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Filecoin Launch Finally Brings $200M ICO to Fruition

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The Filecoin network pivoted to mainnet at block 148,888, or approximately 14:44 UTC. With that, its FIL tokens will begin their distribution. 

Filecoin is a system from Protocol Labs meant to be both a decentralized file storage and content distribution network in one. The Filecoin team wrote in a post announcing the transition the block number for mainnet launch signifies “prosperity for life” in Chinese, chosen “to honor the epic contribution by our Chinese mining community to Filecoin’s long-term success.”

The new token is very likely to make history as the fastest newly live blockchain to reach a market capitalization of over $1 billion, though we can’t really know until the FIL tokens enter trading.

It should be noted the tokens distributed today will basically all be subject to a vesting schedule, so only a very small portion of the total supply of 2 billion FIL in the Filecoin system would count as circulating. Block explorers currently show a circulating supply of 10,396,586 as of 14:45 UTC. FIL futures are trading at $55.63 according to Crypto.com right now, which would place the market cap at $578 million.

The circulating supply at launch should be much, much smaller than the 200 million tokens sold in the 2017 initial coin offering (ICO), making for a vastly smaller market capitalization by convention.

Read more: Filecoin: Understanding the Complex Crypto System Meant to Rival AWS

Despite multiple delays, the Filecoin project has attracted considerable attention, particularly in China where investors have been speculating heavily on the network’s mining hardware and the FIL token.

CoinList leads

CoinList’s Scott Keto contends the first market to actually have FIL tokens available for purchase will likely be CoinList Pro.

The launch of Filecoin is itself a milestone for CoinList, a company that was spun out from Naval Ravikant’s AngelList to manage the gigantic token sale for Filecoin, closing in September 2017. The token sale ultimately raised over $200 million, the largest ICO to that point.

Read more: Filecoin Is Mailing Out Hard Drives of Climate Data to Kick-Start Its File-Storage Network

“This was one of the most anticipated launches or token sales in 2017, it took them a long time to go live, I think that’s partly because they took their responsibility really seriously,” Keto told CoinDesk in a phone call. “It’s finally here and it’s one of the few, in my personal opinion, one of the very clear use cases for blockchain.”

Those interested in following along with Filecoin in its earliest day should first keep an eye on one of its block explorers. Filfox is one such explorer: It shows block height, the number of miners, the top miners on the network and the total amount of available storage on the network. Filscan is another.

“There are many folks already announced as early Filecoin users, and still more to come next week,” Filecoin’s Ian Darrow told CoinDesk via email.

Filecoin dapps

Of announced projects, one example is Slate, a personal storage service that uses Filecoin and IPFS. Textile is another, which has evolved into a set of developer tools for managing storage from where it started, as a sort of decentralized Flickr.

In last month’s “Space Race” testnet sprint, 360 miners participated globally, increasing the network’s data capacity by 230 pebibytes. There was a final prize pool of 1.5 million FIL.

Read more: Filecoin: Understanding the Complex Crypto System Meant to Rival AWS

Ecosystem

CoinList is playing a key role in the distribution of FIL tokens today, managing 55% of the distribution, for all the ICO participants who did not indicate a self-custody or external solution for the distribution, Keto explained.

“Given that CoinList will have the majority of the initial supply, in all likelihood CoinList Pro will be first to list. Fake IOU platforms may try to be first, but those are not backed by real tokens,” Keto wrote.

CoinList’s custody partner is Gemini Custody, though individual FIL buyers are using solutions at Coinbase, Anchorage and others.

Multiple exchanges have promised to list the FIL token, as Decrypt reported Wednesday. CoinList said that number is likely to rise.

Keto estimated that around 3,500 entities will receive FIL tokens. There were a little over 3,000 in the ICO and several hundred more that came through the incentivized testnet. Keto said that, anecdotally, there has been a stunning amount of inbound interest for buying FIL leading up to the mainnet launch.

This launch marks the latest in a string of products going live as described from the highest quality ICOs, a trend that arguably started when the Brave browser first started feeding ads to users last year.

