Foam Protocol ICO Review by Coincrunch

Foam Protocol ICO Review- The Consensus Driven Map of the World


FOAM, an open protocol designed to push and help users build a map of the world powered by a consensus algorithm and a staking mechanism all based on a geospatial decentralized structure.

PROS

  • Solid team with experience in the blockchain space & good biz dev skills too
  • Novel idea to improve the design and security of location services
  • Developer-ready API with tutorial

CONS

  • MVP yet to be released
  • Timeline not set in stone

I still remember driving or walking through a city looking at my map trying to figure out where to turn or what was the name of the street up ahead, all in an attempt to reach my destination.

As technology improved, GPS came into play and I distinctly remember how that changed the way I traveled and moved around. Everything was easier, the GPS even talked to me; it felt like magic.

And again after that, all kind of location mapping/tracking services appeared and the whole world changed.

Not only can humans be tracked and located, but devices, food and goods are tracked. But tracked… and possibly controlled….by whom?

We know you remember the service Foursquare and now Facebook, all our information about our position, habits and the time we spent in each location was collected once we checked in to the app. What was done with that information? Was it sold? Think about that, all of our information store by a centralized entity and there’s not much we can do about it.

“users should own their personal location information and should be able to determine when and with whom they choose to share their location”

Does that statement make sense to you? It seems like such a novel idea… but it’s not the norm. And that’s because that statement is our next projects vision of what blockchain can bring to the world.

FOAM, an open protocol designed to push and help users build a map of the world powered by a consensus algorithm and a staking mechanism all based on a geospatial decentralized structure.

That new user developed world map, built on top of Ethereum’s blockchain, will provide any application with a secure physical space on the blockchain.

FOAM tokens will be staked to provide access to computational work and verification on the network.

We are sure you don’t want to lose a beat in this space so join the community and be informed during this new revolution with us.


Problem

As we learned in the Introduction, FOAM has a very novel proiect that could change the way that GPS and “knowing where you are” is handled today.

So what are the problems that the FOAM team is trying to tackle with their project.

The 3 main problems that the team are addressing:

  • Lack of common location encoding standards
  • User Experience for spatial applications needs to be improved
  • Secure verification of the authenticity of location data
Location encoding standards

According to the team, there are currently no real established standards on the nomenclature for a location.  This means that for all of the addresses we run across today – whether its an embedded location, a physical address or even the coordinates of a smart contract, there is no agreed upon method to verify and validate the geospatial data that is being represented by that address.

This is a problem because in order for the smart contract, we are reviewing, to remain interoperable they need a “shared language for them to reference and index the physical world”.

Additionally, location standards today are an unsolved problem, according to the United Nations, 70% of the world is unaddressed, this includes more than half of the world’s sprawling urban developments

User Experience for spatial applications

FOAM also will look to improve the user experience for spatial applications – which is the usage of mapped information within application designs, just like other user-interface experiences in other applications it is also important to properly design the application to make the best use of the spatial data that is available.

One way to think of this is the google earth application that you may have used.  The final image that someone sees (right side) is gathered, processed (left side) and then built in the application engine layer before being displayed.

This data set exists and works quite well for centralized data sets but for FOAM to work in a decentralized fashion across a wide variety of applications (games, real estate, etc) there needs to be a solution for this geospatial data.

Secure verification of the authenticity of location data

The current GPS system consists of 31 satellites that were launched by the U.S. military and are now made available for non-military uses.

GPS is so pervasive now – it’s in our smartphones, children’s toys, drones and other devices that we may not even think about.

What we may not know is that civilian GPS in not encrypted, that means that signal is vulnerable to hacks and location spoofing which means we can not be fully certain that the location we are in is actually that location.

This is probably Ok for most applications however in using ‘Proof of Location’ as a consensus mechanism the location data that is being used must be accurate.

Now that we understand some of the problems that FOAM is trying to solve, we will provide an overview of the solutions and then do a deep dive into the technology in the Main Section.


Solution

So what is Foam planning to do to actually improve this space and move us all forward with spatial solutions?

Well – the solutions that will be put in place are listed below:

  • Crypto-Spatial Coordinates
  • The Spatial Index and Visualizer
  • Proof of Location

We’ll cover each one of the solutions at a high-level before proceeding into the main section.

