N.B: The following Coin Report on Nexo is a Sponsored Post.
Welcome to the 43rd Coin Report. In today’s report, I will be assessing the fundamental and technical strengths and weaknesses of Nexo. This will be comprised of an analysis of a number of significant metrics, an evaluation of the project’s community and development and an overview of its price-history. The report will conclude with a grading out of 10. I hope you enjoy the read!
I have had some prior relationship with Nexo, as keen readers will know, as they were once advertising on the blog. Since then, however, I have not kept myself updated with the progress they have made and I am intrigued to delve into it. Moreover – at least from the brief glimpses I see on my Twitter feed – there appears to be consistency in the growth of the company itself and the NEXO token is clearly providing value. Let us see if there is opportunity to be found here.
I hope this report will prove objective where it must be and fair on more subjective matters. For those who’d like to learn a little more about Nexo prior to reading this report, here are some primary links:
Algorithm: ERC-20 & BEP-2
Exchanges: Hotbit, Huobi Global, Bitrue, Mercatox, HitBTC, Coinbit, Huobi Korea, Livecoin, Yobit, IDEX, Binance DEX and Allbit
Nexo was officially launched in 2017 by Credissimo, a loans company that was founded in 2007. In early 2018, Nexo ran a private presale, raising $52.5mn by April (its original hard cap) and thus had to cancel its plans for a public ICO. In exchange, NEXO tokens were created, with a maximum supply of 1,000,000,000 NEXO, with 525mn NEXO being sold at an average price of $0.10 per token. The token was launched on the ERC-20 standard and began trading in Q2 2018. In October 2019, the token became available on Binance DEX on the BEP-2 standard.
Given that NEXO has been trading for around 18 months now, there is plenty of price-history available, which I will thoroughly dissect in the Technical section of this report.
For now, it will suffice to say that NEXO formed its all-time high against BTC at 5,781 satoshis almost immediately after its initial listing in May 2018. Its all-time low was printed in September 2019 at 660 satoshis. Against the Dollar, its all-time high was formed at $0.54 around the same time as its ATH on its BTC pair. The all-time low for NEXO/USD was printed in September 2018 at $0.043.
Unlike many projects featured in these reports, which are often decentralised and involved in either smart contracts, payments or privacy (or some such technological pursuit), Nexo is a business with a clear purpose: to provide loans to borrowers seamlessly using cryptocurrencies as collateral and to provide lenders with strong returns on their capital.
As stated in their whitepaper:
“Nexo delivers the World’s First Instant Crypto-backed Loans, thus resolving a crucial inefficiency for the crypto world. Up to this very moment, no alternatives existed for digital asset owners to enjoy their crypto wealth except selling them. The innovative model of Nexo brings to the crypto community the best of both worlds – retaining 100% ownership of their digital assets while having immediate access to cash. The Instant Crypto-backed Loans are an automatic, flexible and cost-efficient way of obtaining liquidity that is secured by the value of the client’s digital assets. The whole process is completed in just a few simple clicks. No hidden fees, no capital gains taxes, no credit checks. Transparency is guaranteed through the use of blockchain technology, smart contracts and algorithmic processes executed by the Nexo Oracle.“
I look forward to assessing their progress.
Let’s begin with some Metric Analysis:
Below are listed a number of important metrics, all of which are accurate as of 13th January 2020. For anyone reading this who has yet to read a Coin Report, it might be worth reading this section of the first report, where any potentially unfamiliar terms are explained. For any terms or metrics specific to this post, I will provide explanations besides the figures.
