Cryptocurrency ICO’s offer high risk, high reward

Global Business

At Cryptoeconomy’s ICO 2018, startups make their pitches as to why you should invest in their initial coin offering or ICO’s.  Companies have now raised more than $4 billion from ICO’s.  

CGTN’s Mark Niu reports on a new trend in cryptocurrencies.

Richard Titus advised more than 30 companies on their ICO’s last year. 

“We in the West have access to fantastic financial systems. But that’s a very small group of people in the global planet,” Richard Titus, Partner of ARK Advisers said. “I think blockchain is most powerful not in the Western world, but arbitraging both us against emerging markets as well as emerging market finance where really there’s no incentive for existing players to go and play.”

But with roughly 30 to 50 ICO’s happening every day, some can be dangerous. 

Miko Matsumura, the co-founder of cryptocurrency exchange site Evercoin, cites the case of Bitconnect — an exchange platform that took in billions of dollars and has now shut down.

“I believe it was Deloitte that did a study recently that indicated ten percent of all the funds that have gone into ICO’s, which is literally billions of dollars has actually gone to scams,” Matsumura said. “So I think people do need to be careful.”

Matsumura said when investing in ICO’s, it’s vital to do your homework. 

“I think really when the correction comes, the people who will be in the best place are people who have invested in trustworthy projects,” said Matsumura.

And at the expo, numerous companies are trying to get you to buy their virtual currencies to become part of their ICO.

But it’s not just techies who are part of this new economy.

It’s traditional business as well.

Nostrum is a publicly listed company from Spain that has more than 130 restaurants in Europe.

It’s on the verge of launching an ICO, which will allow investors to buy its “Meal Tokens” that can either be for investment purposes or used to buy their food.

“The ICO will finance our international expansion, maybe in China in the coming years,” said Quirze Salomo, CEO of Nostrum.

Hardwell is one of the biggest Electronic Dance Music DJ’s in the world.

He put his music on a blockchain-enabled technology platform called Settled!, which is also being launched in an ICO. 

The founder believes cryptocurrency can help electronic dance music artists, or EDM’s, get paid faster and track valuable information.

“Imagine you being an EDM artist from the Netherlands and there’s this cool DJ from Bulgaria and he’s playing your tracks on the radio. It takes about a half a year before you get that info. Well, that’s basically too late if you want to make a tour next month,” said Andy Zondervan, Founder & CEO of RightsShare. “But if you know it after five minutes, then it becomes something you can drive your business on.”

With the ICO market growing, experts here believe it’s only a matter of time before more venture capitalists move into the space as well as more government regulation. 

Dan Novaes discusses the future of blockchain and cryptocurrency

CGTN’s Rachelle Akuffo spoke to Dan Novaes, CEO of Current, about the future of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.