14 May BITCOIN AND ICOs ARE POWERFUL NEW CURRENCIES: DAVE BERKUS & JOE ROGERS
Bitcoin’s wild reputation looks like it’s getting a makeover. According to the New York Times, the New York Stock Exchange’s parent company, Intercontinental Exchange, is working on an online trading platform that would allow large investors to buy and hold Bitcoin. And Goldman Sachs has announced it will be opening a Bitcoin trading unit, becoming the first regulated financial institution to offer this service.
Blockchain, the underlying technology behind bitcoin, is HOT. In fact, ABL Tech Round Table Member Dave Berkus, mega Angel and Venture Investor, believes “Blockchain will be the next Internet, changing the way many industries do business. Promising further democratization and disintermediation, numerous entities are already experimenting with blockchain, especially in banking, energy, and insurance. Bitcoin was but the first commercial blockchain implementation. There will be many more, focused within federated or consortium blockchains and private blockchains, now being experimented with by Disney and other Fortune 50 companies, as well as entrepreneurial firms looking for an advantage. All that said, blockchain transactions are far too slow for general commercial use today – a problem with a sure solution within the next several years.”
Yet, in the trendy world of cryptocurrencies, according to Investopedia, the greatest levels of hype and anticipation have often been reserved for initial coin offerings (ICOs), the crowdsourced fundraising sales used to launch new tokens, coins, and services. Several of these have been incredibly successful, for example: Neo, had an initial token price of just over $0.03 cents, and later rose to a high of about $180; Ethereum’s Ether tokens initially sold for $0.31, and now are worth around $700; and the UK’s Stratis, which was prominently backed by Microsoft when it launched at $0.10 per token, according to Investopedia, paid off with an ROI over 50,000%.
Joe Rogers, CEO of WorkDone, is another ABL Tech Member who’s extremely knowledgeable in this arena – especially about ICOs. Joe recently wrote: “The creation of a new asset class like cryptocurrency is not something that happens every day, or every century, for that matter. Crypto has been described as programmable money and is disrupting long-standing concepts of what is possible. Nowhere is this clearer than the advent of ICOs to raise funds for projects. The genius of an ICO, as compared with an IPO, is precisely that it allows a company to raise a significant round of investment without actually giving up equity. Instead, investors receive tokens of the new cryptocurrency which exist independently from the company that’s offering them. This is a great deal for the company – investment without giving up stock – and can yield lucrative gains for the investor, in the event the cryptocurrency is widely adopted.
“There has been a lot of discussion that ICOs will render venture capitalists obsolete. I disagree. Good VCs are extremely valuable as they offer smart money, mentorship, and the rolodex needed to take a company to the next level. Conversely I believe ICOs may put bad VCs (whose agendas are rarely in alignment) out of business (good riddance). But as ICOs become more standard, startups that, in the past, may have had no choice but to work with incompetent or predatory VCs now have a way to pitch their business to a wider array of crypto investors. This decentralized power base is core to the notion of blockchain and properly architected cryptocurrencies.
“My new AI startup WorkDone includes a token called WAGE (Workdone AGEnt) which will be used in our marketplace so the public can leverage machine learning, content analytics, business process management, and blockchain technologies to transparently self-automate customer-specific activities. Our ecosystem also allows for the rental and hiring of WorkDone agents on-demand, as well as make periodic regular donations to the non-profit WorkDone Foundation. By using WAGE to fund the transition of workers displaced by automation, into entrepreneurs proactively creating their future, the WorkDone Foundation provides the conditions to grow an economy (both online and offline) which will put people back to work, which is the whole point. Using AI and crypto to stimulate creation of new businesses and jobs is our vision and would not be possible using fiat currency.”
Bitcoin and ICOs are just two elements of what will assuredly be a brave new world powered by blockchain technology.
by Mimi Grant, President, Adaptive Business Leaders (ABL) Organization – Round Tables and Events for CEOs of Technology and Healthcare Companies