When J.R. Willett invented the initial coin offering (ICO) funding model in 2012, few people took notice. The next year, he launched the first ICO, Mastercoin (now called Omni), and raised about $500,000–just five times the amount raised by the aptly-named Useless Ethereum Token earlier this year.
He says he “didn’t anticipate” how quickly the fundraising model would catch on:
“Everything I was doing with Mastercoin (now called Omni) was new and untried. I was really excited about creating a decentralized exchange, and I thought that price-stabilized assets would be a really big deal someday,” Willett told CCN in an email interview. “I knew our fundraising model was unique too, but what I didn’t anticipate was that of all the new cool stuff we were doing, the one thing that everybody would love was the fundraising model.”
Nevertheless, Willett says that he finds the hectic state of the cryptocurrency industry exciting. “I love watching a million ideas bloom and die,” he states. “Nothing could be more fun or more dangerous.”
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