The traditional IPO model has been a crucial part of modern capitalism. The blockchain ICO model is of course inspired by IPOs, with speculation driving considerably profits for both investors and businesses. Some coins have even started offering dividend-like sharing of profits.
However, until now, almost all ICOs have been purely blockchain based. I'm sure a lot of blockchain purists will find this heresy - but how do we go about powering offline SMBs on the blockchain? This is a question for all blockchain and cryptocurrency experts out there.
Of course, the end goal would be to get all consumers and businesses alike on cryptocurrencies, but today, a vast majority of commerce happens through fiat currencies.
First, there needs to be an established platform for ICOs. I know there are ICO trackers and such, but when Bitcointalk is the defacto platform for announcing ICOs, you know there's serious demand for a platform here. I know some are in the works. We need business management tools for the blockchain. This is why Aragon seems particularly exciting to me. I'm sure we'll see more.
After discussing with a couple of lawyers from three sovereign states, the legal and accounting seems to be a major challenge right now. Businesses based in the USA seem to have found an effective loophole, selling them as securities to Non-US buyers. Things are not so clear in other countries. If you have some insights into the legality of ICOs in your country - do let us know.
We have the perfect example of an offline business ICO coming up - an independent feature film, Braid. https://campaign.braidthemovie.com/
For a while, such projects took to Kickstarter, but it was never a good incentive for the donors - a poster simply isn't as enticing as stakeholding. I believe blockchain ICOs fundamentally have the potential to be a superior solution for fundraising.
It's not a long term business, but a single project they are raising funds for. Besides speculation on markets, they plan to distribute net profits from the project. All revenue will be through offline distribution channels such as theatrical distributors such as Focus Features and SVOD services such as Netflix. These companies will only buy rights for the film in fiat currencies, and pay over a period of time. For example, Netflix typically pays over 3 years in 6 instalments. It'll be very intriguing to see how this project turns out!
Till then - I would love to hear from the blockchain experts out there!