Initial Coin Offerings Getting Harder in 2018


It’s getting harder and harder. What is you ask? Making millions of dollars (or pick any currency) by doing an ICO (initial coin offering). Not only is that gig getting more efficient and mainstream it has a new much classier name; TGE, or Token Generation Event (ICO is so last year). So, TGE’s have gotten larger, more transparent and more acceptable (Telegram, Kodak, etc) squeezing out the “quick money” crowd. See what happens when lawyers get involved. Party poopers. Gotta turn the Ferrari in.
(Bill Taylor/CEO)

“In 2017, the elevator pitch for corralling the public into a hot new cryptocurrency involved a celebrity like Floyd Mayweather promising tons of money for all concerned.

The term given to these digital token sales — Initial Coin Offerings — hinted at the kind of riches entrepreneurs historically only received when their company went public. Only, unlike an IPO, there wasn’t much transparency, accountability or legal protection for investors.

In 2018, the pitch goes something like this:

“Pssst. Want to buy the next Bitcoin? You’re not American, are you? Or Chinese? Or Korean? And you get that these tokens aren’t securities? You won’t get any dividends or interest or cash flows or anything like that? Excellent. In fact, you won’t really get much of anything at all, because these tokens have no rights, or uses, or attributes. And remember, if anyone asks, this isn’t an ICO. It’s a TGE — a Token Generation Event.”

Blame the authorities for taking the fun out of everything. Despite the hopes of crypto’s libertarian evangelists, it is now impossible to talk about digital fundraisings without talking about regulators. Governments are cracking down, from the U.S., where some ICOs have been shut down as an example, to China, where they have been banned outright.

Crypto-issuers are restricting their offerings to avoid legally unfriendly jurisdictions and make clear that no securities are being sold. Raising millions is still the aim, but any gains from rising coin values are portrayed as purely coincidental. The hope is that these measures will be enough to avoid breaking securities law.

Crypto-fans view this as an overdue shake-out of the hucksters. Few will mourn the closure of Bitconnect, a lending and exchange platform, after regulators in Texas and North Carolina found it was selling unauthorized securities. What will be left, perhaps, is an above board form of crowd-funding…”