Slock.it, the German startup behind the ill-fated experiment known as the DAO, announced Thursday that it has received $2 million in seed funding to help build out its Universal Sharing Network ecosystem. The investors were not identified.

The network is designed to enable companies and individuals to exchange ownership of objects connected to the internet of things. Built on the Ethereum public blockchain, Slock.it’s platform would enable individuals to locate, rent and ultimately control any object mediated by smart contracts, from anywhere in the world, the company said in a press release. Users would authenticate with one key — a smartphone — and do not need to register or log in for the service.

The DAO, or decentralized autonomous organization, was envisioned as a kind of automated venture capital fund running on the Ethereum blockchain. Last year, the DAO raised $162 million through a crowd sale and was subsequently hacked, with the attacker stealing what was then valued as $60 million in digital currency. The investors’ funds were recouped only by engineering a controversial rollback of the Ethereum ledger, undermining one of the selling points of blockchains, their vaunted immutability.

Bryan Yurcan

Bryan Yurcan

Bryan Yurcan is a senior writer with American Banker, with a focus on financial technology.