuing disproportionate rewards. In this way, gateway tracking through traffic log verification allows recording correctly the attention given to hosted content.
- The KOII token
The native token of the Koii Network is used to pay for computing power, uploading of content, governance, and interacting with dApps. Every day, Koii nodes and content creators gather Proofs of Real Traffic and submit them to mint new tokens.
Finnie is the official wallet of the Koii Network and provides a way to interact with the network. The wallet makes it possible for users to store, manage, share, and create digital assets. The features of the wallet include:
- The ability to create or import Arweave or Ethereum keys (more blockchains in development)
- Dragging and dropping NFTs and creating collections.
- Bridging Atomic NFTs to Ethereum and Opensea (more to come).
- Monitoring wallet activity, NFTs, and token balances.
- Registering any digital asset to start earning attention rewards in KOII tokens.
- Launching custom galleries.
- Designing a DID profile page.
- Cross-chain login.
- Developer integrations.
Koii Network’s DID framework, enabled by Koii and Arweave, makes it possible to create identities (profiles) that users can utilize across multiple chains. When they are viewed online, their DIDs accrue KOII tokens for the DID owners.
Koii Network has published a whitepaper outlining essential topics relevant to the project. However, some parts of the whitepaper are geared towards more technical users and not investors, per se. The lightpaper is longer and more detailed than the whitepaper and appears to be more suited to an audience with some DLT/blockchain understanding level.
According to the roadmap, the project team launched the Koii attention testnet with PoRT in Q1 2021. The testnet is already allowing creators to register content, earn attention rewards, and reap benefits from a decentralized network of bundlers and nodes. No date has been set for the mainnet launch.
Based on our understanding, there are several success factors for the project. These factors are listed below:
- The project stands to benefit from a large potential market and Arweave’s growth and NFT trade volumes.
- Koii Network introduces novel concepts like Atomic NFTs.
- The project’s desire for decentralization can attract highly motivated and enthusiastic users and partners.
- Team and advisors.
MARKET CONDITIONS AND COMPETITION
The metrics on Arweave’s growth are promising. Since its mainnet launch in June 2018, Arweave has been growing exponentially. From August 2021 to March 2022, the miner count has increased from 151 to nearly 1,200 miners. Similarly, Arweave blockchain has seen its wallets grow from 90k to over 150k. The network now stores over 55 terabytes of data (a substantial spike from 10 terabytes in August 2020).
Monthly data usage chart. Source: ViewBlock
Over the last year, Arweave’s monthly transaction growth has been explosive and does not show signs of slowing down.
Monthly transactions chart. Source: ViewBlock
Arweave is ranked in the first place in The Web3 Index. This index uses a fundamental index methodology, which postulates that underlying valuation figures like demand-side protocol fees and usage more accurately estimate a network’s intrinsic value in comparison to the listed market value of the project. The Web3 Index is reporting on the demand-side fees that have been paid into Web3 networks like Arweave.
Demand-side protocol fees (7d). Source: The Web3 Index
Verto Exchange has published an infographic that shows the state of Arweave’s ecosystem as it existed in January 2022.
Arweave Ecosystem (Jan. 2022). Source: Verto Exchange
As can be seen, Koii occupies two niches in the ecosystem – wallets, and publishing. Based on the offered services, the most direct competitor appears to be Mirror, a decentralized content publishing platform in which writers can use Mirror’s suite of web3 tools to their advantage. One of the offered features is the ability for writers to crowdfund writing with NFTs. Writers can issue tokens and NFTs to contributors to exchange ETH. In this way, Mirror has helped writers, filmmakers, musicians, and DAOs to start their communities.
How is the project different from its competitors?
The main features differentiating Koii from its competitors:
- Catering to developers: Koii is not only offering crypto-monetized solutions for creative content creators, but it also provides financial benefits to developers.
- Decentralized identifiers (DID): As noted previously, Koii’s Arweave-based DID enables identity (profile) creation that the users can use across multiple blockchains. Koii’s DIDs are also accruing $KOII for the DID owners when their DIDs are viewed online.
