Blockstack, the blockchain software provider seeking to build a decentralized internet, has announced it intends to raise $50 million in a token sale that would leverage SEC Regulation A+, described as an alternative to a traditional IPO.
While the move still requires regulatory review, the sale would enable Blockstack to raise capital through the U.S. securities markets via a subsidiary, Blockstack Token LLC, which would sell a token called Blockstack Stacks (STX).
Introduced in 2012 under the JOBS Act, the Regulation A+ exemption enables equity crowdfunding campaigns to offer and sell securities to U.S. investors via two tiers, either for $20 million or $50 million, over a 12-month period.
“The net proceeds of the offering will be used to accelerate the development of its decentralized computing stack and app ecosystem,” the company said in a release.
The move is consistent with past moves by the New York-based company, which in late 2017 were critical of token sales to private investors, arguing at the time that they did not enable enough diverse participants to create a truly decentralized software network.
Still, the company has been forced to walk back its ambitions given the U.S. regulatory environment, raising $50 million through a sale of 440 million tokens in December of that year.
Investors included Union Square Ventures, Foundation Capital, Winklevoss Capital and Blockchain Capital, among others. More than 800 people were said to participate in the sale.
Muneeb Ali, co-founder and CEO of Blockstack, said in a statement:
“We’ve been working with securities lawyers to create a legal framework that can enable blockchain protocols to comply with SEC regulations.”
“This can potentially set a precedent for others in the industry, not just for public offerings, but also as a path to launch new public blockchains and establish a path to bootstrapping decentralized ecosystems.”
Blockstack founders Ryan Shea and Muneeb Ali image courtesy Ariella Steinhorn / Blockstack