Hong Kong-based 'curated' digital asset exchange Melotic has secured a $1.175m seed-funding round led by Ceyuan Ventures, with additional backing from Lightspeed China, Barry Silbert's Bitcoin Opportunity Corp, 500 Startups, and venture capitalist Marc Van Der Chijs.
Melotic founder and CEO Jack Wang told CoinDesk the company will use the funds to expand both its team and operations.
Melotic's goal is to "build a liquid multi-asset exchange to facilitate conversions between numerous digital assets". This includes altcoins, application-specific 'appcoins', asset-backed tokens, and other digital assets bound to arrive in future.
The name Melotic derives from the word "lotic", which means 'living in flowing water' – a reference to the liquidity the company plans to offer.
People are using bitcoin technology for crowdfunding, appcoins, and many other applications, Wang said, and Melotic aims to be the liquidity provider for these assets.
"There are unlimited possibilities for decentralized ledgers and token-based applications, and we think a key part of this infrastructure is to provide price discovery and liquidity in these assets."
Wang believes that digital tokens will be used in numerous applications beyond just financial products. He cited potential applications such as digital rights management, application permission systems, and merchant rewards programs as some examples.
The company does not deal with any fiat currencies and does not sell bitcoins. With its 'curation' of listed assets it aims to be something more discerning than the broader tents of other cryptocurrency markets out there.
The aim is not to necessarily compete with other exchanges on volumes, Wang said, but rather to focus on specific assets, and to also work directly with asset issuers to help them build their services.
There are some digital assets that won't have large trading volumes, but have interesting features and active communities, Wang said. For example, the Let's Talk Bitcoin podcast network's LTBCoin is an example of the type of new micro-economy that can be built around a custom token.
Melotic currently evaluates assets on a case-by-case basis, looking at an asset's unique features, market value, community involvement, and developer engagement as some key characteristics.
"For most of these altcoins and appcoins, it's important that we see active developer and user communities. For other assets, such as our gold-backed token, we make sure to work with reputable, professional partners."
Melotic seeks to become an exchange partner with other digital asset projects it finds interesting. Recently it teamed up with DigitalTangible, which has created a system for customers to buy and store physical gold, trading on its value with bitcoin.
While Melotic has already been online for a couple of months, it has remained low-key with a limited number of users while the team fine-tunes its interface design and backend infrastructure.
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