This is the 7th Crypto Roundup brought to you by HEAT. How time flies in crypto-land! Let's get straight to it -
An Explosion of ICOs
So many ICOs looking for money, but so few promising enough to want to invest in. Essentially, there are three types of ICO investors:
- Long-term investors who like the vision of the team and the technology being built. They buy into the ICO, and hold for the long-term. Unfortunately, in most cases, they are also called suckers.
- Short-term traders, who will sell almost immediately after the ICO coins get listed on an exchange, hoping to make money from the initial 'pop' in the price.
- Bounty-hunters, who are less exotic than they sound, but an important part of the ecosystem - they are the ones who claim all the bounties being given out by new ICOs - from Twitter campaigns to Bitcointalk signatures.
For long-term success of a project, one needs long-term believers. The best example I can think of is Maidsafe. It's been in development for more than 8 years now. The technology is promising and solid, and there is new development each week. However, the vision is so grand, there are no "big" milestones every month. Just steady, hard work being churned out. We'll see how that experiment ends.
Then there are ICOs that are created almost exclusively for the hype, get a pop for a few days, and then decline into obscurity. There are countless examples in this category, and I am sure I don't need to name names. But think Auroracoin.
Bounties are interesting in generating buzz for the project, but it is debatable how much they help in the long-run.
Now, of late, there is an explosion in ICOs. And an explosion in ICO listing sites. And boy can they be controversial.
Here's a screenshot from ico-list, which attempts to list a bunch of ICOs and gives some very good data points as well. I count 13 ongoing ICOs.
Now ICO-list is a free-to-list service. But look at the older site, ICOCountDown. It is more popular as it is older. They don't disclose any fees. It looks objective, but is far from it. Welcome to the underbelly of ICO reporting sites!
Here's an open letter to them from deClouds, one of the ongoing ICOs. Apparently, ICOCountdown asked them for $400/week to list them. That's not a typo - it's four hundred dollars a week for a site that is supposed to be a neutral aggregator of information. And when they refused, ICOCountdown placed a link on the top of the website essentially calling deClouds a scam. That's what you get in this space. Full disclosure: I asked ICOCountdown several times to list HEAT ICO when it was ongoing through several media, but they never bothered to reply or list it or ask for further clarification about the project.
So, dear reader, please be careful what you're getting yourself into, and where you're getting your information from. Don't trust these sites blindly, or you'll end up only with the overpriced ICOs that are able to pay for such listings, and your returns will naturally suffer. Do your own due diligence - this space is still too new to outsource that to any "trusted" website.
The current ICO frenzy seems to have kicked off with Lisk and Waves, the latter raising over 30,000 Bitcoin, which is a lot of money. Naturally, the expectations are sky-high, so we'll see how that works out for Waves.
As for the general market, we have seen all this before. We know there will be even more ICOs in the coming weeks, and this isn't the last you'll hear about them. Some will be successful, but most will fail. Some will still make a lot of money. This is how the game is played folks. This era isn't new - we saw this around 2 years ago, the same explosion in ICOs.
The interesting question is going to be how the price of Bitcoin will affect the space.
So What's the Next Bitcoin Price Driver?
Since you ask, let me look up in my crystal ball. Alright, I come back with big news around October that could materially move the price. What?
October 12th is the date the SEC will make a decision for a rule change. That rule change will pave the way for the approval for the long-awaited Bitcoin ETF by the Winklevoss twins. This can be big.
I personally know lots of people in the financial world who couldn't wait to get their hands on "some Bitcoin" but who have no idea where to begin to even buy some, how to hold them, how to secure them, etc. They are not tech-savvy. They are in the business of making money and speculating.
The Bitcoin ETF will be a game-changer for Bitcoin to become a mainstream investment. It is by far the easiest way for existing money to enter the Bitcoin space. I have no doubt that once the Bitcoin ETF gets approved, there will be 'digital asset ETFs' next, which will include other alts, notably the likes of Ethereum. That is the beginning of the next bubble.
But hey, all this is per my crystal ball. Who knows what it means!