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June 28, 2017 11:18 am

Israeli Blockchain Start-Up Bancor Raises $153 Million in Digital Currency

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An image from the Ethereum digital currency network. Photo: Amazon. – The Tel Aviv-based blockchain start-up Bancor Foundation raised $153 million worth of digital currency this month, in a record-setting initial coin offering (ICO) on the Ethereum digital currency network.

The ICO was so popular that the network became congested, causing a crash in the price of the digital currency from $320 to as low as $0.10, before a quick recovery.

A total of 10,885 buyers participated in the offering, including American billionaire and venture capitalist Tim Draper, who also joined Bancor’s board of directors.

Bancor is an application based on Ethereum, a digital currency and programmable network that allows for the creation of decentralized applications called “DAaps” within its platform.

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DAap projects such as Bancor are crowd-funded through ICOs, which allow investors to send Ethereum tokens directly to developers in exchange for tokens that represent a share in the new project. ICOs are a new way of crowd-funding capital, akin to an IPO (initial public offering) on a stock market. But unlike an IPO, an ICO is not subject to government regulation.

Bancor seeks to advance the so-called “democratization of currencies,” acting as an intermediary in an environment in which digital currencies such as Ethereum or Bitcoin could be used as legitimate currencies. The term “bancor” was originally used by John Maynard Keynes and E.F. Schumacher as a name for a supranational currency that was conceptualized in the 1940s.

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