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5 February, 2019 - 12:14 By Tony Quested

Fetch.AI’s ICO could be a first for Cambridge

Cambridge-based artificial intelligence startup Fetch.AI launches an Initial Coin Offering on Binance Launchpad on February 25 and believes it may be the first ICO by a company based in Cambridge.

The company is coy about fixing potential values to the token sale but believe it will prove considerable and underpin its global growth strategy.

The Fetch.AI token acts as a medium of exchange, allowing autonomous agents to exchange tokens for data, services, and other goods within the Fetch.AI network, supporting machine-to-machine microtransactions.

For businesses, the new approach means virtually any networked machine or real-world asset, such as a hotel room or hospital bed, can now be represented by an autonomous agent so they can manage their own affairs, like autonomous booking, pricing, and maintainance. 

This type of infrastructure enables new marketplaces to evolve and flourish without the need for intermediaries.

Binance was founded in China but moved its servers and headquarters out of China and into Japan in advance of the Chinese government ban on cryptocurrency trading in September 2017. By March 2018 the company had established offices in Taiwan.

Humayun Sheikh, CEO of Fetch.AI said: “Today’s internet is built for ecommerce solutions that enable connectivity between humans. 

“The new web needs to enable more autonomous, machine-based solutions and this requires building the infrastructure and tools to make it deployable. Fetch.AI is building the deployment infrastructure which brings the new AI-based autonomous machine economy to life.”

For users, an autonomous agent can live on a smartphone continuously learning the intimate needs of the user based on decisions the human takes and by accessing data from calendars, email, and many other systems to enable highly personalised experiences. 

The data needed to inform this step-change in personalisation and automation remains sovereign to the user, informing the agent but without the need for the agent to reveal the underlying data to third-parties.

Sheikh added: “Let’s take travel. Today, people rely on traditional travel agents or spend hours searching for the travel combinations they need. An autonomous agent learns from your behaviour to build a clearer picture of your needs. It uses that insight to search vast combinations of options, confirms availability with, say, an airline or rail network, negotiates a price and completes the transaction.

“For businesses, this enables a more targeted selling opportunity without the need for a user’s personal data or deployment of machine learning algorithms.”

Binance CEO and founder, Changpeng Zhao added: “The Fetch network is in a position to help overcome barriers presented by centralised systems for bringing data to life, leveraging an AI and decentralised solution. 

“We are looking forward to this project that will help create a decentralised digital world for the future of economic activities and marketplaces.”

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