Project Review: Merchant Token

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Overview

  • Name: Merchant Token
  • Token ticker: MTO
  • Website: https://merchanttoken.org/Whitepaper
  • Hard Cap: 37,404,503 USD
  • Pre-Sale: The project is sold on a launchpad. As of the 8th of May, the project has already raised 50 M USD.
  • Whitelist: /
  • KYC: /
  • Jurisdiction: Sweden
  • Token Type: ERC-20
  • Countries Excluded: /
  • Sale Date: April 1st until June 30th or they hit the end of their 100 phases.
  • Token Distribution: (64%) ICO Participants (7%) Strategic Ecosystem Grant Pool (9%) Strategic partnerships (11%) Team and Advisors (2%) Private-sale participants (7%) Seed supporters

Company purpose and problem solving ideas

The HIPS Merchant Protocol (HMP), the Hips Merchant Protocol Gateway (HMP-gateway) and the governing Merchant Token (MTO) is a solution that introduces consumer protection concepts from the traditional card payment industry to any blockchain. The project benefits from support for smart contracts like Ethereum, Cardano (ADA) or Solana. The Team believes that the Merchant ecosystem is the missing piece for crypto payments to have a market penetration and mainstream acceptance among consumers.

The ICO is backed by a fully operational payment group. This token is solving a current problem, and will be used as a payment currency. Thanks to the existing client base of the HIPS payment group, the token can already be used by over 200K businesses using the HIPS payment group solution.

Highlights

  • Hips AB is a payment provider platform that exists since 2015, and already has an established client-base of over 200K merchants and businesses.
  • The token governs a DeFi Payment Protocol that enables POS terminals on blockchains and brings consumer protection to crypto payments.
  • In just five days after the launch of its sale, the Merchant Token launchpad already completed 23 phases out of 120, raising more than $3 million in total. 

Token Usage

The MTO Token is a ERC-20 type. It exists on its native blockchain for the Hips Merchant Protocol and Merchant Coin (MEO), both built on Hyperledger.

The ERC20 Merchant Token (MTO) will be 1:1 convertible to Merchant Coin (MEO) when the Hips Merchant Blockchain’s mainnet opens. The token will allow real-time merchant transactions with very low transaction fees. This token is created and designed for payment service providers (PSP) and electronic fund transfer at point of sale (EFTPOS) devices. This also reflects Hips Payment core expertise and activity in offering payments solutions and terminals.

The token also allows full support for backward compatible financial protocols like ISO8583. These kind of standards enable crypto-payments in standard terminal messages, using the existing terminal, and card scheme infrastructures for crypto payments in the Hips Merchant Blockchain.

The MTO ERC-20 token give users the possibility to:

  • Exchange MTO tokens for fiat or other cryptocurrencies when needed;
  • Trade MTO to take advantage of the changes in value;
  • Vote or propose new ideas that can improve the Hips Merchant Protocol. 
  • Staking of fees generated by the Merchant Protocol

The MTO tokens make their holder an integral part of the Hips community. The longer MTO holders stake their assets, the more power they have for governance. 

Token Distribution

  • (64%) ICO Participants – Tokens are locked until ICO ends.
  • (7%) Strategic Ecosystem Grant Pool – tokens are released over a period no less than 48 months.
  • (9%) Strategic partnerships – tokens are released over a period no less than 48 months.
  • (11%) Team and Advisors – tokens are vested 100% after 4 years.
  • (2%) Private-sale participants – tokens are vested: 25% after the ICO, 75% over 6 months
  • (7%) Seed supporters – Tokens are vested 10% unlocked after ICO. 90% after ICO.

It is important to note that the Hips payment group will use 9% of the issued tokens to secure strategic partnerships and secure adoption among its customers and partners leading PSPs in a country to Tier 1 banks. These strategic partnerships will aim to mass educate millions of consumers and businesses. Merchant token aims to make the implementation and the use of the Merchant Protocol seamless, safe and easy to use.

The codebase of the Token has also been audited by Certik, and the Audit report is available here.

Team Summary

The core team of the project is composed of:

  • John Cavebring – CEO: John is the CEO and founder of HIPS Payment Group. Prior to that, he has had extensive experience at C-level position, and holds a Master’s Degree in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Stanford University.
  • Emil Lundvall – CFO: Emil is the co-founder and CFO of HIPS Payment group. He is also a lecturer at his alma mater at Halmstad University.
  • Axel Arvidsson – COO: Axel joined the HIPS Payment group in 2017.

Notable partnerships

In April 2021, Hips Payment and The Payment House, the European leading payment processor for taxi companies in Scandinavia, announced their partnership. Their agreement will enable payment with crypto currency in over 20,000 taxis in Scandinavia and 10,000 taxis in the UK. The two companies will leverage each other’s technologies so that consumers can easily use crypto payments at real-time transaction speeds, offering a convenient payment method not currently in use.

According to Merchant ICO Twitter Account, another partnership was signed in May. This partnership will “enable a whole new type of devices to go online direct on the blockchain without the need for a PSP or gateway with Hips Merchant Protocol. More info in the next announcement later this month.”

Advantages

  • MTO Token is bringing a consumer-oriented feature: The MTO Token introduces consumer protection concepts from the traditional card payment industry to any blockchain with support for smart contracts.
  • Backed by an existing company with a client base: A huge strength for the project is that it is backed by an existing company, operating worldwide since 2015, with an established client-base of over 20,000 merchants. This will be key to ensure mass adoption of their protocol and token by consumers.
  • Solid team: The team has solid experience in management roles, and within the payment industry. This is also a strong asset to secure partnerships with PSPs and other chains.

Potential Drawbacks

  • Competitors and alternative payments methods already exist: They are not the only Token offering an easy and secure way of payment. Other tokens already exist designed to serve as a payment currency. Another indirect form of competition also exists in notably in the form of Crypto credit cards (bitpay, Binance Visa Card… ).
  • Who will adopt this payment method? The sustainability of the project will depend on the mass adoption of the token by the users and the amount of businesses accepting the token and protocol as a payment system.
  • Communication on the timeline could be clearer: The project could benefit from more clarity on the existing partnerships and the steps taken to ensure listing on the Uniswap exchange at the date announced on the Merchant Token website.
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