Three year-old Protocol Labs has raised around $193 million via an initial coin offering, for a pre-launch distributed computer memory storage project called "Filecoin Network." This comes on top of a pre-ICO raise of around $52 million from venture firms — Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, Union Square Ventures and Winklevoss Capital — while the ICO itself had to be temporarily suspended due to overwhelming volume in its initial hour.

Why it matters: This already is the largest-ever ICO, if the pre-sale is included. But the offering suspension also reflects the tech challenges faced by this latest/greatest tool for capital-raising, and the size is sure to only increase SEC scrutiny.

Market size: We've already seen over $1.3 billion in ICO volume so far this year, excluding ongoing offerings like Filecoin, according to Smith & Crown.

Bottom line from WSJ's Paul Vigna: "Filecoin initiative is designed to allow users to exchange empty storage space on their computers for tokens. Users can earn tokens for contributing space on their hard drives, or can use tokens to buy space from other users. The way the public sale was orchestrated, the earliest investors would get the lowest price. This appears to have contributed to the rush in the first hour, as investors tried to get in and get the lower prices."

Go deeper

America on edge as unrest rises

Louisville on Wednesday. Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty Images

Rarely have national security officials, governors, tech CEOs and activists agreed as broadly and fervently as they do about the possibility of historic civil unrest in America.

Why it matters: The ingredients are clear for all to see — epic fights over racism, abortion, elections, the virus and policing, stirred by misinformation and calls to action on social media, at a time of stress over the pandemic.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
1 hour ago - Health

The long-term pain of the mental health pandemic

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A less visible but still massive trauma caused by the coronavirus is becoming clear: our mental health is suffering with potentially long-lasting consequences.

Why it matters: Mental health disorders that range from schizophrenia to depression and anxiety exert a severe cost on personal health and the economy. Addressing that challenge may require out-of-the-box solutions.

2 hours ago - Axios on HBO

Preview: "Axios on HBO" interviews Bob Woodward

On the next episode of "Axios on HBO," journalist Bob Woodward tells Axios National Political Correspondent Jonathan Swan why he spoke out about President Trump being the "wrong man for the job."

  • "I did not want to join the ranks of the Senate Republicans who know that Trump is the wrong man for the job, but won't say it publicly," Woodward said.

Catch the full interview on Monday, Sept. 28 at 11 p.m. ET/PT on all HBO platforms.