Renowned MIT Professor Getting His Coin Algorand (ALGO) Listed on Coinbase Pro

ALGO, the native token of the Algorand blockchain, which is the brainchild of Professor Silvio Micali, one of the leading pioneers in cryptography, is being listed on Coinbase Pro (pro.coinbase.com) on August 14.

Who is Silvio Micali?

Silivio Micali is an Italian computer scientist who has been on the faculty at MIT's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science since 1983.

One of his main areas of research is cryptography. In fact, he is one of the co-inventors of Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKPs), "a method by which one party (the prover) can prove to another party (the verifier) that they know a value x, without conveying any information apart from the fact that they know the value x."

Micali is the recipient of the Turing Award (in computer science), of the Goedel Prize (in theoretical computer science) and the RSA prize (in cryptography).

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Accademia dei Lincei.

What Is Algorand?

Micali founded a blockchain startup named Algorand in 2017.

The Algorand team "consists of internationally recognized researchers, mathematicians, cryptographers, and economists along with proven business leaders from global technology companies."  Some examples are Jing Chen (Head of Theory Research and Chief Scientist), Yossi GIlad (Head of Systems Research & Chief Technology Officer), Sergey Gorbunov (Head of Cryptography), Georgios Vlachos (Head of Mathematics), and Pablo Azar (Chief Economist).

Binance Research describes Algorand as "a permissionless, pure proof of stake blockchain that ensures full participation, protection and speed within a truly decentralized network." 

According to Binance Research, here are the key highlights:

  • "Pure Proof-of-Stake: Algorand uses a pure proof-of-stake (PPoS) consensus protocol built on Byzantine agreement whereby the users’ influence on the choice of a new block is proportional to their stake in the system (number of Algos)."
  • "Immediate Transaction Finality: Algorand blockchain does not fork as only one block can have the required threshold of signatures in order to be certified in a given round."
  • "Self-Selection: All users are randomly, secretly, and continuously selected to participate in the Algorand consensus protocol - neither a few delegated users nor a fixed committee is responsible for proposing blocks in Algorand."
  • "User Replaceability: Participants change every round of block selection in order to protect the network against attackers - for each round, every set of participants is random and independent of earlier participants."

The ALGO Token

ALGO is the native token of the Algorand blockchain, which had its mainnet launch in June. The total supply is 10 billion ALGO.

Protocol development has been funded by conducting two equity raises: a $4 million equity raise in February 2018; and a $62 million equity raise in OCtober 2018. These equity investors get to own shares of Algorand, Inc.

 30% of the total supply, i.e. three billion ALGO tokens have been allocated for sale to the public by the Algorand Foundation. These sales are conducted periodically over five years via a series of Dutch auctions, the first of which took place on June 19, "with 25,000,000 tokens sold at a clearing price of $2.40 for a total capital raise of $60,000,000."

Algorand's Journey to Coinbase

On Monday (August 5), Coinbase announced via a blog post that it was "exploring the addition of a range of new assets." Coinbase's Listings team (which is headed by Zach Segal, Founder at "Blockchain Curated") said that it was considering adding the following cryptoassets: Algorand (ALGO), Cosmos (ATOM), Dash (DASH), Decred (DCR), Matic Network (MATIC), Harmony (ONE), Ontology (ONT), and Waves (WAVES).

Then, just four days later, Coinbase said in another blog post that on August 14, it would be possible for users of Coinbase Pro, Coinbase's platform for experienced/professional traders/investors, to transsfer ALGO into their accounts:

During business hours, PT, on Wednesday, August 14, 2019, we will begin accepting inbound transfers of ALGO to Coinbase Pro. We will accept deposits for at least 12 hours prior to enabling full trading.

As is usually the case with new assets, Coinbase pointed out that ALGO would be available in all jurisdictions supported by Coinbase, with the exception of New York State. Also, note that initially, ALGO will not be available on Coinbase Consumer (coinbase.com) or on Coinbase's mobile app (for iOS and Android), but it is very likely that this support will get added in the coming days/weeks.