Dear Filecoin investors, supporters, and broader community,
The Filecoin Sale completed on Sep 7th, 2017, at 19:00 UTC. The sale was a resounding success! We raised over $205M in USD, ETH, BTC, and ZEC. We are all deeply humbled and grateful for your tremendous support. We cannot thank you enough for investing in our work, for creating the Filecoin Network with us, and for helping us decentralize storage world-wide.
We innovated on a large number of fronts: structure, legal, payments, materials, and more. We raised a large amount of money, from over 2,100 investors in over 50 countries around the world. We pioneered the SAFT instrument, and ran a token sale that complied with various laws. We built and proved the CoinList platform, which will serve others in the future. We accepted ETH, BTC, ZEC, USD (+ other fiat) simultaneously, with live updating averaged exchange rates. We incorporated security improvements, such as an IPFS-hosted HD Wallet verification tool. We handled 6,342 customer support and question emails.
This sale was a wild ride for us, and likely for you too. We pulled things off mostly smoothly, but there were some issues and lots of lessons learned. We may write some reflections on these in the future, to share insights with the broader community, especially those considering running a token sale.
The final amount we raised – with crypto assets valued as the investments were made – is $205.8M. This figure includes the $52M from the advisor sale. We raised $135M during the first hour of the public sale. During the sale, thanks to fluctuation in ETH and BTC price, the value of all the raised assets reached $253M on Sep 2, and $233M at time of close on Sep 7. Hopefully this clarifies the various numbers reported around the web.
We started the Filecoin Project to create a decentralized, efficient, and robust foundation for humanity’s information.
With the 20th century behind us, humanity now has a vibrant digital nervous system: the internet. This computing and telecommunications infrastructure connects and empowers us – as individuals, as groups, and as a whole species. In a few decades, we gained astonishing superpowers. With our computers, we can do things that were arduous or even impossible for our ancestors. Though only half the people on the planet have access today – a long way to go – this is one of the most important things to happen to humanity, ever.
But our computing infrastructure has serious problems. The internet can be censored easily. Our personal computers are short-lived, especially phones. So our precious knowledge and information are stored – held captive – by massive data monopolies. And our powerful tools (apps) are run as services by a few powerful corporations, or on their cloud systems. A significant fraction of the world’s storage and computing hardware sits unused, depreciating, and wasted. Yet some applications still face prohibitive costs in storage and bandwidth. And it is astonishingly difficult to preserve information for the long term.
We believe these problems can be fixed. We believe we can drastically improve how we store and use our information. We believe we should be able to control our data and our software. We believe that we can have a powerful, cheap, and decentralized information storage fabric, upon which we can safeguard our precious data, and build robust, long-lasting applications. This is what we set out to achieve with IPFS and Filecoin, and your support today brings us dramatically closer to turning this hopeful potential into practical reality.
The Filecoin Sale was a critical milestone in the lifetime of the project. It raised the funding necessary to grow our team, to create the network, and build all the software tools needed to operate and use the network. We are glad to close this chapter with great success, and we are excited and eager to return to what we do best: Building. We have a lot to build before the Filecoin mining software is ready, and we can launch the network.
In the coming months we will be focused on implementing the core parts of the Filecoin protocol, and some of the most important subcomponents (eg Proof-of-Replication, Proof-of-Spacetime). We will be continuing our research work, as outlined in our research roadmap. We will also be growing our team significantly. We will also explore the use of an RFP program. We want to involve lots of independent people and groups in developing the Filecoin network with us, and we think an RFP program can help organize that work (more on this later).
We plan to keep our investors and the broader community up to date with our development. We will be publishing periodic posts that cover various aspects of our work, and keep everyone informed on our progress. We will also make clear how to help us along the way.
Here’s where you can help us next: recruiting exceptionally talented people is one of the most important parts of any large scale endeavor. As we grow our excellent team, we will be bringing on more engineers, researchers, and so on. Please keep an eye on the roles we are searching for, as they’ll be changing over time. We seek brilliant people, located anywhere, who share our values and can help us achieve our mission. Maybe you’re one of those talented individuals, or maybe you know one and can refer them to us.
We are following up individually with investors who have contacted us, to ensure all transactions have been properly processed. If you are concerned you accidentally paid an incorrect amount, or if you have other questions or concerns, please reach out to us at email@example.com. We will put together an FAQ for all investors to see the answers to common questions.
As a reminder to investors and others, the Simple Agreement for Future Tokens (SAFT) you received is a financial instrument that will be fulfilled when you receive FIL tokens at network launch. As we near network launch, we will ask you to create a Filecoin wallet on which to place your tokens. Until then, the SAFT should be treated as a security (cannot be resold for 1 yr). More news in the months ahead. For now, simply hang on to your SAFTs.
Again, we share in the disappointment of many people out there who wanted to invest in the creation of Filecoin, but could not due to the accreditation requirement. We were just as frustrated by this, as we want the broadest base of supporters we can get. As a reminder, we were compelled to do this in order to conduct a legally compliant token pre-sale in the U.S. The conversation around US securities laws and their applicability to token sales has grown significantly lately. We will add to this in the near future with some documentation that discusses token pre-sales, clarifies what the SAFT is, how it works, and so on.
In the meantime, we want to remind all of those who could not participate that the goal is for Filecoin to be listed in the main exchanges at the time of network launch. A significant fraction of investor tokens will be sold then. Also, remember that the majority of tokens in the network will go to miners, so mining may be an even better way to get involved.
The token sale was a tremendous milestone for our team and community, but it’s just one step in the much larger vision for Filecoin: a decentralized, distributed storage network.
When the Filecoin Network launches, it will put the world’s hundreds of exabytes of unused storage to productive use. But this is about more than just storing data in more places. This is about making access to the world’s knowledge more secure, consistent, and fast across the globe, without fear of a centralized gatekeeper pulling the plug. It’s all possible through the peer-to-peer protocols of IPFS, which allow for encrypted transfer of data without a centralized hub acting as intermediary.
Filecoin success will reward the investment of supporters like you by simultaneously driving down the cost of storage and increasing the value of the Filecoin tokens that incentivize miners to provide storage. We’re thrilled by your widespread, enthusiastic interest and look forward to staying engaged and including you in our success. Your involvement is critical to our progress.
Thank you very much for your support,
The Filecoin Team