Tel Aviv Techie Attempts the First ‘Bitcoin IPO’

eli sklar Tel Aviv Techie Attempts the First Bitcoin IPOThe Bitcoin economy is truly like a miniature Wall St. First there was the Bitcoin flash crash; soon exchanges will offer short selling and other derivatives Bitcoin trading. And now we have our first IPO!

Eli Sklar, a Tel Aviv-based developer, is working on a new Bitcoin client. He wants to raise $100,000 for the project. So he’s extended a tentative Bitcoin initial public offering. In Bitcoin, preferably.

“Apart from being a hard thing to invest money from outsiders, I think that if this type of thing works, we can show the Bitcoin economy can work just by itself,” Mr. Sklar wrote to the Bitcoin People email list. “If I raise the amount I think is needed for the project, I will try to get all the help and work that I need from outsourced contractors using Bitcoins only, pushing the Bitcoin economy a little bit further, and creating even more awareness to Bitcoin from people who have otherwise probably wouldn’t notice Bitcoin. If I need a graphic designer for example, I will find someone who’s willing to do what I need and fits my requirements, and after agreeing on a fee that will be paid, I will offer to pay 5 to 10 percent extra if the payment will go through Bitcoin.”

Mr. Sklar is thinking if his IPO works out, it could be extended much further. “It could be easily developed into a trading platform where people could try and raise money by IPOs, and those who
invest could sell their stocks to others if they wish so,” he wrote.

And unlike a Kickstarter campaign, investors can actually get a return.

The application Mr. Sklar is working on is called Safebit, basically a Bitcoin wallet that aims to be a Bitcoin platform so developers can create their own apps within the wallet. “For example an app to buy stuff, an app to trade bitcoins, an app to mine bitcoins, and so and so forth,” Mr. Sklar says.

But the response at first was tepid. “You talked a lot about raising money and problems related to that,” said Bruce Wagner of The Bitcoin Show. “You talked very very little about the project itself which is what matters most.”

In other words, show us an S-1–then we’ll talk.


  1. Skeptic says:

     First? No way, It’s not even the second Bitcoin IPO.
    You guys need to check out – Bitcoin stock exchange, to see what you’ve been missing out on.

    Safebit sounds like a neat concept, but is it necessary? There are many programs already that can be used to buy stuff, trade bitcoins, mine bitcoins, and so and so forth. Almost all are free, many are even open source. Also how would any revenue be generated/ shareholders get dividends? Would Safebit be subscription based, have advertising, or licensed by the developers making apps?

    1. Critic says:

      To answer this briefly – Safebit is fully open-source and entirely free. There are other services using the Safebit infrastructure to generate revenues, such as a smart address book (like DNS for bitcoin addresses), and wallet security going all the way through the scale to bank-cia-mi6-nasa grade security, after all it’s our money we’re talking about here, and people seem to miss that little fact and still use fairly unsafe methods of storing their coins.

      “There are many programs already that can be used to buy stuff…” so that means we should stop developing new apps? Like the GLBSE exmaple (see below)? most of the stuff out there are half baked, programmer-oriented with users being the last concern, if at all. It’s like saying “we have IE4 and Netscape and Yahoo!, why would you need more browser and more web sites?”

      GLBSE is the idea – the implementation is in the proof-of-concept stage, and that’s a compliment. At best it’s half baked as a concept, not to mention that implementation is just in the proof-of-concept stage. No offense to whoever you are, but this is not a product, it’s just a pile of ideas, glued pieces of code (at least it feels that way), calling it “Bitcoin Stock Exchange” gives Bitcoin a bad name…