ICO: The Acorn Collective Re-Democratizing Crowdfunding

Analysis

The Acorn Collective is looking to re-democratize the world of crowdfunding by crowdfunding it. They are looking to raise $50m USD so that they can develop a regulatory compliant platform that will help new projects succeed, and they have pledged to only discriminate against projects that raise legal or ethical concerns.

The Acorn Collective

The Acorn Collective believes that, in practice, internet-based technology has failed to democratize crowdfunding. They believe that developing countries and new ideas are restricted by the need for existing platforms to generate profits for outside shareholders.

Their solution — an almost free-to-use platform where the community decides which projects to fund.

Why on the Blockchain? Why an ICO?

An ICO removes the need for outside investors so there is no obligation for the Acorn Collective to generate profits for shareholders. This means that there is no need to discriminate against projects that are deemed less likely to be profitable. In theory, this means that creative or non-profit initiatives could also be supported by the platform if there are people who believe in and are willing to support the idea — which is, of course, entirely the point of crowdfunding.

Using the blockchain also cuts the costs of transaction and platform fees (Typically 5% and 3-5% respectively). Usually, these fees would be a significant drain on startups, but ICO funding will allow the Acorn Collective to all but eradicate them.

The Acorn Collective’s token (OAK)

The OAK token is an ERC-20 utility token and will run on the Ethereum blockchain. It will power the Acorn Collective’s marketplace and reward the network’s users as the project grows. The token will be made available for purchase through an ICO, and holders will be able to use OAK to fund/start projects, access support, and for point-of-sale transactions on the Acorn Collective’s marketplace.

The target is to raise $50m USD with a minimum threshold set at $5m. If the goal isn’t reached, all participants will receive a refund.

The pre-sale has already sold out, and the main ICO will be live from April 28th to May 28th.

The Marketplace

The Acorn marketplace will be a post-campaign platform where successfully funded projects can list goods and services. This platform will be free for Acorn founders, but innovative third-party products will be accepted for a small commission, adding value to the market, founders, and the OAK token in the form of increased utility.

The marketplace will facilitate transactions in fiat and OAK with the expectation that OAK will naturally become the preferred currency due to the far lower transaction costs.

Review

The white paper goes into far more depth when discussing the Acorn ecosystem and warrants further investigation. You can also read up on their plans to ensure legal and regulatory compliance, and how they plan to stand out amongst their competitors.

The Acorn Collective may be just what crowdfunding market needs if they stay true to their pledge — to uphold the spirit of decentralization by never refusing a startup based on commercial viability, level of creativity and innovation, or any other subjective elements of a business.

Michael is an English and Creative writing graduate of Liverpool John Moore’s University, a former editor of several magazines, and a crypto-currency enthusiast. He is mostly interested in crypto-legislation and the potential of decentralized technology to change the world.

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