I've completed a buyback of the asset I issued, W4A-BOOK, on btct.co. I'm posting here for the sake of openness and transparency.
The asset W4A-BOOK was a new idea in crowdfunding. Rather than relying on philanthropy or advanced sales of my next book, I wanted to try selling shares of it. This would allow philanthropists to share in my success, should I find it.
The book is a memoir about getting recalled for a third combat tour (to Afghanistan) while becoming a radical libertarian.
I already have credentials as a writers:
Anyway, after some conversations with btct.co's Ethan Burnside (a great gentleman), I applied to have securities issued. My application was approved on August 9th. A few days later, I attempted (and succeeded) in selling 100 of the 400 shares I issued for .24 BTC each. The 100 shares represented 10% ownership of the book and a 10% claim on all proceeds I might earn.
The reason I only sold 100 shares was because I was more interested in proving a concept than in raising money.
Step one seemed like a success. With 24 bitcoins in my paper wallet, I'm began writing (and attending bitcoin & libertarian conferences).
Then came the bad news that Btct.co was closing. See their website (https://btct.co/
) for the announcement or bitcointalk.org (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=125629.msg3214807#msg3214807
) for the discussion.
I considered the following:
1. Transfer of shares to another exchange.
2. Continued ownership of shares in private.
3. A buy-back of all shares.
I didn't like #1 for several reasons:
- It takes time and effort to issue shares and since we still don't know the details behind BTCT's closure, I fear other Bitcoin stock exchanges might meet the same fate.
- The fee for issuing a security is usually 2 to 5 BTC. That's a non-trivial amount when you're only planning to raise 20-something BTC.
#2 was a possibility, though my main objective was proving a concept and perhaps generating a little publicity. If the stock exchange aspect was all handled privately, my goals wouldn't really be met. There'd be no market for shares of the book.
My preference was #3, buying back all shares at the original issuing price -- 0.24 BTC each. Since trading volume for this asset was extremely low, such a buy-back would cause most parties to break even or come close. #3 had another advantage: simplicity.
I communicated with shareholders via email. Those who responded represented over 90% of the outstanding shares. They agreed with #3. One of them, the largest shareholder, initially preferred #2, continuing our agreement in private. I was prepared to do that, but he deferred to my preference (which I described as a "slight preference" in our correspondence).
He gave me lots of encouragement for this project, and is another example of the good faith and integrity that always impresses me in the Bitcoin community.
Today, I completed the buyback. BTCT.CO had a system for actually buying back shares through their website, but they also had a warning that customers should withdraw their funds. I didn't want to send money to a website which may be in regulatory trouble, so I shut off trading and executed the buyback by simply sending BTC to the public keys of all the shareholders. I emailed each of them a transaction ID.
I invite you all to purchase an advanced copy of the memoir: https://bitcoinstarter.com/projects/182
The new working title is "The Way Back".