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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

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

The limits of Biden's plan to cancel student debt

Data: New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax; Chart: Axios Visuals

There’s a growing consensus among Americans who want President Biden to cancel student debt — but addressing the ballooning debt burden is much more complicated than it seems.

Why it matters: Student debt is stopping millions of Americans from buying homes, buying cars and starting families. And the crisis is rapidly getting worse.

Why made-for-TV moments matter during the pandemic

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Erin Schaff-Pool, Biden Inaugural Committee via Getty Images

In a world where most Americans are isolated and forced to laugh, cry and mourn without friends or family by their side, viral moments can offer critical opportunities to unite the country or divide it.

Driving the news: President Biden's inauguration was produced to create several made-for-social viral moments, a tactic similar to what the Democratic National Committee and the Biden campaign pulled off during the Democratic National Convention.

Updated 9 hours ago - World

Over 3,000 detained in protests across Russia demanding Navalny's release

Russian police officers beat protestesters at a rally against of jailing of oppositon leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Police in Russia on Saturday arrested more than 3,300 people as protesters nationwide demanded that opposition leader Alexey Navalny be released from jail.

Details: Demonstrations began in the eastern regions of Russia and spread west to more than 60 cities.