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4 Blockchain Experts On The Future of ICOs

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Jackson Palmer (Dogecoin), Ivan Perez (Initia Health), Jürgen Schouppe (Safe Haven) and Marcus Levin (XYO) share their views on the Future of ICOs at the Global Blockchain Forum in Santa Clara (CA).

Jackson Palmer (Dogecoin):

I know that due to regulatory uncertainty some companies were scared away from using an ICO as a funding method. A lot of that is warranted because a lot of ICOs clearly want to raise way more money than they need, or are just scams. Because of that, there are regulatory movements developing that will wipe out companies that don’t have a good technical base. We already see the amount of ICOs has slightly declined.

Companies in the crypto space are starting to resemble traditional companies in the US. In Asia they are still getting ridiculous valuations though.

It’s tough to say how the blockchain market is transforming the financial market — we have people doing security tokens and they are complying with the SEC. Maybe the stock market will one day be replaced with blockchain. And while we have certain markets where blockchain is used, it’s still technologically behind centralized systems. I don’t think we are going to see the flip happen before we can provide better decentralized solutions.

Developers are working on those solutions to resolve technical problems — Lightning Network is a good example, but they make some compromises. I think we are at least two years away of finding scalable solutions that can fix the problems. Also, if you compare bitcoin to traditional companies that allow you to send money across borders, the latter wins because you don’t have to worry about price fluctuations and things like that.

Ivan Perez (Intiva Health):

I think part of the issue is that a lot of ICO’s are running with just an idea and a white paper. As opposed to having it as a fully established product. One of the things that we’ve seen that has generated interest for our company is that we do have a product, we have a platform that has run for a while. We have thousands of users, already using us, and we already manage it for physicians.

I think the nature of the ICO is going to change. ICO has become a dirty word. People don’t want to hear about it, there are a lot of bad actors and scams that people associate with ICOs. A better way to look at it might be an ITO: Initial Token Offering. I still think of it as another interesting crowdfunding model. Investors are going to look more at fundamentals, and more closely at the companies; what they have as opposed to if the people have beautiful concepts, but no real product.

Sometimes people buy into ICO’s, knowing that most likely they are supporting a scam, but they are buying pre-sale and then they plan on selling those tokens as soon as they get in the markets. They are really looking into a quick dollar! Of course, there is a lot of speculation involved.

A lot of people are scared of regulation — part of the drop in the market was due to regulatory fears – but ultimately I think regulation is a positive, we all need it.

Jürgen Schouppe (Safe Haven):

I hope the number of ICOs will decrease. People are inventing problems to solve with blockchain, they are not doing anything useful. They should start to realize that you can not do everything on a blockchain. We are in the space using blockchain because it’s the way to do it — to secure assets and transfer them to the right people.

There are a lot of promises out there. But you can’t be sure just based  on what you read. You can see a huge market cap but for me it’s not a valid calculation. I recently read an article from Deutsche bank on how they made one transaction to another bank and it took just one second. They didn’t use blockchain. You have to realize that blockchain is a cool technology for the future but banks are also working on their solutions.

Many financial projects right now are trying to change the world but blockchain is not ready for that. It can’t change the financial market in the next five years. First you have to make sure that digital assets like bitcoin get steady. We see shops announcing they are going to accept bitcoin as a payment but then we also see those shops deactivating bitcoins because they are losing money — it’s too volatile.

Will cryptocurrency be mass adopted as a payment? Maybe, but maybe only one or two will succeed. And those winter might not be bitcoin — it has too many scalability issues. There could be actors that we don’t know now about.

Only then we can speak about mass adoption. Bitcoin will need a fork to achieve it. Ethereum is not built to make payments, it’s a platform for dApps.

Marcus Levin (XYO):

People got very rich at some point but now there is some anxiety because of the market drop. Some legitimate ones have been squeezed because of this. Some companies are closing down ICOs.

Regulation creates more certainty so it’s good for us — some institutional investors may be tempted by a more regulated marketspace.

As for the future, I believe in tokenization of any asset, like the chair over there…You can have fractional ownership of that chair; or we can get fractional ownership of cars. It doesn’t make sense for you to own your car by yourself, today cars are only used three percent of the time so it’s inefficient. But if you own your car together with thousand people, you can make sure you utilize assets.

I think a lot of things can be tokenized and it incentivized people to give up data in return for tokens. Any type of data can be tokenized this way, and this way it can be intensified for people to take.   

Anything that can connect blockchain applications to the real world is going to be successful. For example, our technology can be used for any type of company to do location verification — you can walk into the cinema, sit down in your seat and pay right from there.

I had a talk with a person who controls many parking spots in malls in China. They have a huge problem because people forget where their parking spot is. Our technology will be connected to their phones, cars get registered automatically, and customers can pay automatically from their wallets. I think, we are going to run that as a pilot in the next few months.

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