On March 21st, the Qtum team officially announced that their crowdsale was finished after just 117 hours, having reached its goal of $15.6 million USD. The crowdsale raised 11156.766 bitcoins and 77081.031 ether in exchange for 51 million Qtum tokens. A total of 100 million tokens have been minted, leaving 29 million for supporting community projects, and 20 million reserved for Qtum’s founders, developers, and early backers.
This is the fourth most-funded Initial Coin Offering in cryptocurrency history, but the speed at which the money was raised is unprecedented. The crowdsale was scheduled to last 30 days, or until the target was met, and things were wrapped up in less than five days, with the first $10 million USD being raised in just 90 minutes.
The Singapore-based Qtum Foundation aims to build a hybrid software stack to offer automated business services that use Bitcoin and Ethereum. Qtum (Its founder pronounces it “quantum”) is not only a new blockchain, but an app platform that integrates with and uses multiple existing blockchains. In particular, it uses Ethereum to write and execute smart contracts, and Bitcoin for stability and security.
Investors in Qtum include Anthony Di Iorio, a co-founder of Ethereum and founder of Jaxx Blockchain Interface, the CEO of OkCoin, Star Xu, Bo Shen, managing partner of Fenbushi Capital, angel investor Xiaolai Li, Jeremy Gardner, cofounder of Augur, and Chen Weixing, the billionaire founder of Kuaidi Dache.
The roaring success of the crowdsale is the latest vote of confidence for the project. Just a few weeks earlier, we reported that Qtum had announced a partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers, the world’s second largest professional services company. PricewaterhouseCoopers will help Qtum with their project managment and governance models.
Qtum dates back to March 2016, when Patrick Dai released a proof-of-concept. It has since proved very successful in recruiting talented developers, from Bitcoin, Ethereum, and business-to-business companies including Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent and Nasdaq. Last month, it released a whitepaper giving the technical details of its platform.
The strategy of the Qtum team is to close the gap between decentralized blockchain-based apps and real world business needs. They plan to focus on easy-to-use mobile apps that solve day-to-day problems of business operation, using blockchain technology under the hood to secure money transfers. They aim to build an ecosystem covering a wide variety of use-cases, and develop a set of standardized templates for smart contracts. Their software will also run in Internet of Things devices, allowing the devices to send and receive payments automatically.
Two community projects have already been launched. One is SpringEmail, which uses a blockchain layer to send money using SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, the 1982 specification that all email uses). Another is Qloha, which does something similar for WeChat, China’s most popular instant messaging app.
Qtum is still in an early stage of development, and has no working products yet. However, the Qtum founders have certainly been very successful in convincing the business world that they will produce something valuable. They seem to have all the ingredients – investment capital, good developers, a target market, and the underlying technology – and time will tell what they can deliver.