The cryptocurrency market has been suffering after Bitcoin hit its all-time high in December 2017. While high-quality projects in the industry may spring up, John Mullin, Managing Director of Research and Business Development at trade.io, believes that no one will see the same initial coin offerings (ICOs) as last year.
The topic of “ICO is dead” has been prevailing in some crypto communities, but Mullin has a different opinion. Back then, ICO projects could easily raise millions of dollars with simple white papers and even before launching actual products or services. However, the story has changed.
“In terms of completely dead, I don’t think so,” Mullin said in an interview with CoinsNetwork. “Eventually, it’s gonna bounce back, but not the way it was last year by any means. That’s a different game.”
On the other hand, he thinks that ICO as a fundraising vehicle is not dead because it is still cheaper than traditional fundraising methods and with no equity dilution. Also, the underlying blockchain technology can help improve the access to global market.
It would be more difficult to raise capital through ICOs, “but that’s a good thing, as you have to have a stronger and trusted team. You gotta have actual products and real utilities behind it,” Mullin commented.
He thinks that every good project should consider every potential financing option, including ICO, venture capital fundraising, and security token offerings (STOs).
It is believed in the industry that cryptocurrency and blockchain are at the early stage of development. With a similar thought, Mullin pointed out that there is still a long way for crypto to go to become totally mature.
While having a very bullish view on the industry, he thinks that there is a lot of work to do, and said, “… fewer conferences, more building. Let’s get the real people to actually build some stuff.”
Soon after the fall of ICO, the idea of STO came into being. Professionals in the space hope to convince investors and regulators in a more compliant way. Mullin said trade.io is 100% interested in the new field, and asked, “it wouldn’t be a smart decision to not to look at it, right?”
In Hong Kong, The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has introduced new regulations regarding cryptocurrency players and a conceptual framework for potential regulation of virtual asset trading platforms.
Considering the SFC new circular as a positive step for security tokens and compliant token offerings in Hong Kong, Mullin said that it is the watchdogs’ job to regulate. If companies want to be compliant, they have to do what the regulators require.
“Regulation is not a bad thing, overregulation is. But I don’t think this is overregulation, because they haven’t regulated anything in the first place.”
He said that trade.io has the security-related license in the United States, while not yet in Hong Kong. But in fact, trade.io were already looking at getting a license since they set up the office in Hong Kong.
The company is interested in and has been talking with the SFC about entering the sandbox. However, the discussions are still preliminary as the SFC still has some due diligence work to deal with. “Hopefully, that would come back positive,” Mullin said.
John Mullin will participate at the Hong Kong Blockchain Summit 2018 organized by CoinsNetwork, Bloomberg Businessweek/Chinese Edition and Hong Kong blockchain consultant and investment company BlackHorse Group on December 12 this year. He will share more about crypto as an asset class, along with other renowned speakers at the conference to share the latest trends in the blockchain industry.