ORVIUM ICO REVIEW
Guys, I have come across a very exciting blockchain service on my search for the next “all-star ICO”. I could not restrain myself from writing this article as I believe this is a game changer in its space. The project in question is called Orvium. I am going to give you a general overview of this project in this article, and hopefully, by the end you will be as excited as I am. Please check out my second article if you wish to get a more in-depth look at how this project will work
As always there will be multiple links to the projects website, whitepaper and further reading information at the end of this article, in order to aid your own research on this project. I will be drawing from these sources throughout this article in order to provide you with 100% factually correct information.
Essentially what Orvium is aiming to achieve is to be a game changer in the way scientific/research publication works, essentially eliminating the many inefficiencies which hamper this “industry”. This is yet another example of utilising blockchain technology for the betterment of society, they will effectively provide this space with decentralised storage by utilising blockchain technology. As you guys know by now from reading/following my work, blockchain provides us with fully traceable transactions/data transfer, it is open to the public and it is fully secured. This is why I get very excited when I come across projects like this. It is not often that such gems reveal themselves.
Just to give you an idea of the userbase of this project, Orvium.io, (2018) tell us that the scientific publishing industry is one of the most profitable in the world, further suggesting the top 5 publishers in the space account for 50%-70% of all publications, with profits far exceeding even the likes of Google, Amazon and Apple. They add in their whitepaper that in 2015 there were 9 million researchers producing 1.8-2 million articles per year, with 2.5 billion direct downloads from publisher’s journals and another 400 million from 3rd party sites (Orvium.io, 2018).
I agree with everything they state here, the increasing levels of education and literacy across the world are only driving these numbers higher every year. Just let that sink in guys, this is a huge space. For those of you who have attended or are currently attending university you will be familiar with publishers of academic research, what you may not know is the huge costs incurred by universities/institutions for access to these journals/works.
Orvium further tell us in their whitepaper of the huge inefficiencies in this economic model in the world today, proclaiming that there exists a “triple pay system”. Basically, the way this works (as many of you may already know) is:
Most universities/institutions are government/ publicly funded: This means most research is paid for already by the government.
Then “volunteer scientists” (Orvium.io, 2018) who are funded by the Government/Universities (Public funds) are tasked with creating /reviewing manuscripts but receive no form of payment for the end result as they are bound to create these works and seek recognition in publications.
These research papers/works are then sold by the publications back to the universities at huge prices and the cycle continues.
Now as a guy who spent years in university writing research papers (and finishing top of my class I might add) I know first hand of this travesty. A researcher is made to feel like his/her career is dependant on the quality of his/her contribution to large publications and thus there exists a culture of “racking up” these publications in ever competing “prestigious journals” to progress one’s career.
The peer review process was the part which always annoyed me, essentially requiring multiple experts to review ones work for free. I spent countless hours doing such work; none of it added to my “prestige”. I now work in industry as a result of my frustrations in academia. Being honest with you, it was the culture of this “prestige” which universities strive for which lead me out of the “business”. Simply put these publications hold researchers and institutions to ransom in academia. The subscription fees for these journals in my opinion, are unwarranted, and sometimes it is very hard to find out what the actual fee is. All it takes is for you to do a google search and you will see how hard this information is to find. Smells of “cartel activity” to me.
Source: (Libraryjournal.com, 2013)
As can be seen from the above chart which I found on LibraryJournal.com based on a survey of “Premier” shows that the cost for titles across many subject journals increased year on year (2010-2013). It is my opinion that these are extortionate rates, and when you consider what some institutions are paying for journals then these can easily rise to the 5/6 figures.
Orvium add to my own argument in their whitepaper when they tell us universities do the peer reviews for free, and then the publishers go ahead and charge billions per year when they sell the journals back to the universities/institutions to read the final work. This is just outrageous. I do acknowledge that efforts have been made with public journals over the years for writers to essentially share their work for free, however these centralised publication powerhouses still hold a huge market share of the industry and have fees associated with them. I feel researchers need to see some monetary return for their own work.
Inefficiency with the current model
Orvium, (2018) tell us in their whitepaper there are many inefficiencies with the current model:
High cost to access scientific results: This is something I have witnessed first-hand. They state in their whitepaper that most institutions sign non-disclosure agreements on costs of packages of journals, this is why it is so hard to find data on these. This is just outrageous in my view. I know that bundling of journals is common place which has the effect of diluting a library with sub-par content but did not know packages are kept private with non-disclosure agreements. Furthermore, they report that only 50% of open access journals survive due to the high centralised cost of running. This fact reiterates my point that open-access is too centralised and has not gone far enough in combatting this problem.
Lack of transparency: This is a big problem. Orvium describe the process of “peer review” as counter productive but important in the current system, this competition for resources can lead to cheating (plagiarism) and copy right infringements. Blockchain can counteract this. This was one area which frustrated me the most throughout my career.
Lack of a link between research and data: Interestingly most publishers, according to Orvium don’t allow linking of data and methods in articles, which can inhibit the validation process. Validation is everything in research and so I believe blockchain can solve this.
Non-recognition: What annoyed be the most about my university/research days was the fact I was never rewarded for my hard work. This is a huge pain point for many academics.
Delays in publication: Another element which really annoyed me was the time it takes for a manuscript to make it to publication. Orvium touch on this in their whitepaper and suggest this can take anywhere up to 12 months depending on the journal. Personally, from my own university days this is simply down to the huge bureaucratic peer review process. Orvium, (2018) add that the rejection and resubmission process add to this, however cascading (transfer of manuscript editorial history) between journals is combating this.
Copyright issues: This is a huge problem as the publication essentially holds all rights to the work. Blockchain will change this norm and give power back to the source.
