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A Melbourne-based cryptocurrency exchange that has so far raised $16.8 million through an ongoing Initial Coin Offering wants to make buying bitcoin as easy as ordering a pizza.

An Initial Coin Offering or ICO is like an initial public offering — but instead of selling shares, an issuer offers digital tokens that can be traded on cryptocurrency platforms or exchanged for services.

Nauticus is attempting to build one of the world’s most functional cryptocurrency exchanges and payments platform – allowing for the easy exchange of seven fiat currencies into bitcoin, ethereum and up to 100 other cryptocurrencies.

In what the company is calling an “ongoing ICO” – pundits can purchase its Nauticus or NTS tokens in stages – the final stage of which is running until May 18.

As of Friday, the company had raised $16.8 million – not bad for just eight weeks.

Nauticus describes itself as a cheaper version of eBay’s payment platform PayPal. It allows users and merchants to send and receive payments, but with lower fees, live market rates and the ability to settle more than a million transactions a second.

The company plans to launch its exchange later this month – and hopes to follow in the same path as other exchange coins that have increased in value after their float.

One of the best-known exchange examples Binance launched its own coin mid-2017 at 10 cents. It peaked at $22.76 cents and was trading at $19 on Friday.

The Nauticus ICO funds will be used to implement plans, hire staff, launch the Nauticus Exchange and establish a blockchain-based “mining” centre.

Once it’s up and running, revenue generated from these facilities would support the development of subsequent business solutions, Nauticus says.

The exchange has set lofty goals for the next five years – starting with expansion to 300 cryptos and 16 fiat currencies — more than any other exchange.

Achieving status as a green blockchain mining centre is the first on the list for 2019.

Following that, it plans to develop an ecommerce platform in 2020, a merchants payments platform in 2021 and global know-your-customer (KYC) verification in 2022.

Fast forward five years, and Nauticus wants to help other ICOs in its same position to launch be listed on its own exchange.