You’ve probably never heard of Tezos before. It’s a “new decentralized blockchain” that’s apparently better than all the other blockchains, and last week, it completed a $230m fundraising.
The staggering sum of money was raised through an “initial coin offering”, which is basically like a Kickstarter for crypto-nerds. Investors fund the construction of software by handing over their cash in return for a token, which gives them access to that software. If the software is built, and is as useful as it’s said to be, hopefully those tokens will rise in value as other people clamber to access it. It’s like buying a funfair token in the hope that another punter will want it more.
If the sum of money raised was a guarantor of success, then Tezos would now be a sure bet. It’s the biggest ICO to-date. The platform is the brainchild of Kathleen and Arthur Breitman, who previously worked at Accenture and Goldman Sachs respectively. They have been developing it through their venture Dynamic Ledger Solutions since 2014 and if they can get the Tezos blockchain running for three months “substantially as described” in their marketing, they and the other investors in DLS like venture capitalist Tim Draper will make $20m. (According to the terms of the ICO, 8.5 per cent of the money raised will be used to acquire DLS.)
From now on, the Breitmans will shepherd this project through the Swiss-based Tezos Foundation. The big question is what will they do with all that money once they’ve converted the $230m worth of cryptocurrency into state-recognised currency?
- “Sponsor a leading computer science department with endowed professorships and extensive grants to graduate students in the field of formal verification”
- “Acquire mainstream print and TV media outlets to promote and defend the use of cryptographic ledger in society”
- “Negotiate with a small nation-state the recognition of Tezos as one of their official state currencies, which would immediately give Tezos favorable treatment in terms of financial regulation. Attempt negotiations to purchase or lease sovereign land”
Those ideas were there in case Tezos raised $20m or above. Now that they’ve surpassed $200m, perhaps they could try to build an actual rocket to Mars.