Harvard is venturing into cryptocurrency territory.
Schools and Crypto Are Becoming “Friendlier”
The ivy league institute’s endowment is showing support for Blockstack Inc., a cryptocurrency company that is looking to hold a digital-token offering worth roughly $50 million in the coming weeks. Harvard Management – along with two additional investors – have already purchased over 95 million tokens, which comes to about $11.5 million.
Blockstack has already filed its motion for a token offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Granted the motion is approved, Blockstack claims it will be the first “SEC-approved token offering of its kind.”
The token filing reads:
The token advisory board consists of seven members. Three of the members, Charlie Saravia, Zavain Dar and Rodolfo Gonzalez are designees of affiliates of the Harvard Management Company, Lux Capital and Foundation Capital, respectively, limited partners of the QP Fund which have purchased an aggregate of 95,833,333 Stacks Tokens. The board also consists of four independent members: Koen Langendoen, Arvind Narayanan, Arianna Simpson and Catherine Tucker.
Blockstack’s tokens work as an “accounting mechanism.” They keep track of and prove the economic stake of a holder’s private keys and their value in the Blockstack Network. Blockstack was developed by data scientists at Princeton – another ivy league school – and allows users to build applications for developing and storing documents on the company platform.
The filing also states:
We anticipate that the offering of Stacks Tokens through each of the voucher program, general offering and App Mining program will commence within two calendar days after the offering statement in which this offering circular is included has been qualified by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission… The offering under the voucher program and the general offering will continue for 28 calendar days following the commencement of this offering.
Harvard isn’t the only university to invest its time and funds into crypto. Yale was among the first educational institutes to make a move into crypto in 2018, suggesting that digital currencies are inching closer towards mainstream status. Many institutional players have been slow to invest their money into cryptocurrencies, fearing issues related to money-laundering and lagging regulations, though this has slowly changed over the past 12 months.
Solidifying the Sale
The filing further explains:
There is no minimum number of Stacks Tokens that we must sell to conduct a closing in this offering. We intend to engage an escrow agent (or agents) to hold funds and cryptocurrency tendered by investors. Payment for tokens sold through the cash offering will be accepted on a rolling basis during the term of the cash offering. However, we expect the issuance of the Stacks tokens sold in the cash offering to occur approximately 60 days following the commencement of this offering, at which time we will receive the funds from the Escrow Agents and issue the Stacks Tokens to investors.