Koii is an open-source project and encourages the public to start building projects with its code. In the lightpaper, it is openly mentioned that the project has developed several early proofs-of-concept, which will be offered as open-source tools and as examples of the Koii-X Framework. The lightpaper also notes that the Koii Network provides the tools to build dApps. The open-source code is hosted on GitHub.
Bundlers: Nodes can become a Bundler by staking $KOII and paying for data storage on Arweave. Stakes must be above a minimum threshold and have to be held for a minimum of 30 days.
Gateways: Initially, Koii plans to deploy a trusted gateway and eventually intends to rely on decentralized gateways to provide accurate traffic logs. It is noted that the decentralized alternatives to the current Arweave gateway model are beginning to emerge.
- Price oracles.
- Web scraping (for web2 apps).
- Blockchain indexing.
- Decentralized identity.
- Asset bridges between blockchains.
- Generating NFT thumbnails for social sharing.
- Decentralized link trees.
- Decentralized ad networks.
More details are available here.
Koii operates on the K2 settlement layer and does not have its blockchain. Although in the protocol paper, it is mentioned that “Koii operates similarly to a Layer 1 blockchain and manages internal consensus using a stake-based approach; it anchors to other blockchains, and primarily the Arweave Permaweb for block storage to keep nodes lightweight (allowing highly scalable consensus) while ensuring long term transparency”.
Regarding scalability, as noted previously, the K2 settlement layer has a capacity of up to 2,000 transactions per second. It also stated that scalable consensus is one of the critical components of the Koii protocol, the other crucial factor being robust incentives.
The unique value proposition of Koii is its breakthrough innovation, a scalable consensus protocol that tracks attention on the decentralized internet to reward reliable or creative stakeholders. The consensus protocol serves as the foundation layer of the Koii dApp developer framework. The developer-friendly framework provides convenience, low technical barriers, security, transparency, and incentivized performance benefits.
The Koii protocol is tailored for dApps that do not need fast transaction times, thus providing a better solution to the costly infrastructure of Ethereum and similar networks. Additionally, in contrast to traditional blockchains, Koii Nodes use Proofs of Real Traffic to block spam, and for more “gradual” consensus, nodes use a stake-based state transition model.
Koii participates in Arweave’s Permaweb ecosystem, which provides valuable infrastructure and services to accomplish Koii’s design goals. For example, Koii nodes are lightweight because storage is outsourced to Arweave. This design feature reduces entry barriers and could enable faster network growth. Moreover, Koii nodes are cross-chain compatible (Ethereum already facilitated). The project’s team is working to support other chains, namely Avalanche, Polygon, Solana, and Filecoin.
One of the interesting design choices of Koii is that it would be a lazy proof-of-stake (PoS), which supports gradual state transitions. In Gradual Consensus, as built up in the Koii Network, “Consensus Nodes perform reliable compute operations and report their results back to a group of high-reputation Bundler Nodes who batch high volumes (theoretically millions) of transactions at a time.” Incrementally, the consensus mechanism:
- Employs Proof-of-Stake incentives coupled with ample scale storage to provide a framework for non-deterministic and lazily executed smart contracts.
- Involves an incentivized audit process to confirm large amounts of data more slowly.
The project has not been audited.
The current version of the project’s roadmap covers Q1 2020 to Q2 2022. Most of the roadmap timeframe has now lapsed (only Q2 2022 milestones are left). There is no indication of the plans post-Q2 2022.
Koii Network Roadmap. Source: Koii
The team is made up of 18 people who have backgrounds in different fields like engineering, UI/UX design, and DevOps. Some of the team members’ previous accomplishments include co-founding Blockchain Institute Chicago and StoreCat. The team members have also gained business experience working for firms like Fiverr, GoSecure, and LaBarge Weinstein LLP.
Alexander Morris, Founder & Architect, co-founded Blockchain Institute Chicago. Alexander holds a B.Sc. in Mechanical, Sensor, and Robotics Engineering from Queen’s University.
Kayla Kroot functions as the Creative Director. She co-founded StoreCat. Kayla holds a B.A. in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis.
