Taiwanese Blockchain Startup Bitmark Raises $1.7M to Establish Property Rights for User-Generated Content and Data

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Taiwan-based Blockchain startup for digital property Bitmark has announced a hefty seed funding round of $1.7M led by Cherubic Ventures — with other investors including WI Harper and Digital Currency Group.

Bitmark is the first opportunity for individuals to affirm ownership of the digital assets they create, post online in blogs and through social networks and platforms. Its users establish ownership claims by issuing property titles, or “Bitmarks,” for user-generated content and data. The combination of a Bitmark and a digital asset creates a digital property. Issuing a Bitmark for a digital asset asserts an exclusive ownership claim.  

Bitmark is a radically new perspective on property, ownership, and the value of creation. When it comes to property rights, we still rely on ancient systems of deeds and titles to establish ownership for real property, which have been retrofitted to accommodate intellectual property. With the advent of digital assets — from music, films and books to computer code, digital art, individual user-generated data and metadata — the system is irrelevant.

“Every human being is a creator of something,” says Sean Moss-Pultz, CEO of Bitmark Inc. “Each day millions of us give away what we create and our personal data for free to entities that are profiting from it, and we don’t get a cut because we can’t claim ownership over it. Other times, it loses its context because it is orphaned by the hands inside the internet. These entities would have us think what we create has no value. The notion of property rights in the digital environment is not yet defined. Bitmark changes that notion by giving each of us property rights to our data. You have to own it to make sure that value is clear.”

A Bitmark can easily be sold or transferred through a secure peer-to-peer system using bitcoin or credit cards. Bitmark lets individuals exercise their freedoms and rights as owners to safely and confidently participate in the emerging data economy.

“What is so exciting about Bitmark is how vastly it can reshape our digital economy,” says Matt Cheng from Cherubic Ventures. “If you could put your stamp of ownership on everything you created and suddenly there was no disputing that it was yours, wouldn’t you?”

“There is so much that people create digitally which has impact beyond a dollar value,” says Edward Liu, Partner at WI Harper Group. “Attributions are not enough. What we see now in the digital space is standardized content which cannot be traced back to the original owner; this impacts value in culture and trade. Property rights in the digital world are missing. Bitmarks provide embedded ownership certificates. This is visionary and will usher in necessary change that millions of people will welcome.”

Barry Silbert, CEO of Digital Currency Group said:

“We stand at the epicenter of the bitcoin and Blockchain industry, and we are excited to see the Bitmark team using this transformative technology to address fundamental questions about data ownership and monetization. Bitmark is the perfect addition to our global family of DCG companies and is developing an innovative solution to a problem that individuals, organizations, and institutions have been struggling to address.”

Bitmark is a Blockchain startup defining property for the digital environment by enabling issuance of property titles for digital assets. As the facilitating network for ownership and stewardship of personal digital ecologies, Bitmark embraces creators and digital environmentalists vying for a healthy internet and Internet of Things. Get involved at https://Bitmark.com.

Cherubic Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm providing seed capital to talented entrepreneurs with the passion and dedication to pursue bold dreams. Founded by angel investor Matt Cheng in 2010, Cherubic Ventures has invested in 100+ companies in Silicon Valley and the greater China. Their portfolio companies have collectively raised over $1 billion follow-on financing.

Founded in 1993, WI Harper Group is a global leader in cross-border early stage venture investing between the United States and Asia. The firm manages US $1B in committed capital and has made over 300 investments with more than 80 exits. The firm maintains three offices in San Francisco, Taipei, and Beijing with over 20 investment professionals.

Digital Currency Group builds and supports bitcoin and Blockchain companies by leveraging its insights, network, and access to capital. Based in New York City, DCG operates 3 companies including Genesis Trading, Grayscale, and CoinDesk, and has been an active seed investor in the digital currency industry with over 90 investments in nearly 25 countries. Learn more at www.dcg.co or follow @DCGCo for updates on DCG and its dynamic community.

About Richard Kastelein

Founder of industry publication Blockchain News, partner at ICO services collective CryptoAsset Design Group (helped raise over $200m+), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) and ICO event organiser at leading industry event  CryptoFinancing (first ICO event in Europe) – Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of half a dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1200 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat.
 
Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London, Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, San Mateo, Shanghai,Tel Aviv and Venice. His network is global and extensive.
 
He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He’s written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French.
 
A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein’s professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he’s travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world.
 
In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Seas’ travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he’s raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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