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What is an ICO or Initial Coin offering?

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An ICO or Initial Coin Offering can be a different beast to different people. On the one hand, it can be a thorn in the side of the authorities – those who wish to exercise undue influence over our lives. On the other hand, it can be a great way for blockchain and crypto-related projects to obtain the funding required to succeed. In addition, before the existing crypto winter set in, primarily as a result of greed, scams and undue influence – it was a great way to make money as a bounty hunter or simply by participating directly.

Let’s dig a little deeper to get into the heart of what an ICO is or was beyond the formal definitions out there. We should never allow formal definitions to tell the story or have the final say when it comes to something as important as blockchain technology, cryptos an ICOs to humanity.

Undue Influence by the Authorities

It is probably the understatement of the century to state that an ICO can be a thorn in the side of the authorities. In reality, it is more than a thorn in their flesh and the flesh of their buddies – and while they will pretend not to make a big fuss about it – it should be clear to even the occasional observer at this stage that they have been tightening the screws at a faster phase. This while, firstly, being careful not to awake the masses, and secondly, pretending to be the ‘knight in shining armor’ that is here to save us from bad initial coin offerings (and cryptos for that matter).

Make no mistake, the aim is to reduce the crypto market to something where they get to exercise full control. In the process, they wish to get rid of cash and crypto privacy tokens that provide anonymity and enable anonymous transactions.

It is about control for them and the ability to exercise undue influence over others – the kind of influence where the victim has zero say in the matter. This is the real reason why they are pushing us away from ICOs towards Security Token Offerings (STOs) – right into the hands of their buddies on Wall Street.

They are of course doing all of this in the name of protection. Yet, what are they doing and have they done to protect us against grievous wolves in the legacy financial system? Next to nothing.

E.g. when push came to shove during the financial crisis of 2007-2008, they chose to take more bread away from the children to throw to the wolves. So why should they be trusted when they claim they wish to protect us?

Bitcoin was born on January 9th, 2009 – and many other cryptos since that splendid day – to bring an end to their shenanigans. Period.

Funding for Crypto Projects

An ICO can be a great way for a blockchain or crypto-related project to obtain the funding required to succeed. It is certainly more challenging since the current crypto bear market started. However, it still remains among the best ways to obtain funding – provided that the management team of the relevant project doesn’t allow themselves to be stunned by fear of the authorities. It is especially important not to allow speculation and empty lawyer talk to set the course of action.

Keep in mind that where a true crypto spirit reigns supreme – there is always a way to obtain funding that is acceptable and not harmful to humans.

Money for Bounty Hunters and Direct Participants

Before the current bear market and all the bad ICO talk started in earnest – predominantly triggered by the desire of the authorities to ‘protect’ us – it was a great way to make good money as a bounty hunter or simply by participating directly in ICOs – or through a combination of both.

For those of you who are not familiar with the term “bounty hunter” as used in the crypto space, it is a term used to refer to someone who in essence helps to market an Initial Coin Offering by joining a “bounty program” or “bounty campaign.” As a bounty hunter, you normally receive compensation at the end of an ICO for specific actions taken (articles written, tweets created and posted, etc.). Compensation is normally in the form of tokens issued by the relevant ICO.

Good money was also made by those who directly participated in ICOs through a combination of buying, selling and hodling. Unfortunately ‘pump and dump’ schemes, scams, etc. also flourished and many people also lost money. However, these bad apples must not be allowed to subtract from the successes of bounty hunters and participants who participated in legitimate ICOs – and the successes of such ICOs as a result blood, sweat, tears and a good measure of passion and dedication.

Now it must be said, while the authorities can to a large extent be blamed for spooking the market – and the bear market it eventually triggered, the crypto community should have done more to shut down all of the scam ICOs.

Good news is that attempts for self-regulation have considerably picked up steam, including the surfacing of honest ICO listings and rating sites.

Will it be enough to save the day? It is probably anyone’s guess, although we remain confident that self-regulation will succeed. This is provided that members of the crypto community wake up, band together and support initiatives in this regard. We have a deep and lasting confidence in the ability of the crypto community to overcome the challenges faced. We, after all, don’t have to be bigger than ourselves – we only have to care deeply about others and have the desire to fight for our fellow man to the end.

Furthermore, who knows how many of the scam ICOs were clandestinely run by the authorities in the first place. Is it really that far-fetched to bring this into the equation?

Leaving it there, you may not be aware of it, but the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) created a spoof ICO website at HoweyCoins.com. They claim it is to “educate investors about what to look for before they invest in a scam” (The SEC Has an Opportunity You Won’t Want to Miss: Act Now!, May 16, 2018). This must be a world first as we fail to find similar examples to “educate investors” about the massive fraud committed via the legacy financial system long before the advent of cryptos.

E.g. the likes of Wall Street’s Bernie Madoff (“Bernard”) alone defrauded investors to the tune of $64.8 billion (Bernard Madoff, Wikipedia). He got away with it for years at an end. This is not even to mention various other frauds involving billions of dollars that are and were made possible by the legacy financial system. Yet, the SEC has the burning desire to “save” us from ICOs and “educate” us through a spoof ICO website. How terribly kind of them to show so much concern for our welfare.

In the heydays, ICOs enabled many people to provide for their families, especially in poorer countries. Yes, instead of ending up in the pocket of some fat cat on Wall Street, the money ended up where it is needed most. And this happened without the involvement of the authorities or the fat cats that normally “ring-fence” the benefits for themselves in Initial Public Offerings (IPOs).

The Future of ICOs

It is not too late for the crypto community to firmly choose the path of self-regulation. To bring back the heydays of ICOs less the scams and illegal schemes that hold no benefit to humanity – except having benefit to the authorities who need an excuse to control us in a bad way.

It is important to understand, given the nature of cryptos, that we the people can call the shots without one shot from a real gun being fired (or violence for that matter). We only have to embrace cryptos and support real initiatives to self-regulate and make blockchain technology and cryptos work for all.

Allow the fat cats and their bankster buddies on Wall Street and elsewhere to continue with their shenanigans and half-assed Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) and other schemes designed to exclude and make the little guy poorer – the majority of the world population for that matter. Allow them to call the shots in the circus they created, control and run.

On the other hand, we the people should be the only ones to call the shots when it comes to the crypto space. We don’t need the permission of Wall Street or the authorities in order to succeed. If they stand in the way of progress, we have the option to make them and all the parasitic middlemen obsolete. Again, without having to resort to any form of violence. This is the power of cryptos. The sooner we realize this and get our ducks in a row, the better.

In short: An ICO is in the final equation whatever we want it to be. May we choose wisely.

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Just another guy who likes to write about tech and gadgets.

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