As we enter 2018, here are some questions on my mind, relating to the state of blockchain and where we may be going.
I like asking questions, and have followed that format last year in my CoinDesk end-of-year article titled “Blockchain in 2017: Do We Know What We Don’t Know?” These questions are still relevant a year later, as many of them were strategic, so I encourage you to re-read it.
Today, there are newer questions I have been asking during some recent talks I gave, such as at my opening remarks at the Token Summit II in San Francisco on December 5th 2017:
1. What makes a “good” token?
At the heart of this question is the specific token functionality that is being concocted or delivered. I have written at length about it in “Tokenomics,” stressing the importance of the token role in a given project, protocol, or application. Beyond having figured that out, what makes a good token is undoubtedly the team behind it, because they need to execute, iterate, and deliver.
2. Will the success rate of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) be better or worse than tech startups?
Worse than startups. Why? Because most ICOs aren’t being surrounded by the right advisors and mentors. Yes, ICOs have lowered the fund-raising bar, but they have also raised the ensuing success risks.
Many ICO projects include first-time entrepreneurs who are freewheeling on their own, zigzagging their way into uncertainty. There is no escaping typical startup evolution laws and dynamics, even if the blockchain project is open source, decentralized, and includes smart contract autonomy.
The flip side is that, having lots of money allows an ICO project to stay alive longer, giving the illusion of progress, but that’s not a measure of success necessarily.