SEC-compliant token exchange and marketplace tZERO confirmed on October 6th, 2017 that it will hold an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) by Thanksgiving and plans to break the record of token sale by raising from $200 to $500 million.
Last month, Overstock announced that one of the online retailer’s blockchain subsidiaries had joined forces with RenGen and the Argon Group in attempt to develop the first FINRA- and SEC-compliant ICO marketplace. After this statement Overstock’s share price rocketed with the company’s CEO Patrick Byrne admitting that his phone had nearly burst as people tried to reach him to say they’re eager to invest upwards of $20 million in the ICO — if it would have been launched, of course.
And on Friday, October 6th, 2017, Mr. Byrne confirmed the rumors: there will be a tZERO ICO. And though the token exchange will comply with all the necessary security regulations, the CEO bills the platform’s native token as a utility coin that customers will use to pay to gain access to the system.
“So in about six weeks you will see us do an ICO token to use the exchange and our system will become live, handling ICOs,” he told the International Business Times. “All [the platform’s services] are going to take fuel to actually use them so what we are doing is pre selling the fuel. From what I am hearing, we are going to raise a fortune – $200-$500m easily.”
Byrne went on, adding that they are already a publicly traded company; KPMG audits everything, “if there’s one company that could legitimately issue a token it should be us,” he said with a hint of archness. “It’s a routing company, and it has an SEC-approved ATS. So we took that and we just blockchained it. We took something that was already legit and legal and we just adapted it so it could handle blockchain.”
Byrne also mentioned that a stock locate system for short selling which is a recent update and a key part of the original design is the thing he is incredibly proud of.
“You know my issues with the short sellers,” he said. “Last July in the earnings call I described that we were turning something on; we are now turning it on. That project, a blockchain-based stock locate system, is going to start getting a lot of attention. It’s a tremendous innovation.”
Speaking about the ICO boom, Byrne said this: “As a small ‘l’ libertarian, I typically am against government paternalism. However, I don’t feel that way regarding securities. Until 1929 in America, there were travelling salesmen who drove around and sold people penny stock over the back yard fence and swindled old people and such. And you can’t have that world. So the ICO boom was troubling to me. I think there’s a lot of stuff that’s been sold on the ICO world that is going to go to zero.”
The current ICO fundraising record was set by decentralized cloud storage platform Filecoin back in September and it equals $257 million. If tZERO CEO’s predictions come true, its ICO will shatter Filecoin’s record — and will even double it — signaling to Wall Street and Main Street alike that ICOs are here to stay.