Some platforms take time to mature. I think this is one of them. If it becomes essential, it will be slowly, over a year or more (though crypto markets move faster than NYSE, so it could be sooner). Even though there’s hype right now, I don’t think there’s enough to blind people to the fact that COSS needs time, especially since they were completely self-funded. It doesn’t help that they only reached 7.7k ETH (far short of their 216k hard-cap), either. This speaks to consumer confidence—though in this case, it’s not just consumers that are skeptical or unenthused, it’s investors. For comparison, I expect the value of COSS to appreciate a little slower than NYSE:TGT1 (select “Max” on Google).
This seems like an okay coin to add to your portfolio. But I wouldn’t sink a bunch of money into it unless you’re looking for moderate, long-term returns. I think this one is low-risk and low-reward. Here’s why.
WHAT IS COSS?
Let’s begin by looking at the problems COSS identifies, then look at how they want to solve them. COSS (Crypto-One-Stop-Solution) wants to unify all transactional aspects that are usually managed by means of fiat money, and offer multiple cryptocurrency-related services in one place. From their Whitepaper:
“The expansion of E-commerce has increased the customer demands for multiple payment options, emphasizing the need for a seamless user experience. The high-growth areas within the industry are focused on mobile payments, multiple payment options and on-the-go payments. Cashless transactions over smartphones and tablets amount to about 39% of e-commerce sales in the UK alone as of 2015. Above that, between 2015 and 2018, the global e-commerce spending is expected to reach 56%. To enable this, retailers need to ensure that the checkout and the payment processes are smooth and optimized. In the US, the mobile payment industry is predicted to reach 73% by 2019… In spite of the rapid market development of the online payments worldwide, the problem of poor cryptocurrency adoption remains unresolved. …the key to cryptocurrency user adoption lies in spreading the knowledge about it and making it more accessible for an average person.”2
They claim that the success of massive user adoption of cryptocurrencies lies in the user-friendliness and the level of awareness of the general public about the technology. That’s certainly necessary, but not sufficient. I, for one, would never hold a significant amount of money in any cryptocurrency (without watching the price) because the price fluctuates wildly. If COSS can’t solve for the price fluctuation / speculation (like Tether, which tethers the value of their coin to 1 USD), I don’t think they can bring mass adoption to their coin.
Money has three basic functions: it acts as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, and a store of value. As a medium of exchange, it facilitates transactions by removing the necessity of bartering, or having a “double coincident of wants.” No longer do you have to inefficiently (and wholly dependent on local knowledge) trade your labor for food or shoes—you can get paid with money, and use that money to buy other things as you need them. As a unit of account, money provides a common measure of the value of goods and services being exchanged. In other words, you can say “this shoe is worth $30, compared to that umbrella which is worth $12.” Lastly, money stores value. In order to be a medium of exchange, money must hold its value over time. If money cannot be stored over time and still remain valuable in exchange, then it doesn’t solve the double coincidence of wants problem.
The COSS coin (like most cryptocurrencies) does not solve this problem (store of value). Just like BTC, its price is not tethered to any other thing, which discourages mass adoption as a medium of exchange. Why should I buy COSS, which may radically change in value at any moment (like BTC which dropped 20% in 3ish days), when I could hold my USD, which saw 1.7% inflation from July 2016-2017?3 (~2% inflation is good btw: on average you want very mild inflation; this one is hard to explain so I’ll leave it for another time.)
But let’s be fair, COSS does more than try to solve an impossible problem. COSS wants to create a platform with a “payment gateway / POS, an exchange, a merchant list, market cap rankings, a marketplace, an e-wallet, various coin facilities and a mobile platform.”4 This sounds great, and I for one would love to navigate only one website for all my crypto-related stuff. Their “main goal” of bringing cryptocurrencies to the masses might be realized if their website is really that great. Moving forward, we should disregard any claim they make at solving the “store of value” problem, and focus on 1) the potential it has of being a true one-stop-shop of crypto, and 2) its use for speculation.
HOW LONG HAVE THEY BEEN AROUND?
According to their Whitepaper, COSS was conceived in May 2016.5 They began “Team Consolidation and Dev. Start” in August 2016 (13 months ago). Their domain is 11.5 months old, so that checks out.6 Relative to other sites, coss.io has jumped up from a no-name mid-April to 133k on September 5th (see graph on next page),7 and they have a very professional-looking presence + hype on some crypto forums.
This matches Google Trends data.8 It’s not a lot, but we know they’re real, and that they’ve probably been around (and working) as long as they claim.
COSS’S INTERIM VALUE
COSS has to make their website more user friendly. Unless people already know they want this service (or they have experience trading stocks on a similar-looking platform), the look and feel of COSS’s exchange is discouraging. That being said, this isn’t hard to fix. And long-term, people can get used to any UI. The team looks solid and that means they will likely be able to improve and adapt to their market. They plan to implement 3-5 new features each quarter, and one of their goals is to add to their already impressive list of partnerships. One encouraging thing is that they were 100% self-funded (no external investments prior to/upon launch). And, now that they’ve almost completed their ICO with $2.3mil funding, it’s safe to say that long-term speculation opportunities are okay. I think it will look like NYSE:TGT9 (select “Max” on Google).
A NOTE ON SOURCES
Usually I immerse myself in whatever market or company I’m researching to be able to give the best advice I can. The COSS ICO is ending in ~12 hours, and I was asked only a few hours ago to write about it, so that’s why this one is significantly shorter and less well-researched. That being said, I think if I spent even a week on this subject there wouldn’t be that much more to say (though it could certainly be said more eloquently and succinctly). COSS is frankly trying to do too much too fast, tripping over themselves in the process. Look back at NYSE:TGT. It took them a while, but they became valuable to speculators, and I think COSS could be valuable one day as well. There is hope…but I doubt there will be much volatility early on. I wouldn’t be surprised if COSS dipped below its ICO value for a while, maybe even a long while.