I always prefer cryptocurrency projects that have some development or real business success behind them. This was the initial draw of ParkGENE to me when I read the whitepaper last February. The team proposing the idea were the developers of a successful commercial parking app called ParkGuru. They had acquired thousands of users and had won a number of awards for the app. The team’s past success and ability to execute impressed me.
Parking is one of the most stressful aspects of city living according to a recent WHO survey into urban life. I think any driver can empathise with the panicked search to find a spot! According to research by Frost & Sullivan, the worldwide parking industry is about $100 billion and is expected to attract institutional and strategic investments to the tune of $200-$250 million over the next 3–5 years, mostly to spur innovation and smarter parking. One big reason for this infusion of capital is to remove the inefficiencies in the ways that we currently park, per recent findings.
A 2011 study by Cisco revealed that just within the US alone, the total cost of personal transportation amounts to $3 trillion per year. Parking represented a staggering 12.5 percent of this total, or $374 billion. This includes not only the actual cost to park but also associated inefficiencies, such as the urban traffic created by people looking for parking. With numbers this large, it’s not surprising that automotive OEMs increasingly view parking as an important service that needs to be integrated within the vehicle’s telematics system to streamline efficiencies.
ParkGENE’s solution proposes to reduce inner city traffic by increasing the number of parking spaces available. It aims to do this through incentivising people to list privately owned car parking spaces on the app. Drivers looking for a parking spot use the app’s local area map view to find a suitable parking space. The driver then communicates with the parking spot owner through the app. The project uses Ethereum smart contracts to allow the driver to rent the parking spot. Payment is executed via GENE tokens, which are bought in app using fiat or crypto.
The team completed their beta version of the app in February in line with whitepaper predictions. The progress since then has been highly impressive. The team first developed web based parking spot listing capabilities and rolled this feature out. This was followed quickly by the release of the android app in the Playstore. Typically, approval from iTunes delayed the release of the iOS app but that milestone has also been achieved.
The android version of the app has over 10’000 downloads as per publicly viewable count on the Playstore. I think we can assume the iOS download total is similar considering it is a free app. The app is able to offer access to 6 million parking spaces in 8,000 cities around the world. This is an impressive level of adoption considering the app has been live for less than 2 months.
Coinmarket cap values the project at under $2 million and it is ranked in the mid 700s. The tokens are trading at $0.006, 10% of the effective ICO price. Trading volume is also low due to the lack of a quality exchange listing. ParkGENE also falls down in terms of marketing and promotion with underwhelming social media presence.
These factors however are very fixable. Low price and low ranking on coinmarketcap obviously does not affect the project itself. The fundamentals here are quite strong. We have a well developed product which is getting some use. The team has a proven ability to execute in this specific industry. Furthermore, unlike many cryptocurrencies, the use case is a real problem for people!
ParkGENE is the sort of project that could continue to slowly build momentum before appearing on a busier exchange and potentially seeing a big price jump. This is a project worth keeping an eye on.
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