The director of one of the first bitcoin hedge funds offered praise for initial coin offerings (ICOs) today, arguing in an investor note that the novel fundraising method is already showing signs of significant advances.
The new comments shed light on how Global Advisors, a Jersey-based investment firm that buys and sells cryptocurrency, sees changes in the broader crypto markets, which have so far seen a boom in fundraising via custom digital assets in 2017.
Recalling this broader increase, the company’s director, Daniel Masters, a former energy trader with J.P. Morgan, went so far as to argue that it is the appreciation of alternative cryptocurrencies and ethereum assets that has become the driver of bitcoin’s price.
“It was other coins and tokens that were driving value, outperforming bitcoin while dragging the whole complex higher,” he wrote.
Still, Masters believes that, while often dismissed as a “bubble” or a “fad”, ICOs have become the breeding ground for real advances. In particular, he cited the now-ended ICO for Bancor, in which the project aimed at improving smart contracts raised $160m in cryptocurrency.
Lauding the mechanics of the sale as “striking,” he asserted that Bancor was able to use blockchain technology to offer services that transcend traditional services like Kickstarter.
“Bancor gave a money-back guarantee backed by 80% of the ethereum raised should the market price of [its BNT token] fall below the issue price. Sure enough, a few days later in an overall market sell off, BNT traded to par. Bancor issued a statement saying the buy-back was activated,” he wrote.
Overall, Masters sees this type of “coded instruction” as a “eureka moment” showcasing what he thinks is evidence of the truly disruptive power of peer-to-peer digital assets.
“This differs significantly from the methodology to date where, ironically, centralized exchanges have been the nexus for transactions not just from fiat money to digital assets but also amongst and between assets.”
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