Initial Coin Offerings Are Setting Capital Free. That’s Huge

Simon Johnson, co-author of the bestseller “13 Bankers,” is the Ronald A. Kurtz (1954) Professor of Entrepreneurship at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He also works closely with Joi Ito, head of MIT’s Media Lab, on the Digital Currency Initiative (DCI).    The following article originally appeared in Consensus Magazine, distributed exclusively to attendees of Consensus 2018. In 1913, H.G. Wells wrote “The World Set Free,” a chillingly prescient set of predictions about the development of technology.   Published in early 1914, this slim volume called it exactly right…

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Move ‘Em Out: ICOs Don’t Seem So Scary Outside the US

ICO issuers are starting to look to jurisdictions outside the U.S. to set up shop. In an environment of regulatory uncertainty, where the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has begun investigating ICOs and the industry surrounding the capital raising technology but has yet to make a formal decision of how it will regulate crypto tokens, issuers and other stakeholders are finding other jurisdictions a better bet for launching their projects. And no other place during Blockchain Week was the topic hotter than at Token Summit III (the original event…

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The SEC Just Launched a Fake ICO Website to Educate Investors

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to ensure investors can identify fraudulent initial coin offerings – even if it has to launch its own to do so. The regulator announced Wednesday it has launched a mock ICO called HoweyCoin, presumably named after the Howey Test, which “touts an all too good to be true investment opportunity.” However, the company notes, “the offer isn’t real.” Users who try to invest in the token sale will instead be redirected to the regulator’s education tools, which are aimed at pointing out the…

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ICO Project Polymath Is Trying to Buy a Stake In a Real Stock Exchange

If one announcement summarizes the ambitions of crypto project Polymath, it might be Wednesday’s acquisition of the domain “Tokens.com” One of its several this week, it cuts to the heart of the project’s aims to dominate the issuance of tokenized securities. But the plans go beyond just the acquisition of potentially popular domain names. In the run-up to the company’s Wednesday morning appearance at CoinDesk’s Consensus conference, Polymath also revealed it’s in the process of closing a deal to acquire a large stake in the Barbados Stock Exchange and that it’s…

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CNET Founder Backs $50 Million ICO for Video Streaming

Streaming a TV show or a sports game directly to your laptop doesn’t make big TV networks much money today. However, that might change if VideoCoin, a new decentralized project that’s taking aim at the price major broadcasters and media companies pay to stream content, succeeds on its vision. When a broadcaster sends out a broadcast over the airwaves, one signal can reach many devices, but when it broadcasts over the internet one signal goes to one device. “It’s all cost and no revenue,” Halsey Minor, CEO of Live Planet,…

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Even Joe Lubin Couldn’t Stop ‘Dr Doom’ Roubini from Trashing Crypto

Nouriel Roubini was in full attack mode in his latest crypto debate. “The entire crypto land is more unequal in terms of income and wealth than North Korea,” he said Wednesday afternoon, and the jabs didn’t stop there, with the former Clinton administration economist, better known as “Dr. Doom” for his prediction of the 2008 financial collapse, taking his criticism of all things crypto to new levels. Still, this was perhaps to be expected. After antics onstage at the Milken Institute Global Conference earned him headlines, the organizers of the Fluidity Summit…

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KODAKCoin Fundraising to Begin Later This Month

A sale of Simple Agreements for Future Tokens (SAFTs) for KODAKCoin – the forthcoming digital rights token bearing the name of imaging company Kodak – is set to begin later this month. The offering, which is limited to accredited investors, will start on May 21, WENN Digital announced on Thursday. Kodak licensed its brand to the firm for the project, which involves a digital rights management platform that has its own built-in cryptocurrency. KODAKCoin and its planned sale were first revealed in January, but an expected start date of Jan.…

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This Blockchain Tosses Blocks: Naval, MetaStable Back Twist on Crypto ‘Cash’

A blockchain without the blocks? Not exactly, but a company launching Wednesday called O(1) is seeking to take the unorthodox approach of throwing out the blocks its new Coda protocol produces as soon as they elapse. While that might seem illogical since blockchain’s immutable history is to many its principal benefit, an impressive line-up of investors believes the idea could be just what cryptocurrency needs. Led by Metastable, AngelList co-founder Naval Ravikant, and Twitter and Google alum Elad Gil, O(1) has secured a $3.5 million seed equity round, with investment from…

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A Chain of Its Own: Mobile App Kik to Fork Stellar for Fee-Free Blockchain

The cryptocurrency that will soon help power the popular Kik messaging app is making a big technology shift — again. Kik’s crypto token, kin, currently exists as an ethereum-based ERC-20 token, yet CoinDesk recently reported that’d the company would be moving to a two-chain system whereby its tokens were supported on both the ethereum blockchain and the stellar blockchain. But today, the Kin Foundation, the non-profit organization managing the development of kin, has announced another move, deciding instead to fork stellar to create its own blockchain. While Kik had first envisioned…

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EOS Revisited: Investors Are Taking Another Look at the Longest-Running ICO

Another blockchain for smart contracts? As surprising as it might sound, there’s a respect for incumbency even in the world of cryptocurrencies. As such, when the upstart EOS protocol launched last year with the ambition of improving on innovations like ethereum (themselves just a few years old), incredulity was in ample supply. Intervening months haven’t exactly helped this perception. But despite the skeptical experts, not to mention the very public derision of talk show host John Oliver, the EOS project has raised more than $2 billion in ether from the sale of…

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