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Crypto Trading Company Aurox Rejects Private Token Sale, Ready to Go Public

If it follows through with its plans, it would become one of the few publicly traded cryptocurrency firms.

3 min read
Let's make a deal. Image: Shutterstock

In brief

  • Aurox is a cryptocurrency trading terminal.
  • It aims to go public in 2022.

There are plenty of publicly traded cryptocurrency firms in the U.S. But nearly all of them, aside from Coinbase, are dedicated to Bitcoin mining.

Aurox, a crypto trading terminal that wants to make decentralized finance transactions as easy as Robinhood made stock purchases, is ready to join them. According to an announcement today, the company is in advanced talks to go public this year, though for legal reasons it's tight-lipped about whether that will be through a SPAC, reverse merger, or other vehicle.

Aurox isn't an exchange. Rather, it's a web and mobile app that connects to over 60 exchanges and 10,000 trading pairs, using analytics tools such as the Aurox Indicator and the Fear and Greed Index to guide day traders—some of them beginners to the crypto space—on their transactions. The goal is to help users make "profitable trades" by giving them access to better data.

But Aurox, which has been completely self-funded to date, isn't currently profitable itself. In a bid to scale up its user base, the company has been temporarily giving free access to its platform. That's had the effect of boosting user numbers from around 500 at the start of last year to just under 60,000 today, CEO Giogi Khazaradze told Decrypt in an interview. "A lot of that has been through word of mouth," he said.

Now the company needs funding to fulfill its mission. Though Aurox has its own utility token, URUS, through its associated DeFi lending protocol, Khazaradze said the team ruled out a private token sale that would give it a cash infusion. "We've always been very specific with our users that [venture capitalists] aren't involved in our token, and we don't want them involved in our token," he said.

A blog post announcing the news paints a bleak picture of how it sees private investment: "Crypto companies sell tokens privately in order to raise the capital they need to grow. Then the private investors dump the tokens in order to lock in their investment. The community is destroyed in the process."

While other companies have addressed this issue with vesting periods or other mechanisms, Aurox's philosophy is pretty clear: Keep the token focused on users of the platform.

Going public, on the other hand, gives it access to an abundance of liquidity. Plus, said Khazaradze, it comes with publicity, especially given the dearth of similar companies on U.S. stock exchanges: "By leading that charge, we're hoping to get a lot of eyes on our company, as well as potential future investments from the capital market."

It's a community that appreciates guidance in a crypto landscape that's often indecipherable to newcomers. The Coinbase app has brought newcomers into crypto trading by abstracting away a lot of the more technical aspects; newbies just have to "buy" or "sell"—though they can scale up to Coinbase Pro for more advanced functions.

However, decentralized finance, the sector of blockchain-based tools that allow people to swap, borrow, or accumulate yield without going through an intermediary, generally remains mystifying due to a more complicated user experience and intimidating interfaces. 

Khazaradze said Aurox is up for the challenge of bringing DeFi and decentralized tools to the masses, though it won't be easy.

"We want to get our applications into the hands of people that have never used decentralized applications and potentially never will because of how complex that is right now," said Khazaradze. "So we want to simplify their user experience by making it complex for us and harder for us to develop the backend."

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