Dent (DENT) is a unique blockchain based project that is a new look at the old paradigm of the telecom company (telco).
More specifically, they are creating a virtual telco and worldwide data marketplace, all on the back of the blockchain and with a built-in utility currency to facilitate the exchange of data. The hope is to allow mobile data to flow freely across networks just like any decentralized cryptocurrency can.
However, can DENT really make a “Dent” in the established Telco space?
In this DENT coin review, we will take an in-depth look at the project, its technology and broader roadmap. We will also analyse the long term use cases for the DENT tokens and whether they could ever face long term adoption.
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Dent Wireless Overview
The global telecoms industry has been entrenched for some time but is becoming increasingly volatile as new global revenue models are being explored. The globalization of the world has upended the way data is consumed and exchanged, and the old guard of telecom is struggling to keep up, forming partnerships in many cases in order to survive.
Into this comes the blockchain based DENT, looking to free consumers from the grip of the regional telco companies and seeking to give everyone freedom of choice in their purchase and usage of mobile data.
Key Figures for the DENT Wireless App
The good news for these telcos is that DENT even provides a way for them to participate, thus avoiding the possibility of becoming irrelevant in a new global marketplace of mobile data.
The DENT founders saw that the lock-ins required by traditional telcos were keeping many from accessing data in the way they needed it, as a liquid medium that flows along with them, ignoring borders and geographical limits.
Instead, users have been charged exorbitant fees for roaming outside their “home” region, and have been subject to mobile provider “silos” that would lock consumers into long-term plans where they would be constantly overcharged for data and access to the network.
DENT is looking to solve these consumer problems by adding interoperability across global data plans, unlocking consumers and returning billions of dollars in value to the mobile data ecosystem.
Mobile Data as a Commodity
DENT estimates there is nearly $5 billion in data wasted every single month, and they want to create a new marketplace economy from this unused data.
Based on a study done by Cisco there were 7.2 billion gigabytes of mobile data being used back in 2016, and that has only grown since then.
Global Data growth forecasts. Image via Cisco
By making the mobile data market more transparent and connected, DENT will unlock the value in wasted and unused mobile data by allowing consumers to buy, sell and trade their mobile data in a global marketplace.
Trends Disrupting the Mobile Industry
There are three huge trends that have emerged to disrupt the traditional mobile data industry:
- Unbundling Billing for Data – This is most apparent right now in the cable industry, where streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have been taking market share from traditional cable operators by offering unbundled cable services. There has also been a move in mobile data to unbundle services, first from providers like Cricket. Now DENT is taking that to the next level by building a global marketplace for mobile data.
- Eliminating International Roaming Expenses – In the past, it was extremely expensive to get roaming mobile data internationally, due to the expensive routing architecture of legacy telecommunications systems. DENT is getting past this by using the far cheaper internet transport and blockchain.
- Pay as you go Mobile Data – This trend began with the prepaid wireless providers, but now DENT will take it to the next level through their global marketplace and the commoditization of mobile data. With DENT you’ll get the best price on data and buy only what you need.
The Role of eSIMSs and Soft SIMs
One of the emerging technologies that help make projects like DENT possible is the changing landscapes of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) technology. The new eSIM and Soft SIM technology untethers users from physical SIM cards and uses electronic and cloud-based models.
The eSIM is built into the phone, but the Soft SIM is preferable as it foregoes a physical presence and works using cloud technology. Both versions allow a user to seamlessly switch between mobile data providers. DENT is a forerunner in leveraging cloud and blockchain technology to allow users the freedom of choice in data providers.
How Dent Works
DENT will work using the utility token DENT to give users instant access to a worldwide network of telecom carriers. DENT is an ERC-20 token built on Ethereum, which gives the built-in smart contract functionality needed to run a blockchain based mobile data marketplace.
The DENT Exchange on PC and in the DENT App
DENT has three primary components:
- Mobile Data Marketplace: This is where users will be able to use DENT tokens to buy and sell mobile data. Sellers will receive DENT tokens for their allocations, while buyers can acquire DENT tokens from exchanges. DENT has also created an Offer Wall where users can acquire free DENT by playing games, completing surveys, and more.
- Mobile Data Exchange: DENT has created an exchange where more than 13 million users are already buying, selling and trading tokenized mobile data packages.
- DENT Mobile Apps: The DENT mobile applications are the primary interface for accessing the DENT Exchange and for interacting with the Offer Wall. The mobile app will also participate in the Dent Afterburner loyalty program, allowing users to stake their DENT to receive trading fee discounts and free voice minutes.
The DENT app is easy to download and can be set up in as little as 2 minutes. Plus, DENT is incentivizing users to download the app by giving free DENT to everyone who completes a download.
The DENT App is available in both the iOS and Android and already has as pretty large user base. For example, there are over 14m verified downloads through the Google Play Store, iTunes store or direct APK downloads. This should be taken with a pinch of salt though as users received DENT to install the app.
There are also a plethora of reviews for the App in both stores. For example, there are over 25,000 reviews in the Google Play Store. These seem to be quite polarized although the bulk of them are positive.
