Filecoin, a new blockchain based storage-network and cryptocurrency that had its ICO on Thursday, has taken the coin market by storm.Despite facing technological setbacks initially, Filecoin's ICO was able to raise a groundbreaking $200 million in just an hour, a value that has outdone even the first ever cryptocurrency Bitcoin. This massive amount is a surplus on top of the $52 million already garnered by Filecoin via an initial pre-sale round entailing investments by Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures, signaling a new and seemingly more wealthy era for cryptocurrency mining.
The token distribution was as follows: 15%, 10% and 5% went to Protocol Labs, Investors and Filecoin Foundation respectively for the genesis of the cryptocurrency at a discounted price of $0.75 per coin while the remaining 70% would be distributed to investors for $1 per coin.
People initially criticized the valuation difference, but Filecoin responded by stating that:
The advisor sale involved an amazing group of technologists, researchers, entrepreneurs, engineers, designers, industry leaders, and investors...and all of them are committed - vested - to work closely with us to make the Filecoin Network as valuable as they can, for years to come. Hence the discounted price.
In addition to this, the ICO was preceded by concerns regarding the actual method of coin distribution. The first come serve methodology entailed a plethora of potential pitfalls including network congestion and unequal price distribution relative to the time of confirming payments. To remedy these qualms, Filecoin averaged all investments made within the first hour.
What's perhaps most astounding about this ICO however, is the notion that Filecoin doesn't actually yet possess the tangible technology it boasts; it's all only a white paper concept.
While Filecoin advisors and researchers have been prepping for releasing this technology for a long time, the only viable product they currently have to fall back on are a range of white papers that outline the functions of its technology. Months (or more) stand between now and a fully functioning Filecoin network, as well as formidable competitors such as Sia's blockchain network that has been open for 2 years now.
How, then, is something that technically doesn't even exist able to generate so much revenue and attract so many investors?
The devil is in the details. It seems that Filecoin is able to offer consumers a safe and decentralized blockchain storage network that would induce lower costs and generally be more reliable. It would be the perfect long-run data storage option for large companies, particularly those in the ever-elusive tech sector. It is also significantly more efficient (in theory) than its competitor Sia's network, which has a
relatively limited capacity, and, right now, using the technology involves significant hassles, including acquiring the Siacoin cryptocurrency on a digital currency exchange and configuring and running complex Sia client software.
Either way, an ICO Tracker by CoinDesk proves that Filecoin has the potential to even cross the $2 billion boundary, officially solidifying decentralized currencies as its own industry in and of itself. This has major implications for the cryptocurrency market as well as business processing systems the world over, and investors should keep an eye out for Filecoin's further development.