Blockchain development startup HCash has closed its initial coin offering (ICO), raising nearly AUD$53 million in the process – the largest ICO to date in Australia.
In an announcement today, Melbourne-based HCash revealed details of its ICO fundraising wherein the startup raised 21,000 Bitcoins in a round between June 28 and July 15. Using bitcoin’s value on the date of closing the ICO, HCash raised a fiat equivalent of $52.89 million, a record for an Australian ICO. A majority of HCash’s investors are Chinese who are bullish on the startup’s public sidechain technology that allows for exchange of value and data between different blockchains, both block- and blockless-based.
HCash CEO Dallas Brooks said:
“HCash is the first Australian blockchain which aims to link the current mainstream blockchains, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, with the next generation of blockchain technology. We expect HCash to mark the beginning of a new era of blockchain technology where isolated blockchains can communicate and recognize each other.”
HCash developers are also working toward securing the cryptocurrency against quantum attacks by developing teh technology against research partners in Melbourne-based Monash University, the Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. According to details on its website, the HCash sidechain connects traditional blockchains with blockless-based Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) systems to significantly reduce transaction times at scale with enhanced privacy features.
For now, details of a commercial deployment of the technology remain unknown. HCash’s ICO follows that of Perth-based Power Ledger, the developer of solar peer-to-peer energy marketplace that raised over AUD $34 million in a recently concluded coin offering. The success of these fundraisings has spurred the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) to issue guidelines for businesses and startups seeking to gain finance through ICOs.
“ASIC recognises that ICOs have the potential to make an important contribution to the options available to businesses to raise funds and to investment options available to investors,” read an excerpt from the guidelines released by the regulator in September.