Tel Aviv Techie Attempts the First ‘Bitcoin IPO’

The 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.

Tel Aviv Techie Attempts the First ‘Bitcoin IPO’