Maitland ICO Monitor – Wednesday 13 June 2018
The Big Read
Apple has moved to put a stop to any crypto-mining apps that might be used on its mobile products. In a recent update, the company expanded its initial guidelines on cryptocurrencies to include an updated policy which bars any apps used on an Apple product from mining for cryptocurrencies unless performed “off device”. CoinDesk, 12 June 2018
Launching an ICO is difficult; start-ups need to give a detailed description of their company, start advertising the ICO, build a community and ultimately built a prototype to bootstrap their token economy. This all happens with minimum involvement from the traditional financial institutions. These barriers need to be broken down starting with business schools accepting fintech is here to stay. Financial Times, 12 June 2018
Blackmoon has announced that their “asset tokens are going to be securities” and that they will comply with all the necessary regulation. While the company’s claims to be the “first company in history to tokenize an IPO” may not be entirely credible, it is true that turning crypto-tokens into real money remains one of the enduring challenges for the newly rich chit-chasers. Financial Times, 8 June 2018
The crypto boom is creating the opportunity for earnings regardless of digital currency movements. As the industry grows the necessity of back-office services is growing, with lawyer and accountants, among others, sniffing out the business opportunities associated with ICOs. Bloomberg, 9 June 2018
New Kid on the Block – The Technologies, Funds and ICOs you should know about
To celebrate the start of the World Cup, Berlin-based Stryking Entertainment will launch a version of its fantasy football game specifically tailed for the tournament which will coincide with the roll-out of a $20m token sale. The tokens, which will be listed on the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange, part of the Gibraltar stock exchange, sit alongside the existing in-game coins needed to play Football-Stars and allow peer-to-peer interaction such as player trading, open unique features and make additional content available. The token issue has a US$4m soft cap with the pre-sale event scheduled to start on 15 June 2018 or the day after this year’s World Cup starts, with the full token sale kicking off on 18 June.
ParkinGo, a leading network of parking services, has launched an ICO with the aim of building the firm, which currently has 55 parking locations across Europe, internationally and providing more efficiency and transparency to its 2.5m customer transactions every year who leave their vehicles with ParkinGo whenever they travel. The fact that 80% of GoTokens have already been successfully sold pre-ICO to reservation contracts, demonstrates how successful an ICO can be when underpinned by a business with a proven track record and clear use for the blockchain technology.
Scams, Sanctions and Suspicious Activity
In an ironic twist, Block Broker just subjected its investors to the very thing it swore to prevent. The ICO claimed to be building a platform to protect investors from buying into exit scams, before performing one itself. Keen-eyed community members had suggested the ICO was a scam after finding inconsistencies in its whitepaper and the founder’s biography. There was little technical substance, is ridden with grammatical errors, and talked more about the token sale than the project’s function. Even so, the ICO accrued just over $3mln in funding during its lifespan. Coin Central, 6 June 2018
The SEC has warned that US scrutiny of ICOs is only just getting started. Chairman Jay Clayton described already-seen examples of fraudsters fleeing the country after convincing US investors to invest in their ICOs: “companies raising money through digital-token sales shouldn’t have any illusions that the government will treat them differently than firms participating in traditional stock offerings”.. Bloomberg, 6 June 2018
Bulls & Bears of the week
“We are at the beginning of a tokenization of everything” - Jeremy Allaire, Co-Founder & CEO of payments company Circle
“We’d like the bubble to break. We still see a lot of hype in the market, valuations are high and unreasonable. We really think if the bubble bursts, it’s a good thing for the industry” - Ella Zhang, Head of Binance Labs