Although there’s been a lot talk about initial cryptocurrency offerings (ICO) or company fundraiser events based around the sale cryptocurrencies has not seen much action. Brave web browser manufacturer, which was started by Brendan Eich, a former CEO of Mozilla, raised $35M from its ICO. This feat took less than 30 seconds.
ICOs work by offering investors cryptocurrency. These can then be stored in multiple ways, beyond a traditional share. Brave developed its own cryptocurrency the Basic Attention Token and sold one-billion of it. It cost just 35 million dollars to collect this collection of BAT. Brave says that another 500 million BAT has been stored in order to facilitate user growth and “BAT Development.” Brave does not plan on selling any tokens at all.
, the messaging app Kik that is popular among young North Americans, recently revealed plans for its own Kin coin, which it will use to pay for goods and services. That’s similar to Brave’s approach. BAT will be used as the currency to fund its advertising platform. This is a move that it says can decrease fraud and improve efficiency for both advertisers and publishers. In the future, it will be evaluating the possibilities of micropayments as well as buying digital goods with Bitcoin.
Brave’s offer to customers is quicker loading times and tighter privacy control. There are even potential earnings from simply reading content.
It also stated it was using the proceeds from this ICO immediately to improve its advertising platform.
An interesting anecdote about the Brave ICO is the way that a small number of people dominated the process. While only 130 individuals actually purchased BAT, Coindesk stated. One buyer bought $4.6 million worth of the coins (20,000 Ethereum). Coindesk said that half of all the coins were purchased by five buyers, with the remaining two-thirds being bought by the largest 20 spenders.
This situation is counter to Ethereum’s main thesis. Token sales are a way for anyone to purchase shares in companies they like or use. Larger, more organized investors (including early-moving VC firms and adventurous corporations) are a critical component of a company selling tens or millions of coins. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to make sure that space is available for smaller parties as ICOs continue to become more prevalent.
Apart from Kik (which hasn’t provided a date), Asia-based payment platform Omise will raise less than $20 million via a token sales this month, as the phenomenon starts to gain interest from more established and venture-backed tech businesses.