Colin Zarzour, Operations Director, is a lawyer who has worked in the academy and education sector. Colin holds a Doctor of Law (J.D.) from the University of Ottawa.
Ghazanfer Anwar, Lead Systems Developer, has previously worked at Fiverr and Upwork.com. Ghazanfer holds a B.S. in Computer Science from the National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences.
Sam Williams is the CEO of Arweave and a Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science at the University of Kent.
Peter Yang is the Managing Director of Fenbushi Capital, a blockchain-focused venture capital firm in Asia.
Charlotte Kapoor is the partner/ascent program lead at Outlier Ventures, the open metaverse accelerator that has helped various web3 startups.
Brendan Joyce has co-founded a #1 Google Ranked startup and authored digital campaigns garnering over 24 million impressions.
General Comments on the Team & Advisors
The project has a team with a relevant background. The career page indicates that the project wants to onboard additional team members. Koii is looking to hire for various roles, including, but not limited to, front-end developer, UX writer, marketing & growth specialist, and Rust developer. These steps would assist them in bridging any gaps in required skills.
During our review period, we did not find evidence that the team members have taken part in any previous or current illegal projects or controversial projects. We did not find evidence of the Advisors’ involvement in any controversial projects either.
LEGAL AND COMPLIANCE SPECIFICS
Koii Network is headquartered in Canada. KOI Labs Inc. is a federal corporation entity (Corporation# 12755971) registered with Corporations Canada.
Canada has implemented several regulatory measures toward cryptocurrencies and has approved bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) have issued guidance that requires dealers and crypto trading platforms in Canada to register with the local provincial regulators. Canada in 2021 adopted a clear registration regime that covers trading platforms that offer custodial services to Canadian clients.
Generally, the Canada Revenue Authority (CRA) treats cryptocurrency as a commodity for the Income Tax Act purposes. The Ontario Securities Commission has enforced the regulations against several unregistered foreign trading platforms. There is also guidance on the marketing and advertising of cryptos.
Koii project was a participant of the Outlier Ventures accelerator program. Koii has established four service-based partnerships grounded on mutual goals with Spheron, Meson Network, NEAR, and InfStones. For example, Spheron can be used to launch Koii dApps. Meanwhile, NEAR will be integrated with Koii’s core products on Koii Network.
Koii’s homepage lists several investors that have supported the project.
Investors. Source: Koii
The project has not appointed legal advisors or team members responsible for legal matters. Presumably, the project retains the services of external legal counsel. However, there is no such evidence in the public domain.
KYC & AML
No announcement concerning KYC & AML has been made. For now, Koii has launched an investor waitlist, which states that “Koi Labs. Inc. is not able to receive investment from within UN-sanctioned countries, the United States, or from individuals, entities and other persons who do not pass KOI Labs Inc.‘s AML/KYC procedures.”
The available information indicates that $KOII is a utility token, with three ways for participants to use tokens:
- The Attention Game
“$KOII can only be generated by earning verified attention via PoRT, so users can spend their tokens to mint or buy digital assets and burn them to register those assets for attention tracking.”
- Asset Management
“Once assets have been created, the network provides services to manage them and increase their utility. Some examples of digital asset services include personalized galleries, caching and file availability, ad placement, content enrichment, indexing, and even attestations from verified DIDs”.
- Distributed Tasks
“Finally, Koii nodes also provide task execution services via Gradual Consensus. A task can be programmed from an existing template and deployed using KOII tokens. Once deployed, a task will be executed autonomously by nodes in order to earn a share of the bounty tokens. Typical tasks range from web scraping to message passing, but can be modified to include any executable script, as long as other nodes can verify it”.
“When a developer deploys an application with Koii, they will pay tokens to register the app, they will set bounties for services, and then earn $KOII based on the attention it receives”.
- the risk of regulatory actions in one or more jurisdictions and risks associated with new and evolving laws.
- The Koii’s website, the offered services, or the token could be impacted by one or several regulatory actions, or new laws and regulations could be enacted that would affect Koii.
The total supply of KOII tokens at launch will be 10 billion, while the initial circulating supply (at launch) will be 510,357,000 KOII tokens.