Price: $0.11 (1,380 satoshis)
Circulating Supply: 560,000,011 NEXO
Total Supply: 1,000,000,000 NEXO
Exchange Volume: $10.43mn ($2.06mn excluding Hotbit wash volume)
Network Value: $62.805mn (7,728 BTC)
Maximum Supply:1,000,000,000 NEXO
% of Max. Supply Minted: 100%
Network Value at Max. Supply: $112.15mn
Exchange Volume-to-Network Value: 16.61% (3.29% excluding Hotbit wash volume)
Average Price (30-Day): $0.10
Average Exchange Volume (30-Day): $9.45mn
Average Network Value (30-Day): $56.378mn
Average Exchange Volume (30-Day)-to-Network Value: 16.77% (3.35% excluding Hotbit wash volume)
Volatility* (30-Day): -0.031
Average Daily On-Chain Transactions (30-Day): 230
Average Daily Transactional Value** (30-Day): $295,586 (source)
NVT*** (30-Day): 212.48
% Price Change USD (30-Day): +17.5%
% Price Change USD (1-Year): +65.9%
USD All-Time High: $0.54
% From USD All-Time High: -80%
Premine % of Max. Supply: N/A
Premine Location: N/A
Liquidity (calculated as the sum of BTC in the buy-side with 10% of current price across all exchanges): 10.04 BTC
Liquidity-to-Network Value %: 0.13%
Supply Available on Exchanges: 5,212,049 NEXO
% of Circulating Supply Available on Exchanges: 0.93%
*Volatility is calculated by taking the average price over the given time-period, calculating the difference between it and the highest price and it and the lowest price over that same time-period, and multiplying those figures together. The closer to 0, the less volatility during that period, and vice-versa. Read this for more on volatility.
**Transactional Value in $ is calculated by taking the daily transactional value in NEXO and multiplying it by price.
***NVT is calculated by dividing the Network Value by the Average Daily Transactional Value. See here for more on NVT.
Supply Emission & Inflation:
Block Reward Schedule: N/A
Average Block Time: N/A
Current Block Height: N/A
Annual Supply Emission: 0
Annual Inflation Rate: 0%
Circulating Supply in 365 Days: N/A
ICO Period: Q1 2018
Total Tokens: 1,000,000,000 NEXO
Total Tokens Available for Sale: 525,000,000 NEXO
Total Raised: $52.5mn
Average ICO Price Per Token: $0.10
Total Tokens Sold: 525,000,000 NEXO
Further Details: Nexo raised its entire hard cap in a private presale, with significant over-subscription on both the private sale and the planned public sale, causing the company to cancel the latter.
Of the remaining 475mn NEXO, 250mn are reserved for overdraft funding; 112.5mn are allocated to the founders and team, subject to 48 months vesting on a quarterly basis; 60mn are reserved for airdrop campaigns and 52.5mn for advisors, legal and PR.
Address Count: 28,887
Supply Held By Top 10 Addresses: 89.7%
Supply Held By Top 20 Addresses: 91.77%
Supply Held By Top 100 Addresses: 94.05%
Inactive Address Count in Top 20 (30 Days of No Activity): 1*
*Excluding Nexo-owned or exchange-owned addresses.
Given that Nexo does not have staking enabled, nor a masternode network, there are fewer metrics to evaluate, but there is quite a lot that will be helpful in assessing both the use of the NEXO token and the potential for speculative opportunity.
As Nexo is a company focused on building utility into its token directly through its lending platform, its on-chain transactional data will be quite useful in determining non-speculative demand:
Using the Etherscan explorer, I found that NEXO averaged 230 Daily On-Chain Transactions for the past month, amounting to an Average Daily Transactional Value of $295,586, which is quite promising. In fact, this gives NEXO a 30-day NVT of 212.48; though not anywhere near Bitcoin’s NVT of 85, it is still very much respectable.
Moving on, I’d like to take a look at Volatility, which I calculated to be -0.031 for the past 30 days, which is the 7th-lowest among prior reports, indicating that price may well be in an accumulation range against the Dollar, but will need to confirm this by looking at the rich-list and the chart later in this report.
Some of the most significant metrics to evaluate for speculators are those related to buy-side and sell-side Liquidity. I found Nexo to have buy-side Liquidity of 10.04 BTC within 10% of spot price across all listed exchanges, equating to 0.13% of its Network Value. This is the joint 10th-lowest amount of liquidity found amongst all previous reports and is indicative of low demand at current prices. That said, it is important to remember that liquidity is not static.
With regards to sell-side Liquidity, Nexo was found to have 5.2mn NEXO available for purchase in the orderbooks across all listed exchanges, equating to 0.93% of its Circulating Supply; the 5th-lowest figure found relative to other featured projects, suggesting that, despite the seeming lack of speculative interest on the buy-side, there is also a lack of supply, with holders opting to keep their NEXO off the orderbooks. Clearly, Nexo is doing something right to incentivise holders.
