Recently, Gil Penchina, one of the leading voices in the ICO industry shared his views on ICOs in my blog, offering his own story and some interesting takes on the scene. Gil’s background with Paypal and Amazon, at the forefront of tech breakthroughs, and his reputation for expert and precision analysis is incredibly valuable. As original investor in Ripple, Brave, Partner at Ridge he is an industry powerhouse.1) Where do you think the ICO industry will be be in a year from now?
Blockchain technology is only in the first inning and has a massive opportunity, so I expect that startups will flock to the sector. Whether they find ways to do an ICO or not depend on a combination of investor interest, regulatory, and the purpose of the project. That said, it seems like things are only getting bigger so a year from now it could be 3-4x what it is today
2) What do you think are ICO’s and/or blockchain’s biggest threats?
Like any new technology there are many:
1. An explosion of ideas by definition means a lot of bad ideas that can hurt the industry’s reputation
2. Regulatory (China’s ban vs Japan’s embrace)
3. Retail investors are fickle and could move on to self driving cars, drones, or other sectors
3) Recently, Jamie Dimon stated that he is firmly against bitcoin and JP Morgan was later caught actively trading in the currency. Why do you think that is? Is it possible that the traditional financial institutions see more potential in crypto than it is letting on?
JPMorgan makes a lot of money operating credit card processing businesses like chasepaymentech.com and bitcoin threatens those businesses.
4) As a VC yourself – are you open to coinvestment in projects?
Always – I’ve been investing in projects since Paypal, the original crypto-currency in 1999
Gil is not alone in his concerns for the industry. Altair Capital formulates its strategy on a token plus equity approach, which means investors get access to both new and traditional instruments. I see this as essential – a bridge between existing and the new, delivering a reliable and stable vehicle to venture and invest in breakthroughs and disruption.