Filecoin’s purpose is to store real data in safe and complex ways. It’s still incentivizing technical entities to get in early. It’s currently running a contest for storing real data, called Slingshot, that will remain live for the next several days.

While the ICO era was controversial for its large number of scams, the best-known token sales have largely delivered their promised products (see for example Status, Tezos, Bancor and EOS). As ShapeShift Founder Erik Voorhees noted on Twitter:



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ASX Delays Launch of DLT System Over Coronavirus Trading Volatility

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ASX said it was eyeing a new date of April 2023 due to higher levels of demand than expected.



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Trump Campaign Website Hit by Hackers Touting Crypto Scam

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The president’s campaign website was briefly compromised on Tuesday, as hackers looked to fleece cryptocurrency from unsuspecting supporters in the final days before the 2020 election.



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JPMorgan Invites Banks and Fintechs to Build on Its Revamped Blockchain Network

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“Think of it as the foundation of an enterprise mainnet.” 

That’s how Christine Moy, head of JPMorgan’s newly rebranded Liink banking network, described its aspirations towards decentralization in the realm of big business.

The revamped Liink, which is based on a fork of Ethereum, is more of a “decentralized network,” said Moy, and less like a “central command product.” As such, Liink now invites its 400-plus financial institutions (including 25 of the largest 50 banks) to start building on top of the platform. 

“Liink participants have the ability to build applications on the network, and in doing so are able to spotlight their local expertise with global reach,” said Moy. “If a Liink participant has specific expertise around payments in a particular region or currency, for example, it has the opportunity to build an application and deploy it on Liink to make it available to the network.”

Read more: JPMorgan’s ‘JPM Coin’ Is Live, Execs Say

Formerly known as the drably named Interbank Information Network, Liink was designed to connect banks in a peer-to-peer fashion and help them remove the pain points from cross-border payments and other functions.

While Liink is not open-source like Quorum or, say, R3’s Corda network, JPMorgan is encouraging collaboration within the network and also expanding it beyond banks. 

“The focus has been on building a peer-to-peer network for cross-border payments, thus the original name, Interbank Information Network, but we are now also incorporating corporates and fintechs into the Liink ecosystem as well,” said Moy.

JPM’s next step?

JPMorgan, which is famous in the blockchain world for creating the Ethereum-based Quorum network, released a flurry of news Tuesday, the headline being that its wholesale banking digital currency JPM Coin is now live. But also that all Quorum-based services now fall under the new Onyx brand. 

“Liink as a new brand comes at a pivotal time, as we look to re-architect how money, information and assets move across the globe,” Umar Farooq, CEO of Onyx, said in a statement.

On the subject of JPM Coin complementing the Liink network, Moy said: 

“The Liink network is live for peer-to-peer information transfer. JPM Coin is obviously value transfer. As part of the broader Onyx organization, we are focused on a coherent client product experience.” 

It’s a lingering question: How might JPMorgan’s various blockchain services be combined into a greater sum than their parts? JPMorgan declined to comment further. 

As well as rebranding, Liink introduces a couple of new features: Confirm, which allows for the validation of account information prior to initiating a payment, and Format, which helps ensure a payment message accurately conforms to country- and currency-specific requirements.

The Confirm application matches data requesters, looking to validate account owners and FX particulars, with data responders, who are incentivized to help because they can earn a cut of fees for validating that information.

“This is a blockchain-based, multi-party network so you have the ability to get a response from multiple different banks on the network, or for that matter tech companies,” said Moy. “Enabling our Liink participants to potentially create new revenue streams, we think, is a differentiator from other offerings where a central party controls the flow.”

All told, it looks like JPM’s Liink is shaping up to be a potential SWIFT killer.

“Liink’s original use cases were modeled by JPMorgan for banks,” said Moy. “We’ve paid special attention to some of the specific mechanisms of how we would design this application as a result,” she said, adding:

“The aim is not to replace SWIFT but rather to complement it.”



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