What Is DENT?
DENT is a virtual telecom company (TELCO), worldwide marketplace, and currency for mobile data exchange (built on Ethereum).
Ever heard of a virtual telecom company?
Before we get more into DENT, it’s important to understand the world of telecommunications (telecom). The space is tumultuous as old revenue models are upended in an increasingly globalized world. Global travel and data consumption are on the rise and telecoms are struggling to survive. There is no truly global telecom service today on par with Over-The-Top (OTT) players like Google, Facebook, and WeChat. In response, most telcos formed various global partnerships and joint ventures.
DENT provides a missing global platform for consumers who are locked to one regional operator, ultimately limiting their purchasing and usage abilities. Even more troubling, customers waste upwards of $4 billion in mobile data value every month. For telco operators, DENT provides a unified data marketplace to interact with the global user base. This allows telcos to become part of the disruption rather than themselves be disrupted.
Mobile data is becoming an essential human need like electricity or water – yet many do not still have access to this network infrastructure.
Customer lock-in prevents people from having a free-flowing liquid data plan across regions. Instead, users are overcharged for roaming out of the main region covered by their data plan. These data plans are siloed from providers who are not only overcharging consumers but are also locking them into longer-term contracts with penalties for canceling.
This hindered the growth of the mobile data industry…until now.
DENT is an ERC-20 exchange, marketplace, and cryptocurrency for buying and selling mobile data. DENT, the ERC-20 token, is already being sold on the marketplace and is being used by over 3.5 million users worldwide.
The problem DENT solves: Adding interoperability across data plans
Mobile Data Commoditization
DENT aims to turn an unused $4.8 billion worth of data per month into a whole new economy.
According to a recent Cisco study, by the end of 2016, the worldwide mobile data market had grown by 63 percent to 7.2 billion gigabytes.
A Parks Associates study showed mobile operator data revenues stood at $386 billion in 2015, equivalent to $32 billion per month. Assuming just 15 percent of data is unused, this would yield a lost value of $4.8 billion. In a more transparent and connected market, this value would be unlocked and able to be bought, sold and traded worldwide by mobile data consumers.
Three Megatrends Disrupting the Mobile Industry
- Unbundling of mobile data billing – We see it with services like cable (and Netflix). This is also happening with mobile data packages which historically have been locked into one provider. DENT aims to create not only a global marketplace and exchange but also facilitate peer to peer data transfers.
- Elimination of international roaming costs – DENT helps remove roaming cost drivers such as legacy routing architecture between telecommunication providers, which can be expensive. The Internet transport mechanism and blockchain engine greatly reduce the costs of providing this service.
- Pay as you go, fair market mobile data – Not only will the DENT token enable purchases itself but the price discovery and commoditization of the global data market will allow you to get the best price possible from an operator in your region. This allows you to buy exactly how much you need, not too much or too little.
The Emergence of eSIM and Soft SIMs
Another interesting trend, specifically in the cell phone and mobile data world, is the emergence of a new subscriber identity module (SIM) technology. The new SIM technology allows freedom from rigid analog physical cards in favor of an electronic and cloud-based model.
An eSIM means a SIM chip is built-in from the get-go, while a Soft SIM doesn’t have any SIM hardware at all (delivered virtually over the air).
Both eSIMs and Soft SIMs allow subscribers to switch operators instantly, without the hassle of SIM swapping. DENT is among the first players in the space to not only unbundle data plan from carriers but also depart from the concept of traditional SIM cards themselves, instead leveraging cloud and blockchain focused solutions for users.
DENT is an ERC-20 based token based on the Ethash mining algorithm with a total supply of 100 billion units of DENT.
How DENT Works
The DENT token is what powers the platform by acting as a digital commodity of mobile data that provides instant access across worldwide telecom carriers. Since DENT is built on Ethereum and the ERC-20 standard, smart contract functionality is a critical mechanism for DENT users to buy, sell and trade their data.
The main components of DENT include:
- Data marketplace – Users will be able to use DENT Tokens to buy and sell data on an international marketplace. You could acquire DENT tokens from the crowdsale or now from marketplaces.
- Data exchange – Although DENT has been listed on such giants as Binance, DENT also plans to launch their own exchange. Having their own native DENT token provides significant liquidity to operate and manage not only their own data market but a vertically integrated exchange.
- Mobile app on iOS and Android – The mobile app serves as the central interface for you to buy, sell, trade or donate mobile data packages. DENT tokens incentivize mobile app download and purchases.
- Community building – In the build-up phase, you obtain DENT Tokens to participate in the community in demanding data liberation and changes in the way the telcos do business with mobile data.
The DENT Team
Tero Katajainen is the CEO and founder at DENT. He brings a technology startup background in Forex trading systems and mobile operator payments. Katajainen was also one of the first developers ever to implement direct mobile operator payment systems for consumer applications.
Mikko Linnamäki is a co-founder, Internet pioneer, and serial entrepreneur of prolific startups including DOVECOT Oy, the most popular IMAP Server, with a mind-boggling 72% world market share and 2.5+ billion users. Mikko’s background in technology and fundamental architecture greatly lends itself to this project.
