Ever since the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) boom of Spring 2017, it seems the majority of investments, ICOs and general market movements have been fundamentally driven by market hype and cryptocurrency speculators looking to make a short-term returns rather than focusing on the underlining technologies and potential long-term impacts of blockchain itself. And whilst the two are not mutually exclusive, the purpose of this article is to help remind why blockchain is a revolutionary technology and help drive awareness around some of the red flags and, in some cases, shady practices (scam ICOs, pump & dump schemes etc.) that are in danger of damaging this fragile and still nascent ecosystem.
Vitalik Buterin’s Ethereum technology (for those not familiar with this, here is a great article to explaining the basics) was revolutionary in providing the tools, ecosystem and community to bring down the barriers to entry in developing new applications (or dApps) and implementing blockchain technology to solve new use cases. Fundamentally, it also introduced ICOs (or initial coin offerings) as a crowdfunding mechanism to fund and build a following for new projects.
Following a combination of multiple trigger points earlier in 2017, such as the addition of more Fortune 500 companies to the Ethereum Alliance and the Japanese government legitimising cryptocurrency, the blockchain concept seemed to hit an awareness milestone triggering an influx of new money pouring into the blockchain space and ICOs proved an ideal target destination for these funds.
Suddenly, projects with nothing more than an ambitious idea, a whitepaper, a flashy website and unproven team started raising tens of millions of dollars through ICO crowdfunding campaigns. Even projects with strong teams and limited products started raising ludicrous amount of money unheard of, even in the VC world – in July 2017 alone, Bancor raised $153m, EOS raised $185m and Tezos raised $232m through their ICO campaigns.
For further information please contact Yaroslav Writtle.