There’s no shortage of initial coin offerings for adventurous investors but the Aussie founders of Ecryptostore say theirs is one of the few with a practical application for actually spending your bitcoin.

The Brisbane-founded business aims to be an eBay for crypto traders, letting users and merchants buy products with either fiat or cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

Merchants who advertise on Ecryptostore can offer buyers free tokens in an arrangement the company calls “Audience Incentivised Gift Marketing”.

It’s early days for the marketplace with only 232 products for sale so far.

But its recently completed a property sale: a share in a community land development near Byron Bay which was worth $155,000. The purchase will be settled through the Ecryptostore platform and paid for in Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Now Ecryptostore is turning its attention to its own $12 million initial coin offering for its Free Market Token (FMT), which can be used to pay for items through the platform.

An Initial Coin Offering or ICO is like an initial public offering — but instead of offering shares in a company, an issuer offers digital tokens that can be traded on cryptocurrency platforms or swapped for products.

The three founders — Nathan Burns, Austin Lewinsmith and Rafael Bergola — want to raise up to $12 million by selling 300 million tokens.

They’ve just kicked off a token pre-sale ahead of the wider sale on July 7 — and have already completed a private sale round with $1.25 million in the bank.

The idea for Ecryptostore came about afte the trio had been investing in cryptocurrencies for a couple of years, but struggled to find a way of actually spending their loot.

“We were trading crypto and we were looking at how we could actually use it, and none of the platforms out there were trustworthy enough,” Mr Burns told Stockhead.

The company, which is powered by the NEM blockchain, is allowing users to sell everything from golf balls to security cameras.

The Free Market Token sale was unique because it had a real-world use in a marketplace that was up and running, Mr Burns said.

The founders say they will also continue expanding the platform no matter how much they raise from the token sale, seeing long term growth in the crypto-transacting space.

There’s so many different ICOs and projects but the majority of them are nothing more than an idea. They may have a great white paper, but no use-case,” Mr Burns said. 

The Ecryptostore founders already have skin in the game, he says, because they have bootstrapped the platform so far.

We’re going to go about business regardless [of the raise amount] — we’ve got the resources,” he said. 

The team believes it will see momentum from investors when the open sale kicks off in July.

“We believe in getting a working platform to market before going for a raise — we believe in showing people what you can do,” he said.