Now, let’s take a look at the volume-related metrics:
NEXO reportedly traded $10.43mn of Exchange Volume in the past 24 hours, equating to 16.61% of its Network Value; an almost unbelievably high figure. In fact, when we take a closer look at the distribution of exchange volume, the majority of this is coming from Hotbit, which is known to utilise wash-trading in order to artificially increase volume figures. As such, excluding Hotbit volume, NEXO traded $2.063mn in the past 24 hours, equating to a more modest and yet still impressive 3.29% of its network value.
More importantly, its Average Daily Volume for the past month was $9.45mn, equating to 16.77% of its Average Network Value for the same period; again, if we exclude Hotbit volume, this figure is closer to 3.35%. There is a lot of conflicting information here between exchange volume and liquidity, with the former very much indicative of speculative interest and the latter less so.
Now, let’s take a look at the (lack of) Supply Emission:
As is generally the case with ERC-20 tokens that are offered in exchange for capital, their supply is capped at the amount created during the raise, hence there can be no further emissions. What this means for a speculator is that there are no headwinds to price growth via inflation. NEXO is one such token, with the maximum supply of 1bn NEXO already in existence. As such, it is impossible for emission to drive the price of the token down; any declines in price are either the product of market manipulation or changes in sentiment.
To conclude, let’s take a look at Distribution:
I was rather impressed to find that there are 28,887 holders of NEXO, as this is the 4th-highest address count of all coins previously reported on. With regards to distribution of supply, the top 10 addresses control 89.7% of total supply; the top 20 control 91.77%; and the top 100 control 94.05%. Naturally, this appears extremely concentrated, but this is in part due to the top two addresses, the richest of which is Nexo’s wallet (which itself is comprised of user funds held on the platform and company funds) and the second of which is unlabelled but inactive in over 400 days, which contain in total 499mn NEXO, equating to 50% of the total supply. Excluding these two addresses, the top 10 controls 39.8%; the top 20 controls 41.87% and the top 100 controls 44.14%.
Regarding the top 20 addresses, most of these appear to either be company-owned or exchange-owned, with only one active private address, which happened to add 1.16mn NEXO over the past 30 days.
And that concludes this section on Metric Analysis. Onto the Nexo Community:
There are two primary aspects of community analysis: social media presence and Bitcointalk threads. I’ll begin with the former before moving on to the latter.
Concerning social media presence, there are four main platforms to examine: Twitter, Facebook, Telegram and Discord.
Nexo is present on three of these platforms; all except Discord. To begin, let’s look at the various social metrics that I calculated from the Nexo Twitter and Facebook accounts:
Twitter Followers: 47,517
Average Twitter Engagement: 0.34%
Facebook Likes: 28,153
Facebook Posts (30-Day): 4
Average Facebook Engagement: 0.25%
As usual, I will be using RivalIQ‘s social benchmark report for evaluation purposes.
Whilst the Nexo Twitter account does the 3rd-largest audience of any coin previously reported on, its engagement rate is not quite as impressive; a common problem, however, for accounts with large audiences. That said, in RivalIQ’s report, we find that the average Twitter engagement rate across all industries is 0.048%, which means that Nexo’s engagement rate is currently 7x greater at 0.34%. Further, the average engagement rate for the Media industry (the most relevant in the report) is 0.009%, thus Nexo’s engagement is 37.7x greater. Relative to other coins, Nexo’s engagement is joint 10th-lowest, which is not particularly strong at all.
Now, with regards to Facebook, Nexo has a similarly large audience of 28,153, which is also the 3rd-largest among prior reports. It has a weak engagement rate of 0.25%, however, but at least an effort is being made to maintain the audience on Facebook, unlike most projects. As can be seen in the RivalIQ report, the average engagement rate across industries on Facebook is 0.09%, which means Nexo’s is still 2.8x greater. Relative to other projects, however, its engagement rate ranks in the bottom half.
There is no Discord group for Nexo.
The Telegram group contains 30,688 members.
