Many bankers love blockchain for its potential to maximize efficiency and productivity while slashing costs and security risks. But the crypto-currencies, such as the (in)famous bitcoin, tied to it? Not so much—at least not across the board. While giving the thumbs up to distributed ledger technology for its advantages in areas such as trade finance, industry leaders are maintaining a wary eye on cryptos, due to disadvantages such as volatility.
On 12 June 2017, a blockchain-based company called Bancor raised approximately $153 million in ether (the coin of the cryptocurrency Ethereum) in just less than three hours by way of an initial coin offering (ICO).
Blockchain, the decentralized ledger that supports today’s burgeoning cryptocurrencies, has become so useful that it can no longer be ignored by today’s financial institutions. From cutting costs to reducing risks, this indomitable digital technology has moved way beyond bitcoin to becoming an indispensable ally to the bank that wants to most securely and efficiently fulfill its role of tracking, storing and transferring value.
One of the most significant recent developments in the cryptocurrency sphere has been the rise of the Initial Coin Offering (ICO), or “token sale” to raise funds for development projects, or even to launch new companies.
The cryptocurrency craze has been in full flow during 2017. Bitcoin seems to be setting record highs with every passing week. Initial coin offerings (ICOs) are turning traditional capital-raising on its head.
On August 8, US bank Goldman Sachs reported that the amount raised by cryptocurrency and blockchain start-up companies through early-stage venture-capital funding had been surpassed by that raised by ICOs (initial coin offerings) during the months of June and July.