Every day brings more bad news about ICOs: another class action lawsuit, another subpoena by the SEC, another “request for information” by a state Attorney General, another country that outlawed ICOs altogether.
The bad news is probably hurting the industry’s reputation and driving away investors in the short term. But from my perspective the bad news is, on balance, actually good.
The ICO market was crazy in 2017. Lawyers were giving questionable advice, investors were buying anything called a token, and the billions of dollars sloshing around attracted bad actors and instant-millionaires. People convinced themselves this was normal and justified, as they did with tulip bulbs in 1636.
From my perspective, the bad news in today’s headlines shows that the fog is clearing. Among the lessons learned:
- ICOs were not, after all, a law unto themselves.
- It’s easier to describe a network than to build one.
- Some smart contracts are dumb.
- Honesty is still the best policy with investors.
- An honest cop is good for the neighborhood.
- The laws of economics have not been repealed.
Most important, it turns out that there really is value in blockchain, even without the hype, and that real entrepreneurs are building serious value and finding it easier to connect with investors as the fog clears. Your Uber driver is no longer offering tips on Bitcoin, but you can do a legal ICO, there really is such thing as a utility token, and there are a lot of really smart folks building real companies that are going to disrupt and transform a lot of industries.
We’re going through a much-needed adjustment right now. It’s all good, as we young people say.
Questions? Let me know.