Dawn Dickson, Founder & CEO of PopCom

When you break down social barriers, everybody wins, or perhaps this is better said as everybody has the same chance to win. The process has earned the name “leveling the playing field” for a reason.

In the US, the process of raising capital remains one of the last bastions where you can see extreme bias. It’s hidden and tucked away in term sheets that are not available to the public, but recent studies have shed light on the issue. It’s no secret now that startup funding is heavily biased and that problem is particularly acute in venture capital funding.

Traditionally…


Dear Readers,

I am thrilled to announce that StartEngine’s second Regulation A offering has finally been qualified by the SEC. As readers of my blog posts, I wanted to let you know about this new campaign. We are planning to raise $10M at $7.50 per share.

Last year was a good one for StartEngine, and we have been able to increase our revenue from $2M to almost $5M in one year. In 2018, over 250 companies launched equity crowdfunding raises on our platform, and 17,000 people invested in those companies. …


If you want a safe bet with little risk, investing your money is easy. Just buy Treasury bonds. They carry practically no risk and are guaranteed by the full faith of the United States Government. However, in exchange for that safety, Treasury bonds return a small percentage of the investment that varies based on the Federal Reserve policy.

However, to have much higher returns, sometimes a multiple of the money you invested in the first place, there’s only one possible way to achieve those returns. …


Crypto winter continues with no end in sight, a result of the rampant speculation that drove the capital inflow of 2017 and the beginning of 2018 through ICOs. As time went on, the market realized that a lot of ICOs were bad investments, and so the market slowed. Prices fell.

Even taking out the scams, the bad actors, and the frauds that absconded with the money they raised, we were still left with entrepreneurs that, good business idea or no, often raised more money than they knew what to do with. $20M raised in an ICO without a working product…


2018 was a wild ride for the crypto marketplace and the companies that raised capital through Initial Coin Offerings. At the beginning of the year, prices soared, and capital flowed into the ecosystem in a tumultuous flood. It had the appearances of a bubble, but not many noticed or cared to do anything about it until it popped.

And pop it did. Over the course of the year, prices collapsed. As the market cap shrank, doubt was cast on the value of cryptocurrencies and the underlying technology they were built on. Yet many have drawn a comparison to the burst…


There’s a lot of standards on the market. Where do we go from here?

It is clear by now that crypto companies who seek capital are not going to use utility tokens to raise that capital—not if they would prefer to avoid the consequences of breaking securities laws anyway. Gone are the days when entrepreneurs sold tokens that had no dilution effect or no payment obligation on the company. And those were the good old days.

Entrepreneurs could raise millions with no responsibilities to uphold to investors. Yet after thousands offered utility tokens to the public, and billions of dollars were raised, most of the utility tokens sold have either no value or no…


The doors opened, and attendees flooded back into the room to catch the closing keynote of the StartEngine Summit: Charles Hoskinson, founding member of Ethereum and founder of IOHK, which develops blockchain solutions that includes the third generation cryptocurrency Cardano.

Hoskinson has an unassuming presence, with one hand tucked into his pocket, dressed more like a dad that enjoys long walks in the mountains than one of the brightest minds in crypto. His speech is thoughtful and quiet, and his stories ramble with a gentle cadence that lulled the audience despite the condensed information packed into each anecdote. …


The world of finance is a competitive marketplace. It is cut-throat. The ones who have the most information usually win against those who are less informed. Even though people know the market is not necessarily a level playing field, investors continue to flock to invest their money in the 4,000+ national market stocks trading in the US today.

The world of cryptocurrencies is a much darker tale. Insider trading is the norm. Early investors in currencies get huge discounts during presales, unbeknownst to the investors who come across the project later. When a token goes live on exchanges, the early…


It was bound to happen.

The SEC first went after the ICOs in early March this year that had issued utility tokens to investors without registering their offering or seeking an exemption from registration (such as the often mentioned exemptions of the JOBS Act: Regulation Crowdfunding, Regulation A, Regulation D506(c)). To those familiar with securities laws, that outcome was anticipated. The next question was when would the SEC take action against the exchanges that were trading all of these tokens.

Around the same time in March this year, the SEC announced that existing exchanges and online trading platforms for digital…


It is clear by now that one of the most important revolutions brought about by blockchain technology will be the digitization of the world: transforming assets into tokens that represent the ownership of trillions of dollars worth of securities and real estate. However, in order to make that transition possible, there needs to be a marriage of decentralized applications and regulation. Why regulation?

It turns out when you divide assets into small pieces and sell those pieces to investors, those fractional pieces of an asset instantly become securities. Securities are highly regulated by the Securities Exchange Commission (the SEC) and…

Howard Marks

CEO at StartEngine and co-founder at Activision/Blizzard. Raise capital with equity crowdfunding on www.startengine.com

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