Mycelium, the mobile Bitcoin wallet favored by power users and local traders, will be running a crowdsale for the public to buy shares in the wallet and hopefully profit from future development.
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The crowdsale announcement coincided with another detailing a “radical upgrade” to the wallet itself by the end of this year, with a plug-in API for third-party developers to integrate their products with Mycelium, and support for all digital and even fiat assets.
These changes should make it a “full financial management suite,” allowing users to manage entire financial portfolios and even business operations.
Mycelium is best-known to Android users, though for a while there was also a stripped-down version of the app for iOS. There are currently over 200,000 users, half of whom may be in China.
The major version update announced today will be released for both Android and iOS simultaneously.
Mycelium’s Big Vision
Speaking to Bitcoin.com, Mycelium Product Manager Dmitry Murashchik detailed how and why the wallet product could make money:
We plan to make money through licensing and revenue sharing from third party plugins. Combine that with massive network effect, first mover advantage, and brand recognition, and we could be the Apple Appstore of cryptofinance.
The new version, when released, will make it one of the most (if not the most) comprehensive digital asset and financial management apps available. As value management becomes increasingly tied to our everyday social networks and interaction, Mycelium decided now is the time to launch itself into that category’s market leader position.
“Network effects here are extremely strong,” Murashchik added. “We didn’t want to be left behind.”
Buy ‘Shares’ in Mycelium Wallet
The crowdsale, in which customers pay in BTC to received Colu.co-based tokens on the Bitcoin blockchain, offers shares in the Mycelium wallet (though not its parent company Mycelium Holding) that may increase in value over time if the wallet’s value also grows.
The first round of the crowdsale will run May 1-18 and there is a 10% discount to those who register before May 1st.
The initial crowdsale covers a total 5% share of the Mycelium wallet, and the shares contained in this block will be non-dilutable. A further 20% share will be sold off at a later date, but shares in that block may be diluted.
Buyers will be able to “gift, resell or pledge” their shares any way they choose, or redeem to the company under certain conditions. In a month’s time, users will be able to manage their shares from within the Mycelium wallet itself.
The company is careful to note that a Colu.co token in the crowdsale is “not a security, are not listed, authorized, issued or traded on any regulated market.” The official name for the tokens is “Stock Appreciating Rights” (SARs). Buyers may remain anonymous. At some point in future, token owners may be able to convert them into class B shares of parent company Mycelium SIA (though identification would be required in that event).
‘Radical Upgrade’ to Mycelium Wallet
A key feature of the current Mycelium wallet is its integration with third-party services, including Locks, Cashila, Trezor, and Ledger. Up to now, integration of those services was done by Mycelium’s own developers, reducing the number that could be compatible.
The new, fully-redesigned version will be “as modular as possible” with a plug-in API allowing external businesses and developers to add their own services and features. This should markedly increase the number of functions available through the Mycelium interface, while allowing Mycelium’s own developers to focus on Bitcoin development, UI, trade functions and security. Murashchik said:
We got frustrated with being distracted by business partners wanting to implement their services, with no easy way to do it other than have our own devs work on it directly.
Mycelium also wants to become an all-round financial management app. Support will expand from Bitcoin to any kind of digital currency or asset – and then even further to include non-digital assets like stocks, tickets, or hotel keys.
In its announcement, Mycelium added that the software would include tools for anyone from individual users to those running large businesses, essentially becoming like Quickbooks or Mint.
“The new app, besides helping you manage various assets, will let you perform a large number of financial management functions, from creating, tracking, and paying invoices, to tracking budgets, revenues and expenses, profits and losses, inventory, and customer and contact lists.”
There would also be support for fully-encrypted communications between users and social media integration.
It’s is also working to release other products and services for Bitcoin users, including the Mycelium Card Network, an entire card-based digital payment network.
Do you think a crowdsale of shares is a good way for bitcoin startups to raise funds? How likely are you to participate in this one?
Images courtesy of Mycelium, aprfinder.com, computerweekly.com