Coins unlike the ones you find in your couch
What’s an Initial Coin Offering?
While it sounds like the beginning of an intrepid relationship with a metal-loving deity, turns out ICOs have nothing to do with actual coins.
No parents, no rules
ICOs, aka “token sales,” are part of blockchain technology fundraising. An ICO is essentially a crowdfunded cryptocurrency.
Tokens for new cryptocurrency are sold as a fundraising effort for technical development.
Whenever a new cryptocurrency is born, its startup parents arbitrarily decide its worth.
After supply and demand smack it around for a bit, participants in the price dynamic testing then settle on a value.
Instead of a central government, the network of participants determines how much the cryptocurrency is worth.
Unlike Initial Public Offerings, acquiring a token does not mean owning stakes in the company.
Why VC firms care now
Although venture capitalists have been giving ICO the cold shoulder, things are starting to look up.
Cryptocurrency investors made bank last year, with some doubling their investments.
Investors see returns more quickly with ICOs due to the liquidity of cryptocurrencies.
Instead of waiting for a startup to playout via an IPO or acquisition, investors can bail if things aren’t going well.
It’s easy to pull funds—or profits, if things did work out. All investors have to do is use a cryptocurrency exchange to pull their profits, then use an online service to convert this to real people money.
Who’s afraid of the dark(web)?
If this sounds sketchy, you’re not alone. Traditional investors aren’t really fans of the regulatory uncertainty.
The world of ICO can be full of scams and schemes, with little control over financials and strategy.
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and friends are still investigating ICOs. But technically ICOs fall outside legal frameworks.
ICOs don’t offer equity in startups, and only give cryptocurrency discounts before they release them to the exchanges.
Additionally, ICOs are global, not national. Theoretically, anyone can invest on a semi-anonymous level. Oh, and they’re not funded by central authorities or banks either.
Reform and re-adjustment
Criminal activity is now mostly self-regulated within the community via crowdsourcing and external groups.
Some companies are even working to establish Know Your Customer frameworks and make ICOs Anti-Money Laundering compliant.
Those who support ICOs argue traditional methods of investing only benefit those already dominating the system.
Investing outside of the system provides more freedom, especially for startups.
ICOs mean startups can raise funds without worrying too much about looming stakeholders. Non-profits can also benefit if they want to build open source software to raise capital.
Call me ICO-shmael
From their humble beginnings, bitcoins are now worth around $1,120. Bitcoin’s market cap is around twenty billion.
Allegedly, half of that is owned by “bitcoin whales,” a group of less than one thousand people who bought into bitcoin early.
Bitcoin whales have a huge impact on most ICOs. Most live in China, but some investment and hedge funds also have huge stakes in bitcoin. Fortunately, some of the bitcoin whale’s profits are reinvested in innovation.Since 2013, over $270 million has been raised in ICOs. Click To Tweet
Overall, ICOs are dominating in crowdfunding, with most top raises coming in as cryptocurrency.
Though it’s still kind of murky and mysterious, blockchain technology is starting to be seen as more legitimate. Initial Coin Offerings demonstrate the success of industry. As more investors become comfortable with ICOs, blockchain innovation will continue creating new possibilities.
Are Gen Z more fickle in their shopping, or do brands just need to keep up?
(BUSINESS NEWS) As the world keep changing, brands and businesses have to change along with it. Some say Gen Z is fickle, but others say it is the nature of change.
We all know that if you stop adapting to the world around you, you’re going to be left behind. A recently published article decided to point out that the “fickle” Gen Z generation are liable to leave a poor digitally run site and never return. Now of course we’ve got some statistics here… They did do some kind of due diligence.
This generation, whose life has been online from almost day one, puts high stakes on their experiences online. It is how they interact with the world. It’s keyed into their self-worth and their livelihoods, for some. You want to sell online, get your shit together.
They have little to no tolerance for anything untoward. 80% of Gen Zers reported that they are willing to try new brands since the pandemic. Brand loyalty, based on in-person interaction, is almost a thing of the past. When brands are moved from around the world at the touch of your fingertips there’s nothing to stop you. If a company screws up an order, or doesn’t get back to you? Why should you stick with them? When it comes to these issues, 38% of Gen Zers say they only give a brand 1 second chance to fix things. Three-quarters of the surveyed responded saying that they’ll gladly find another retailer if the store is just out of stock.
