Why I chose to partner with Cool Cousin

Asaf Meir, Founder of Solidus Labs, was weary of the buzz inundating the Blockchain scene and particularly of ICOs. Until he met Cool Cousin.

Had you asked me a year ago, when I was still working for Goldman Sachs, if I’d consider diving into the boiling cryptocurrency scene, my answer would have been a clear no. Though I understood - and was thrilled by - the many merits of blockchain, most projects seemed to completely rely on grandioze promises and zero deliverables. My experience engineering and managing large, complex and fast-paced fintech systems taught me that even the most cutting edge technology, absent the right knowledge base, planning and responsible caretakers, can be unstable and unreliable. I politely declined approaches by a few companies and took my time, attempting to filter the buzz and cherry-pick companies with real products, users, and a community.

Then, Cool Cousin appeared on my radar

A dear friend introduced me to Cool Cousin, a company reinventing the way we travel. I met with them while visiting my hometown of Tel-Aviv and quickly realized I had a crush. The energy in their office was unique: A mix of seriousness and hard-work coupled with a down-to-earth and fun approach.

Needless to say, I still had my reservations about the blockchain industry and ICOs in general. Mostly, I felt many companies aren’t truly seeking to leverage blockchain technology to advance products, but instead use the (still nascent) industry as a quick way to make an easy buck. When I met Itay Nagler, Co-founder and CEO of Cool Cousin, however, I was delighted to be otherwise convinced. Cool Cousin was different.

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The Truth About Most ICOs

The unfortunate truth about most ICO-oriented initiatives is that the vast majority are early-stage projects lacking a user base or a live product. Many companies quickly write a whitepaper and launch an ICO, ultimately raising capital for an idea which oftentime doesn’t even have a proof of concept or let alone a product.

Why Cool Cousin Is Different

As my conversation with Itay continued, it became clear that Cool Cousin performed comprehensive due diligence and approached the ICO path prudently. The more we spoke the more I realized how well situated Cool Cousin is to integrate blockchain into their work.

This VC-backed startup’s product exists for two years now, with a quickly growing community. Cool Cousin has +100k MAU, +500k travelers, and is present in more than 70 cities around the world. The best way to evaluate the product is to simply download it from the app store (for free) and experience it first-hand.

One of the main challenges blockchain addresses is trust. A single entity cannot pollute a (well-designed) blockchain-based system, since it is grounded in a consensus model. Unlike traditional travel sites that employ heavy-duty algorithms to provide recommendations, Cool Cousin’s system offers candid, human-written travel suggestions. The community as a whole is self-governing, agreeing on checks and balances to ensure high-quality travel content.

Bringing it all together

It’s important to assess blockchain projects these days with a fair dose of pragmatism, especially as the industry is inundated by buzz and noise. Without going into the nitty-gritty details, the crypto-economic model or the tech stack, here are a few attributes that made Cool Cousin stand out to me:

  1. It's a VC backed company
  2. Product exists and has grown steadily over the past 2 years
  3. Global community of “Cousins” and users is highly supportive of the ICO
  4. Executive team has an amazing track record but at the same time is grounded and realistic
  5. ICO cap is considered very humble compared to other projects
  6. Company’s vision goes hand in hand with the decentralized nature of blockchain. This technological marriage makes sense.

Though I hope this blog post gives you some insight into the Cool Cousin ICO, you don’t need to take my word for it - do your own research. You can start by browsing through the ICO Whitepaper.

Solidus Labs has a combined knowledge base of two decades in fintech. It provides ICO go-to market technical guidance and blockchain solutions. For inquiries email chen@soliduslabs.com

**Asaf Meir is an Advisor to Cool Cousin, based in NYC. **

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