What Is Hopebook?
Hopebook is a decentralized finance platform that will allow users to both lend and receive funds. The platform is designed facilitate transactions between these parties using algorithmic smart contracts and a blockchain, and thus operate without the intervention of any central party. It appears that the platform will incorporate its own internal cryptocurrency called the DCF token.
At time of writing (late May 2018), Hopebook's official website, whitepaper, and Telegram page all appear to be offline, and the only information readily available about the service is found in a press release that was published on several sites that collect information about cryptocurrencies. It's unclear if this outage is due to a temporary problem, or if the project has been entirely terminated due to problems with regulations or funding.
Who Is Behind Hopebook?
It's unclear who is behind the Hopebook project. Its press release makes no mention of its founders or development team, and it appears that the only other webpage currently online related to the project is its Facebook page, which has only nine followers and also includes no background information. The company's Facebook page is written in Vietnamese, but its press release states that the company is based in London, suggesting that the creators may have been attempting to circumvent local laws.
How Hopebook Decentralized Financial Network Platform Works
Hopebook's press release indicates that the platform will allow users to register as either a Supporter or Receiver, and then either lend or borrow funds without any intermediary. All of the system's transactions are facilitated algorithmically and recorded on a transparent blockchain, eliminating the need for any central authority to control access or profit for merely facilitating the exchange.
The most interesting innovation is a distributed voting system, which allows owners of the DCF token to vote towards whether or not participants are entitled to an automatic refund in the event of another participant's misbehavior.
The platform's stated goals are ambitious – they hope to extend access to finance and banking to developing communities who otherwise have difficulty obtaining these services – but the actual details of its implementation are not explained in detail.
Hopebook DCF Token ICO Details
No information is readily available about the DCF token's ICO. The press release mentions it only in passing, and indicates that earlier customers will be entitled to significant discounts. The token's role in the platform is also not explained in much detail; it's mentioned that owners will be allowed to vote in instances where users are requesting a refund, but it seems unlikely that this is the currency's only intended use.
No details could be found regarding the ICO's start and end dates, its price schedule, or the token’s blockchain architecture, even on websites that routinely aggregate this sort of information.
Hopebook's lack of an active website, whitepaper, or English-language social media presence make it difficult to determine the project's status or legitimacy. While the website's downtime could be an unfortunate coincidence at time of writing, it seems very possible that the project was abruptly shut down; the company's Facebook page has not posted since shortly after the publication of the press release on May 10th, and the Telegram page linked to by this last post is also down.
Furthermore, even websites that widely cover ICOs appear to have no information available on Hopebook.
Given its limited presence online, it seems likely that whatever has been accomplished with the Hopebook project was only in a very early stage of development, and the project could resume after sorting out whatever caused its abrupt end. Cryptocurrencies and their creators operate in a particularly volatile and quickly-changing legal environment, and many projects are postponed or canceled by regulatory challenges.
If Hopebook does return, it will be interesting to see if it rises to its ambition of serving communities lacking access to banking. However, investors in the DCF token should be careful to research its role in the platform before buying.