Bytom Review and Rating (SVET)
Bytom is one of those projects which launch marginally preceded 2017 rush. Its founders were obviously inspired by the rise of the Ethereum and tried to come out with a better (as they thought) alternative which is supposed to combine UTXOs with smart contracts.
Initially, when I read Bytom whitepaper at the fall 2017, I was not impressed by it due to its absence of technical details. Besides, its original version and Bytom website were both in Chinese and only the dubious quality translation of the former was made available for me at that moment.
That’s how, although authors idea to create an interoperable chain allowing exchange of wide varieties of digital assets had resonated with my own vision, I have been staying away from this project for quite a while. Nonetheless, since then Bytom had been added to my watch list although its performance to date was wanting.
However, just recently Bytom has launched its test net and I’ve decide to revisit this project again. Hence my recent review and rating whixh are based on the latest version of the Bytom technical white paper available on their site and dubbed “Bytom An Interoperation Protocol for Diversified Byte Assets”.
Overall, it produces an impression of a slight decadence, both on the system architect and implementation levels. Author choice to introduce into their protocol the, so-called, ‘control contracts’, allowing roll-backs, although, explainable from the point of view of projects locality, at the same time, seriously undermines platform security creating a large attack surface for a wide variety (individual and group) malicious actors. Security is ‘c+’.
Extract: “Bytom consists of three layers: data transaction and transmission layer, contract layer and asset interaction layer.”
Extract: “The contract layer use genesis contract and control contracts for asset issuance and management, supporting scalable BUTXO of UTXO model at the bottom layer, optimizing EVM and using introspection mechanism to prevent deadlock in Turing complete.”
Additionally, combining UTXO with smart contracts had been a relatively popular theme, which I’d met in at least a couple other whitepapers during a period of 2018–2019.
As far as I know neither of such ‘hybrid’ solutions went live (not to mention were adapted by sufficiently large number of users). Besides, the practical viability of those types of protocols is questionable and their vulnerability might be very high due to their experimental nature. However, I’m ready to give authors the benefit of a doubt and assign ‘b-’ instead of ‘c’ to the ‘Engineering’ side of the rating.
Now to the Bytom’s throughput and scalability. As authors pointed out themselves: “ … performance is sacrificed to meet the demands of decentralization and security (comprehensive integrity) as described in the Impossible Triangle”. Although I have to assign ‘c+’ to ‘Velocity’ sub-rating it doesn’t prevent me from expressing my regards to author’s voluntary disclosure of their protocols weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
Assessing Bytom’s ‘Transparency’ (decentralization) presents an issue to me because from the one side, as I have already mentioned, I am not appreciative of the control contracts, but, from the other, I can see the purported necessity of their existence given that maintaining a multitude of assets requires some types of consolidating mechanism. However, one additional protocol’s feature settles this matter for me. I’m talking about Bytom declared adaption of the AI ASIC chips.
Extract: ‘Bytom proposes a consensus algorithm that is friendly to AI ASIC chips so that the hashing power can be applied to the AI hardware acceleration service, thus solving the hardware consumption problem of PoW miners.’
Of course, I do realize that it might not have a slightest effect on pool miners’ ability to centralized hash-power (AI or not) because, most users might simply be too lazy to resist their convenience. However, the fact that this attempt for decentralization was entertained by the authors means a lot from my point of view. Hence, ‘Transparency’ is ‘a-’.
Result for ‘System’ (Security — Velocity — Engineering — Transparency): c+/c+/b-/a-
Three years ago it used to be the almost necessary attribute of an ICO campaign to declare that your platform will revolutionize the Traditional Something by converting it into the digital asset form.
Some, however, could not resist the temptation and get a little further proclaiming that they will tokenize everything (or at least a significant portion of it). Bytom, which name is a composition of ‘byte’ and ‘atom’, became one of those daring projects, which aims ‘ … to register and exchange assets such as securities, bonds, deeds and various types of information’.
Those ‘deeds’ and ‘various information’ are covering a lot of ground. leaving me a little choice on the ‘Volume’ (market size) side of the rating :), hence it is an ‘a’.
However, the competition for ‘everything’ has always been a cut-throat one and our little crypto-pond is not an exception from this universal economic paradigm. From that ‘Singularity’ (an absence of a competitive pressure) is ‘c’.
For the project of its size and a team of that level of experience Bytom has been strangely absent from the crypto mass-medias headlines for a very long time. This inability to attract public attention and rise the enthusiasms of its followers is what, probably, responsible for the fact that Bytom following in most social platforms and messengers are low.
I might relate this paradox to the regional factor but, for example, while Bytom has only about two-and-a-halve thousand members in its ‘Bytom Official English Group’ group, its ‘Chinese Group’ is even smaller — under two thousands.
The only relatively bright spot on the Bytom social map is its Twitter account with more than 22 thousands followers. However, the number of likes and re-tweets on all posts I’ve seen remains consistently in a tenth range, which rises a natural suspicion that few people which do all liking are, actually, Bytom team members themselves ;) (no disrespect is intended).
I am not surprised by that manifestation of public indifference at all, because, instead of hacking scandals and alliances announcements Bytom steadily publishes about a dozen posts a month on average, and most of those news are ‘technical’.
Yes, of course, that is not good from the perspective of steadily enlarging your user base, maintaining, at the same time, a high level of enthusiasm among your ardent followers. Hence, the Bytom ‘Empathy’ (crowd attachment) is merely at the b level (‘b-’). However, that might be good for investors if they are looking for projects in the pre-hype stage :)
Now, to the Bytom’s Timing’, which is, both, about how timely this project is delivered to the market and how well the team follows its own schedule.
