There were more than 700 initial coin offerings (ICOs) in 2017, raising nearly $5 billion, according to Forbes, some more serious than others.
Fred Schebesta, co-founder and chief executive of comparison website Finder.com, says he is unsure how viable some new coins are, and argues ICOs should be regulated. In December, the US Securities and Exchange Commission halted an ICO, saying coins were securities, and an ICO should be regulated just like an initial public offering (IPO).
Bitcoin: FX or commodity?
Proliferation of other coins
Some coins do what bitcoin cannot, he adds. For example, Civic is an identity coin used for anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) purposes.
Schebesta defends bitcoin’s longevity, saying it is delivering on its core promise, and is reliable. There are incredible developers working on solving its drawbacks, and like Windows, it will be improved over time.
China banned bitcoin trading and ICOs in September 2017. But he thinks the country will remove its ban on bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies in general, in the summer.
China is one of the most progressive countries in the world, Schebesta added, and have more patents on blockchain than they do in America.
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) began trading bitcoin futures on 18 December 2017. Schebesta believes that this will affect spot prices, depending on the timing of contracts. There is more technology to be built, to cope with an influx of big institutional money. He questioned where $100 million of bitcoin can be safely stored, and said that it is early days yet but a good time to get in.
Central bank cryptos
Schebesta also defended the concept of central banks issuing their own cryptocurrencies, noting that it takes three days to get your currency the traditional way, and that you are exposed to foreign exchange risk while it is sitting in someone else’s bank account. In comparison, with cryptocurrencies it would be around five minutes.