Clearly, this group is the primary platform for the Nexo community, as I found there to be constant discussion on a daily basis, with thousands of messages posted over the past week.
Here are my key takeaways:
- The pinned message is informative for new users, with a number of important links to PR material and resources, as well as videos.
- The use of Nexo tokens for collateral or interest repayment entitles the borrower to a discounted interest rate of 5.9% APR.
- The highest interest rate payable on loans is 11.9% APR.
- The team are engaging with the group 24/7. Communications are prompt and regular.
- At the moment, interest can only be earned by lenders on stablecoins and fiat, although Nexo are planning to add interest options on crypto soon.
- A Nexo credit card is currently in development; this will allow users to spend their crypto holdings without liquidating them, in the same manner that loans can be taken out against crypto collateral on the platform.
- Interest on earnings compounds daily automatically.
- Dividends are paid out using 30% of Nexo’s net earnings to holders of NEXO, with a base dividend proportionally divided between holders and a loyalty dividend paid out based on the duration that the tokens have been held. Two such dividend payments have been made since the platform launched.
- The lack of a fixed dividend schedule is a sore spot for some in the community. Further, the inability for borrowers to pay back their principal in NEXO (only interest repayments can be paid back this way) is also clearly an issue, but this is stated to be due to poor liquidity of the token at present.
There is no active BitcoinTalk thread for Nexo.
And that concludes this section of the report. Let us now take a look at the company’s Development:
For the following Development analysis, I will be evaluating project leadership, the website, the roadmap, the whitepaper, the wallets and finally providing a general overview:
There is no information available regarding the employees of the company directly on the website; however, I found there to be 122 employees listed on LinkedIn and 140 listed in the Business Overview. Having consulted with the Nexo team, their exact figure of employees is 64, with 140 being employed at Credissimo. Nexo is obviously a huge company relative to most cryptocurrency projects and certainly one of the largest ever featured in these reports.
As one might expect, there is ample experience in all relevant areas, from development to marketing to legal to operations. I can see no gaps here, as I would hope not to see for a company that raised over $50mn in a token sale. More specifically, I found there to be experience from renowned institutions such as KPMG, Ernst & Young, the European Investment Bank and Unicredit Bank Austria, with over 60 years of cumulative experience in software and programming, over 20 years of cumulative experience in marketing and over 40 years of cumulative experience in finance. In short, the company is in seasoned hands.
Regarding advisers to the company, 4 are listed on Crunchbase, including Michael Arrington (TechCrunch), Paolo Tasca (UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies), Ugo Bechis and Trevor Koverko (founder of Polymath).
Evaluation of the Nexo website will be split into the informational sections of the site, relevant for potential new users, and the lending platform itself:
As would be expected, the Nexo website is well-designed, well-branded and commercial, with user-friendly navigation and a modern feel. There are clear links to sign up to the lending platform or to login if you are already a user. The navigation menu has links relevant to borrowers and lenders, as well as to general informational pages, such as for the company itself or its upcoming Nexo Card.
Moving on down the homepage you find the tagline Better Than Any Bank Account front and centre, with an overview of what Nexo does, i.e. facilitating the borrowing of fiat backed by crypto collateral or the earning of interest on your “idle assets.” Below this, we also find links to mobile apps, as well as the confirmation that Nexo is licensed, regulated and has insurance on custodial assets.
Moving along, we find a run-through of how the Nexo lending platform actually works, with a screenshot provided of the platform and app, as well as the 3 steps required: 1. Deposit your assets; 2. An instant credit line becomes available, with no credit checks; 3. Money can be withdraw instantly to your bank account with interest payments upwards of 5.9% APR. It is also highlighted that there are no minimum repayments.
Further down the homepage, we find a helpful calculator that lets you know how much can be borrowed or earned based on the assets you deposit. We also find an introductory video and some testimonials, as well as a breakdown of some important figures. These figures includes the fact that over $700mn of loans have been processed for 200,000+ users within 300+ jurisdictions.
As we come towards the bottom of the homepage, we find links to PR and TrustPilot reviews, as well as social platforms and links to resources such as the whitepaper and business overview. There is also a Medium blog that is fairly regularly updated and a Support Centre.
