2018-02-25

Rising trends in the ICO space in 2018 - observations from the Bitcoin SuperConference

Recently, I went down to Dallas for The Bitcoin, Ethereum & Blockchain SuperConference to represent iComplyICO, along with our CEO Matthew and Product Manager Qayyum. While I didn't manage to catch too many of the talks due to having to man the booth, it was nonetheless a great opportunity to see first hand a few rising trends in the ICO industry that will no doubt shape the space in 2018 onward.

iComplyICO team!

Regulation and enforcement is stepping in


One of the best talks I managed to catch during the conference came from Dave Hirsch, an attorney at the SEC. While for obvious legal reasons he was only allowed to express his own views and quote official statements, it was still an informative presentation from a very approachable speaker reiterating a few key things any ICO issuer has to keep in mind. If something looks like a security and it checks off all of the Howey Test checkboxes, it is probably a security and proper measures will be taken. If the ICO is offered to US individuals, it falls under the SEC jurisdiction and proper steps might be taken against it.

Or in other words - you shouldn't try to skirt the law or outright break it. The enforcement can take you down, and the regulators might be catching up soon with ICO-specific regulation.

Compliance is ramping up


Just as enforcement is ramping up, so too do we see more compliance solutions popping up. As I've said before, ICO securities will probably be the most important part of the space this year. Our own iComplyICO is obviously tackling that space, but we also saw a few others in that space - PolymathOminex and CoinCart all were present at the conference and discussing their solutions to the problem.

For more in-depth article on this topic, best follow us on Twitter, or check out our Medium page.

Emerging markets - medical and real estate ICOs


While there were a lot of people wanting to start their own ICOs at the conference, it would appear there are two new trends rising up in the industry - medical applications and real estate. You obviously had your usual utility tokens, ICOs for investing in blockchain mining and so on, but those two markets appear to be rather new. It weren't just singular projects either, it was a noticeable trend with multiple companies each doing their own thing.

It seems that my old prediction is coming true - with some ICOs being classified as securities, we are seeing some new projects in the space completely embracing being securities and wanting to use that to their advantage in the fields we haven't seen much of before.

Conclusions


Judging from the various conversations I had during the Bitcoin Superconference, it seems we are having a few rising trends for the ICO space in 2018 - security law enforcement, compliance solutions, and emergent of ICOs in the medical and real estate space.

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