Crypto-Spatial Coordinates – the open location standard on the Ethereum blockchain

In the problems section we highlighted that there’s currently no standard method for addressing locations around the globe.  The FOAM Crypto-Spatial Coordinate (CSC) is one step in the right direction towards having an agreed upon standard on the blockchain for addressing spatial locations with applications.

The Spatial Index and Visualizer

The Spatial Index and Visualizer, referred to as SIV, can serve as the front-end interface for any decentralized application that needs to visualize smart contracts on a map. The SIV allows for a variety of ways to interact with applications written for the FOAM protocol including the ability to look up, view and interact with the smart contracts.

Verifiable and Secure Proof of Location

The purpose of the Proof of Location consensus is to provide an end to end solution that provides a decentralized, accurate and private alternative solution to GPS.

The intention of FOAM is to develop this over time to ensure the utility of the platform.    Those that register can add to the locations such as cartographers do with traditional maps.

They would curate the registry and would earn block rewards.

Those are the main solutions that will be implemented by the FOAM project, now we will dive into the Main Feature to learn more about the tech behind Foam.


Main Features – Tech Overview

Proof of Location Protocol

Incentives:

Foam uses Token Curated Registries(TCRs) as their token economic model. As stated above the Foam Network uses CSC standard as a registry of spatial contracts displayed on the Spatial Index Visualizer for listing Points of Interest(POI), the content of this list is backed by staked Foam tokens.

Foam token holders are able to vote on the listing of new contracts, the more valuable(in staked tokens) the contracts on the list the more the token price increases. This incentivizes the contributors to ensure high quality curation and good standing within the network.

The Foam TCR has three kinds of actors:

  • Consumers: Who want to utilize the list
  • Candidates: Who want to be on the list
  • Cartographers: Foam token hodlers who create the list
Signaling:

Another use case for the Foam token in the network is in signaling. It is another aspect of the staking mechanism which encourages and incentivizes growth of the geographic coverage of Foam by Cartographers. As Cartographers stake tokens two things are considered:

  • The length of time of staking – the earlier the staking the better
  • The number of tokens staked

This incentivizes Cartographers to operate the protocol – Dynamic Proof of Location Zones in areas where location services are needed.

Dynamic Proof of Location:

The Foam token within the TCR, as mentioned above, only has utility at the time of launch and is intended to provide a trusted Proof of Location for static objects but what about moving objects?

Transitory objects can be dynamically mapped by using radio hardware plus a high-precision clock signal, this specialized hardware can be used to synchronize nodes’ clocks over radio to provide location services in that Zone(the nodes providing these services are called Verifiers and Anchors – collectively called Operators). Zone operators have to stake Foam tokens to participate in the protocol as collateral that they will follow the rules. Operators are rewarded with new tokens for their time synchronization services in the network.

Verifiers  Compute location algorithms from the data and check for fraudulence in the Zones. The Verifier and Zone working together allow them to mine triangulations and their collective computed data is rewarded by the Foam network with newly issued tokens.

Consensus Mechanism:

Presence Claims –  The consensus mechanism that verifies an event or agent at a certain point in time and space producing a digital authentication certificate that mitigates any fraudulent attacks.

Zone Operators have to stake tokens on the Ethereum blockchain in order to have access to the shared state machine of any given Zone, each Zone theoretically becomes its own “child” blockchain.

Zone Anchors –  Zone Operators setup specialized hardware beacons to broadcast coverage and become an overlay of peer to peer network of radio beacons, allowing these anchors to reach consensus.


Token Economics

  • Ticker: FOAM
  • Token type: ERC20 ICO
  • Token Price: 1 FOAM = 0.0800 USD
  • Fundraising Goal: 24,000,000 USD
  • Total Tokens: 1,000,000,000
  • Available for Token Sale: 30%
  1. The Foam Token Curated Registry unlocks mapping in secure and permissionless fashion and allows locations to be ranked and maintained by token Balances. Users can deposit FOAM tokens into POI on the map to increase attention to those POI.
  2. Signal of Zone Incentivisation. Signaling is a mechanism designed to allow Cartographers to incentivize the expansion and geographic coverage of the FOAM network. To signal, a Cartographer stakes FOAM Tokens to signal smart contacts that reference a particular area. These staked tokens serve as indicators of demand, and are proportionate to (i) the length of time staking (the earlier the better, and (ii) the number of token staked (the less well served areas, the better).
  3. Users incentive. Users are rewarded for their own efforts with the new FOAM tokens in the form of mining rewards. Devices and real world cibracts can be programmed to designate attestation and track interactions and transactions on the map. With the addition of necessary radio hardware by individual users and the grassroots expansion of the FOAM network. It may be possible for location status to be proved in a different manner.  Location could be proved through a time synchronization protocol that would ensure continuity of a distributed clock, whereby specialized hardware could synchronize nodes’ clocks over radio to provide location services in a given area.