Low quality content reaching readers: This will only grow, according to Orvium, sub-par work is making its ways into universities as more and more people seek 3rd level education. This is something that is indeed true due to the pressures put on researchers to fill their quota of research for these publications, it is something I was part of for years and have seen first-hand.
Orvium’s solution to a huge a problem
From what I can understand of their whitepaper, Orvium aim to establish themselves as the “leading publication platform for the research community” (Orvium.io, 2018). They will achieve this (and they will succeed) by utilising the Ethereum blockchain and smart contracts. They will use decentralised storage as a core element of their model also. As we all know big data/machine learning is a going to be a huge use case for blockchain and this project will utilise this technology to deliver their project. Their utility token (ORV) will be the transfer of value across the platform during the lifecycle of “manuscripts”.
Source: (Blockchain Council | Blockchain-council.org, 2018)
I am a huge believer that large data and especially machine learning are going to be the innovations which drive us into the next technological revolution alongside blockchain. The ability to utilise the thought process automatically without human oversight is perhaps the most exciting feature of these new technologies. When this is combined with the trustless and secure nature of blockchain then you can see the potential for yourself. Projects which can see the benefits of designing platforms with the intention of utilising this technology have my vote of confidence.
I am not going to discuss this in anymore detail here because I will explain how this platform works in detail in my second article which goes into depth on these elements. Believe me, this is an exciting project and I think you will enjoy this more in-depth look. (Linked top of the page )
How Orvium will achieve their vision
Essentially as described in their whitepaper, Orvium will target the whole lifecycle of the research cycle (discovery, approval/funding, research, result). This platform will give authors and institutions their copyright rights back, and they can decide the terms of sharing. This is the full control system I craved during my own research days, sadly it came too late for me and my frustrations took over.
Source: (Orvium.io, 2018)
If you divert your attention to the image above, it will show you the research cycle, this is what this platform was built for. As somebody who has written multiple manuscripts, I am very familiar with this cycle, essentially one could take the view that the results are necessary for all other phases. This is because when we start research we compile a “literature review” of existing research to ensure we can work on a new “hypothesis”, we can then build on already validated methodologies to achieve our results.
It is the peer review process which occurs here which is a very long and time-consuming process, and one which I feel is unfair to researchers. Months can go into this work yet they receive very little of the financial award. Orvium can see that the space is becoming more open to “open access initiatives” but feel the blockchain revolution can accelerate and kick start this trend into the norm of scientific research. Also, as mentioned in the previous section I feel this is where machine learning will show us its true potential of this platform, by essentially making this process more streamlined and faster.
Source: (ICO Drops, 2018)
Guys this roadmap is filled with very exciting milestones, I also like the way they labelled the phases. What you guys need to look out for when researching these projects is that their roadmaps are sufficient enough to achieve their goals, don’t be drawn in with small roadmap projects. This is a very nicely timed roadmap with nice intervals between value realisations for potential investors. Based on this it would be safe to say this is a very good medium-long term investment in my opinion.
One just needs to observe the sheer number of people involved in this project to know it will be a success. Success in my opinion is decided by the value of a team. I am a huge believer that small relatively inexperienced teams with a great concept have a far greater chance of succeeding than a great team with an average concept. Orvium has both a great and experienced team covering a wide range of expertise and has a great concept which will ultimately utilise blockchain to its full potential. Considering this, it is very rare to find such an all-star team in terms of experience and skill who also have an all-star concept/project. This is a no brainer investment based on these facts in my opinion.
Source: (Orvium.io, 2018)
As can be seen from the above chart this project has a very good token distribution economics and there is a 3-year lockup on the team and Orvium OU allocations which account for 30% of the total token distribution. The hard cap is also only 20 million dollars which in my view is insanely low for such an impressive project. These facts have given me a lot of faith in the long-term potential of this amazing project.
Essentially this will be an all-inclusive platform for scientific research which goes far beyond what “open access journals” are trying to achieve. I believe this platform will allow the scientific community to become full owners of their own work once again and as described in Orvium’s whitepaper, allow them full dissemination rights over their work.
Orvium will provide the economic model needed to prevent this current triple pay system I talked about above. What I find very exciting is that everything will be open source, people can view submissions of manuscripts, do their own checks and peer reviews. Blockchain will allow this whole process to occur with full transparency.
In my opinion, this model will replace “journals” as we know it and allow the content/manuscripts to become the forefront important element rather than needing to belong to a “prestigious journal”. I put in exclamation marks here as I am one who doesn’t understand why this model was allowed to ever exist in the first place. Orvium add that they will bring the general public into the scientific process with this platform and I see this as a huge opportunity to realise this vision.
I see this project as a disruptor in a sector which is highly self-sustained and confirms to a norm, they mentioned the typical market barriers for new ideas in this space, but I do personally believe the space as a whole is seeking a disruptor like this. This was always a common discussion topic amongst my peers in university, it is nice for me being able to write on such a personal topic as this alongside my current contract
Orvium YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCToae47jUc6LNw-_WgLEJnw
Orvium Whitepaper: https://orvium.docsend.com/view/nvr6ywj
Orvium Platform Architecture: https://orvium.docsend.com/view/bn6jy9h
Orvium Light paper: https://orvium.docsend.com/view/7p9iysz
Orvium Website: https://orvium.io/
Orvium Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/orvium.io
Orvium Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/Orvium/
Orvium Twitter: https://twitter.com/orvium
Orvium Main Telegram: https://t.me/orvium
Orvium Announcement telegram: https://t.me/orvium_announcements
Orvium Medium: https://medium.com/@orvium
Orvium Bitcointalk (Ann): https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3535259.0
Orvium Bitcointalk (Bounty): https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3565166
Orvium Steemit: https://steemit.com/@orvium