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Ethereum创企或将打破硅谷“融资天堂”神话

硅谷一直以来都被誉为全球高科技创企融资的首选之地。但现在,一种利用区块链技术的全新创新基建正在逐渐兴起,而Ethereum平台就是其中之一。

这种新平台以抽象非物理的形式存在,而且是处于一种安全、去中心化且全网分布的状态。Ethereum拥有打造一个不受物理地点制约的创企所需的所有要素,包括用以价值交换的高度流通中介(Ether货币)、应用/商务逻辑的通用系统(智能合同)以及支持创新的文化。

这是民主化硅谷创新基建的第一步,而且全部过程都发生在虚拟空间中。

过去几年,十几家来自这个全新“生态环境”的创企通过向全球各地的早期用户出售基于区块链的“代币”获得融资。代币是在某一个应用中有用途的专门性加密货币,有时是支付该应用所提供的服务的内部货币,如Brave的BAT;有时是一种允许一些用户为该项目工作并获得报偿的执照,如Augur。这些代币可以公开交易且可与其他加密货币互相兑换,他们的价值会随着市场而上下波动。利用Ethereum平台,一个项目出售代币可以解决两个——最佳情况下三个问题:

1. 为一个团队的项目提供资金

2.汇集一批对该应用感兴趣的人,在利益的驱使下会帮助该应用吸引更多用户。

3.提供了一种去中心化经济模式的安全基础

目前,市场对于这一新兴领域的热情极高。现阶段,Ethereum平台上最受欢迎的项目必须得竭尽所能才能防止代币过早销售一空。比如BAT的3500万美元代币仅25秒内就被174个账户哄抢一空。Status不得不加大购买其代币的难度以防止其1亿美元代币仅由少数人购得。

有些人认为这种代币销售现象是Ethereum的杀手锏,但也有人对各国监管机构对此类销售的态度持疑虑。

这是一个正在发生爆炸性创新的新兴产业,代币销售模式在将来会更成熟更好地适应创企和日益复杂的代币市场的需求。但今年代币销售的巨大成功说明了一件事:Ethereum改变了创企融资的环境。硅谷文化在区块链中找到了新的栖息地,而其涵盖了所有让今天的创新(甚至是疯狂)的想法变为明日的独角兽的所需元素。

To date, Silicon Valley has been known worldwide as the place to go to get your tech startup funded. Now, though, a new kind of innovation infrastructure is being built using blockchain technology and, in particular, the Ethereum platform.

Unlike Sand Hill Road or San Francisco, it exists in an abstract, non-physical realm that is secure, decentralized, and distributed across the Internet. Ethereum has all the raw ingredients needed to build startups unconstrained by physical location: a highly liquid medium for value exchange (the Ether currency), a common system for application/business logic (smart contracts), and, most importantly, a culture that encourages and supports innovation.

This is the beginning of the democratization of Silicon Valley’s innovation infrastructure, and it’s happening in an entirely virtual space.

Over the past couple of years, dozens of startups in this new permissionless ecosystem have capitalized their projects by selling their own blockchain-based “tokens” to a globally distributed crowd of early adopters. Tokens are specialized cryptocurrencies that have a utility within a given application. Sometimes it’s an internal currency necessary to pay for the services the application provides, like Brave’s Basic Attention Token (BAT). Other times it’s a sort of licence that enables a subset of users to do work for the project and earn rewards in exchange — like Augur. These tokens are publicly tradeable and convertible to and from other cryptocurrencies, and their value can go up or down based on market forces. For an Ethereum-based project, selling a token solves two — or, in the best projects, three — problems:

1. It provides funding for a team’s project

2. It bootstraps a community of enthusiasts incentivised to help the application gain traction

3. It provides a basis for the security of a decentralized economic model.

We are currently seeing enormous enthusiasm for this new paradigm. The most popular Ethereum-based projects are having to go to extreme lengths to prevent their token sales from selling out too quickly. BAT’s $35 million token sale, for instance, sold out in just 25 seconds to just 174 accounts. Status had to make it difficult for people to purchase its tokens in order to prevent its $100 million sale from selling to too few people.

Some regard the token sale phenomenon as Ethereum’s killer app, while others have reservations about how the world’s regulatory bodies will react to these sales.

We are witnessing explosive innovation in a nascent industry, so we can expect token-sale models to mature and adapt to better fit the needs of startups and the increasingly complex token market. But the staggering success of token sales this year has made one thing clear: Ethereum has changed the game for startup funding. The culture of Silicon Valley has found a new habitat on the blockchain, and it contains all the elements needed for tomorrow’s unicorns to evolve from today’s innovative (and sometimes crazy) ideas.


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