加密货币支付平台MobileCoin获3000万美元风投 - 互联网金融门户 未央网

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加密货币支付平台MobileCoin获3000万美元风投

一个全新的以隐私为中心的加密货币项目,最近进行了一轮值得注意的融资。周二,MobileCoin的团队宣布,与币安交易所有关的大型区块链孵化器币安Labs领投了这一轮3000万美元的融资,融资货币为比特币和以太坊。作为合作关系的一部分,MobileCoin将享有进入币安市场的“优先考虑权”。

新的加密货币项目大同小异,但是一个知名大牛的加入可以产生很大的差别。端到端加密消息应用Signal和Open Whisper Systems的创始人Moxie Marlinspike就是这样一个名字。据悉,Marlinspike于2017年8月加入MobileCoin,并担任技术顾问。

除了Marlinspike之外,对冲基金Crypto Lotus的一般合伙人Joshua Goldbard和Shane Glynn也加入了这家公司,分别担任技术专家和法律顾问。他们三人一起帮助公司应对波涛汹涌的加密货币监管。Glynn自2010年以来一直担任谷歌的高级产品顾问,但目前尚不清楚他是否为这一新的项目而离开自己长期的职位。

在12月发布的MobileCoin白皮书中,该项目的创造者描述了其使命:

大多数尝试构建令人信服的加密货币用户体验的方法都不得不信任第三方服务来管理密钥和验证交易。这在很大程度上从一开始就牺牲了加密货币的主要优势。

MobileCoin致力于开发一种快速、私密且易于使用的加密货币,这种加密货币可以部署在资源受限的环境中,用户不需要长时间维护密钥,不需要放弃资金指控,就可以获得支付处理服务。

MobileCoin交易将使用恒星共识协议(Stellar Consensus Protocol)实现货币网络可扩展性和速度的同步。最终产品将着重用户隐私,并将其集成到移动消息应用中,包括WhatsApphe Signal应用程序,这两个应用都是用了Marlinspike的端到端加密信号协议。

“MobileCoin的设计目的是让像WhatsApp、Facebook Messenger或Signal这样的移动消息应用能够集成MobileCoin钱包,”该团队在白皮书中描述道。

Marlinspike是一名罕见的反向科技名人,他躲避了聚光灯,拒绝硅谷的风格,在数字隐私和密码学领域中获得了一定的尊重。所以,他选择这样一个还没有任何产品就要进行数百万美元ICO的项目是很奇怪的,但这也让MobileCoin获得了关注。至少,知名的密码学者的新项目应该让那些抱怨数字货币领域习惯使用“加密”术语的人感到满意。

虽然MobileCoin拥有资金和人才,但对于一个新兴的加密货币来说,仍处于早期阶段。作为孵化器,币安Labs专注于ICO之前的项目,MobileCoin将利用这笔资金,在开发产品的同时,构建团队和流程。

“移动优先,便于用户使用的加密货币,如MobileCoin,在推动主流加密货币的普及方面发挥着关键作用,”币安Labs表示。“MobileCoin团队和币安Labs拥有共同的愿景,我们很自豪能成为他们的支持者。”

除了融资新闻,MobileCoin宣布正在招聘一名“核心团队”工程师:

“我们正在寻找从事过大型系统(每日活跃用户超过1000万)开发、喜欢底层代码的高级职员。直接内存访问是我们问题中的关键部分。”

除了为什么新的加密货币需要存在的核心问题之外,MobileCoin需要将自己定位为现有主流移动支付服务(如Venmo和PayPal)的替代产品,以满足普通用户的需求。

MobileCoin也将面临包括欺诈预防在内的全面监管挑战,这些挑战困扰着其他数字项目。虽然其行为低调,三人团队中有一位法律顾问,但其创始人似乎没有因此而大胆冒进。

“这是一次旅程,我们很高兴为可信付款构建一个简单的系统,”Goldbard在公告中写道。

在数字货币领域,太多的炒作可能表明缺乏实质的内容。反过来也是如此,以MobileCoin为例,一个适度的使命可能是一个竞争产品的有力信号。

A new privacy-centric cryptocurrency project with some big names on board just raised a round worth noting. On Tuesday, the team at MobileCoin announced that Binance Labs, the major blockchain incubator associated with the Binance  exchange, led a $30 million round denominated in bitcoin and ether for the new cryptocurrency. MobileCoin will enjoy “priority consideration” for being listed on Binance as part of the relationship.

