NEW YORK, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Nervos Network, an open source public blockchain project, said on Wednesday it had raised $72 million in a public sale of its tokens last month, one of the more significant fund raises this year in the cryptocurrency space.
The project aims to solve the biggest challenges currently facing blockchains like bitcoin and ethereum. Blockchain, which first emerged as the system powering bitcoin, is a shared database maintained by a network of computers.
After the collapse of cryptocurrency prices in 2018, the focus shifted to blockchain companies developing projects for financial services and the corporate world overall.
Nervos Network sold its tokens to the public through Coinlist, a licensed and compliant token offering platform.
Several institutions participated in the sale, Nervos said, including China Merchants Bank International (CMBI), Polychain Capital, Blockchain Capital, Hashkey Capital, MultiCoin Capital, and Distributed Global.
The public token sale ran from Oct 16-Oct 24.
China Merchants Bank's participation in the token sale comes amid Chinese President Xi Jinping's message a few weeks ago to embrace blockchain technology, saying the country needed to take advantage of the opportunities the technology provides.
Nervos also announced on Wednesday the launch to the public of its open-sourced network, or mainnet called "Lina." It added that miners and developers are able to participate and utilize the network starting Nov. 16.
"The launch means that the promised blockchain is ready," Kevin Wang, co-founder of Nervos, told Reuters in a phone interview, in a project that started two years ago.
Nervos said its blockchain allows developers and enterprises to launch products and services on it without trading off security and decentralization for speed and scalability.
Proceeds from the token offering will go towards engineering and research and development needed to maintain, upgrade, and grow the Nervos project.
"First-generation blockchains like bitcoin and ethereum paved the way by showing us what's possible," Wang said. "Nervos was built on their learnings but it's now up to us and our community to solve the problems of tomorrow as blockchain adoption is brought to the masses."
The tokens will be made available when Nervos' public blockchain is launched.
Nervos last year raised $28 million in a private sale of its token to institutional investors. (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Bernadette Baum)