BY MARICEL CUSTODIO
New York-based decentralized Internet and developer platform Blockstack has raised $50 million in its initial coin offering (ICO). The Blockstack ICO sold 440 million of Stacks tokens and saw the participation of more than 8,000 investors.
Investors who participated in the ICO include Union Square Ventures (USV), Foundation Capital, Lux Capital, Winklevoss Capital, Blockchain Capital, Digital Currency Group, Y Combinator partner Qasar Younis, Techcrunch founder Michael Arrington and Digg founder Kevin Rose.
“We have always emphasized that the token sale is a very important thing for the ecosystem, for us to be able to contribute resources, but at the end of the day the more important aspect of what we’re doing is introducing the token itself and what it does for the ecosystem,” said Blockstack co-founder Ryan Shea.
The funds will be used to further develop its decentralized architecture and expand its team to more than 20.
Blockstack has been building a new Internet for decentralized apps that users access through the Blockstack Browser. The company uses the lower layers of the traditional Internet and focuses on decentralizing the application layer. It provides key tools and infrastructure to developers enabling decentralized storage and decentralized authentication & identity.
The Stack protocol introduces decentralized governance and incentive mechanisms for ecosystem growth, and enables new features like support for mobile/light clients and atomic swaps. The company said Stack is a major upgrade to the Blockstack network and, like earlier major upgrades, will be proposed as a network hard fork. The Stack protocol also proposes to add new operations, like mint and transfer, for mining and managing Stacks tokens.
The Stacks tokens will provide an access control mechanism for performing various operations on the Blockstack network. Protocol operations on the network will consume tokens. Network users will need to purchase tokens
to perform network operations. The tokens introduce a cost factor for performing operations, discouraging malicious users or spammers from performing too many operations on the network. The tokens are a scarce network resource and they’re used to protect other scarce network resources like domain names.