As to the later, I do only have Bytom’s post factum Roadmap — not the provisional one to compare with. Overall, however, I do not think the market and its consumers are ready for universal assets tokenization. We are still in the very early, primordial soup state, when only basic crypto monomers of different sizes can be formed and we have a long way to go before complex blockchain molecules could emerge from that after freshly minted oxygen money will be pumped into our still very acidic atmosphere.
Nonetheless, because I allow myself to stay more optimistic about this heterotrophic theory than I, probably, should have been, I rise Bytom ‘Timing’ from the letargic c-level to ‘b-’.
Result for Vision (Singularity — Volume — Empathy — Timing) : c+/a-/b-/b-
We — Western reviewers — are facing a challenge while trying to estimate the potential of oversees projects specially on its Team, Validity and Equity sides.
Say, in the case of Bytom, I, for sure, could find in no time the team members’ list on their web site, but it contains names and positions only, without even bothering to link me to peoples social accounts. So, now, I have to roam through multiple searches by myself trying to much names with faces :)
Of course, Google translate heps, but a little, and I’d better to learn Chinese fast. However, before that will happen I have already spent a lot of time trying to independently confirm credentials of Bytom CEO Lang Yu and Zhu Yiqi — its CTO.
Certainly, the founder — Chang Jia — was much easier to research thanks to the popularity of its first project — Bitcoin news site 8btc, which, since 2011 till today, provides us — foreigners — with very helpful insights about the Chinese crypto-market.
Alas, no sources could help me to find info on the state of Bytom assets /liabilities as well as about the legal side of this project. So, I’m reduced once more to pure speculations about those crucial pieces of data, which have resulted in ‘c’ sub-rating for Bytom ‘Validity’ (legal).
It might look absolutely unfair for this project but it will stay this way until I obtain some reliable information about Bytom incorporation, its registration records, a list of its beneficiaries etc.
Sure, I understand that world’s toxic, anti-crypto regulatory environment doesn’t allow most companies in our space to be forthcoming with that types of information. However, if it exists somewhere hidden in the official records I could see no reason why we — public — might not have the same level of free access to it as governments do. After all, the full self-regulation of blockchain and crypto industries that what I firmly stand for :)
As to the Bytom’s ‘Equity’ (their accounting books value) it’s ‘c+’ and no ‘c’ only because project’s token (BTM) total market cap is still exceeding $100 mio. With more than 300 mio tokens (~20% of total supply) still withstanding from circulation this project, allegedly, has enough means to say afloat even if the other ways (besides token appreciation) of making money is absolutely unclear to most superficial observers (me including). Result for ‘Solution’ (business model) is ‘c’.
Now to the Team once more. Despite an information vacuum surrounding everyone in Bytom except its founder I have liked very much the fact that the number of Bytom technical updates and publications far exceeds the number of its ‘marketing’ releases. It tells me that this project is, primarily, run by developers — in our space it is a very positive sign. Hence, ‘Team’ is ‘b+’. However, I have to see something more than a good technical expertise from the project with more than a hundred million market cap on its low point before I can think to upgrade it to the ‘a’ level.
Result for ‘Execution’ (Solution — Validity — Equity — Team): c/c/c+/b+
I complete the Bytom review by ranking it on the ‘Trust’ scale. For that let’s look at the BTM trades on the spot market monthly charts.
There we can see the sharp rise of volumes since the end of Feb 2020, which is, however, accompanied by the BTM prices stagnation. Classically, it might indicate that some major BTM holders are stealthily increasing their exposure to the market (pls, do not hold me responsible if it turns to be a 100% bogus :) Another encouraging sign is that BTM has been lingering slightly above its all times lows for quite some time.
Four BTM yearly candles allows me to make some conclusions about the ‘Sustainability’ of this token, which didn’t look good at all the first couple of years since it inception in 2017, when projects market cap had plummeted from above 1 billion to the current about 100 million USD (unsurprisingly so, for that was the path to go for all the rest of the market).
Accordingly, starting from the winter 2019, BTM rose from aches as everyone else did only to fall back again in the summer (although far less spectacularly).
It’s been oscillating roughly between 0.1 and 0.05 since then. Even without looking at all of those technical indicators, some of which have managed to mislead trading public since 1970th :), I can set BTM ‘Sustainability’ at ‘c+’ and its ‘Value’ at ‘b’. The later is due to the fact that despite BTM’s dramatic demise it continues to attract attention of whales, indicatating a potential accumulating in this coin.
At the same time, the market cap of this relatively small project even on its lowest levels are still in solid hundreds of millions, which might be well above its ‘fair’ (whatever it means) value at the moment.
I have two unassigned BTM ratings left — ‘Transactions’ (ease and costs of tokens’ purchase / sale, transfer and storage) and ‘Engagement’ (how intensive it is used by the public).
Although, BTM is available on more than a dozen exchanges, if you want to withdrew it you will need to download Bytom wallet from their site ( with file size exceeding 60 Mb that process could take quite a while ) and then get through a set up process, which is not a piece of quake also. Still, it is good that you have some storage options wit BTM. Hence,’Transactions’ is ‘b-’.
On the ‘Engagement’ side I haven’t seen an usage of Bytom outside of holding or trading it on exchanges. At the same time, Bytom explorer shows less than a dozen BTM transactions per day. It makes me to assign ‘c+’ to ‘Engagement’ part of the rating.
Result for Trust (Sustainability — Value — Engagement — Transactions): c+/b/c+/b-
[Please, do not forget that I am not your financial advisor and all above was not intended to be a financial advise, of course. You’ve got to use your own gray matter enclosed between both of your ears to take all important as well as unimportant financial decisions.]
For the original version of this article, please, refer to: http://svetrating.com/texts/83/
Image: Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World of Qiu Zhijie.