After a token sale on CoinList failed to reach its target, data marketplace Ocean is trying again on crypto exchange Bittrex International.
Ocean Protocol has a vision to become the ecosystem for “a new data economy,” its founder Bruce Pon told CoinDesk. With the release of Ocean’s version 1.0 beta network earlier in April, its tokens are ready to be used on the platform, but the company has not quite met its fundraising goal.
Through its initial exchange offering (IEO), Ocean aims to raise $6.77 million in bitcoin, following a previous round of over $24 million from Outlier Ventures, Block Asset, Fabric Ventures and Digital Currency Group, according to its listing on CoinList.
With its prior 2019 token sales via the Coinlist and Fractal platforms, the firm ultimately raised a total of just $1.8 million, according to a March blog post. If it succeeds with its IEO, it will meet its original goal announced in February for the CoinList sale.
“We had seen that an IEO was a good way to have more awareness and a broader distribution,” Pon said, while also granting they still needed to close that budget gap.
Its listing partner, Bittrex, has been caught up in a recent dispute with the New York Department of Financial Services over its decision not to grant the company a bitlicense. However, its presence in New York is not relevant to Ocean’s present efforts.
Reflecting on its disappointing token sale, Pon said the U.S. is not “the best environment” for this kind of fundraising right now, admitting:
“We misjudged. We went toward a highly regulated jurisdiction. We followed the rules. But the potential purchasers – or acquirers – they are also uncertain themselves.”
Its deal with Bittrex allows Ocean to focus on its core work for this next sale, while Bittrex will market the listing to its large base of users. “They are the ones who are leading the effort to reach out to their customer base,” Pon explained.
In particular, he’s optimistic about the company’s user base abroad. “We think there’s a lot more crypto enthusiasts coming out of Asia,” he said.
In light of market mood, Ocean has also halved the price of the token from that in the earlier sale, from $0.25 to $0.12.
Ocean noted to supporters in its Telegram channel that they should read the full IEO announcement before flipping out. That’s because participants in the original sale will still be able to opt-in to the better deal, Pon explained, and will get a distribution of tokens at the new price.
“It was just fair,” he said.
The initial circulating supply of OCEAN tokens will represent 22.3 percent of the total supply of 1.41 billion tokens. The greatest portion of future tokens, 51 percent, will be emitted through network rewards for validating transactions, though Ocean has not announced its consensus model yet.
The vision for Ocean is to serve as a place where those with large pools of data can share them securely, allowing data scientists to run analyses on them. The data holders will get the analysis they need and the scientists will both get to hone their tools and earn money as they do so.
The token will be the medium of exchange for these transactions, but Pon explained it will be also used to stake data sets as a way of signaling quality data.
Pon further articulated a much larger vision for the OCEAN token. “What we ideally see for the token is it becomes the reserve currency of the data economy,” he said.
For example, he described a future where companies generating large amounts of data (such as autonomous car sensor makers) could fund the development of their product by selling a security token against the future revenue of that data set – a kind of data IPO.
“What happens if the people who have bought shares in those data streams start to act on behalf of those data streams to get more channels of distribution?” Pon asked.
That’s the sort of future Pon believes could be feasible, provided Ocean is able to mobilize the resources it needs to develop the software today.
CoinList did not reply to a request for comment at press time.
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