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Portland-­based startup Chroma announced the launch of Chroma.fund, the nation’s first blockchain-­enabled IPO platform, as well as the world’s first “Blockchain IPO.” Chroma.fund uses a Bitcoin­-based cryptocurrency similar to technology being used by NASDAQ to issue digital certificates for stocks on bonds issued on its platform — but instead of augmenting Wall St. systems, Chroma.fund is using its blockchain technology to build a new stock exchange for the millions of small businesses that aren’t large enough to be listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ.

“Large corporations have for years benefitted from their ability to raise money directly from the public. But smaller businesses are forced to rack up credit card bills and bank loans in order to get their dream off the ground. As of today, your local coffee roaster may use Chroma.fund to raise investment from their customers and community,” said Marcus Estes, CEO and co­founder of Chroma.fund. “This movement will reshape the entire American economy.”

The first five companies conducting “mini­-IPOs” on Chroma.fund are: FUSE Comics, ​a new digital comics imprint by the Pander Brothers, a cult­famous duo who have created work for Marvel, DC and Dark Horse Comics. Baams Away VR,​ a colorful, easy to play animated game that is one of the first wave of games designed for next year’s Virtual­ Reality headsets.

EggDrop,​ a monthly subscription box for kids who love blind bags, blind boxes, surprise eggs and surprise toys of any kind! Publication Studio,​ a print-­on-­demand small press publisher that highlights titles that have been previously censored by the market. The Tannery, ​an Eastside Portland neighborhood bar offering craft cocktails, a well curated selection of artisanal spirits, beer and wine, completed by a tasty bar menu. While some of these companies are selling shares in exchange for an equity stake in the business, several have opted to use a ChromaCoin™ bond — a new financial instrument instrument invented by Chroma.fund.

These bonds allow investors to own a future percentage of revenue generated by the business. The ChromaCoin bond is designed for the millions of small businesses that don’t rely on startup economics – like fast growth with intent to sell – to serve their customers. Chroma.fund users invest with US dollars, but instead of receiving a paper stock certificate, users are instead issued a ChromaCoin — a tiny fraction of a single Bitcoin, worth less than a penny.

This ChromaCoin serves as a counterfeit­-proof record of ownership of the stocks and bonds purchased on Chroma.fund. Chroma.fund is working with the state of Oregon who have granted them permission to faciliate the sale of stocks and bonds issued by Oregon­-based companies to Oregon investors. Chroma.fund expects to launch nationwide next year. Chroma.fund is empowering a new class of investors to grow their local economies and take part in a future where small businesses, start­ups, and creative projects are all able to “go public” — without relying on Wall Street institutions.

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Founder of Blockchain News and The Hackitarians Foundation, Richard Kastelein is an award winning publisher and editor, hackathon organiser and entrepreneur. He has written over 700 articles at Blockchain News, has a massive network in the Blockchain arena and is available as a speaker and consultant. (richard@the-blockchain.com) Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on technology at events in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Belfast, Berlin, Brussels, Brighton, Copenhagen, Cannes, Cologne, Curacao, Frankfurt, Gdansk, Hollywood, Hilversum, Geneva, Groningen, London, Las Vegas, Leipzig, Madrid, Melbourne, NYC, Oxford, Rio de Janeiro, Sheffield, San Francisco, San Jose, Sydney, Tallinn, Vienna, and Zurich. A Creative Technologist & Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) his career began in the Native Press (Canadian Arctic) and he later spent a decade in the Caribbean media. Currently, he writes occasionally for Wired Insights, Guardian & Virgin and his articles have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German & French.