AngelList ICO Spin-Off CoinList Raises $9.2 Million

A platform for token offerings first incubated at venture firm AngelList has completed its Series A.

Launched last May, CoinList revealed Wednesday it has raised $9.2 million to build out a platform where accredited investors can invest in initial coin offerings (ICOs), or custom cryptocurrencies issued by startups and open-source projects. Investors in the round include Polychain Capital, FBG Capital, Libertus Capital, Electric Capital, Blockchain Capital, CoinFund and Digital Currency Group.

The news closely follows CoinList’s announcement in October that it would continue to pursue its model, one that had seen it offer support for Filecoin’s record-breaking September ICO, as a standalone company.

Still, that’s not to say there won’t be changes that reflect the sector’s shifting regulatory environment in the U.S.

In statements, CoinList co-founder and CEO Andy Bromberg notably said the company plans to use part of the fresh capital to build a secondary exchange for blockchain-based securities.

“There is not right now a good tokenized exchange for securities,” Bromberg told CoinDesk. As such, CoinList hopes to be the first to introduce “a liquid and compliant secondary exchange for securities.”

The statements point to the growing tension between crypto innovators, who have argued that cryptocurrencies, even when issued in public sales, can be considered commodities, and U.S. regulators, who have largely asserted such creations are captured by securities law.

Still, in this environment, CoinList said it hopes to distinguish itself by offering investors access to high-quality projects that buck the fly-by-night reputation industry offerings have sometimes attained.

Bromberg told CoinDesk:

“The best projects are being directed toward CoinList as a the place to go to run a client token sale.”

Selective strategy

Going forward, CoinList detailed how future sales will be operated to ensure anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) due diligence is performed on all platform users.

While the exact rules around accreditation are slightly complicated, users must meet an income or asset threshold: at least $200,000 in annual income for an individual, or $1 million in net assets.

But while that may seem to limit the service’s clientele, Bromberg said the platform has so far processed $400 million in investments from thousands of users, with more joining every day.

So far, CoinList has seen three ICOs launch through its platform, Filecoin, Blockstack and Prop, and CoinList representatives said the pace of launches is perhaps unlikely to escalate in the short-term.

“It’s really a matter of being incredibly selective there,” Bromberg told CoinDesk.

Another challenge, Bromberg acknowledged, would be liquidity, especially as the cryptocurrency market cools and a fear of regulators creeps back into the community.

Bromberg, however, remained confident, concluding:

“Initially, I think we’ll be relying on our investor base to drive capital into the market and do market making … We’ll be able to offer real liquidity to a lot of these securities.”

Gold coins via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.



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