tl;dr - So is now a good time to buy? not on the market. There is an ICO starting at 33k satoshis on September 16th. A buy above that rate would probably be foolish, although on the 9th of September a demo is planned, which may catch the uninformed in a trap. It's a compelling project but it's a different solution for a decentralized applications development framework not necessarily a direct competitor to steemit, as their focus shifts to the overall ecosystem. Steemit does not equal steem, so we need more information about what other interesting things people will build. It is not limited to social media.
I have to say, I've been watching the back and forth over this project. It's really not the way to make investment decisions, generally you want to separate yourself from the emotional side first and dig into the details from a pragmatic viewpoint. I know for a fact a few folks were influenced by posts of this nature to invest. Now let's say you've gone through all the technical details, the business plan or market overview and you think it's solid, if the project additionally creates a philosophical or emotional connection with you that's a huge bonus. I think it's fine people want to post whatever they "feel", but bare in mind, we're dealing with real money and people here are fresh. I'll go through my process step by step of evaluating something like this. I am not an expert, and no one wins all the time. I have had experience with venture capital so I generally evaluate in a methodical manner. I do trade speculatively on assets on the market off of charts alone, but that's a whole other beast, and a topic for another day.
First, the token is on the market so we go to market evaluation. In an ICO we don't have market data to inform our opinion.
So we see a trader following this coin for awhile, here showing the 1 Day chart, would have seen a nice buy in zone at .000008788 on July 3rd. [chart correction EMA 17 crosses 34 just my pick of EMAs] That's just using simple long term EMAs as the ichi cloud does not have enough data, which I also like. Now we see the major pump happened the same day as the Alpha announcement. Well this can be typical in the altcoin world, an announcement comes out and the indicators become less relevant. The public alpha will be demoed September 9th. However the ICO levels show you the relative price caps starting about where we are now.
Ok to skip to the point a new ICO is coming out September 16th, the alpha demo party is September 9th. One would assume a nice increase on the alpha demo party, and congrats if it goes well, but the ICO resets us to this level. You could try and scalp off of the uninformed, but know that price will be fixed on yunbi 16th. The first two weeks price is .000033000, third week, .000036500, fourth week .000040000. Plus bonuses, etc, so let's assume near .000031500. So is now a good time to buy? not on the market. I'm usually not this sure, but look at the numbers. If the ICO Price will be set at 33k satoshis, that means market price has no reason to go above, as you can always buy in at 33k for two weeks plus bonuses, bringing us back to our current price. If in the third week the market adjusts upwards to .000036500 or .000040000 you can evaluate, but we know the high price for the two weeks following September 16th is 33k + bonuses, when the ICO starts. So if you bought above 33k or specifically, .000033000 expect to not see higher for a bit. The ICO starts September 16th, so watch out for the alpha demo pump. If you want to play the ICO game and go for bonuses and whatnot maybe?, well I'll do a write up when it's fully live, but the market is looking flat for near term, and a forced cap on price gives a clear timeline at when you should expect a rise, specifically at least two weeks into the ICO.
ICO info extended
Well now we can see the Alpha page has transitioned into an ICO announcement starting September 2016: https://blog.synereo.com/2016/08/29/synereos-second-fundraising-campaign-coming/ ICO Details: ICO price is going to be starting at 33000 going up to 45000 satoshis on yunbi including some other funding options. With bonuses that's about market price. In addition they are forming a corporate entity offering AMP bonuses for investors. A lot going on at once. Synereo AMP is actually a token on the Omni layer, basically a promise to exchange for the token when the system is live. They've already had one ICO (http://www.newsbtc.com/2015/03/19/synereo-factom-icos/). They did announce they would continue with 2 ICOs for funding, so they were transparent about that from the beginning. The average price on launch date was $258.5 placing the value of AMP at 0.00002511994 (1/258.5)/(154) of 154 AMP per $1USD. So, this throws a stick in our front bicycle wheel, an ICO can cause disruption in the market, and it sounds like if they tier their prices up above current market, they are assuming some arbitrage. This is well, an assumption. It sounds like they need more funds to complete the project, but we'll be still waiting for the full alpha release to public. It will be demoed September 9th.
So since the token is live we've looked at a couple factors, we've noticed the price levels, the pump off the announcement and no alpha release. We also now notice an ICO, meaning it's probably time to be patient.
Now let's look at the development, whitepapers and whatever other information is present. Now this is more how a traditional venture capitalist would invest. A speculator or specifically a person who delves in the world of trading altcoins, generally needs only 5-10 charts, patience and a good set of tools.
Development - Keep in mind this is not live, this is planned but http://github.com/synereo if you code.
