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Decentralized Crowdfunder Waves Launches Following $16m ICO

Blockchain crowdfunding and finance platform Waves launched Wednesday following a $16 million ICO, the sixth-largest crowdfunded project in history.

Also read: IOSCO Warns Investors on Crowdfunding & Bitcoin Risks

Fiat ‘Gateway’

The platform (wavesplatform.com), which also enables fiat institutions to issue their own tokens in lieu of fiat currency, announced the launch on its Twitter page late yesterday:

Waves acts as a combined decentralized crowdfunding platform and cryptocurrency gateway for fiat institutions. According to a press release issued today, the company “analyzed a wealth of different blockchain systems” in order to deliver the two products.

“Waves may enable any traditional finance organization to act as a gateway by issuing its own token to represent a national currency,” the press release states. It continues:

“Thus, a user may access not only the up-and-coming market of digital currencies, but also the services provided by banking institutions. Banks and other financial institutions, in turn, may significantly increase their clientele and the scope of services they provide while incurring minimum expenses for opening new end markets.”

Waves ICO Skepticism

Waves’ launch was marred slightly by reports of little-known exchange Yobits selling tokens at one hundred times their ICO value. This prompted the company to issue an official warning, urging users to boycott:

Waves’ creator Sasha Ivanov also took to Twitter to distance the platform from Yobits and reiterate the need for users to exercise caution:

https://twitter.com/sasha35625/status/738068334076383233

Following the closure of the ICO May 31, Waves entered the Wikipedia list of crowdfunding projects at number six, suggesting the 30,000 BTC raised – worth at closure around $16 million USD – was the sixth-largest amount ever achieved.

While Twitter reactions were broadly positive, Reddit community members were quick to cast skepticism on the ICO, the 30,000 BTC figure being frequently mentioned.

The platform has meanwhile set up a Slack group for users to ask questions and gain further information, with around 1,000 participants having joined as of Thursday.

waves33While Waves in its capacity as a crowdfunding platform would lead many to make associations with Kickstarter, in a Q&A earlier this week Ivanov was keen to point out the differences between the two offerings.

“We’re providing a kind of alternative to Kickstarter where people from all over the world can raise money for their projects and where investors can exit their investments – because you can’t do that at Kickstarter,” he said.

“You buy a pledge and wait for the product, even if it’s not delivered… that’s wrong.”

The platform will now move forward to bring out updates indicated in a roadmap published on its blog.

What do you think about Waves and the nature of multimillion dollar ICOs in the cryptospace? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of meshbits.io, coinfox.io, shutterstock

Tags in this story
crowdfunding, crypto crowdfunding, Decentralization, Fiat, Kickstarter, WAVES
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William Suberg

William Suberg is a freelance digital tech journalist who has written extensively about Bitcoin, the blockchain and the evolving cryptocurrency ecosystem for a variety of publications. He has been writing for Bitcoin.com since January 2016.