The cryptocurrency market just experienced a small break-out and it almost seems like we all are profiting again. However, it has become virtually impossible for any ICO to (1) attract a decent amount of funding, (2) maintain token price within reasonable value, (3) return the money to the investors, (4) produce any of the blockchain ecosystems promised or (5) make any money at all.
“I therefore declare ICO as dead and buried forever. But it is not the end.”
A new wave is coming. STO (Security Token Offering) is taking the lead in being the most appealing alternative way of fundraising for 2019. In a nutshell is the ability to issue tokens backed by real value. Too many “pitchers” in 2017 and 2018, promised an ICO token that would have appreciated in value for the mere reason that it was scarce (as in limited issuance). Wrong. A million times wrong. Because unlimited ICO multiplied by limited tokens, still makes unlimited token supply as a result, as long as the herd kept producing tokens on ERC20 and list them on an exchange.
I foresee the renaissance being based on 2 ecosystems and 2 tokens.
The first ecosystem will be common to all projects and all trades: a pure financial ecosystem fuelled by Security Tokens (ST). No hidden agenda. Purely for the purpose of making money. Too many times, from the stage of yet another blockchain conference, the CEO of the next big wannabe ICO has promised an ecosystem with a real utility use case. Too bad that token buyers only bought the stinky tokens hoping to go to the moon with their Lamborghini, in the same fake fashioned way Tesla pretended to send one of their cars in outer space. This Financial Ecosystem is only designed to make money.
The second ecosystem depends on the trade. It could be a Lifestyle Ecosystem for a gaming company (one of those who doesn’t have a Problem/Solution slide, but makes ways more money that those who want to “save the world with blockchain technology”). A project aiming to tokenize real estate could, for instance, create an Education Ecosystem, sharing tips and secrets of the trade. A company aiming to tokenize a portfolio of wealth management could create a Financial Networking Ecosystem. The options for naming here are endless. Whatever is the name assigned to this ecosystem, there will be a Non-Tradable Utility Token (NTUT) that can never ever in its lifetime be exchanged for fiat currency or any other crypto/token/coin or whatever. So it is basically useless unless you use it in the ecosystem.
For example, if you are running a gambling project, for every time your user wins/loses more than a certain amount of dollars on your platform, you give them a load of NTUTs, which can only be exchanged to customize the look of the chips, but never to be exchanged for chips. Or, if you are tokenizing real estate, you could use NTUT to access premium content in an educational directory. And if your ecosystem does not have a way to reward users with value, then it would be great to connect with third-party partners able to do so. For example, a telco could offer 1Gb of data as a way to connect with new potential clients.
I believe that the industry is not dead. Only the format. The death of vinyl discs and music cassettes did not kill the music
Stefano Virgilli, CEO at VOX.sg