WAVES ICO gets under way

Tuesday 12 April 2016

Blockchain platform WAVES is starting its fundraising ICO today - here’s more about the project and the process.

I covered the WAVES platform in a two-part interview with founder Sasha Ivanov, aka Coinomat. The ICO starts today and will last for six weeks. It’s a great project and I’ll be following the progress of the ICO closely.

Waves

Riding the waves: it's a great project, with what I hope is a bright future

Why WAVES?

WAVES is billed as the ultimate blockchain token platform. Whilst it’s easy to throw words like ‘ultimate’ around, that cashes out in several key ways that together make it unique and, I think, compelling:

  • It doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel. WAVES isn’t trying to replace bitcoin or any other kind of money: it’s intended to allow existing money to be used more effectively, whether that’s fiat money like USD, EUR, CNY and GBP, or digital cash like bitcoin. Approved and compliant gateways (and in the case of BTC, multi-sig) will allow money into and out of the platform. Once it’s in, its corresponding token can be sent with all the speed, efficiency and cost advantages blockchain technology allows.
  • It allows any asset-to-asset transaction. This is key, because it means transaction fees can be paid in the currency you’re dealing with, be that USD or BTC. The platform runs on WAVES, its native token, but the conversion all takes place under the hood. Result: you pay in USD for a USD transaction, rather than other platforms that force you to use one currency to send another. It's very user friendly.
  • It’s designed from the start for mass adoption, with a lite browser plug-in client and an interface familiar from online banking and traditional trading platforms. No crypto client download or literacy required.
  • It’s aimed at improving the financial services industry as well as serving retail customers. There’s a concerning move towards permissioned ledgers; WAVES takes the view that we need to offer financial institutions a blockchain they can use in the confidence that they can meet their KYC/AML requirements.
  • Coinbase and Mycelium are handling the escrow for bitcoin investors, which should bring peace of mind and is a big vote of confidence.

About the ICO

You can check out the WAVES ICO here. You’ll need to register with an email address. You’re then given access to your ICO account and can deposit bitcoins to your designated address. After the end of the ICO (31 May), and when WAVES mainnet is running (likely within weeks of that or before), 85 million WAVES will be distributed to participants in proportion to their stake. There are bonuses for early investors. 15 million WAVES are being retained for development and marketing.

ICOs are critical measures of confidence in a project. They are not definitive of potential; Nxt’s ICO back in 2013 raised just 21 BTC, and it developed into a multi-million-dollar platform. But they do indicate the future value that investors place on a new initiative. LISK raised over $5 million recently - possibly a combination of the growing interest in smart contracts, and good timing with profit-taking from Ethereum’s meteoric rise. Ethereum itself took over 30,000 BTC in the middle of a severe bear market, back in the summer of 2014, and we can see where that ended up.

The nature of ICOs is that a large proportion of funds comes in on the first day (and another large tranche at the end). So we’ll have a good early indication of how the market’s confidence in WAVES very soon.

Update: The ICO got off to a flying start. $1 million was raised in the first 6 hours, and by the end of the first day almost $2 million had been invested.


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