Although there are a few negative reviews, it is great to see that the developers are responsive to these and following up with the users. You could also reach out to the developers directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you had any specific questions about the functionality.
DENT wireless is based in Hong Kong and was founded in 2014. It was previously called “Commando Coder” which was an automated market system that had built in risk management functions. Much of the original technology is now being integrated into the DENT platform and in 2017, DENT was launched after receiving funding from the other founders.
There are 9 people that currently make up the DENT team and they have experience in everything from mobile technologies to software engineering and FX trading.
DENT Wireless Founders
Leading DENT is CEO and co-founder Tero Katajainen. He has a background in forex trading systems and mobile operator payments as a tech startup entrepreneur. He was also one of the first developers to implement a direct mobile operator payment system in consumer mobile applications.
He is joined by co-founder Mikko Linnamaki, who has been a serial entrepreneur throughout his career. He also has a background in fundamental mobile architecture, which makes him a valuable asset to the DENT project.
The third co-founder on the project is Andreas Vollmer who is a mobile specialist. He has been developing mobile apps for over 12 years and is the co-founder of a mobile app development company called TDsoftware.
There has been some controversy regarding the distribution of tokens. The ICO had 70 billion tokens out of a total supply of 100 billion available for sale, but only 8.6 billion were sold. All the unsold tokens are being released to the team, which has some worried about centralization and the potential for telcos to acquire a large percentage of available tokens.
This means the project could eventually be little better than the current mobile telecom industry, with the majority of DENT tokens, and power, held by the DENT team itself, telecom providers and a handful of whales. This will eventually lead to an imbalance in favor of commercial interests.
The DENT Token
DENT is an Ethereum based ERC-20 token. 100 billion were created and there are currently just over 56 billion in circulation, with additional tokens being released quarterly.
DENT was initially created and sold in a July 2017 ICO which raised $4.3 million. At that time 8.6 billion DENT were sold at a price of $0.0005 per DENT. Early investors could have done very well if they sold at the right time as DENT hit an all-time high of $0.111397 on January 9, 2018.
Unfortunately, it crashed rapidly from that price and was more than 50% lower within a week. It continued to decline during 2018 and is still falling in 2019, hitting a low of $0.000744 on April 21, 2019.
By far the largest trading volume in DENT is on Binance, followed by Bittrex. There is also a small, but acceptable trading volume on Vebitcoin, Upbit, CoinBene, and KuCoin. In general though, there appears to be relatively strong liquidity for the token even though it is so volatile.
As an ERC-20 token DENT can be stored in any ERC-20 compatible wallet such as MetaMask or MyEtherWallet. However, users will soon be able to stake DENT by holding it in the DENT app wallet.
The DENT team has quite an ambitious roadmap laid out in front of them for 2019 – 2020. They have outlined detailed milestones and metrics that they hope to achieve over the next few quarters:
- 2019 Q2: They hope to make voice minutes tradeable on the DENT Exchange. They also hope to have the DENT exchange added to CMC and have 15m DENT users at 185 operators in 55 countries
- 2019 Q3: The team wants to launch the Telco Trading desk offer wall 2.0 as well as supply telephony services to 80 countries. Ideally, they would like to be listed on 3 crypto exchanges by the end of it.
- 2019 Q4: DENT will get ready for the launch of the eSIMs and have expanded their voice calls to over 100 countries. They also hope to release DENT 3.0 apps and have a total of 25 million users in 70 countries with 220 operators.
- 2020 Q1: Once the eSIM technology has been integrated, they hope to offer it in 30 different countries. They would also like to expand voice telephony to over 120 countries and get DENT tokens listed on 2 more exchanges.
- 2020 Q2: By the end of this quarter, the DENT team hope to release DENT 4.0 and roll out their messenger. If all goes according to plan, they hope to have a total of 40 million DENT users in 90 different countries. They have also got a target of 140 countries where their voice telephony is available.
There is a much more extensive roadmap with more specific details about the milestones on their website. Of course, it is worth noting that these are subject to change a delay with one milestone could impact the launch dates of more significant updates.
DENT is looking to take mobile data and turn it into a commodity by creating a global marketplace that allows anyone to buy and sell mobile data, regardless of which telco it comes from. They have created their own DENT exchange to facilitate this and claim 13.5 million worldwide users already.
The project has faced some criticisms but continues to move forward and grow ever larger. Its data marketplace includes data from providers in 60 different countries, and it has dedicated itself to also funding development in third-world nations.
As much as the project appears to be on the right path, the DENT token situation is concerning, to say the least. The DENT team controls roughly 40% of the tokens, which could easily lead to centralization issues. In addition, the price of the DENT token continues retreating, even as the broader cryptocurrency market has begun to stage a recovery from the 2018 bear market.
Nonetheless, consumers and telco both seem to perceive value from the DENT project, which is why it has been able to grow so quickly, even while concerns underpin that growth. One certain positive is this is one of the few crypto projects that not only has a solid use case, it also has a working application and rapidly growing adoption.
We can’t be certain that DENT will be successful, but it does seem to be a project worth keeping an eye on.
Featured Image via Fotolia