Even the most seasoned investors, entrepreneurs, and established businesses have been caught off guard by the meteoric rise of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), cryptographic tokens, and blockchain-based application development. Early-stage startups raised nearly $4B from ICOs during the past year, far outstripping venture and angel funding. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently spoke out, emphatically cautioning that many ICOs may be violating securities laws.Beyond the legal concerns and the hype awaits a potential technological and economic disruption not seen since the birth of the worldwide web: the decentralization of the Internet. If successful, decentralization of data storage and ownership promises to dramatically upend the status quo, cutting out intermediaries and centralized platforms and replacing them with token-based, peer-to-peer transactions executed via “smart contracts.” Myriad service industries are in blockchain’s crosshairs, from financial and payment processing to ride and home sharing, such as Uber and Airbnb.
- As decentralization evolves, what form will it take? When will it occur, and at what scale?
- What are the obstacles and barriers?
- Given recent SEC action, what is the future of ICOs?
- How will companies, businesses, and markets benefit from these changes?
Join us on February 27, 2018, to find out.