This is Ryan here again and this time from Vilnius in Lithuania!
Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia seem to be putting a lot of money into Blockchain. Estonia in particular already conducts a number of essential government services on the blockchain.
While here, I happened to meet with an ICO marketer. She previously was in PR for startups and using her network and skills to help blockchain companies raise capital seemed like the logical next step.
While the conversation ebbed and flowed from politics to the blockchain, some of the enlightening nuggets from our conversation were as follows:
- All manner of companies seem to be using ICOs to 'raise money'. So many of these business models don't need a blockchain. And yet, there seems to be no shortage of buyers for these tokens.
- The writing of white papers seems to be something that is being 'outsourced'. So is the content on the site and in some cases even the development of the platform!
- There seems to be a complete disregard for laws, regulations and even ethics. This particular marketer said she has worked on some projects where the 'founders' just wanted to run away with the money.
While ICOs have definitely democratized capital raising, we are yet to reach a stage where we are able to bring worthwhile projects to the table. This is something investment banks and VCs do well - using a process of industry expertise and thorough due diligence. They often get it wrong, but at least they have a process!
It can't be long before this space becomes heavily regulated, as a consequence of huge 'losses' from buying coins which were probably worthless all along.
That's me being pessimistic, but we shall see!