New cryptocurrency projects are a dime (or less) a dozen, but the legitimacy of an established name can make all the difference. Moxie Marlinspike, the founder of end-to-end encryption messaging app Signal and Open Whisper Systems, is one such name. As Wired reported in December, Marlinspike began working with MobileCoin as a technical advisor in August of 2017.

Marlinspike is joined by Joshua Goldbard, a general partner at hedge fund Crypto Lotus and MobileCoin technologist, and Shane Glynn, legal counsel, to help the company navigate the choppy waters of cryptocurrency regulation. Glynn has served since 2010 as senior product counsel at Google, though it’s not clear if he is leaving his longtime role for the new project.

In the MobileCoin whitepaper, published in December, the project’s creators describe its mission:

…Most attempts at building a compelling crypto-currency user experience unfortunately resort to trusting a third party service to manage keys and validate transactions. This largely sacrifices the primary benefits offered by crypto-currency to begin with.

MobileCoin is an effort to develop a fast, private, and easy-to-use cryptocurrency that can be deployed in resource constrained environments to users who aren’t equipped to reliably maintain secret keys over a long period of time, all without giving up control of funds to a payment processing service.

MobileCoin transactions will synchronize to the coin’s network using the Stellar Consensus Protocol for scalability and speed. The end product will emphasize user privacy and integration into mobile messaging apps, including WhatsApp and Signal — two apps that use Marlinspike’s end-to-end encrypted Signal  Protocol.

“MobileCoin is designed so that a mobile messaging application like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or Signal could integrate with a MobileCoin wallet,” the team described in its whitepaper.

Marlinspike is a rare sort of reverse tech celebrity, a figure who eschews both spotlight and Silicon Valley-style excess and has instead cultivated quiet respect in digital privacy and cryptography circles. That makes him an odd fit for the fraud-laden universe of empty multi-million-dollar ICOs with no product to speak of, but it also means that MobileCoin is probably worth paying attention to. At the very least, the prominent cryptographer’s new project should amuse anyone who’s complained about the digital currency world’s habit of using the term “crypto” as shorthand for “cryptocurrency.”

MobileCoin has funding and talent, but it’s still very early days for the nascent cryptocurrency. As an incubator, Binance Labs concentrates on pre-ICO projects and MobileCoin will use the funding to “build out [its] team and processes” as it develops its product.

“A mobile-first, user-friendly cryptocurrency, like MobileCoin, plays a critical role in driving mainstream cryptocurrency adoption,” Binance Labs said of the funding. “The MobileCoin team and Binance Labs share a common vision and we are proud to be a supporter of what they are doing.”

Along with the news, MobileCoin announced that it is recruiting a “core team” of engineers:

“Specifically, we are looking for those who have worked on large systems (greater than 10,000,000 daily active users) in a senior role who enjoy working on low-level code. Direct memory access is a critical part of our problem set.”

Given the legitimacy of Marlinspike’s best-known project and his reticence to attach his name to things, it’s not unreasonable to give MobileCoin the benefit of the doubt, even if aspects of its raison d’être remain unarticulated. Beyond the core question of why a new cryptocurrency needs to exist at all, MobileCoin will need to position itself as a compelling alternative to existing mainstream mobile payment services like Venmo and PayPal for normal users.

MobileCoin will also face the full slate of regulatory challenges, including fraud prevention, that plague other digital currency projects, though given its stealthy behavior and the fact that one-third of the three-member team listed on its website represents legal counsel, its founders are don’t appear to be charging in recklessly.

“This is a journey and we are excited to build a simple system for trusted payments,” Goldbard wrote in the announcement.

In the digital currency realm, too much style — think celeb-endorsed ICOs and endless press release hype cycles — can signal a lack of substance. The reverse can be true too, and in MobileCoin’s case, a modest mission could be a strong signal for a compelling product a bit further down the blockchain.


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