Decentralized token exchange AirSwap has concluded a $20 million presale ahead of its public token distribution event. The AirSwap ICO is expected to raise a combined total of more than $30 million.
China’s recent ban on cryptocurrency exchanges highlighted the need for decentralized markets that guarantee user privacy and can not be shut down by hostile regulators. AirSwap, a project backed by venture production studio ConsenSys, aims to leverage ethereum-based smart contracts to develop a decentralized, peer-to-peer ERC20 token trading platform.
AirSwap joins several other decentralized exchange projects, including EtherDelta. But whereas EtherDelta manages traders’ balances with a smart contract, AirSwap functions more like a decentralized search engine to help traders find one another and swap tokens over a peer-to-peer protocol.
The exchange index is public and traders can browse it for free, but they will need AirSwap tokens (AST) to signal their “intent to trade” to the exchange index. After signaling intent, a certain amount of AST will be locked for a set period of time. AST also give traders voting power to manage certain conditions within the trading platform, such as the amount of AST that must be locked when posting a trade request in the index.
“For both the security and peace of mind of doing atomic swaps on the blockchain with zero counterparty risk will be a revelation to many. This represents a seachange in how various kinds of exchange will operate in the future. 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,” says Joseph Lubin, Founder of ConsenSys and member of AirSwap’s Board of Advisors.
The AirSwap ICO opened to high-volume buyers during August and September, and the company reports they sold more than 70% of the tokens allocated to the ICO — worth more than $20 million — during this phase of the distribution event. Consequently, it appears likely the main phase of the AirSwap ICO will reach its hard cap of 42,000 ETH, bringing the total funds raised above $32 million, according to present exchange rates.