Blockchain token based projects need network effects.
There needs to be a mechanism for fairly and widely distributing tokens to in order for the project to function well upon launch. A popular method thus far has been to sell those tokens in advance to prospective users of the network that are interested in crowdfunding its development. Another, lesser known, strategy is an “airdrop.”
In an airdrop, a project’s creators can take a snapshot of a public blockchain, such as Bitcoin’s or Ethereum’s, and send tokens to all wallet addresses containing some number of bitcoin or ether at the time the snapshot was taken. This requires no action on the recipient's part other than to take whatever steps are needed to take control of the tokens once they have been gifted. It can be a way to jumpstart a community by instantly putting tokens in the hands of a lot of people with a proven level of cryptocurrency savvy. This seems like something totally new and unique to token projects, right? Not really. It turns out people have tried airdropping before, but with stocks. And the SEC did not look favorably
upon the tactic.
In each of the four cases, the investors were required to sign up with the issuers' web sites and disclose valuable personal information in order to obtain shares. Free stock recipients were also offered extra shares, in some cases, for soliciting additional investors or, in other cases, for linking their own websites to those of an issuer or purchasing services offered through an issuer. Through these techniques, issuers received value by spawning a fledgling public market for their shares, increasing their business, creating publicity, increasing traffic to their websites, and, in two cases, generating possible interest in projected public offerings.
So, since the SEC has found that some tokens can be securities, if you are considering using an airdrop token distribution be warned that even giving away tokens is not necessarily free from scrutiny under securities law.e briefed Congress on tracking illicit cryptocurrency use and moderated a convening on ICO regulatory uncertainty.
This was a big week for cryptocurrency in DC.
On Tuesday, members of Congress and over 50 representatives from the crypto industry convened at the Library of Congress for a roundtable entitled “Legislating Certainty for Cryptocurrencies.” The event was organized by Rep. Warren Davidson and also attended by Reps. Tom Emmer, Ted Budd, and Darren Soto. Coin Center executive director Jerry Brito moderated the event, and entrepreneurs voiced their concerns about the lack of clarity around when exactly a cryptocurrency token is or is not a security.
Following the roundtable, 14 members of Congress, led by Rep. Budd, sent a letter to SEC Chairman Jay Clayton echoing the concerns of cryptocurrency innovators and asking for more clarity around the regulatory treatment of these networks. In another event in Congress on Wednesday, in conjunction with the the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, Coin Center put on a briefing about the tools law enforcement has to track illicit use of cryptocurrencies. Blockchain forensics company Elliptic presented how their product works with real-world examples of illicit funds being traced by law enforcement. Reps. Emmer and Schweikert also gave remarks highlighting the importance of getting the regulatory approach to these technologies right and preserving a fertile climate for innovators in America.
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Peter Van Valkenburgh
What is an ICO, Exactly?
From Wall Street brokers to small time investors,
finance can be a dangerous game. The world’s currencies are constantly in shift, falling in and out of favour, and the results can often be disastrous (or highly fortuitous) for those involved. People win and lose big. That’s a fact of life, and it’s no different when cryptocurrencies are involved instead of regular cash. Having taken the world by storm in the past decade, the blockchain tech behind Bitcoin, Litecoin and other altcoins has changed finance – and money itself – forever. But how does one go about bringing a virtual currency into existence? Well, that’s where ICOs come in.
A Dictionary Rundown
An ICO is an initial coin offering much similar to an IPO. An initial public offering involves a new company selling shares to investors, the process underwritten by an investment bank. The company stocks are then listed on various markets. When it comes to an ICO however, no stocks or shares are sold.
Instead, it’s all about coins.
When somebody wants to launch a new cryptocurrency they’ll advertise its perks with something called a White Paper, then ask for investment from the public. Interested parties then donate existing cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, and in return receive some of the first rounds of, let’s say, ProfitCoin. The hope is that ProfitCoin will gain popularity, be used a lot, and as such rise in value. The investors will then, well, make a profit from their ProfitCoin ICO. Either way, they’re supporting the ecosystem and development of cryptocurrency in general.
ICOs vs Standard Investing
But why bother with an ICO? There are stocks, gold, oil, salt and pepper to be bought and sold after all. Forex already exists. Why venture into this new zone of risk and exploration? Well, put quite simply, because you may regret it otherwise. How many tech savvy folks and investors are kicking themselves for not jumping on the Bitcoin bandwagon years ago? With ICOs, said folks now have a second chance to find the next cash cow. It’s a gamble, yes, but a relatively informed one if you take the time to research. If you were to head over to the Paddy Power Casino, make your deposit, get your bonus and take to the roulette table, for example, you’d be taking a similar informed risk. You can work out the odds, see the potential for a win, and decide whether or not to take it.
An ICO is similar, but instead of knowledge of cards or probability, you need knowledge of the cryptocurrency world. You need to read the new coin’s White Paper first things first, and then you can decide whether or not to go ahead.
The All Important White Paper
An ICO White Paper is the cornerstone of any new coin campaign. It lays out what this new currency can offer that others have not, it explains how the idea works, why it works, and why it’s better than what’s come before. It is, in essence, a business pitch; interesting, thorough, well-explained. A White Paper is addressed first and foremost to you, and to other potential initial coin investors around the globe – so best brush up before trading in your precious Bitcoin for ProfitCoin. The world of finance changed when cryptocurrency came into existence, even more so when it grew into a global market. Now the world of crypto is changing thanks to ICOs, and with every White Paper comes a new opportunity to win big.
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