While the wider ecosystem is honing in on NFTs, bitcoiners are now making their own tokens.
Bitcoin infrastructure company Blockstream is gearing up to raise funds via a security token offering (STO), according to a press release shared with the BTC Times.
The token is called Blockstream Mining Note, or BMN for short, and will be issued on the Liquid Network, which was originally developed by Blockstream and is now governed by a 46 members-strong federation of financial institutions and service providers.
Some careful readers may be scratching their heads now, wondering how a Bitcoin company like Blockstream might end up with a token. Blockstream is known for its Bitcoin-only policy; its leadership team has been openly skeptical of most altcoins and tokens. In fact, Blockstream's April fool's joke in 2019 involved a mock-addition of Ethereum to the popular Blockstream Bitcoin explorer. The difference between those tokens and BMN?
"BMN is not an altcoin," Samson Mow told the BTC Times, "unlike the unregistered securities sold during the ICO boom, it's an actual security with investor protections."
According to Blockstream, BMN will entitle its holders to hash rate produced by Bitcoin miners at Blockstream colocation facilities around the globe. The target group are investors who seek to gain exposure to Bitcoin mining without having to purchase their own equipment. As a security token, BMN is subject to certain regulatory requirements and provides investors with legal recourse and high-level transparency.
The token will be sold via security token marketplace STOKR, which will allow access to qualified investors in select European countries. The first tranche of the sale is scheduled to become available on April 7th for a minimum sum of €12.5 million (approximately $14.7 million). Don't take out your mobile wallets just yet, though: the minimum investment is one BMN, which will be priced at €200,000 (roughly $234,000). In total, Blockstream seeks to raise €85 million ($100 million).
Should BMN be listed on security token exchanges in the future, it might become available to users in smaller fractions as well, depending on the respective exchanges' structures.
In addition to allowing a wider range of investors indirect access to its mining operations, Blockstream CEO Adam Back said "by expanding investor participation in Bitcoin's proof-of-work, the BMN also strengthens Bitcoin's security and censorship resistance. It's a win-win."
Blockstream has been heavily involved in Bitcoin mining since 2017, when it became one of the first companies to enter the Quebec hydropower market and established large-scale mining centers both in Canada and the U.S. Blockstream's first institutional mining customers included Fidelity and LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, while earlier this month, Norwegian company Aker ASA announced its partnership with Blockstream to further the firm's own mining goals — although it is not clear whether that partnership will involve colocation at Blockstream's mining facilities.