press release 12 Dec 2017
Press Release 12 Dec 2017
Kiwi firm helping startups raise NZ$250 million with blockchain tokens
The days of tech startups vying for the attention of venture capital or angel investors may be coming to an end as a new decentralized fundraising mechanism is gaining popularity. Colloquially called an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) or Token Generation Event (TGE) startups and open source projects have been able to bootstrap millions of dollars from individuals around the world.
This trend has led to more companies looking toward the likes of BlockchainLabs.nz to help them develop and audit the “smart contract” code for their blockchain token.
The Wellington and Auckland based software company has started to emerge as an industry “go-to” for teams around the world looking to develop and stress-test the codebase driving their Initial Coin Offerings, before they unveil them to the public.
Some of these token projects include Status.im (decentralised messenger app US$100M), Mothership (Estonian digital asset exchange US$10M), and MobileGo (mobile game app store & eSports US$35M). Globally 130 ICOs have raised over US$2.7B so far this year.
Mark Pascall, co-founder of BlockchainLabs.NZ, says that companies such as his are essential as ‘tokenisation’ of software moves into the mainstream. “This ‘tokenisation’ has suddenly brought the end-user closer to the heart of global projects than ever before” said Pascall. “Previously, open source projects were a labour of love and relied on a few people contributing time or money, now tokens are engaging the whole user base in contributing to the success of the project”.
“However, with the huge sums of money going towards these projects, people are exposing themselves to the risk of poorly designed code. At BlockchainLabs.NZ, we are looking to ensure that all ICOs are completely stress tested, reducing vulnerability to people who wish to own these new tokens,” said Pascall.
While New Zealand has been relatively quiet until recently in the blockchain space, BlockchainLabs.NZ co-founder Paul Salisbury is excited about the potential to becoming a driving force in blockchain innovation.
”Using blockchain technology, New Zealand has a chance to really steer the world towards decentralised innovation. Issues around transparency, automation, and democratisation are all things that are going to becoming more pressing as the years go by, and with blockchain protocols we have better tools in hand to tackle them head on,” said Salisbury. “While New Zealand is geographically remote, this doesn’t limit our ability to demonstrate what is possible on a global scale”
BlockchainLabs.NZ is an independent company with a mission to empower organisations to create decentralised applications with global impact. The team (split between Wellington, Auckland and the US) provides education, consulting and development services to a range of clients across the world. Some of the clients worked for include:
Status.im (mobile client/chat/Dapp browser ICO US$100m)
Back to Earth (AR/in-game assets/experiences, ICO US $2m)
Mothership (Estonian digital asset exchange ICO US$10m)
MobileGo (mobile game app store & eSports ICO US$35m)
Ethbits (digital asset exchange ICO US$3m)
Sphre (identity platform ICO US$8m)
Kyber.network (decentralised exchange US$6m)
Latoken (liquid asset token US$20m)
What is blockchain?
Blockchain is a public ledger technology that uses digital signatures and cryptographic hashing to provide a record of secure transactions that cannot be altered.
The advantage of blockchain is that it can provide an immutable ledger, offering both transparency and integrity, cemented securely using cryptography. As such, it can be useful for anti-fraud purposes, but also for continuity in business operations.
It can also be understood as an infrastructure on which many varied applications can be built in different domains, including finance and payments, supply chain, inventory management and asset tracking, identity management, and corporate governance.
A smart contract is a computer protocol intended to facilitate, verify, or enforce the negotiation or performance of a contract. Smart contracts were first proposed by Nick Szaboin. Proponents of smart contracts claim that many kinds of contractual clauses may be made partially or fully self-executing, self-enforcing, or both. The aim with smart contracts is to provide security that is superior to traditional contract law and to reduce other transaction costs associated with contracting. Smart contracts have been used primarily in association with cryptocurrencies.
What is an ICO?
An Initial Coin Offering, also commonly referred to as an ICO, is a fundraising mechanism in which new projects sell their underlying crypto tokens in exchange for bitcoin and ether. ICOs are a relatively new phenomenon but have quickly become a dominant topic of discussion within the blockchain community.
By ‘tokenising’ their organisations – that is, designing a ‘token’ (using a Smart Contract) which acts as a unit of exchange in that technology’s ecosystem and is often available for secondary trading – founders can now raise funds quickly, in a crowdfunded model, with incredible network effects. Communities of people that hold a startup’s tokens are incredibly motivated not only to adopt its products but also to extol the product’s benefits to others.