Brave, a cryptocurrency startup, launched a so-called coin offering last week to bankroll a new web browser and was able to raise the equivalent of $35 million.
According to a report in Fortune, initial coin offerings, in which companies sell cryptocurrency tokens to backers,is one of the hottest new trends in the bitcoin world. The Brave coin offering was funded in around 30 seconds, reported Fortune, citing CoinDesk. The report noted that around 130 people were able to buy tokens in the coin offering, with five buyers getting nearly half of the supply. While initial coin offerings are in the early stages of adoption, they are viewed by some as an alternative to share offerings. With the offering, investors get tokens that can be converted into digital currency like bitcoin or Ethereum instead of shares. Regulators have previously said they are looking into initial coin offerings to see how they should be treated, but as of today the market is largely unregulated, noted the report.
Brave, which is being created by Brendan Eich, the cofounder of the Mozilla Foundation, is a web browser that enables users to make micropayments to web publishers they like using cryptocurrency. It’s based on how many articles they read, noted the report.
“We are pleased with the sale, and we’re looking forward to disrupting digital advertising and building a user-centric platform for supporting the Web,” Eich told CoinDesk, according to the report.
The browser payment system Brave is using Basic Attention Tokens. The value of these tokens is based on Ethereum, an alternative digital currency to bitcoin. The code behind it will be open-source so anyone can build platforms that accepts that payment form. Fortune noted that while Brave is unique in that it is using digital currency, there are a lot of examples of how micropayments for content have failed. The report pointed to Beenz and Flooz as two flops.