Will $4.2bn ICO lead to 'internet of future'?
A blockchain start-up’s incredible $4.2 billion initial coin offering comes to an end today and promises to revolutionise everything from payment systems to the Internet of Things.
Block.one’s EOS cryptocurrency token raise has lasted almost a year and dwarfs every other ICO ever launched.
The company, based in the Cayman Islands, seems keen on ‘decentralising everything’. Its 31-year-old CEO Brendan Blumer, based in Hong Kong, says the company is “at the forefront of developing the next generation of the internet”.
EOS is currently the fifth most valuable cryptocurrency but is viewed by many as a potential rival to top two Bitcoin and Ethereum.
“EOS could revolutionise how payments systems operate,” Blocktrade.com chief commercial officer Giovanni Lesna told BusinessCloud. “The current downfall of Bitcoin and Ethereum is that they are slow and lagging [compared with standard payments systems].
“The Bitcoin blockchain current processes about seven transactions per second and Ethereum processes around 23. Visa can process 24,000.
“EOS has been dubbed the ‘Ethereum killer’. Ethereum raised approximately $2.3m in a token sale in 2014 and EOS has overshadowed this with a gobsmacking $4bn.
“EOS is the dawn of a new era of improved transaction speeds of millions of transactions per second.”
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The tech brain behind the platform is Dan Larimer, the creator and founder of STEEMIT and Bitshares – both of which have a market capitalisation of $500m.
Larimer has stated that during the platform’s launch, set for June 2nd, his new platform will gradually increase its transactions per second from 1,000 through to 30,000.
EOS’ validation system will be faster and less power-hungry than that of Bitcoin by using vested parties rather than allowing anyone to mine blocks.
“If EOS can pull this off, VISA may be knocking at their doors,” said Lesna. “This is a serious statement which could propel cryptocurrency and blockchain technology into the mainstream use.”
Lesna, whose Liechtenstein-based Blocktrade crypto exchange will give people the opportunity to invest in a basket of the top 30 cryptocurrencies – in essence buying the whole crypto market rather than picking a winner – says Block.one’s “war chest of funds” will be crucial to blockchain being adopted into the mainstream.
“EOS has formed a $1bn+ fund for decentralised apps, incentivising developers to use EOS as their de-facto smart contract blockchain language,” he said.
“EOS is the underlying operating system – and it is super-fast and super-relevant compared with those of today.
“The potential for scalability is huge. I see it working in a similar way to the App Store: we’ll be living in a world in five years which is highly connected and EOS will be one of the platforms sitting behind it.”
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Block.one already employs more than 200 people across offices in Hong Kong, California and Virginia. It has issued 900m tokens through daily auctions over 345 days, with another 100m held by what Lesna terms “insiders”.
Its fundraise saw a rapid surge from the end of April through to May, with 70 per cent of volume coming from Asian crypto exchanges. Indeed Block.one has partnered with blockchain veterans Michael Cao and Winnie Liu to form a $200m joint venture fund, EOS Global, which will make strategic investments in Asia-focused projects.
“There is no doubt that with a skilled team, a war chest of funds and a network adoption strategy – combined with aggressive marketing in Asia – will lead to a ‘fear of missing out’ effect on the token,” in the coming days,” said Lesna, who is based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
“I have taken a long position on EOS and always advise that you should not bet the house on it, but approach it with caution and prudence.”
Lesna told us in February that the growing threat of scams amid the rise in cryptocurrencies and ICOs means authorities must act to protect investors with new regulation.