Bitcoin Startup Backer BnkToTheFuture Closes $33 Million ICO
Digital investment firm BnkToTheFuture has officially concluded a $33 million token sale.
No stranger to the blockchain industry, the U.K. company, which boasts more than 60,000 accredited investors, has made its name allowing customers to purchase traditional equity in cryptocurrency exchanges and other blockchain startups, including BitFinex, Kraken and BitPay.
However, co-founder Simon Dixon said that, in recent years, these companies have been moving away from the traditional funding model, encouraging BnkToTheFuture to follow suit.
Dixon told CoinDesk:
"We've been doing this quite a while and then [initial coin offerings] came in and started disrupting our industry. Companies didn't want to offer equities anymore. The large companies were either not willing to do it or they had a model more suited to the ICO model."
As a result, this year, the company intends to launch a secondary securities token market for customers, not just accredited investors - one that will allow them trade coins purchased during other ICOs.
This market will comply with U.S. securities laws, and has recently acquired a broker-dealer to help facilitate the launch, Dixon said.
However, it would be difficult for the company's employees alone to research every company that applies to BnkToTheFuture, Dixon said. As a result, the company also intends to launch a "due diligence platform" where users can research projects themselves. Those who do will receive the company's BFT token as a reward.
"We wanted to put together a process by whereby we could build a large community of incentivized token holders," Dixon said.
Though BnkToTheFuture has complied with applicable securities laws since its inception, ensuring its newest market is also compliant is partly a reflection of the broader ecosystem, Dixon said. While some individuals may want to trade on unregulated platforms, startups in general seem to be shifting from that mindset.
"The appetite we're seeing is a movement toward complying with securities law rather than avoiding them," Dixon noted.