When a brand new technology bump into established regulations and habits, you can’t be astonished if it generates fascination and worry. Giacomo Zucco is an evangelist and a researcher in the field of Bitcoin, and he is well acquainted about the opportunities Bitcoin is providing to the innovation.
Giacomo is director of non profit initiative BHB Network, a community of blockchain-related experts that provides skills and expertises to enterprise environment to understand the challenges and the opportunities provided by bitcoin and blockchain technologies.
During first Blockchain and Crypto Values Conference in Milan, Giacomo summarized and showed us some intriguing future scenarios in the field of ICOs, Initial Coin Offering, a type of founding based on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies, also known as token sales.
While the first token sales where held in 2013/2014, they become popular in the last year when, for instance, the ICO for a new web browser generated about $35 million in under 30 seconds.
Maybe someone will do for investment something so disruptive such as Satoshi Nakamoto did for money.
Due unregulated and private nature of ICOs, it could be not so uncommon to incur into a distorted use of token sales, even for scam/fraud purposes: hence is predictable the intervention of regulators to protect the investors from bad investments.
During his speech, Giacomo Zucco suggested us to re-read the ICO acronym using different words that can help us to understand what an ICO is really about: Investment, Crypto-based, Official. A true ICO, from Giacomo point of view, is related to purchase something in the expectation of a profit — crowdfunding is not an investment — using a platform or protocol that is leveraged on bitcoin-inspired technology — decentralised, permissionless — from a conventional social entity, with legal accountability.
Giacomo said that at present time, is hard to fulfill the three options together: that’s the reason why he spoke about the “IPO trilemma”. But he believes blockchain technologies can evolve to provide a valuable option for investors and for companies, a “censorship resistant, unstoppable investment scheme”.
Today companies and startups searching for investment have to follow regulations and legal requirements, and the admission to officially regulated investment options can represent a cost. Those requirements are intended to protect the safety of investments. But maybe in the next future, you’ll be able to “use a blockchain-based technology on top of your financial security platform” that could increase your transparency — blockchain can mathematically demonstrate that you didn’t inflate the supply of equities — proving a true market advantage.
If you want send Euro or Dollar cash from Milan to Singapore you have to spend a lot. It’s very cheap and fast to send a wire transfer through banks.
The emergence of bitcoin-related entities showed us the opportunities and the revolutions that a new technology can pose to our society. But sometimes we put ourself in the wrong state of mind. When we asked to Giacomo if Bitcoin is digital gold and store of value or digital cash, he replied to us that, in his opinion, it is a false dichotomy. Bitcoin is, of course, a store of value bitcoin is well represented by the metaphor of digital gold, but bitcoin is also a digital cash.
He recalled us that cash is something finally settled, independent from third parties, that can be immediately settled between the payer and the receiver. Maybe at present time bitcoin-technology can be not so cheap and not so fast when it comes to international transaction, but it’s not something that goes against its definition of peer-to-peer digital cash.