Palo Alto, California startup, Civic has sold 33 million dollars’ worth of digital currency tokens for its identity verification project in a public sale, the company's cofounder and Chief Executive Vinny Lingham told Reuters.
The sale is the latest in trendy initial coin offerings (ICO), in which creators of digital currencies sell tokens to the public to finance their projects. It’s similar to companies raising money initial public offerings (IPO), except there is no state regulation governing the ICOs.
Civic, describes their ICO as a "token sale" – not exactly as an ICO. The startup is creating an identity network to connect companies and consumers and has so far created 1 billion tokens to achieve that goal.
The token allows for secure and cost efficient access to identity verification through the blockchain, a public online ledger of transactions which gained popularity for being the technological backbone bitcoin transacted on.
"We're selling tokens for ID verification," Lingham told Reuters. The wire agency reports that tokens sold for the equivalent of 10 U.S. cents, and could only be purchased using digital currencies bitcoin and Ether.
Of the billion tokens created by Civic, 33 percent were offered in the public sale, which will continuing until June 28. The other 33 percent is reserved for companies and users to accelerate network growth, while the remaining 33 percent will be in the company's inventory and be up for sale only after three years, according to Lingham.
For this particular token sale, 33 million dollars was the maximum amount that could be raised. Reuters further reported that Lingham, the CEO considers the funds from the sale as revenue for the company.
Prior to this, Civic had held a pre-sale several days ago to ensure that the company will indeed be able to sell all 330 million tokens. Though it was evident the company will be able to do so in the pre-sale, it decided to hold this public sale to let just smaller buyers acquire up to 110 million of the total 330 million tokens. However if this token offering is fully sold out, the pre-sale buyers would only get 66 percent of their initial allocation.
"We want a big network of people behind what we're trying to do," Lingham had said. "This is probably the most widely distributed sale with the most number of people participating."
Lingham was also reported as saying that Civic has more than 10,000 buyers, and as of late Wednesday (21 June), there were 28,678 people lining up to buy the token.
"With Civic, no one person owns more than 1 percent of the tokens sold. That's built in the model," he had added.