Team + Advisors

Ryan John King – Co-Founder & CEO

  • Ryan has 10 years work experience in many different areas. For the first 5 years he was an analyst with Texifter, LLC where he coded large sets of data in Saas text analytics, then moved on to research at The Andrew W, Mellon Foundation,UMass Amherst and spent some time as a General Manager of at Huff Gooden Architects.
  • The last 5 years has been focused on Blockchain Technology.
  • 2+ years as a consultant, Educating private audiences about Blockchain Technology throughout New york City.
  • 3+ years at Foam as CEO.
  • Holds Bachelor of Arts, Economics, Political Science at University of Massachusetts.
  • Created 3 Publications.

Kristoffer Josefsson – Co-Founder & CTO

  • Kristoffer has 3+ years experience in the Blockchain space.
  • For 2+ years he was a Founding member, Senior Full-Stack Blockchain and Smart Contract Developer at Blockapps.net. They raised 3.1 million in funding https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/blockapps.
  • As a leader that is also a developer, it allows Kristoffer to take the company forward to meet their technical goals. This will allow him to relate to every developer in at Foam.
  • Holds a MSc, Mathematics at University of Gothenhurg.

Katya Zavyalova – Co-Founder & CCO

  • Katya has 9+ years as a Project Manager/COO.
  • She brings a career of 5+ years of Project manager/Designer at Gage Clemenceau Architects and CRR Studio.
  • Holds a MSc, Architecture at Southern California Institute of Architecture.
  • Holds a B.A, Architecture.

Arthur Roing Baer – Creative Marketing Director

  • Arthur has been the Creative Marketing Director at Foam Inc. for 1+ year.
  • He is in control of the social media for Foam, released 5+ Articles on Medium with latest updates on the project and token sale which is great this keep investors up to do with the progress of the project.
  • Holds Masters of Design at Sandberg Instituut.
  • Holds Bsc, Visual Communications at Backmans Designhogskola.

IIya Ostrovskiy – Protocol Engineer

  • IIya has 14+ years experience primarily as a Software Engineer/Developer.
  • Current roles on top of Foam Inc. are:
    • Co-Founder at Awesome IT LLC, the company is a one stop shop of technology solutions, Managing Email, desktops, smartphones and everything you need to run a company tech wise.
    • 9+ years at Independent Consultant at 200Proof CC. He offers his IT skills for service here.
  • Notable previous roles:
    • Resident Tech Sharman at Blockapps. Where he worked with Kristoffer the Foam CTO.
  • IIya is very active on github with 33 Repositories and 1,238 contributions this year.

Alyssa Wright – OpenStreet Consultant and Adviser

  • Alyssa has amassed 19+ years work experience as a Technology Strategist.
  • Current roles on top of Foam Inc. are:
    • Self employed as a consultant.
    • 4+ years as the Board President at OpenStreetMap Us. OpenStreetMap US is a nonprofit that supports the largest open data repository and community in the world. This shows she brings key knowledge to help the Foam Inc.
  • Notable previous role, 3+ years as VP, Business Development and Partnerships Mapzen at Samsung NEXT. Here she show cased and developed her skills in research and launched 10 products.
  • Holds MSc, Media Arts and Sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • Holds MSc, Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at New York University.
  • Holds BSc, Cultural Studies at Wellesley College.

Matt Liston – Special Advisor

  • Matt has been in the crypto space for 4+ years
  • Notable previous roles:
    • CSO at Gnosis Limited, They are an open platform for business to create their own prediction market applications on the Ethereum protocol.
    • Decentralized Autonomous Strategist at ConsSys, ConsenSys is a blockchain venture production studio primary building on Ethereum.
    • Community Evangelism at Ethereum, second largest cryptocurrency project.
    • Co-Founder/CEO at Dyffy/Augur Project, Dyffy aims to build Peer-to-peer prediction platform. The project has raised 5.3 Million in funding.

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