Blockchain focused startup, Blockstack, which recently rolled out its initial coin offering, has raised about $52.8 million. It has received investment from institutions such as Union Square Ventures, Foundation Capital, Lux Capital, Winklevoss Capital, Blockchain Capital, Digital Currency Group, Y Combinator, Arrington, Kevin Rose and others. The reason why they’ve raised this money is to bring to the world a decentralized web, via the blockchain technology.
The ICO closed on Friday, selling about 440 million tokens to the majority of long-term partners who will collaborate with them in various ways to bring about the intended vision.
What does this vision look like and how would it work?
The group is seeking to build something that can be seen as a parallel to the internet. It will allow users to access the internet through the Blockstack browser, and the browser will also be accompanied by a dashboard of apps. They are seeking to build it to the point where they have created a foundational platform that will bring increased benefits to both the creators of apps as well as the potential user base.
The key aspect is that the browser is supposed to provide the users with full control over their own data through the use of an individual application programming interface. The second aspect of the platform is that it gives developers the ability to build on top of this foundation and launch their applications without having to worry about hosting the data of the users. This is a benefit to creators because they don’t have to account for different costs that are associated with data such as how to store it, where to store it, and what those data costs would look like. Lastly, with this sort of arrangement, the developers can have much less to be concerned about when it comes to the privacy of their potential users.
Nuts and Bolts
Blockstack is a center for decentralized apps, creating a comprehensive system encompassing identity, storage, and tokens.
With the identity component, the user receives digital keys which allow them to own their identity. Users would sign into apps locally, without the need to connect via remote servers or identity providers.
The storage component allows users to bring their own storage providers and control their data. Data is encrypted and easily shared between applications.
The last aspect of the system is that the token component Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies can be used simple peer-to-peer payments. This aspect allows developers to charge for downloads, subscriptions, and more.
Blockstack has been quite busy since its founding in 2015, having about 76,134 domains registered. It has been 3+ years in production and has 13,419 community developers. Some apps that Blockstack already has are Casa, Ongaku Ryoho, Open Bazaar, Afia, and Guild.
Blockstack is a new network for decentralized applications. Blockstack aims to address the centralization at the application-layer of the internet. More specifically, Blockstack builds an alternate DNS and alternate public-key infrastructure. The company was founded in September 2015, by Muneeb Ali and Ryan Shea. The company is located in New York.