2017 was for many people who follow the crypto ecosystem, a year of awareness for blockchain technology. It was also the year where the world lost its sh*t on the speculative gold-rush that ICOs and benchmark crypto-assets provided us with. 1,000% market growth is simply not normal, and almost out of the gates, traditional investors and Wall Street started to shout aloud about the bubble that was forming. You don't own equity in these companies but you are buying tokens like securities... I suppose there's something a little odd about that. In 2017, you were kind of investing in the vibe of the company.
Looking further into this, something very clear is about to happen in 2018. The ICO and crypto ecosystem is about to grow up. This is now becoming an increasingly adopted sentiment from investors as well as industry stalwarts like Dr. Julian Hosp, the co-founder of TenX, which had one of the best executed ICO events of all time, raising $80m in around 7 minutes. It wasn't a miracle, but more precisely, a token that had a value proposition that investors could relate to; that will become the norm for 2018 and beyond. As much as people have expected for there to be a Tulip bubble (some outsiders, or those who didn't invest might even hope for), in all likelihood there will be a simple culling of nonsense tokens for those cashing in on the craze, and a doubling down on ICOs that represent a quantifiable value proposition to the future that is being carved out right before our eyes.
Maybe that's something to consider. Never before in the history of man, has the future of our lives been designed and defined by regular people. There are no kings and lords, industrialists and bankers that are defining this future. It's regular folks with a hunger to actively be involved in changing the world around them. This is true of Blockchain, AI, FinTech, HealthTech, InsurTech, FoodTech and so on.
Circling back to what I heard Julian discuss at the SG Innovate event which was sponsored by AWS this week past, it was great hearing a very open and honest narrative of how to run a successful ICO. There was no hype in the path to the successful ICO of TenX. It clearly was an orchestration of hard work and commitment to what their intent was behind raising $80m. From almost dying due to the delay in $100k angel ticket, to closing a $1m seed round just before their ICO, it is a journey that is not uncommon, and one that I can personally relate to, as we are following a similar track as they did (not the ICO bit though).
It is clear that this year of crypto-assets and ICOs will be very different from the last. If I was to define the difference in a single word, it would be this - Substance.