Accumulator Neuron SNS Due Diligence - (Nuance)

I’d like to preface this by stating that this is in no means financial advice, nor is it meant to criticize the decentralized application in discussion. The following article is a collection of objective observations (of which have been objectively verified by the Nuance Foundation), in regards to the Accumulator Neurons SNS Voting Criteria, which can be found in the resources below.


Accumulator Neuron SNS Voting Criteria

SNS Proposal Discussion

Protocol Documentation Relevant to Analysis

Protocol Abstract

Nuance is an entirely on-chain publishing platform. It applies the benefits of Web 3: Anonymity, self-sovereignty, censorship resistance, community governance & tokenization to a Medium-style content hosting platform.


Main Net dApp

Is the dApp live and operational? Has the development team demonstrated technical competence specifically regarding the Internet Computer Protocol?

Yes, Nuance has been live & operational for over 2 years. The dApp is available below:

As such, I believe it is reasonable to say that the team has demonstrated technical competence & commitment to the Internet Computer Protocol.

Is the dApp fully on-chain, meaning both the front end and back end of the protocol are hosted in Canister smart contracts?

Yes, the Nuance dApp is completely on-chain, and is therefor governable in its entirety by an SNS DAO.

Does the dApp rely on third-party dependencies, such as off-chain providers, fee-gated APIs, or other mechanisms that rely on intermediaries? If so, is there a plan to transfer these dependencies to Canisters and the SNS? Additionally, is there a plan to fund these mechanisms independently, without solely relying on the SNS Treasury?

Yes, the Nuance dApp has minor third party dependencies - all of which are Internet Computer dApps.

To manage logins, Nuance utilizes NFID, Stoic, Bitfinity & the Internet Identity - all of which have no fees associated with them.

To manage product analytics, canisters, and content moderation, UserGeek, CanisterGeek, and Modclub are used respectively - of which, seemingly only Modclub has a fee associated with it.

Can the dApp, in its current form, be considered a complete product that fulfills its intended purpose? If the development team were to suddenly stop building, would the dApp still be able to function and achieve its objectives?

In its current form, Nuance is a fully functional publishing platform, with ease of access to both users & writers. As such, I believe it is reasonable to say that if the Founding Team were to stop development, the dApp would continue to exist in its current form.

Protocol Overview

Is the protocol open source?

Yes, the protocol is open source, with the source code for each function being able to be referenced within their respective canisters:





NFT Factory

Kinic Endpoint

Nuance Assets

Cycle Dispenser

FastBlocks Email Opt In

Publication Management

Has the team provided a clear white paper that details the protocol comprehensively? Additionally, is there technical documentation available that explains the underlying mechanisms, functionalities, and concepts of the protocol?

The Nuance whitepaper offers an introduction to the protocol & it’s vision, an in-depth explanation of Nuance’s goals & the problems it solves, an overview of the market opportunity, transparent tokenomics, a high level overview of the canister architecture, and offers a direction for the future of Nuance.

As such, yes, I believe it is reasonable to say that the Nuance Foundation has provided a clear whitepaper comprehensively detailing the protocol, while remaining concise & to the point.

With that being said, it should be noted that the documentation is lacking from a codebase perspective, which may pose challenges when on-boarding alternative contributors to the Nuance DAO. However, it should be noted that the Nuance Foundation intends to publish code based documents in the short term.

The Nuance Whitepaper can be found below:

Is there an insightful overview of the tokenomics provided? Is token allocation responsible & proportionate?

In my opinion, the Nuance Foundation has provided insight of the tokenomics of the protocol, however, something that can be noticed within token allocation grouping “Team & Seed”, is the failure to specify the proportion of allocations for each party. With this being said, answers to this question can be found within the SNS Proposal Forum Discussion, with @nicko clarifying the entire 30% allocation goes to the Aikin Company, while investors own roughly ~15% of Aikin.

The token allocation is currently laid out as follows:

Airdrop - 40%

Team & Seed - 30%

SNS Sale - 30%

Which can be broken down further into two categories; “Community” & “Insiders”:

“Community” - 70%

  • Airdrop
  • SNS Sale

“Insiders” - 30%

  • Team & Seed

With this information laid out, while I’d certainly agree that this is a much fairer token distribution than previously seen before (given there is a 7/3 distribution rate in contrast to nearly 1:1 as previously seen) however, the Nuance Foundation has reserved the Aikin Company nearly 30% of the supply to be vested over just a 2 year period, raising concern.

Has the team articulated why the SNS is the ideal decentralization solution for their application at this time?

Yes, I believe the Nuance Foundation has very clearly & transparently articulated their objectives with an SNS launch. The primary purpose of the SNS launch to raise funds to continue development, providing a foundation of support for continued development. The secondary objective is to distribute the Utility token of the platform, which will play a vital role in Governance, transactions, incentivizing engagement, and rewarding valued contributions.

Is the team publicly known within the ecosystem? Do they have a visible presence in the crypto community or relevant industry events?

Yes, I believe it is perfectly reasonable to say that the Nuance dApp & Foundation have established a presence within the ecosystem.

The Nuance dApp has been live for over 2 years, with consistent engagement & development from the founding team over that time period.

The official Nuance twitter can be found below for cross reference:

Is the team’s dynamic transparent? Do team members openly communicate and collaborate with the community?

Yes, I believe the Nuance Foundation has provided adequate transparency regarding their team dynamics within the SNS Deck, in which they detail the roles of team members.

Furthermore, I believe it is reasonable to say that the Nuance Foundation frequently engages & collaborates with the community, as depicted within the following team members’ twitter accounts.

What is the team’s track record and experience in the relevant field? Has the team made notable contributions to the ecosystem or relevant projects?

The following section details the individual experiences of each team member, with a LinkedIn to corroborate claims if available.

