Investing in ICOs (meetup)

Musings in Cryptocurrency

If you read my last post on ICOs, Tokens and Smart Contracts, you would know that in my spare time I am researching ICOs, mostly to understand where the pitfalls are before getting too far into it. It’s been interesting to say the least, I could probably write a book from what I have learned in the last 60 days, the subculture is rather colourful.

In an effort to get more involved locally, I attended an ICO meetup recently. Gregg Peacock presented “Investing in ICOs” at Venture Labs. The room was full, standing room only, I am guessing they had to turn a few people away.

An interesting question was posed by one of the audience…

Is Vancouver a favorable place to launch an ICO?

Gregg felt like this would not be received well by the local regulators. His recent experience with ICOs led him to believe that the BCSS would be coming down on ICOs setting up shop in BC.

Which is rather ironic considering Ethereum was invented primarily by Vitalik Buterin, a Canadian out of Toronto.

I suspect that he specifically meant those who are taking money from Canadians who are not a registered with the BCSC. Back in August, the BCSC outlined some laws that may very well extend to token sales in BC.

Vancouver is a hotbed for technology, Blockchain innovation is alive and well in the rainy city. Recently Hive Blockchain went public and DMG Blockchain Solutions is in the process of something similar.

Gregg did a great job of explaining the ICO landscape and pointed out very early that these events should really be called Token Distribution Events and not ICOs. I tend to agree, ICO is synonymous with IPO and the similarity ends in the name. Tokens are not shares, there are no voting rights and you do not own any fraction of the company that created them. For me that’s fine, the token and what it represents is what brings value to the project.

He had some updated stats — 3.3 billion dollars has been invested in over 200 ICOs, this year alone (apologize in advance for the poor image quality).

There are more entering the market, everyday. His sentiment of “proceeding with caution” were reiterated throughout the evening.

Gregg also referenced a reworked equation from Chris Burniske on TAM (total addressable market). In this, it’s very difficult to derive the value for “V” being velocity, but it would be good to see more of this flushed out, the market certainly needs it.

He also provided some examples of what a good and bad ICO might. He referenced 0x as good, and EOS as bad. EOS, for those who are unaware raised nearly $200m and have done essentially nothing since then.

He outlined some sensible points when considering purchasing tokens. There’s no rocket science here, just common sense. I will say that team + maturity of product at ICO is a big one. Can you actually see it working? If not, be more cautious. Even credible teams have defrauded their investors.

All in all, it was a great meetup, hoping to attend and participate in more of these and by the looks of things there will certainly be more to attend.

This eve I will be going to an “Event Store / Microservices” meetup, speaker is James Nugent from Joyent, a founding member of the Event Store team. Looking forward to understanding more about how Event Store / Microservices methodologies can be leveraged when developing on the Blockchain.