ICOs were so 2017? According to organizers of the Crypto Invest Summit taking place in Los Angeles next week, it’s only just warming up. Despite crypto asset price slumps, increasing regulatory scrutiny and (to some) overheated enthusiasm by the inexperienced, token sales have continued to rake in fiat value in 2018. According to the latest data, 165 ICOs have raised $5 billion USD in 2018 alone — compared to $95 million in 2016 and $3.8 billion in 2017.
That’s just ICOs, too, and doesn’t include investments in the wider blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem. The L.A. gathering is expected to pull together over 4,000 attendees, from the seasoned bitcoin/crypto crowd to bit-curious beginners.
Investor, ICO Project and Media Paths Converge in LA
Crypto Invest Summit bills itself as “an exclusive, curated, high-impact, informative and thought-provoking summit presented by some of the world’s foremost innovators, change makers and prominent leaders in the blockchain and crypto ecosystem.”
Speakers include long-time crypto industry familiars like Tim and Adam Draper, Brock Pierce, Vinny Lingham, Michael Terpin and Bill Barhydt. The L.A. setting will likely present a media-friendly front too with CNBC presenter Ran Neu-Ner on the bill, and a host of big investors, ICO startups and publicists all looking for a spotlight.
Bitsonline will be there too as one of several media partners from the blockchain industry. Crypto Invest Summit will take place from April 30th to May 2nd, 2018, at the L.A. Convention Center.
Interview: Crypto Invest Summit Organizer Alon Goren
We spoke to Alon Goren — principal at VC firm Wavemaker Genesis and co-founder of the Crypto Invest Summit — about the event and why he thinks there’s still so much interest in the space. He’s also offering free tickets, so read right to the end.
Jon Southurst: I see ICO-themed conferences happening all over the world these days. What makes Crypto Invest stand out from that crowd?
Alon Goren: What differentiates Crypto Invest Summit from other conferences is our intense focus on attracting active investors from throughout the ecosystem. Our 4,000+ attendees will include angel investors, venture capitalists, retail investors, family offices and broker-dealers.
JS: Why Los Angeles? (say, as opposed to a tech center like Silicon Valley or a financial center like NYC)
AG: In many ways the explosion in cryptocurrency investing in recent years can be traced back to Los Angeles. Many of the most successful investors and entrepreneurs have their roots in Los Angeles, which is one of the reasons there is so much excitement building for Crypto Invest Summit.
JS: What industry sector stands to benefit most from the ability to sell tokens?
AG: Blockchain is so pervasive and world changing I don’t think one sector stands out from another in terms of their ability to have a successful token sale — it’s really industry agnostic. There have been first movers, and I would say in first world countries gaming has led the way, while in third world countries it has been the financial sector whose efforts to bank the previously unbankable are actively demonstrating the power of blockchain technology.
JS: We saw token sales raise hundreds of millions of dollars each last year. Was that the bubble, or will we likely see even bigger raises in the coming years?
AG: It’s only going to get bigger. In just the first quarter of 2018 we’ve seen more investment in ICOs than all of last year, at a time when the overall crypto market wasn’t growing. Long term, cryptocurrency will become mainstream, not the alternative, so until the size of ICOs surpasses that of IPO investments, I don’t believe the market will have fully reached its potential.
JS: Will increased regulation make it too expensive for many startups to conduct token sales?
AG: Yes! We saw it happen in crowdfunding and I’m afraid it’s going to happen in the ICO market. Hopefully regulations will not be so onerous that it will prevent entrepreneurs from leaving the U.S. or not embarking on new ventures at all. Fortunately, there will be funds established to support entrepreneurs in ways that allow them to run their businesses with the confidence of knowing they have partners who are ensuring their businesses are operating within U.S. and international law.
JS: Anything else I haven’t mentioned here that you’d like to say?
AG: Yes! We’re excited to have Bitsonline.com as our media partner. I’d love to give a free ticket to the show to the first five people who share this article. Please make sure to tag #cryptoinvestsummit in your post!
Are ICOs actually blockchain’s killer app? What do you make of all the mainstream attention? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.
Images via Crypto Invest Summit, Pixabay
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Bitsonline is an official media partner for Crypto Invest Summit LA 2018.