It should be noted that not all team members have a public LinkedIn tied to Akin dApps, therefor, specific segments will rely on the inference of publicly available documentation provided by the Nuance Foundation.

Paul Kemp - Engineering

Paul is a developer & application architect, with a focus on delivering quality software at scale.

However, a further history can not be provided, as there is seemingly no connected LinkedIn account corresponding to Paul.

Nicholas O’Neill - Product Management

Nicholas is a founder of Aikin dApps - the development team responsible for Nuance. Prior to founding Aikin, Nicholas has delivered quality software products for 15 years, under various roles; Visual Designer, Business Analyst, Product Manager, etc. Most notably, the most recent position he had held was with Elsevier, as the Product Manager of Editorial Decisions, for over 6 years.

Eelco De Val - Designer

Similarly to Paul, a LinkedIn or Twitter can not be found connecting to Eelco. Furthermore, while previously possible to reference public available documentation - Eelco’s role & qualifications for the project are not covered beyond the statement that he is the dApps Designer.

Rhiannon Thomas - Marketing

Rhiannon is an experienced leader and manager of several online communities. She has a history of building, supporting and growing various other communities consistently since Genesis. As such, she has experience working with other dApps on the IC and the DFINITY Foundation.

Mitchell Kurtzman - Engineer

Mitchell is a full stack engineer at Aikin for Nuance - offering development capabilities in Motoko, Solidity, Typescript & Javascript. Prior to his role at Aikin, he had studied Business Administration at Kent State University & Blockchain Engineering at Lorain County Community College.

Baran Uçar - Engineer

Baran is a junior software developer at Aikin for Nuance, offering development capabilities in Motoko, Javascript, Python, C++ & React. Prior to his role at Aikin, he had begun a 5 year course at the Middle Eastern Technical University, studying Computer Engineering, which will conclude in 2025.üseyin-baran-uçar-59627422a/en

Proof of Valuation

Has the team shown comparable raises within the industry sector?

No, the Nuance Foundation has not provided direct comparable raises to contrast against the Nuance SNS Raise. However, it should be noted that they have addressed the potential for exponential growth in market share, referencing the dominant Web2 Publishing Platform “Medium”.

Is the valuation method transparent, and is the math behind it available for review? Does the valuation accurately address the current and potential market shares?

Yes, the valuation method is transparent to an extent - being a predetermined figure by the Nuance Foundation estimating the runway required to fulfill development of the Nuance dApp over an 18 month period.

The Nuance Foundation has stated that raising 250k-300k ICP - a total of ~757k$ to ~909k$ - will be enough to sustain this development period, which equates to roughly ~42k$ to ~50.5k$ of runway a month at current prices.

With this being said, I can’t agree that the evaluation reflects current or potential market shares, as the evaluation is solely reliant on what the Nuance Foundation believes they need to be paid to fulfill Nuance’s goals over the next 18 months.

Security Audit

Is a security audit necessary for the application? Has the code received at least some degree of review? Is there transparency and disclosure regarding the security measures taken?

Given Nuance is a blogging & publication, I do not think it is necessary that the core dApp itself undergoes a code review.

However, as certain aspects of Nuance are monetized, such as NFT Paywalls or Applause Tipping, I believe it is reasonable that these functionalities undergo a degree of code review to ensure there are no vulnerabilities to the tokenomics of Nuance.

With this being said, the Nuance foundation has performed internal audits on the primary code bases, in correspondence to the recommendations of Joachim, a primary contributor to the Motoko codebase. However, it has been stated that the Tokenomic code base has not yet been reviewed, as it’s not yet in existence.

The Nuance Foundation discusses their auditing processes in the following articles:

Neuron Fund Allocation

Is the Neuron Fund utilized? If so, what percentage of the sale is the Neuron Fund? If so, what is the size of the contribution in respect to the size of the Neuron Fund?

Yes, the Nuance Foundation has requested the Neuron Fund’s participation within the SNS Sale.

It is requested that the Neuron Fund contribute 100k ICP, or 3.8% of the Neuron Funds liquid maturity (under the assumption of a 1:1 conversion rate).

In relation to the SNS Sale, it is requested that the Neuron fund contribute 100K ICP of 250k ICP in the instance the minimum contribution threshold is met, or 300k in the instance the maximum contribution threshold is met.

This translates to the Neuron Fund contributing 40% of the sale in the instance the minimum contribution is reached, or 33% of the sale in the instance the maximum contribution is reached.

This depicts that the Nuance Foundation has requested the most reasonable contribution by the Neuron Fund that we’ve seen within SNS Proposals by far - equating to less than 5% of the Neuron Funds maturity, and representing at maximum 40% of the sale.


Leading into my conclusion, I’d like to reiterate that this is by far the most mature SNS Proposal, in my opinion, that we’ve reviewed to date.

The Nuance Foundation provided concise, yet ample documentation detailing the protocol (however, it is worth mentioning the code base documentation is slightly lacking), has provided adequate transparency regarding the valuation & how it was achieved, has exemplified responsibility & accountability in their Neuron Fund Requests, while also bolstering a professional team that is proven to provide results.

With this being said, I have two primary concerns regarding the SNS Proposal, as detailed thoroughly above;

  1. Abundant Token Allocation to the Aikin Foundation representing 30% of the total supply, with roughly 4.5% of the 30% going to investors.

  2. Lack of Security Audit revolving around tokenomic based functions open the door for post-SNS vulnerabilities & exploits of the DAOs finances.

As such, while heavily leaning towards The Accumulator Neurons’ first “Yes” vote, this has resulted in a vote of “Rejecting to Postpone”, until further clarification is provided upon these two primary concerns.

Written by accumulating.icp September 19th
Submit for review September 20th