The BlockTV media venture of Moshe Hogeg, the controlling shareholder in venture capital fund Singulariteam and the Beitar Jerusalem soccer club, is preparing for an initial coin offering, supervised by a cryptocurrency exchange, for its digital currency (ticker symbol – BLTV), in which it will attempt to raise $6 million. BLOCKTV says that its coins will be based on Ethereum blockchain technology (ERC-20 standard).
BlockTV is a video website, launched in early 2019, that broadcasts programs and stories with content from the blockchain and cryptocurrency industries. The content is produced at BlockTV’s studios in the Amot Atrium Tower in Ramat Gan. The private Israeli company that holds BlockTV is Alignment Media, part of the Alignment group, which is fully owned by Singulariteam, headed by Moshe Hogeg and his Kazakh partner, Kenges Rakishev. The Alignment group is described as Singulariteam’s blockchain group. Alignment Media has a Cyprus-registered subsidiary that is responsible for managing the ICO.
BlockTV’s 30 employees include content personnel, technicians, producers, and marketing and sales staff. The company CEO is Aviram Elad, who resigned as editor-in-chief of the Walla! website in August 2018, and was appointed manager of Hogeg’s television venture.
According to BlockTV’s announcement, the BLTV coins to be issued by Alignment Media will be listed for trading on the Bittrex Global cryptocurrency exchange, which operates from Lichtenstein, starting on November 21. This exchange allows trading for customers from most countries, other than the US and countries against which sanctions are in force. 600 million digital coins will be offered in the ICO, which BlockTV says represent 20% of the three billion BLTV coins in existence. The other 80% of the coins will be completely locked for 12 months, during which trading in them will not be possible. Packets of coins will be distributed daily during the ensuing 12-month vesting period.
The price being sought for the BlockTV’s coin in the ICO is being set by the company at $0.01 per unit. The offering will therefore raise $6 million if all 600 million coins are purchased at the asking price. This price reflects a potential market value of $30 million for BLTV coins.
Heavy losses for previous ICO investors
BlockTV is not Moshe Hogeg’s first venture to offer a digital coin. Stox raised $33 million in an ICO in 2017 for the purpose of establishing a platform of blockchain-based market forecasting. In late 2017, Sirin Labs raised $158 million in an ICO in order to develop the Finney blockchain smartphone, which includes a cryptocurrencies wallet.
As reported by “Globes,” however, investors in these two coins suffered heavy losses. The coins of both Sirin Labs (ticker symbol: SRN) and Stox (ticker symbol: STX) lost over 99% of their peak value, and show no signs of recovery to this day.
According to the “white paper” published by BlockTV ahead of its upcoming ICO, the allocation of the coins will be divided as follows: 47% of the coins will be allocated to a reserve, 20% to sale, 17% to the BlockTV team, 14% to strategic partners and marketing, and 2% to consultants. The document shows that the proceeds obtained from the sale of the coins will be used for content creation and productions (40%), research and development (20%), sales and marketing (20%), and management and general expenses (20%).
In addition to financing for the website’s needs, BlockTV hopes to achieve several other goals with the help of its digital currency. According to the company website, it plans to expand its activity to additional coverage beyond the blockchain industry and cryptocurrencies market to include a broad range of technology industries. BlockTV also plans to launch studios in New York and Asia next year, in addition to the studio in Israel.
BLTV coins are designed as a means of payment for advertising, subscriptions, premium content, participation in business events, and other services on the website’s platform.
Cool responses in the blockchain community
A BlockTV management source told “Globes,” “The idea behind the ICO is to create a triangle of media, advertising, and viewing. Our model is built so that viewers receive coins after proving that they watched advertising (quick response (QR) code images). Viewers can then use the coins to influence and be partners in the content on the platform through voting power, expressing a videoed opinion, determining the broadcasting schedule, etc.”
There were quite a few cool responses to the ICO announcement in the Israeli blockchain community. “In my opinion, BlockTV needs this move, which will probably not produce a single cent, in order to market the company to an external investor who will inject money, instead of Moshe Hogeg,” a source familiar with the website’s activity told “Globes.” “It is designed to give the package a technology wrapping with a cryptocurrency or blockchain gimmick.”
A BlockTV management source told “Globes” that several million dollars had been invested to date in founding and operating the website. The source added, “We see great potential in the company’s growth, which is also where the ICO potential comes from.”
Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on November 10, 2019
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