A Japanese billionaire and venture capitalist said this week that he believes initial coin offerings (ICOs) will become a significant source of funding for startups in the future.
Speaking with CNBC amidst the Singapore Week of Innovation & Technology, Taizo Son remarked that that ICOs – through which cryptographic tokens are sold in an effort to bootstrap a blockchain network – could be "major methods" for startups to access capital.
He told the publication:
Son is perhaps best known as the founder and current chairman of GungHo, a major Japanese gaming company that has released games like Puzzle & Dragons and Ragnarok Online. He also founded Mistletoe, a venture capital firm focused on early-stage startups.
His comments are notable given recent reports that Japanese officials are said to be moving closer toward new regulations around the funding model.
According to Nikkei, Japan's Financial Services Agency (FSA) is currently weighing how to go about overseeing ICOs in the country. The FSA has played a leading role in developing rules for cryptocurrencies in Japan, and the developments come after Japan officially classified bitcoin as a kind of payment instrument.
Image via Latitude59/YouTube
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.