- Dr. Rainer Deutschmann is an advisor who helped launch Reliance Jio, a 4G a mobile network operator (MNO) which disrupted the traditional telecom industry in India. It recently reached 160 million users. He is helping with long-term growth and market penetration strategy.
- Ransu Salovaara is the CEO of TokenMarket and specializes in cryptocurrencies, digital assets, and blockchain technology around exchanges. He previously launched Europe’s first Bitcoin-backed Exchange Traded Instrument, BitcoinETI, listed on the Gibraltar Stock Exchange and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
The expertise from these advisors is driving not only high-level growth strategies and positioning but also creating robust and legitimate exchanges to trade assets.
“With DENT the telcos obtain a vehicle to differentiate and get close to the consumer. DENT provides a cost-effective distribution channel and allows to experiment with new pricing schemes to determine the sweet spot for data sales. The cost-effectiveness stems from the inherent architecture of being blockchain-based and by leveraging one central platform which scales across all market participants.” –DENT Whitepaper
Critiques and Challenges
There is a large percentage of tokens given to the team, including the unsold tokens which are released in 25% increments quarterly. This indicates a heavy amount of centralization by the creators and most likely telcos who are participating and earning fees off of every transaction.
In addition, many of the telcos stand to profit handsomely off of any appreciation like when DENT saw a 2,000+% increase in November before crashing back down.
Finally, although this token is orienting people toward using a variety of decoupled data services across carriers, it is potentially troubling that there could be an oligarchy-like syndicate of top holders. These holders could include DENT, exchange partners and the telcos. This centralization of holders brings concerns of if this project is a bit imbalanced in favor of commercial interests and whales.
This concern is further justified by the vertical integration of a DENT exchange for tokens. Over time the DENT team and telco’s will control the market entirely.
Despite this, DENT chugs ahead with significant growth and developments to date.
- Binance listing – DENT has secured a spot on one of the top exchanges in the world bringing significant additional investors, traders and liquidity.
- Live app for Android and iPhone – DENT already has both of these platforms ready to allow storage, purchase, and trade of DENT tokens and associated data plans from global telcos.
- 3.5+ million users worldwide – DENT platform has seen phenomenal growth in the short 1+ year DENT has been in existence
- Advertising initiatives and incentives for consuming content – A company like Nike could offer 100MB of data (in the form of DENT tokens) to a user for watching one of their advertising videos. DENT would be paid a fee for publishing this content and would share back some of that ad revenue with users. This could be a powerful way to monetize a captive audience right away.
- ETHScanr app – This app allows you to manage, follow and set alerts for any Ethereum Address. This secure anonymous application allows you to get real-time information of actual token sales, monitor addresses and follow other crypto investors.
- Social impact investing in developing markets with Gigabytes for Africa – The Sustainable Development Goal 9 of the United Nations (UN) calls for “building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization and fostering innovation.” DENT plans to donate unused mobile data to those that need it, particularly in rural areas. Their Gigabytes for Africa campaign aims to provide access.
“Infrastructure and economic development also rely on information and communications technology. Mobile cellular services have spread rapidly around the world, allowing people in previously unconnected areas to join the global information society. By 2015, the percentage of the population living in areas covered by mobile broadband networks stood at 69 percent globally. In rural areas, the share was only 29 percent.”–Report of the Secretary-General, Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, E/2016/75
Where to Buy DENT
The exchange with the most volume is Binance. Next on the list is Latoken. There is also much less volume on IDEX (a decentralized ERC-20 exchange, DEX).
Where to Store DENT
Since DENT is an ERC-20 token you can use the standard ETH supported offerings including My Ether Wallet, Exodus, and Edge. If you want a hardware wallet, you can use a Ledger Nano S.
DENT aims to combine two critical concepts: (1) Turning mobile data into an exchange and (2) creating a worldwide commoditized marketplace for data that can flow across any and all telco carriers. In addition, DENT is rolling out services as a “virtual telco” using voice internet protocol (VOIP) and their own DENT exchange.
Consumers are dealing with old world rigid purchasing limitations causing data to be overused or underused, meaning customers are leaving cash on the table (to the tune of over $4 billion). What would normally have been wasted can now be tokenized, bought, sold, donated and transferred across borders, carriers and ultimately users.
The dedication of the company to donating 1% to developing nations is a sign of goodwill toward helping the world become more accessible to new markets.
The team’s accomplishments to date have been impressive, and they have already onboarded 3.5+ million users.
On a more critical side, the question of the core team’s ownership of most of the tokens is concerning. While DENT has promised to leverage these tokens for things like “user incentives,” this same allocation includes “telco acquisition” so it’s unclear how much of the tokens themselves will come back to the users.
Since the team is also creating an exchange for the mobile data, they will over time have control of not only most of the tokens themselves but the exchanging of the tokens as well. Ultimately, the tokens are under the control of the DENT team and their final decisions.
Nonetheless, the platform and use cases appear to be adding a lot of value for consumers and telco’s alike and has a working product with a growing global user base. Thus far, DENT has proven to be a top cryptocurrency project with real use cases, applications, and adoption. Keep an eye on this one.