July 2016, Waves exploded the internet by raising 29,445 BTC in an ICO. However, Waves isn’t the only decentralized crowdfunding platform: there are lots of them, including Fundonomy, NXT, and Wings. Most of them operate globally, however, there are some exceptions like Starbase, a Singapore-based platform with Japanese roots, which is to launch its ICO on May 1st, 2017.
ForkLog contacted the project’s founder Tomoaki Sato to find out more about Starbase.
FL: In brief, what’s Starbase about?
Tomoaki Sato: Starbase is a token-based global platform for crowdfunding and crowdsourcing.
FL: How would it work?
Tomoaki Sato: Starbase supports token issuance, sales and payments for innovative startups around the globe. Those startups may issue and distribute their tokens without any knowledge of blockchain. Their supporters, like investors or employees, may also help them having no blockchain expertise.
FL: You’re going to issue cryptotokens for startups and companies, right? What are those tokens in legal sense?
Tomoaki Sato: Cryptotokens are understood differently in different countries, but generally they will be treated as software products.
FL: They do resemble shares, don’t they? How would you solve legal issues?
Tomoaki Sato: We asked a Switzerland-based legal company to tackle the issue. Regulations are likely to change, yet our goal remains the same, which is to provide startups with collaborative environment for fast and inexpensive growth.
FL: Who can use your platform for fundraising, and who is eligible for such crowdfunding?
Tomoaki Sato: Those companies who provide data on their business, technology and teams are eligible for crowdfunding via Starbase. Public token sales require that they undergo due diligence at Starbase or one of our partners acting on our behalf. Their supporters will be able to buy respective tokens for bitcoins or ethers. We also intend to accept Waves.Our present partners are XNode and Takumi Innovators in China, yet we intend to expand the list. Venture capitalists or incubators also run their due diligence.
FL: What are you going to check with due diligence?
Tomoaki Sato: We’ll check whether the developers actually prepare the project for a crowdsale, who they are, and so on. Prior to proceeding with work, any team may provide a business overview, issue a whitepaper, or make a presentation. We formally check them, and future investors may find all info on our website.
Starbase will also provide 2 of 3 multisig wallet for escrow purpose. Three keys will be held by the company, Starbase and legal partner accordingly.
If a startup can develop what they promise, Starbase will sign to release a part of escrowed money. If not and law firm also consider they cannot make, Starbase will sign to return the escrow money to investors with law firm.
FL: How long will it take you to release your product after the ICO?
Tomoaki Sato: Q4 2017, we are going to launch the product and make STAR token transferrable. Here’s our schedule.
FL: What are your target markets?
Tomoaki Sato: Mainly it’s China, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Russia, not the U.S.
FL: How are you going to compete with somewhat similar projects like Waves, NXT or BnkToTheFuture?
Tomoaki Sato: We make an app that uses blockchain together with other technologies. We render services to innovative startups and players willing to support such innovations. Mainly we use Ethereum blockchain with some additions of other reliable technologies that ensure the best experience for innovative startups around the world. Such startups may have no idea of blockchain, or they may have no desire to accept bitcoin/ETH payments, introduce token issuance, or implement wallets and rewards, yet they want to use efficient incentive sharing and crowdfunding features that blockchain may offer.
Waves has their own blockchain, yet Sasha told me they were planning to launch ETHWaves, so I consider implementing this thing in year two of our operations. However, our main goal is bitcoin, Ethereum payments, and ETH token issuance.
BnkToTheFuture is a crowdfunding platform, it’s great for investors, but our audience also includes engineers and designers. I’m sure one of the changes powered by blockchain is giving engineers an opportunity to deal with financial world and expertise, and making the best use of it. So, I think that, after all, engineers may become investors, while investors will engineer.
FL: Why did you decide to build your platform on Ethereum? How do you plan to solve the scalability problem and other technical issues? Are you going to use Ethereum Classic as well?
Tomoaki Sato: As for now, Ethereum provides the most liquid, transparent and convenient assets. We may select a blockchain that has already been scaled. Generally speaking, tokens are but an information like from whom, to whom, and how much. Conditions related to the tokens may be transferred from a non-scalable blockchain to a scalable one. We don’t use Classic in order to avoid confusion among users.