East Williamsburg crypto exchange raises $20 million in pre-sale of tokens

AirSwap is trying to put the buying and selling of crypto tokens on the blockchain. That has garnered a lot of interest.

Inside Consensys's East Williamsburg HQ.

(Photo by Tyler Woods)

An irony of the crypto world is that the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies is still done through “centralized” private companies, such as CoinDesk, rather than being themselves distributed, decentralized contracts.

But a new company coming out of the ConsenSys family of East Williamsburg blockchain startups is looking to change that, and has raised quite a bit of money to that end. Startup AirSwap intends to build a decentralized crypto exchange that’s entirely peer-to-peer and doesn’t take commissions on trades.

In a world where centralized exchanges, such as Mt. Gox, most famously, have been hacked and money lost, a decentralized market that no one owns is apparently appealing, as the startup has already sold more than $20 million before even its public offering of tokens.

“This represents a sea change in how various kinds of exchange will operate in the future,” ConsenSys founder and cocreator of the Ethereum blockchain Joseph Lubin said in a release. (Lubin is also an advisor to AirSwap.) “Swap is putting systems in place for near term exchange use cases and creating the foundation for moving all token exchange activity to a more sound and fully trustworthy infrastructure.”

AirSwap will operate in a way where instead of a company matching buyers and sellers of cryptocurrencies through an order book, AirSwap will directly match buyers and sellers together. (There’s a good and more thorough explainer of this over at CoinDesk.)

The rest of AirSwap’s tokens will go on sale Tuesday, Oct. 10. The registration for that sale opened Tuesday morning and expected to run for the week, but as of earlier Thursday morning, the company had announced on Facebook that it will be closing down registrations due to overwhelming demand Thursday at noon.


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