Jeff John Roberts
“If you sit in on a poker game and don’t see a sucker, get up. You’re the sucker.” Warren Buffett and other famous investors have recited versions of this quote for years, and it seems especially apt for today’s “initial coin offering” economy.
Recall how a year ago, in the crescendo of ICO mania, people could market and sell digital tokens—many of them worthless—to anyone with an Internet connection. Then, after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission fired its first warning shot last July, the party slowed down (or at least became more exclusive) but didn’t stop.
Instead, the action shifted to ICO pre-sales where wealthy investors gobbled up tokens, counting on an untested legal theory that a blatantly speculative investment would transform into a “utility token” that could be sold to the public. But in January, the chairman of the SEC, who had clearly seen enough, basically put all ICOs on ice—and chewed out the lawyers for good measure.
The upshot is a lot of wealthy investors are now sitting with bags of tokens, nervously waiting for others to sit down at the ICO poker table. They might have to wait for a while.
“If your tokens look like a security, you’re restricted to holding onto them or finding another sophisticated investor,” says Blake Estes, a securities lawyer at Alston & Bird. “They’re no better off than if they participated in an early venture capital round.”
Estes sees echoes of the mortgage mess of 2007, when banks used financial engineering to create and circulate gimmicky debt investments. He does, though, think the token economy will offer legitimate paths to wealth but it will take time.
“Eventually, we’ll see registered token offerings. But it’ll be a vastly different undertaking than just writing some terms and conditions, building a website and hiring an ICO PR firm.”
So what happens to the ICO poker players in the meantime? According to Preston Byrne, an attorney and well-regarded observer of the ICO economy, some will be left with piles of worthless tokens.
“If you look at some of the ERC 20 ICOs that took in $40 million for a few lines of code, it’s clear some investors had all of the technical sophistication of a drunken beaver,” Byrne said. “It’s a case of invest in haste, repent at leisure.”
But while some amateur investors may feel burned, he added there are also smart players at the table, such as venture capital firms like Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures. These firms are able to pick quality projects—Byrne cites Filecoin as an example—and can afford to wait to offload their tokens.
“Remember for many of these VCs, these are small bets and they’re playing on a five- or 10-year time horizon. They’re willing tohodl in the medium and long term like they did with Bitcoin,” Byrne says.
Of course, in poker, one way to make money is not by sitting at the table—but by renting out the room for the game and selling the drinks and other comforts to keep the players playing through the night. That could be an analogy for the strategy of Richard Dulude, a co-founder of Underscore VC in Boston, a firm that doesn’t hold tokens but is instead focused on key infrastructure of the cryptocurrency and smart contract economy. “Success in this model is around long-term appreciation,” he says.
The bottom line is that, even though the current ICO chill will expose some suckers, a lot of sophisticated players are still in the game and could be in line for big wins a few years from now.
This article originally appeared in the The Ledger, Fortune’s weekly newsletter on the intersection of finance and tech. Subscribe here.
WPA60604QTET如果你坐在一个扑克游戏和DONWPA60607QTET看到一个吸盘，站起来。YouWPA60607QTTEE的吸盘。WPAP60300 6QTE华伦巴菲特和其他著名投资者已经背诵了这个报价多年的版本，它似乎特别适合于今天WPAP60300 7QTES“初始硬币提供”的经济。回想一下一年前，在ICO狂热的高潮中，人们可以销售和销售数字代币，其中许多对互联网连接的人来说毫无价值。然后，在去年七月美国证券交易委员会首次发出警告后，该党放慢了脚步（或者至少变得更加排他性），但是DIPWAP60300 7QTET停止了。相反，这一行动转移到了ICO售前，其中富有的投资者吞吐了令牌，指望一个未经检验的法律理论，一个公然投机投资将变成一个WPAP60300 4QTUE ToKeWPAP60300 6QTE，可以出售给公众。但在一月，证券交易委员会的主席显然已经看得够清楚了，基本上把所有的ICOS都放在冰上，仔细地检查律师。结果是，很多富有的投资者现在都坐在口袋里拿着令牌，紧张地等待别人坐在ICO扑克桌上。他们可能需要等待一段时间。WPA60604QTETF如果您的令牌看起来像一个安全，YouWPA60300 7QTELE限制持有他们或找到另一个复杂的投资者，WPAP60300 6QTE说，Blake Estes，一个证券律师在阿尔斯通和伯德。WPA60604QTWETEWPAP60300 7QTEE没有比他们参与早期风险投资回合更好。WPAP60300 6QTE ESTES看到2007的抵押贷款混乱的回声，当银行使用金融工程创造和散发噱头债务投资。不过，他认为，象征性经济将为财富提供合法途径，但这需要时间。WPA60604QTEST，我们将看到注册令牌产品。但ITWPA60607QQEL与写一些条款和条件，建立一个网站，雇佣一个ICO Pr.Fr.WPAP60300 6QTE，这是一个非常不同的事业，那么，与此同时，ICO扑克玩家又会发生什么呢？据律师Preston Byrne和ICO经济观察人士的观察，一些人将留下一堆无价值的令牌。WPA60604QTETIF你看一些Erc 20的ICOS，为几行代码花了4000万美元，ITWPA60307QTES清楚一些投资者拥有醉酒海狸的所有技术复杂度，WPAP60300 6QTE拜恩说。WPA60604QTEITWPAP60300 7QTE是一个投资匆忙、悔恨的案例。WPAP60300 6QTE，但一些业余投资者可能会感到烧伤，他补充说，也有聪明的球员在桌上，如风险投资公司，如Andreessen Horowitz和联合广场风险投资公司。这些公司能够选择优质的项目，拜恩引用FieleCoin作为一个例子，可以负担得起卸下他们的代币。对于许多这样的VCS，WPA60304QTEMPENE是小赌注，WPAP60300 7QTEE在五年或10年的时间范围内播放。拜恩说：“WPPA60607QTELE愿意像中比特币一样在中长期使用。”当然，在扑克中，赚钱的一个方法不是坐在桌子旁边，而是租出去玩游戏，卖掉饮料和其他的安慰来让玩家玩过夜。这可能是Richard Dulude公司战略的一个类比。该公司是波士顿的一家下属公司，其创始人WPWAPP60300 7QTET持有令牌，但转而专注于隐秘和智能契约经济的关键基础设施。他说：“这种模式的成功在于长期升值。”底线是，即使当前的ICO-CHILL将暴露一些吸盘，许多复杂的球员仍然在游戏中，并可能在几年后获得大的胜利。这篇文章最初出现在《财富》周刊上的《金融与技术》的《Ledger》周刊上。
SPONSORED FINANCIAL CONTENT
You May Like