ICOs (initial coin offerings) present a new opportunity to raise capital outside of the more limited traditional avenues like user crowdfunding, angel investors, venture capital, bank loans, and your parents’ credit cards. The things people should be looking for in their investments: a product, or at least a robust and tested prototype; an established track record in business; use cases and an addressable market; good timing; a focused team that works well together. If you have all of these things, your startup then has a ~10% chance of surviving the next five years. 99% of these ICOs don’t have an app, they have a kind-of-not-sure plan, their timing is bad, and their team is three dudes who got together a few weeks ago and have never done a business before. What could possibly go wrong if we give them $100 million… I haven’t invested in any of the current ICOs, unless you count Bitcoin and Ethereum themselves. I read the whitepapers, I downloaded the software, ran the software, looked at the code, and understood the problem they were solving.

The idea of ICOs is revolutionary and will have an enormous impact eventually when it leads to successful companies. Are any of the current ICOs doing that? No, not really. 99% of them will fail, most of them are blatant, overvaluated scams, and that’s above my risk tolerance. It’s going to take a few years before we see a mature market. Invest in education, not speculation. Most of this community, even those who have worked in a more regulated space where there is an illusion of protection, do not have a good financial education. You don’t protect investors by giving power to someone else who makes their choices for them; all it will do is stop them asking questions, they rely too much on “experts,” and denying them valuable lessons that will make them smarter and more sophisticated. They learn by repeatedly making smaller failures over and over again, until they’re more cautious. There’s nothing you can say that will express the level of “ouch!” until they actually feel it.

Tired of hearing about the latest scammy ICO? Instead, here are some inspiring real-world projects using cryptocurrencies for good! https://youtu.be/WW8norCKUbE

This is part of a talk which took place on July 7th 2017 at a Bloktex event hosted by the Wisma BeeOn Group in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: https://antonopoulos.com/event/the-future-of-money-kuala-lumpur-malaysia/

Ethereum, ICOs, and Rocket Science – https://youtu.be/OWI5-AVndgk
Investing in Education Instead of Speculation – https://youtu.be/6uXAbJQoZlE
Initial coin offerings (ICOs) – https://youtu.be/Q5R8KuxV4A0
The token ICO explosion – https://youtu.be/vdaW8NtJXuQ
ICOs and financial regulation – https://youtu.be/Plu_WX3Gs8E
Scams, gambling, and regulation https://youtu.be/fTI88YrN1UE
The out-of-sync hype around “blockchain” – https://youtu.be/9mm8iiEj4TE
How to get people to care about security – https://youtu.be/Ji1lS9NMz1E
Governance trade-offs in decentralised systems – https://youtu.be/dtwaW79Fj7c
Altcoins and the scaling debate – https://youtu.be/slbpdW-H3yk
Blockchain vs. Bullshit: Thoughts on the Future of Money -https://youtu.be/SMEOKDVXlUo
How much bitcoin do you have? – https://youtu.be/DJtM9mR7cOU

Andreas M. Antonopoulos is a technologist and serial entrepreneur who has become one of the most well-known and well-respected figures in bitcoin.

Follow on Twitter: @aantonop https://twitter.com/aantonop
Website: https://antonopoulos.com/

He is the author of two books: “Mastering Bitcoin,” published by O’Reilly Media and considered the best technical guide to bitcoin; “The Internet of Money,” a book about why bitcoin matters.

THE INTERNET OF MONEY, v1: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Internet-Money-collection-Andreas-Antonopoulos/dp/1537000454/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

MASTERING BITCOIN: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mastering-Bitcoin-Unlocking-Digital-Cryptocurrencies/dp/1449374042

[NEW] MASTERING BITCOIN, 2nd Edition: https://www.amazon.com/Mastering-Bitcoin-Programming-Open-Blockchain/dp/1491954388

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Music: “Unbounded” by Orfan (https://www.facebook.com/Orfan/)
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