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Y Ventures launches initial coin offering for e-commerce cryptocurrency

CATALIST-LISTED e-commerce player Y Ventures Group has launched an initial coin offering (ICO) through its subsidiary, Luminore 8, making it the first Singapore-listed company to do so, with the new AORA Coin cryptocurrency envisioned for use in e-commerce transactions.

Y Ventures hopes to raise US$50 million through the proposed ICO, subject to a minimum of US$20 million, with the proceeds to be used for the development of its AORA e-commerce platform.

The ICO begins on July 31 and ends on Nov 30, with the tokens priced at 20 US cents apiece and payment accepted in US dollars, Singapore dollars, or the cryptocurrencies Ethereum and Bitcoin. The AORA Coin is a utility token built on the Ethereum network, with a total supply of 625 million tokens minted and a total supply of 250 million saleable tokens.

All participants in the ICO will have to go through Know-Your-Customer and anti-money laundering processes, said Y Ventures in an announcement on Tuesday after the market closed. Luminore has engaged EBS Capital Partners as the lead manager and coordinator for the ICO.

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Early adopters of the AORA Coin will gain access to additional benefits and features on AORA, Luminore's upcoming blockchain-enabled global buying platform which will allow consumers to buy from any online store using cryptocurrencies. Luminore chief executive officer Cedric Choy said the company is "the first to develop, from ground up, a hybrid e-commerce platform augmented with blockchain technology that accepts both crypto and fiat currency".

Developed in partnership with SingPost, AORA is expected to be launched in the first half of 2019. Its blockchain payment gateway AORA Pay could help merchants save up to 8 per cent on fees, said Y Ventures.

Said Y Ventures chief executive officer Alex Low: "AORA signals our optimism in the growth potential of the e-commerce industry and will be a new growth pillar for the group."

Y Ventures shares closed unchanged on Tuesday at 49.5 Singapore cents before the ICO announcement.