Etch token sale — self-imposed hurdles

(The Etch token presale will go live on the 28th of June at 18:00 GMT — Ethereum block 3947629 — go to )

Colin Jackson, the great Welsh hurdle Olympic champion had ten hurdles to jump. We have five. But ours are higher and are most definitely not in a straight line!

Hurdle №1 — UK citizens or companies only

Billions of pounds of wealth has been created since the launch of Ether, the fuel for Ethereum. Hence why “ICOs” have become so popular over the last year. But receiving money from various jurisdiction around the world sounds like trouble to me. We all live in the UK, Etch will be launched targeted at the UK construction industry. It has UK written all over it.

Hurdle №2 — Full KYC

We really want to know who our customers are. In fact, for the pre-sale we will only sell tokens to people we know personally, or is known within our network.

Hurdle №3 — Limit to 40 ETH per person in the first 24 hours

The N.O.M.A.N. community is all about helping each other. It is quite normal to see laptops out at the meetup discussing ideas, or fixing code. And therefore, this pre-sale and a bonus of 50% is my way to say “thank you”. Therefore, the 40 ETH limit will allow everybody who wants to buy, a chance to do so. It is then unlimited to the end of the sale.

Hurdle №4 — You can only send 20% of your ETH

The investment world has something called: “sophisticated investors”. To qualify you must demonstrate enough liquid assets or income. You are then eligible to buy into certain type of investment such as IPOs. Wallets on the blockchain are transparent. We can check this. I think this is a good practice to make sure that nobody is spending their rent money on our tokens.

Hurdle №5–100% of tokens will go to the investors

Not as much of a hurdle, but it does raise an eyebrow or two. I think this industry needs to protect investors better and reward founders only on success. I am not a fan of “putting founders tokens on ice”. And in the spirit of “eating our own dogfood” we have come up with a system called “Teepee” where tokens will only be issued to us founders in line with the increase in market cap of ETCH. More about Teepee soon.

But why?


Selling tokens to anybody, in any jurisdictions, is fine until it goes wrong. I have no idea how that would unravel itself. The regulators are sitting back scratching their heads. I understand UK law to some extent, and if stuck I seem to have acquired a number of solicitors / barrister and heck, even court judges as friends over the years (I live practically next door to one).


I have three. I have to think about their future. Visiting me in jail every other weekend doesn’t seem like fun. (see above — legal)


Etch is the first “app” be launched as part of the “Construction Blockchain Consortium” see . I have over 20 years experience in the construction industry and I know this technology quite well. And to me, obviously Etch kind of makes sense. But Etch is a starting point that requires further investigation, and this is what the consortium will give us. A platform to test in the real world.

Team (in order of when I first met them)

Denis Lukianov — I met Denis at an Ethereum meetup in January 2015. He told me had just written his own blockchain in 5,000 lines of code. I bought him a drink. And then another. Although he was born in Russia he did his GCSEs in Bangor, North Wales, and could speak Welsh “dipyn bach”. I was speechless. I made a mental note to add him to my team one day. Over the years I’ve presented him with a number of “blockchain ideas” only for him to pull out his gatling gun and shoot them down. Etch was the first time he said: “sounds like we should do that”.

Ben Whyte — I’ve been running the N.O.M.A.N. blockchain meetup for over two years. Back in 2015 this young “recruiter” in a sharp suite walked in and said, basically: “Can I have all your blockchain contacts, especially the devs…” I explain to him that this is not how things work — you need to put the time to get to know the community, and build trust… Well this is exactly what Ben did. Ben has been one of the pillars of the N.O.M.A.N. community always willing to help me, and others, along their journey.

Mihai Cimpoesu — I was introduced to Mihai as the guy who won an Ethereum hackathon against the core Ethereum team. Naturally, he became my first choice as the CTO for my future project. I lost him for a while to Thomson Reuters that gave him an offer that he could not refuse. But I won him back with Etch. Mihai is a family man, and wants to do this right. His calmness and rigorous attention to detail makes him a great smart contract writer, and a great CTO for Etch.

Tomasz Mloduchowski — It took organising 25 meetups to find Tomasz. That night I gave him my “elevator pitch” on how, due to my background in construction I was going to fix the problem of payments — or non-payments in that industry. What I did not know at the time was Tomasz was the technical lead for the Construction Blockchain Consortium. Members read like “who’s who” in the construction world — all willing to embrace blockchain technology. Tomasz will share the CTO role with Mihai.

Joshua Richardson — If ever there was a stereotypical criteria for a tech-hacker, Joshua ticks all the boxes. He works 19 hours a day and does not sleep. Although he is the “apprentice” in our tech team I have a feeling that very soon he will be punching on the same level as his “masters”. Oh, he does all this and somehow manages to fit in a degree course, too.

George McDonaugh — Although not technically in the “day-to-day” running of the team, George has been instrumental in making Etch a reality. I first met George at my very first Ethereum meetup. I could tell by the way he moved seat to include me in the discussion that he was a good guy. And it was to George and Rupert who are part of Kryptonite I went to sell pre-pre-tokens in Etch. George has a “seat on the board” kind of role, and is one of the guardians of the Etch token sale wallet.

Hang on to your seats!