In July of this year , the decentralized computing network Blockstack became the first blockchain startup to be approved by the US Securities and Exchange Commission's Regulation A+ (Reg A+) for compliance token sales. In the context of compliance becoming the consensus of more and more industry participants, Blockstack's move opened the door to compliance for token distribution and attracted industry attention.
At the Wanxiang Summit held last week, Babbitt reporters met Blocksetack founder and CEO Muneeb Ali and interviewed the high-profile student with a Ph.D. in computer science from Princeton University.
R eg A+ Dafa is good, open the token issuing compliance door
Blockstack began in 2014 and was initiated by a group of PhD students at Princeton University in the Department of Computer Science at the school. For the industry, Blockstack , which has undergone five years of development, is already a very old and old project. Compared to many projects in the industry that evade regulation or negatively respond to regulation, from the very beginning, the team has paid great attention to compliance issues. Ali told Babbitt:
“More compliance is something we care about and what we think is right. We have always wanted to work with regulators and find a legal framework that allows investors to legally purchase and trade encrypted assets.”
After 10 months and spending millions of dollars, Blockstack finally completed the entire Reg A+ process, becoming the first encryption company to offer tokens to regular investors. However, Ali stressed that Reg A+ is suitable for more mature projects. “ We have already carried out a series of financing for the seed round before, and also sold tokens to qualified investors and funds in 2017.” He believes that Reg A + has stricter requirements for audited finance, application fees Also higher. In fact, there are other frameworks, such as Reg CF, which, although allowing a small amount of fundraising, will cost less.
When asked if Blockstack's Reg A+ model might lead to a new round of ICO boom, Ali shook his head and said he didn't know, but this model did open for a more compliant way of token distribution. door.
“ Once such a framework becomes part of the encryption industry, after the project has raised a portion of the venture capital in the initial phase, they can conduct Reg CF, and then they will raise funds through Reg A+. As the project progresses, they can raise different levels at different stages. The amount of funds."
The token issuance has also ended on September 9, and Blockstack raised a total of $23 million. What makes Ali so excited is that “ordinary investors can participate in token sales for the first time in compliance”. In the past, only large funds or qualified investors with more than one million dollars in net assets in the United States were able to participate, but now, through Reg A+, fundraising is also developed for ordinary investors. He revealed that "this time there are more than 4,500 people involved in fundraising."
Expansion is the focus, but the Block stack does not cross the chain at all.
Scalability seems to be the primary technical challenge of many blockchains , so how does Blockstack solve this problem? Ali said, “I think scalability is one of the key things we have been working on for research and development for more than four years.” At the same time, he said that Blockstack ’s core team has expertise in distributed systems, and some team members used to Engaged in the expansion of traditional Internet and the expansion of cloud computing. “I believe that some of the same scientific principles apply to blockchains.”
He believes that most of the projects in the industry can be divided into three categories. The first category is the world's computer-type projects, such as Ethereum, Ethereum 2.0, Dfinity, and EOS. It focuses on the use of smart contracts, mostly in the blockchain itself. The second category is projects that attempt to connect different blockchains, such as Cosmos and Polkadot, as a way to address scalability challenges. Blockstack is a bit like the reverse of the first class, trying to do as little as possible in the blockchain.
Blockchains such as Ethereum tend to focus on the blockchain itself, tending to do a lot, or even everything, at the blockchain level. In the words of Ali, these blockchains are very "blockchain-heavy". In contrast, Blockstack chose to make the blockchain layer very "light", only chaining things like global digital assets or IDs, and doing more things in other layers of the stack (such as the storage layer). In Ali's eyes, scalability seems to be a broader concept, not limited to the blockchain itself.
For cross-chaining, Ali replied very straightforwardly, " We don't have a cross-chain solution. " However, he believes that:
“There is real value in building a global blockchain that is universally accessible and scalable across the chain.”
Web 3.0 , identity is the core
Web 3.0 is also a hot topic in the industry. Ali believes that the Web 2.0 model is that users provide all their data to large companies, and then big companies use the data to make money, even if the user does not agree. The main difference between Web 3.0 is that users control their own information. Among them, "identity is the core part of Web 3.0."
"If you give users the usernames they directly own or the credentials they directly own, then they don't have to rely on a company. This is basically the first step in using Web 3.0. That's why I think many projects will eventually The same is true for the reasons for focusing on the research and development of the identity part."
In fact, as early as 2016 , Blockstack announced a partnership with Microsoft to establish the Decentralized Identity Foundation. Over time, large companies have continued to join the Foundation to study the different standards and methods of decentralized identity. Ali also believes that there will be a unified universal standard in the future. “Clearer standards will emerge one after another, which will be a good thing for the industry, because having 100 different standards is meaningless. If people start to align, it will help push the industry forward. Development." Although Blockstack is doing a similar agreement on its own, Ali promises:
"No matter which standard is ultimately accepted by most, we will make our software compatible with these standards. However, before the emergence of clear standards, we will use similar protocols for all of our own applications."
How to find a real use case? Big waves, the survival of the fittest
For the real use case of the blockchain , Ali believes that it should still be found in the application, but first of all give developers a lot of freedom, allowing developers to create whatever they want to create. “We have an idea to follow developers, no matter what developers are interested in, what is being improved, what is being researched. These things tend to be a good predictor of future directions.” For this, Blockstack also provides Clear incentives to attract more developers.
Ali also made an analogy when Apple introduced the iPhone. At the beginning of the iPhone , the app was a new piece of software, developers had to learn a new programming language, and Apple encouraged developers to join the development and build early applications on the web. "The iPhone really only works when there are practical and great applications." The same is true for Blockstack, where developers will compete on high-quality applications, and whoever builds high-quality applications will pay off.
Of course, not all of these applications will eventually be useful. “It’s okay. Think about the early stages of the Internet, where developers created a variety of different websites, some of which became more and more useful, more attractive to users, others failed. This is because they both It's a brand new thing, it's an innovative application.” The same is true for the mobile Internet era, where there are many different types of applications, but some of them have hundreds of millions of users, some of which have barely received any users.
“Because developers can build these things, it means that all kinds of ideas can be tried, and in the end there will naturally be winners.”