Now, looking more specifically at the informational pages on the site, from the navigation menu we come to the Instant Crypto Credit Line, which provides a drop-down menu of supported cryptocurrencies (and those expected to be supported in the future) and links through to a page with similar details regarding the lending process to that of the homepage, as well as the calculator for credit. We also find more detailed breakdowns of the business model, although this will be covered at length in the Whitepaper section. On the Earn Interest page, beyond the details already covered from the landing page, we find a comparative table depicting the benefits of storing idle assets with Nexo instead of a traditional bank, earning 8% vs less than 1% with instant access to funds, 200+ jurisdictions and no fees. There is also a comparative table for Nexo against other lending platforms, including RateSetter and Funding Circle, with Nexo’s 8% APY return beating out the 2%-5.2% offered by these platforms, with Nexo also assuring security with insured collateral. Finally, the Nexo Card page links to the mobile app for Android and iOS, facilitating the seamless use of the credit line at 40+ million merchants via Mastercard, with zero fees on all transactions.
Having spoken to the Nexo team, the website itself is expected to be revamped shortly.
The platform itself is clear and easy to navigate, with the default page upon logging in displaying the 3 steps required to access credit, below which we find the control panel. This shows us our available credit, our credit line and a list of every supported currency and our balances in each, with an option to deposit or withdraw. There are also buttons for repayment, NEXO purchases and local bank transfers. Each button leads to a window with further instructions and the overall UI/UX is very much created with user in mind. There is also a page for your transactions with filters for asset types and time-periods. Within the user account section, you can also set stricter security via two-factor authentication. Overall, I’m very much a fan of the simplistic, user-friendly design of the platform.
There is no roadmap available for Nexo.
The business overview is displayed as a PDF slideshow, with concise, informative pages on all manner of relevant topic. The document itself is well-branded and visually appealing, much like the website.
Beginning with the first page, we find a Why Nexo overview, with primary highlights including an experienced team, a 10-year track record via Credissimo, reputable advisors, an SEC-compliant token (NEXO), regular passive income via dividends for NEXO holders, discounted interest rates with NEXO and utility as collateral on the platform, BitGo custody for assets and regulatory compliance. We also find the same key numbers I mentioned in the Website section.
Moving on, we find Nexo’s mission statement, which is simply to provide “instant crypto-backed loans”. Following this, we are presented with a screenshot of the platform itself and the mobile app. Following this, there is a highly informative page on Credissimo, depicting several interesting statistics such as 1,400,000 total loan applications, 140 employees, 94,500 loans granted and 78% returning customers. These figures are stated to be audited by Deloitte. Moreover, $187m in loans had been granted as of FY18. This is in stark contrast to the figure on the website of $700m, although it is not made clear whether the former figure is exclusive of Nexo’s crypto-backed loans. We also find a historical roadmap beginning in 2007 and culminating in 2017, depicting the journey from the founding of Credissimo to the inception of Nexo.
Further down the document, we come to a page titled The Problem. And what is the problem? “Locked Financial Value”. Here, it is stated that the value of digital assets is expected to grow to over $5trn by 2025, thus there is a huge problem of idleness of these assets. There are also credit checks, a lack of transparency, tax inefficiencies and loss of ownership of assets. We are presented with the solution on the following slide: here, the document states that the value of digital assets is unlocked by allowing them to be used as collateral for loans, so that users are able to keep ownership of their assets. Further, as there are no credit checks, these loans are open to a much wider spectrum of borrowers. Finally, cost and tax efficiency is achieved, relative to traditional loans.
On the following page, we are told that Nexo’s clients include investors, hedge funds, crypto companies, miners, exchanges and gamers. Their market, as the subsequent slide shows, will primarily be composed of tokenised assets by 2025, which is expected to make up $4trn of the $5trn total digital asset market. The business model is exceedingly simple, where clients transfer crypto to their Nexo account, the Nexo Oracle automatically determines their credit line, clients receive and instant loan, clients repay the loan and are then able to withdraw their crypto from their account.