You can read about their full architecture here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xmRvAjJEQ72-sR9luS34TG0BOpPn_6ztZjYBFCByKxo/edit
So the first thing we notice on their website is that Synereo is offering dev grants for people who build applications on their platform. This is positive, because they are investing in future projects. Steemit does this natively, but with up votes for useful projects as users see fit. "Synereo has allocated one million, one hundred and eleven thousand, one hundred and eleven AMPs to support developers and entrepreneurs who are interested in leveraging its cutting-edge platform to develop the next generation of decentralized apps." At current price, which may change once you read this that's, $206,600 to fund outside developers.
Their tech stack is pitched as blockchain 2.0. That's a common term used, but here's an image of the layers they show.
Beyond just a social network as some have claimed it's a decentralized app framework.
Social Network Flagship DApp
Tagline from their Alpha release: "Synereo’s alpha is the world’s first fully decentralized social network based on an attention economy. Say goodbye to the giant server farms and skewed algorithms of incumbent social-media giants like Facebook and Twitter, which prey on your personal information and sell it to the highest bidder, and say hello to Synereo, where you are rewarded for creating and curating content your friends and communities love." The point about fully decentralized is basically binary data is also stored within the system. With steemit, some content is stored outside of the system, and the website is centralized. Synereo essentially requires users to have some tokens to "AMP" their posts. This means it is a boost, like facebook boost or a self promotion. In turn others can AMP your content and receive further curation rewards. So by picking the best content others wish to see you get rewards in reverse. You get to maintain your identity in a wallet, with a choice of who you interact with, and reputation gives indication to user's trust worthy level. Still reputation in a decentralized context is often gamed, and it's difficult to maintain. There's more to it, but this captures enough for me to understand the main flow.
After evaluating at a rather fast rate, we see the basic outline of their proposal. Synereo continually emphasizes it's a decentralized applications ecosystem. It seems their focus is not on the social network dapp, but other people coming on board to build applications. There's been a number of projects recently, lisk, waves, ethereum (older but waiting for major projects), MAID, that have launched in this sphere. It doesn't mean they can't succeed but it means it's a crowded space for sure. Their reputation, and decentralized storage system do create some uniqueness, although using IPFS or some of the other projects like MAID are aiming for this so there is still not a clear cut win here.
The other pointed out competition is STEEM. Let's get that straight, not http://steemit.com, which is an implementation of a website built integrating the STEEM blockchain, but STEEM the blockchain. This is important to note because STEEM is not just one website, it can be used, repurposed, forked, whatever, into other ideas, see my idea rant here: https://steemit.com/steem/@creationlayer/full-steem-ahead-project-concepts-for-the-future-entrepreneur. We don't even know what else is coming out, what kind of cross integrations, IPFS, Bitcoin, who knows, so it's really difficult to say STEEM is one thing. So I need to make that point clear first because people are basing their analysis of STEEM on http://steemit.com, no. Blockchain people, people will build more on top of this blockchain. thank you.
Since Steemit is what I can judge on right now, I'll go down that same narrow path and be hypocritical :)... Steemit is great because you need no currency to join, it's stupid easy to signup, and it's all web based. Steemit is kinda limited, but it's beta or whatever and that takes time. Synereo offers the construction of DApps. You likely need to run software locally like a node, which confuses people. You need to buy in to the system to promote yourself. There's a lot of hurdles, possible to surmount, but the emphasis for major adoption will likely be, how do we use this complex technology but make it stupid simple.
Synereo I think recognizes that, social media is hard to get right, and there's a lot of competition. That's why they're trying to build out a DApp framework and, have I assume all different sort of creations there. I think they realize that they'll need developers to make other stuff, because the social media is not enough. That's fine, then we're getting into another zone where Synereo doesn't compete with Steemit. The two co-exist as vastly different solutions to decentralized problems. Multiple solutions exist.
Read. Don't base your financial decisions on emotions, anyone who bought that top yesterday is gonna be sitting underwater till the ICO comes and goes. You have to read, go to their website or bitcointalk, and just read. Also, follow a little outline, here I've broken it down, market, development, competition, self-rant. It's all there, I give Synereo credit for making it easy to do this research, for the vast majority of things it was like right in front of my face yet you'd invest without reading the website? You might also look at team but Synereo is so far along you can stick to the product. Don't get rekt on the market, read....
I wish you all the best, and I'd recommend you watch the long term of Bitcoin price if you're selling your earnings. Bitcoin actually does have a relatively good trajectory this year and is better than a lot of coins as a store of value e.g. some of the best trades are not trading at all.