When you can not beat them, join them. The proliferation of ICO, an unregulated market, will eventually impose an increasingly common practice. And big companies will not stay out of the system for too long.
*Jonny Fry, CEO of TeamBlockchain and a specialist, among other aspects of this new economy, at ICO (Initial Coin Offering), has no doubts: "within five years big companies like Google, Facebook or Apple will be launching an ICO", he said, at the event 'Legalize Blockchain'.
An ICO is basically an unregulated medium that serves a new venture or a company raising funds to invest by selling virtual currency and is a practice mostly used by startups who want to avoid the rigors of regulations and access capital required by venture capitalists or banks.
The key word is not 'virtual' - in what some call casino economics, where virtual things are sold and bought every day everywhere. The futures and options market, for example, is completely virtual, and that is not why it does not exist. The key word is "unregulated" and this is why, as several of the participants in the event explained, regulatory banks and other entities (such as the European Commission itself) have kept a close eye on the sale of so called cryptocurrencies.
But this, as they also have not tired of referring, is something that, with time, passes. Even because time will bring regulation, no one doubts it. If that was not the case, as Luis Roquette Geraldes, Senior Associate of MLGTS, and Filipe Castro, founder of Utrust were scrutinizing, because regulators know that there are, in these operations that are unknown, a possibly very desirable area for the collection of new taxes.
What all those who participated in the debates converged was the need for countries not to be late in this new area of business. The message is simple: instead of condemning a new practice at the outset, it would be better for regulators to study it with the experience of the (few) who already have it and legislate in the best way.
But this is not what usually happens, especially in markets where the traditional financial system has the enormous weight it has, for example, in Portugal. "It is a pity that our country is losing this opportunity", said several of those present.
Even because the time is already counting: some countries are well ahead in what has to do with the acceptance of this type of new financial practices. Jonny Fry assured that "just to speak in Europe, Estonia and Latvia", are already in the lead.
Not coincidentally, these are two markets where traditional banking is much less developed than in central or southern Europe - nor is it just a coincidence that traditional banks have been following the closed fire with which regulators have been trying to reach ICOs and other practices parallel.
And this happens for two reasons: in the first place because operations of this type can greatly reduce the financing costs of launching a business and new investments; and on the other hand because it will expose the fact that traditional banks "have long been deceiving everyone", according to Fry.
The British recalled yet another important fact: "it is not regulation that prevents fraud and corruption, as anyone can prove". It is true: in regulated markets - and it should be borne in mind that tax havens (for example) are regulated markets - the existence of fraud is constant.
With the regulation will arise the rest: the counseling and even the legal dispute. Those in attendance recalled that lawyers' activity is also regulated - and the class does not like to 'tinker' in activities that do not come 'stamped' in any compendium of laws.
Activity clearly subsidiary of the Internet, is therefore an area where everything happens very quickly. And the risk of regulators looking for a tip so they can get an idea of what they are dealing with while reality surpasses them on all sides is remarkable.
In the meanwhile, in order to make the practices that are possibly shaping the future more known, the organizers of the event, held in Porto, prepare a new edition for the month of November.
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