Moving on through the document, we come to the Nexo Card slide, which is an upcoming credit card that facilitates the use of the Nexo credit line instantly and seamlessly through the card. The card will be free with no annual or monthly fees and will operate in the same way as the lending platform itself, with no minimum repayments. There will be a mobile app with a number of useful financial and security tools and users’ credit will be secured by their digital assets – this app is now available, as I have mentioned in earlier sections. There is also a slide featuring the advantages of Nexo over margin lending or the selling of digital assets in order to raise capital, with benefits including no exchange fees, retained asset ownership, no tax liabilities or significant volatility and a wide array of accepted asset types.
As we come to the document’s conclusion, we find a slide detailing the Nexo Oracle. Here, we find that the Oracle is an automated system that maintains the Nexo platform; it uses data analytics to make decisions on user account maintenance, as well as distribution of funds and repayments management.
Finally, there is a more detailed business model, although we have covered the most significant points here, as well as a Process Map, which depicts the entire loan process. This begins with a client transfer into the Nexo account > the Oracle determines the credit line > the client agrees to the loan contract > the loan limit is instantly available for withdraw > the Oracle updates the loan limit in real-time > the client makes repayments > the Oracle records this on the blockchain > the loan limit is increased > the Oracle updates the market value of the collateral > the loan limit decreases if the collateral’s value depreciates.
Overall, highly informative document for a potential new user.
NEXO can be stored in any wallet that is compatible with the ERC-20 standard, including hardware wallets like the Ledger Nano S or Trezor.
In this final sub-section of the Fundamental section of this report, I’d like to briefly provide my takeaways from a resource that I have not covered elsewhere: a blog post on the most recent dividend paid to NEXO holders.
- On 15th August 2019, NEXO holders were paid $2.409mn in dividends.
- The annualised yield for this dividend was 12.73%.
- The loyalty dividend paid out was equivalent to the base dividend.
- The base dividend per NEXO token was $0.0033.
- The Nexo platform grew to over 250,000 registered users.
And that concludes this final sub-section on the fundamentals of Nexo.
NEXO, as can be observed from the chart printed above, has had one distinct market cycle fully play out in its ~18 months of trading.
Looking at NEXO/BTC, we can see that price made its all-time high shortly after initial listing at 5,780 satoshis – a high that remains in place to this day. Following this, price bled out significantly, dropping below initial support at 1,575 satoshis in June, with new lows printed almost each day. Finally, price found a bottom at around 700 satoshis, consolidating throughout Q3 2018. Subsequently, we can see a strong breakout from what appears to have been the accumulation range below 800 satoshis, with price rallying back up to the 1,575-satoshi support now-turned resistance in a matter of a couple of weeks. After some consolidation, price once again broke upwards, culminating in a cyclical high of 3,867 satoshis in November 2018 – way short of the all-time high but almost 6x higher than its cyclical low.
Price then began a new bear cycle; one which, if I’m honest, remains in play today. This bear cycle has seen price fall back to 1,575 satoshis, testing it as support in January 2019, before printing a lower-high at 2,700 satoshis and dropping all the way back to the original accumulation area from September 2018. By mid-May 2019, NEXO was trading at 800 satoshis and range-bound between there and 1,350 satoshis. This range lasted a couple of months, before price again broke lower, printing a new all-time low at 660 satoshis and a new, tighter range of consolidation between the ATL and 800 satoshis. Since emerging from this range resistance in September 2019, NEXO has been gradually climbing back up towards prior resistance levels, recently testing 1,575 satoshis once again and dropping off back towards the 360-day moving average, where it currently sits. I am currently awaiting a breakout above 1,575 satoshis before I consider entering a speculative position in NEXO, as this is the all-important pivot. If we can break above there, I’d buy the retest and look to hold for a new cyclical high, perhaps above 3,870 satoshis.
And that concludes this report on Nexo.
This report is now approaching 5,000 words, and it is time to draw it to a close.
My final grading for Nexo is 8 out of 10.
Here, you can find my grading framework, for reference.
Lastly, here is a link to a Google Sheets file with any significant data from previous reports compiled for cross-comparative purposes. I will keep this updated as I continue to write these reports.
I hope this report has proved insightful and that you’ve enjoyed the read! Please do feel free to leave any questions in the Comments, and I’ll answer them as best I can.