Meet the Man who Created the Initial Coin Offering (ICO)


ICOs are changing the way capital is raised and here is the guy who started it with some super great insight and comments. And, his next venture; UpToken. No matter what anyone thinks, the cryptocurrencies are here to stay and their applications have barely scratched the surface of what’s to come. Great read and Mr. Willett, thanks for the ICO. Game changer.
(Bill Taylor/CEO)

“The video begins with a loud, hyper, motorized ticking noise. The camera zooms in, between the backs of some mens’ heads, to show a conference panel. The screen gets darker, the camera jolts back and forth, then it shows the backs of chairs, then everything goes blurry …. It seems like the last video anyone would want to watch. (Quite literally. More than four years after it was published, it still only has 94 views.)

But four and a half minutes in, one of the panelists begins to describe an idea he’s had:

“If you wanted to, today, start a new protocol layer on top of Bitcoin, a lot of people don’t realize, you could do it without going to a bunch of venture capitalists and instead of saying, hey, I’ve got this idea, you can — you’re familiar with Kickstarter I assume? Most of you? You can actually say, okay, here’s my pitch, here’s my group of developers — there’s a lot of developers in this room. If you get a bunch of trustworthy guys together that people have heard of and say, okay, we’re going to do this. We’re going to make a new protocol layer. It’s going to have new features X, Y and Z on top of bitcoin, and here’s who we are and here’s our plan, and here’s our bitcoin address, and anybody who sends coins to this address owns a piece of our new protocol. Anybody could do that. And I’ve been telling people this for at least a year now because I want to invest in it. I don’t have a ton of coins, but that’s where I want to invest my coins. And I’ve yet to find somebody who wants my coins. Does anybody in this room want my bitcoins because I want to—”

“I’ll take them,” someone shouts, and the video ends.

It was the 2013 San Jose Bitcoin conference. By that point, the panelist, J.R. Willett, had been hawking his crazy idea for more than a year. In January 2012, on the Bitcoin Talk forum, the Seattle-based software engineer published a white paper titled, “The Second Bitcoin White Paper.” (To quote the summary: “We claim that the existing bitcoin network can be used as a protocol layer, on top of which new currency layers with new rules can be built …. We further claim that the new protocol layers … will provide initial funds to hire developers to build software which implements the new protocol layers, and … will richly reward early adopters of the new protocol.”) Seventeen months later, still no one had tried it. Little did he know it would be five years before the idea in his white paper would become a runaway trend (built on Ethereum instead of Bitcoin, but the same concept nonetheless), raising $2 billion in just the first nine months of 2017 and leaving venture capitalists fretting about the future: the initial coin offering…”

Full Story at Forbes