ICOs have been rightly criticized for being susceptible to scams, but a little basic due diligence can help any investor avoid potential trouble. And make no mistake; that due diligence is an absolute necessity, given recent history. After all, some cryptocurrencies have raised unbelievable amounts of money without ever producing a real product – just empty promises.
Vaporware is software or hardware that is announced publicly and actively promoted, even though it does not exist. Studies have shown that 81% of all ICOs have turned out to be scams, which highlights the lack of due diligence from investors who bought into these projects. The most striking factor in all of this is that even though an ICO turns out to be a failure or scam, the team behind it always walks away with money.
“If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” – Albert Einstein
In recent years, Initial coin offerings have become a popular way for many blockchain-related projects to obtain needed capital. In fact, 2017 saw ICOs bring in roughly six times as much capital as traditional venture capital funding rounds. And while some observers might have expected that fundraising success to taper off as cryptocurrencies declined in value in 2018, ICOs have continued to attract substantial investment. Unfortunately, that success has also attracted attention from regulators, and calls for greater oversight of the cryptocurrency industry and its fundraising efforts.
Recently, DCEBrief had the opportunity to speak with DNotes Global Inc co-founder and CEO Alan Yong and we asked him to share his thoughts on the current issues surrounding initial coin offerings. Below is the transcript of that conversation.
While many crypto investors are keeping an anxious eye on the blockchain bubble, there is another area of concern that they should also be watching: the regulatory front. Even now, state and national governments around the world are stepping up their efforts to bring some sense of regulatory order to the cryptocurrency ecosystem. And while it’s true that digital currencies were originally developed as a way of getting around invasive financial controls, there should be little doubt that the industry must eventually make peace with the idea of sound regulation if it wants to ever achieve true mass acceptance and adoption.
Cryptocurrency is about more than just fundamental value, it’s about consumer trends too.
In a recent Fox Business interview, Warren Buffet was critical of Bitcoin, describing it as ‘rat poison squared’ in reference to the cryptocurrency’s rocketing growth in the last five years.
There is a blockchain “solution” for everything these days — from value exchange to asset registration. There are even coins devoted to praising garlic bread or paying tribute to Vladimir Putin. Even the porn industry, where privacy and anonymity are at a premium, has produced a range of crypto tokens. An enormous diversity of blockchain businesses and startups have risen on the coattails of Bitcoin and Ethereum.