By Gordon Cowan, CEO, The Blockchain Company
“Bitcoin”, “cryptocurrency”, “ethereum”, “blockchain”, “coin offerings”, “token sales”. All of these terms are shrouded in controversy. The traditional financial markets, much of the media, investors and many analysts simply do not trust the word of many players in the arena. And not without reason. There have been companies set up with the sole intention of exploiting others. Firms have deliberately muddied the water, hidden the truth and ultimately lost people money.
But it’s not all like that.
I appreciate I would say that, given I’m the CEO of The Blockchain Development Company (BCDC), where, through blockchain technology, we are raising investment for a number of charitable initiatives by carrying out a token sale. I recognise that token sales are, at present, a challenging environment across the globe but this has presented us with an opportunity to show the world that with some great projects and proactive investors, there is a chance for the ordinary man or woman on the street to make a real difference through an investment such as this.
The cloud of distrust created by a number of firms before us, however, means that we feel it necessary to declare our work with global law firm Clyde & Co as our counsel. We have taken every step possible to prove our authenticity, and are fully transparent in everything we do. This is an unfortunate necessity but not something without precedent when talking about new financial products.
Although annuities, for instance, date back to Roman times, the introduction of pensions around 100 years ago were greeted with disdain. People didn’t trust the idea of giving someone else their money to then be given it back at a later date.
When credit cards were introduced, customers did not believe the concept of credit was viable. The same can be said for many different financial products or movements. More recently, crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending has faced similar criticism and doubts. After some time, and the introduction of better, more efficient and transparent providers, the crowdfunding market is now so established and trusted that the World Bank Crowdfunding Report projects it to hit the $93bn mark by 2025.
We see and anticipate the same for cryptocurrencies and token sales, often referred to as initial coin offerings, and we believe they are imperative to the success of the wider market. This is because the “normal” cryptocurrency process often excludes traditional investors who may wish to take part in a token sale either because they “don’t know how to” due to a lack of technical skills in setting up a “wallet” or simply don’t want the hassle of learning something new in having to set something up.
To tackle this, we developed what we see as a ground breaking solution that allows traditional investors who want to participate and store their tokens by providing our own BCDC Token Vault. The BCDC Token Vault makes it easy for those unfamiliar with blockchain technology to purchase BCDC Tokens. The Vault automatically stores purchased BCDC Tokens and is accessible by a traditional and familiar online login screen/portal format. Each individual can then choose what to do with their tokens. BCDC’s tokens allow investors access to the BCDC investment projects which many are excited about. The projects themselves produce an ROI directly back to the investor.
Since 2013, the Economist reports, more than $2bn has already been invested in offerings. It is clear that where ‘common’ perception is perhaps negative towards token sales, savvy investors do not hold the same views and are making strong returns. Yet, for the industry to progress, it needs to clean up the reputation for the masses.
Like any investment, there are risks. It is true that most token sales are not regulated by the FCA. Prices can be somewhat volatile, there are the aforementioned tricksters in the market, and many businesses are in their early stages. We see all of these things changing in the very near future. We are happy to see more regulation, we want to see these changes. The market is still very much in its infancy, there is still learning to be had, but along with that comes a responsibility for businesses like ours, to educate people of the positives.
The positive work that cryptocurrencies and token sales can do is at the heart of our business. That’s why we are regularly looking at ways to demonstrate the benefits of blockchain technology to traditional investors, whilst also constantly sourcing investable projects that have a positive impact on the world.
We are the first of our kind within the blockchain community to offer cryptocurrency investment products that facilitate community projects that have a direct impact on the environment. These projects are EcoChain; RecycleToCoin and FoodTrax.
- EcoChain – this is a blockchain based investment hub and central project comparison tool, which directly connects investors to renewable energy projects around the world, allowing them to gain long-term ROI.
- RecycleToCoin– this project, currently under development and will see BCDC tokens actively reward recycling. The company is in talks with national charitable organisations in the UK and will launch before the end of the year to allow consumers to trade in plastic and cans for BCDC tokens & eGift Cards.
- FoodTrax– BCDC is passionate about enabling transparent supply chain management in the food industry. BCDC will offer an online and fraud-free tracking system from farm to store.
BCDC Tokens are access/utility and we believe investors will make strong, separate, returns on their investments via accessing EcoChain projects with them and thanks to the blockchain technology, are able to monitor their capital throughout.
We believe the ultimate taboo of the token sale is to not talk about it publicly. To keep it in the shadows of mainstream investment. We want to show that the entire market is ready for investment, is trustworthy and here to stay.