This study goes even further though and discusses not just those interactions but also the platforms themselves. If a website isn’t easy to navigate, why should I use it? Why should I spend my time when I can flit to another and get exactly what I need instead of getting frustrated? There isn’t a single company in the world that shouldn’t take their webpage development seriously. It’s the new face of their company and brand. How they show that face is what will determine if they are a Rembrandt or a toddlers noodle art.
The new age of online shopping has been blasted into the atmosphere by the pandemic. Online shopping has boosted far and above expected numbers for obvious reasons. When the majority of your populace is told to stay home. What else are they going to do? Brands that have been around for decades have gone out of business because they didn’t change to an online format either. Keep moving forward.
Now as a side note here, as someone who falls only just outside the Gen Z zone the articles description of fickle is pompous. The stories I’ve heard of baby boomers getting waiters fired, or boycotting stores because of a certain shopkeeper are just as fickle and pointed. Nothing has changed in the people, just how they interact with the world. Trying to single out a single generation based on how the world has changed is a shallow view of the world.
Chasing Clubhouse success? How the audio chat room trend affects products
(BUSINESS NEWS) It is inevitable that when a new successful trend comes along, other companies will try to make lightning strike twice. Will the audio chat room catch on?
Businesses are always about the hot new thing. People are the always looking for the easiest dollar with the least amount of effort these days. It tends to lead to products that are shoddy and horribly maintained with the least amount of flexibility in pleasing their customers. However, you also have to look at the customer base for this as well. You follow where the money is because that’s where its being spent. It’s like a merry-go-round, constantly chasing the next thing. And the latest of these is the audio chat room.
During the pandemic the entire world saw an eruption of social audio investments. Silicon Valley has gone crazy with this new endeavor. On the 18th of April this year, Clubhouse said it closed on some new funding, which was valued at $4 billion for a live audio app. This thing is still in beta without a single penny of revenue!
The list of other companies who have pursued new audio suites (either through purchase or creation) include:
This whole new audio fad is still in its infancy. These social media and tech giants are all jumping headlong into it with who knows how much forethought. A number of them have their own issues to deal with, but they’ve put things aside to try and grab these audio chat room coattails that are running by. It’s a mix of feelings about the situation honestly. They are trying to survive and keep their customers.
If a competitor creates this new capability and they stay stagnant then they lose customers. If they do this however without dealing with their current issues then they could also lose people. It’s an interesting catch 22 for people out there. Which group do you fall in? Are you antsy for a new toy or are you waiting for one of these lovely sites to fix a problem? It’s another day in capitalism.
This web platform for cannabis is blowing up online distribution
(BUSINESS NEWS) Dutchie, a website platform for cannabis companies, just octupled in value. Here’s what that means for the online growth of cannabis distribution.
The cannabis industry has, for the most part, blossomed in the past few years, managing to hit only a few major snags along the way. One of those snags is the issue of payment processing, an issue compounded by predominantly cash-only transactions. Dutchie, a Bend, Oregon company, has helped mitigate that issue—and it just raised a ton of money.
Technically, Dutchie is a jack-of-all-trades service that creates and hosts websites for dispensaries, tracks product, processes orders, keeps stock of revenue, and so much more. While it was valued at around $200 million as recently as summer of 2020, a round of series C funding currently puts the company at around $1.7 billion—approximately 8 times its worth a mere 8 months ago.
There are a few reasons behind Dutchie’s newfound momentum. For starters, the pandemic made cannabis products a lot more accessible—and desirable—in states in which the sale of cannabis is legal. The ensuing surge of customers and demand certainly didn’t hurt the platform, especially given that Dutchie is largely responsible for keeping things on track during some of the more chaotic months for dispensaries.
Several states in which the sale of cannabis was illegal also voted to legalize recreational use, giving Dutchie even more stomping ground than they had prior to the lockdown.
Dutchie also recently took on 2 separate companies and their associated employees, effectively doubling their current staff. The companies are Greenbits—a resource planning group—and Leaflogix, which is a point-of-sale platform. With these two additions to their compendium, Dutchie can operate as even more of an all-in-one suite, which absolutely contributes to its value as a company.
Ross Lipson, who is Dutchie’s co-founder and current CEO, is fairly dismissive of investment opportunities for the public at the moment, saying he instead prefers to stay “focused with what’s on our plate” for the time being. However, he also appears open to the possibility of going public via an acquisition company.
“We look at how this decision brings value to the dispensary and the customer,” says Lipson. “If it brings value, we’d embark on that decision.”
For now, Dutchie remains the ipso facto king of cannabis distribution and sales—and they don’t show any plans to slow down any time soon.
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