Business blockchain startup SophiaTX finally kicked off its initial coin offering (ICO) on Thursday.
SophiaTX had originally scheduled its ICO for Tuesday, but the project had to press pause on those plans due to extreme congestion in the Ethereum network. As been widely reported, the network has struggled to keep up with demand for what is currently its most popular application: a Neopets-style game called CryptoKitties that lets users breed — and sell — adorable cartoon cats.
And as adorable as these cats are, they have become big business. As of the time of writing, users had bought and sold more than $8.5 million worth of kittens, and four had sold for more than $100,000 each.
The CryptoKitties frenzy has turned into a serious headache for many ethereum users. Since CryptoKitties launched, the number of unconfirmed ethereum transactions has begun to pile up into a growing backlog, causing significant delays and a spike in the average transaction fee.
SophiaTX had not planned for this scenario — an incident no one could have foreseen even two weeks ago — so the company was forced to delay its ICO by 48 hours while it grappled with how best to handle the precarious situation.
SophiaTX CEO Jaroslav Kacina used the incident as an opportunity to demonstrate the perceived need for an enterprise-dedicated blockchain.
”The recent incident demonstrates why we have chosen to build SophiaTX as a proprietary blockchain technology. Businesses require sufficient speed, security, and features that are required for a mainstream adoption by businesses, currently not provided by either Bitcoin, Ethereum and others,” he wrote on the company’s blog.
Although CryptoKitties-related transactions continue to put a strain on the network, SophiaTX officially began its ICO on Friday morning. At the time of writing, the startup had raised approximately $5.7 million, which is 12 percent of its $49.4 million target.