As regulatory bodies like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) pivot their attention to Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), so too is mainstream crowdfunding maestro Indiegogo. The company is now vetting ICOs and offering ICO access to investors in a bold pivot of their own.
Indiegogo Uniquely Positioned to Help ICOs Go Mainstream
Launching in 2008, Indiegogo was one of the first-movers in the Internet Age’s crowdfunding zeitgeist, helping the phenomenon to go mainstream across the globe in the ensuing years.
Now, Indiegogo — who’s facilitated over $1 billion USD in crowdfunds as of Q3 2017 — is officially angling to give ICOs the same treatment in what should prove to be a major legitimizing development for the entire cryptocurrency space. That’s because the OG crowdfunders will now be offering a vetting platform that will 1) grade ICOs and 2) facilitate investor access into credible offerings.
To be sure, there are loads of ICO ratings services currently in the crypto space. Beyond Piccolo Research, though, most of these services are unproven upstarts and are thus unreliable. And with allegations that some of these services are being paid to write padded reviews, trust is low.
Indiegogo’s reputation could be a much-needed legitimizer in the ratings arena, then. Who’s to say the Confido scamcoin would’ve ever taken off if Indiogogo’s rating service was already live weeks ago? The whole unfortunate episode surely would’ve been considerably less likely.
Per Slava Rubin, Indiegogo co-founder:
“We want to bring a brand of trust to the entire industry, which we think will bring ICOs to the mainstream.”
There’s a real demand for the kind of authoritative voice the company can bring accordingly. Which is why Indiegogo’s aiming to capitalize on the prematurity of the crypto ecosystem, insofar as they’re undoubtedly keen on getting a leg up on traditional competitors like GoFundMe and Kickstarter.
This move could make these competitors attempt to play “catch up,” catalyzing their own moves into the space and perhaps convincing other non-crowdfunding companies to do the same. And so the rapid march of tokenization continues onward …
The Next Domino in the Journey Toward Mainstream Adoption
The inaugural ICO of the Indiegogo service? The so-called Fan-Controlled Football League (FCFL).
If the FCFL has its way, then America’s National Football League (NFL) is soon going to be having some seriously interesting competition. The upstart league intends to raise as much as $5 million USD in an Ethereum-backed ICO courtesy of Indiegogo’s stewardship.
Swathes of fans, and not singular owners, would control the administrative fates of the teams involved — a potentially explosively popular participatory dynamic that could end up making the CryptoKitties craze look like chump change.
League play would also be structured in a way that would make it much leaner than NFL play. Per the project’s whitepaper:
Fans of the NFL and college football will be able to follow and understand the FCFL from day one. The most notable changes from the traditional outdoor game to the FCFL are:
- 1-hour games, running clock, short 5-minute halftime
- The field is half as long as an outdoor field and is surrounded by padded walls
- It’s 7v7 instead of 11v11 with offensive lineups similar to flag football that so many fans have played — three offensive linemen, a quarterback, and three skill position players
- There are no field goals, punts or (kicked) extra points, so teams must always ‘go for it’ on fourth down.These rule changes will increase the speed of the game, decrease penalties, and provide an intense hour of football.
Sounds like a novel and feasible token project, in the least. We’ll have to see how it turns out in the coming months. Naturally, a “Bitcoin Bowl” (or at least, one different to the last event that took the name) could be great at generating further mainstream interest in the ecosystem.
Ethereum Congestion Woes – Ouch!
Ethereum enthusiasts felt hot and cold at Indiegogo’s announcement. On the one hand, the company’s new service will rely on Ethereum for its first ICO facilitation. That had everyone excited of course.
Many were miffed, though, when they stumbled upon a frustrating revelation a little deeper in the “fine print,” as it were. Per The New York Times‘ Nathaniel Popper:
“The tokens will initially be stored and recorded on the ledger, or blockchain, associated with the Ethereum virtual currency network, though recent congestion on the Ethereum system has the league looking at other blockchain alternatives for the long term.”
On the more optimistic side of things, if Ethereum can achieve scalability in the mid-term, there’s no reason to think Indiegogo wouldn’t consider sticking around for good.
What do you think? Is this new Indiegogo service a major adoption milestone for the cryptocurrency ecosystem? Tell us where you stand in the comments below!
Images via Digital Trends, Indiegogo