A crypto entrepreneur named Alex Masmej, who has past experience in developing and contributing to decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms, has conducted what is possibly the first human initial public offering (IPO) using the Ethereum blockchain. Specifically, USD 20,000 of $ALEX tokens were sold, and whoever holds these tokens will receive a share of 15% of Masmej’s income over the next three years. Masmej says the funds raised in this human IPO will be used to develop and launch a DeFi startup.
Essentially, $ALEX tokens will pay a dividend based on how much money Masmej makes over the next three years, and the tokens can also be bought and sold for profit like any other cryptocurrency.
Overall, the human IPO that Masmej held is a creative new way to personally crowdfund money, and it seems likely many more human IPOs will follow. Further, this new method for raising money could be particularly helpful amid the Coronavirus pandemic, since multitudes of people have lost their jobs and are desperately in need of money.
All of this being said, it is unclear if human IPOs like the one Masmej conducted are in violation of securities regulations. It is possible that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will crack down on human IPOs if they start becoming widespread.