The project has allocated 25% of the tokens for the founding team, while 4% will be allocated to advisors. The team has not released information concerning the vesting period of their tokens. The project plans to allocate most of the tokens, 43%, on post-sale operations.
Token Allocation (at network launch). Source: Tokenomics Paper
The token generation event details indicate that 40% of revenue from sales of tokens will be allocated to marketing and PR and 15% to community building, which is in line with the lightpaper mentioning that the team has pivoted to ramping up marketing and community building.
The project raised funds from several investors. However, the project has not been transparent about the amounts raised during each funding round and the number of tokens allocated across various groups. Understandably, Outlier Ventures accelerator program participants receive $50k.
Use of Sale Proceeds. Source: Lightpaper
The $KOII token supply is not finite. The token is inflationary and is generated constantly with 1,000 new tokens being minted daily.
Burning is one of the main components of the token economy, along with consensus activities, token generation, and locking up in either bounty or staking contracts. Since $KOII has a default 3.6% inflation rate per year, the network will implement token destruction mechanisms in specific actions, with the burn rate being updatable over time via a vote by existing token holders. In particular, burn mechanisms will be in place for the following activities – withdrawing from staking, bounty distributions, transactions, and registering assets for attention tracking. Overall, the net token issuance will be positive in the first two years.
$KOII Token Supply. Source: Tokenomics Paper.
The team has not disclosed what will happen to any KOII tokens left unsold at the public sale stage.
Supply and Demand Dynamics
- Consensus Activities: Under Gradual Consensus, nodes are awarded tokens for participation in consensus “Tasks.”
- Token Generation: Daily, new tokens are created to reward creators for creating things that bring more attention to the network. In engaging with the network, users generate Proofs of Real Traffic, whose aggregated total is employed to disperse new tokens to creators’ wallets.
- Utility: $KOII has several utilities in its ecosystem. For instance, tokens can be spent to mint or buy digital assets.
- Lock up: Network participants are encouraged to lock their tokens into Bounty and Staking contracts to offset the inflation from Token Generation.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND VIRALITY
The project is fairly active on Twitter. The project has an active Twitter presence. The channel has 22.1k followers and has been stuck in this range for several months. The project has recently started to reach out to the community via Twitter Spaces (Koii Town Hall).
The most accessible and popular channels to communicate about the project are the project’s Discord and Telegram channels. The Telegram channel has about 7.5k followers. The channel has lost ~10% of its followers since March. In contrast, the project’s Discord channel has gathered 9.1k members, increasing around 3% since March. They also use Discord to pre-register community members to participate in upcoming “Tasks,” a central project component. Discord link here.
The project is relatively inactive on both LinkedIn and Facebook. Koii has 1.9k followers on LinkedIn and just eight followers on Facebook.
Koii has a limited presence on YouTube. The YouTube channel has uploaded six videos, with the most-viewed video gaining 1.8k views (as of writing). Several other third-party channels have discussed Koii. Some of which are:
Cointelegraph – 2.6k views
CryptoCoinShow – 5.9k views
There is no ongoing bug bounty program at present.
RISKS TO THE PROJECT
- Risks affecting Arweave: The project relies on Arweave for its functionality; thus, risks affecting Arweave might also affect Koii Network. A team member of the popular Coin Bureau informational channel has noticed that there has been a significant increase in the time taken to upload data. This might be due to the action of Arweave’s archival bots, and there is a concern that eventually, there might be so many bots that Arweave would become unusable for regular users, potentially even the crypto projects integrated with Arweave.
- Lack of adoption/interest: the project derives demand from the growth of decentralized publishing and mass adoption of decentralized storage and the internet. Slower adoption in such decentralized use cases may hinder the progress of Koii Network.
Everything you see in this report is the aggregate result of an extensive research process carried out by a distributed team of researchers and crypto enthusiasts around the world. The process consists of 60 questions divided into three phases. Researchers are called to answer these questions about a project, while providing links or screenshots as evidence to support their answers. For every answer, they also provide a rating from zero to ten. The average of their ratings is detailed below.
Our researchers gave Koii a final rating of 54.53%.
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