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Think Crypto is a Bubble? What About Silicon Valley Startups Then?

  • Darryn Pollock
    ⭐ Features

    Many feel that the cryptocurrency and ICO model is a bubble, but they should look at Silicon Valley startups, in the same manner, more closely


Think Crypto is a Bubble? What About Silicon Valley Startups Then?
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Many have come forward and said that the cryptocurrency ecosystem is a bubble, and a big part of that has to do with the way in which the ICO sector has operated, mimicking the Dot Com boom that was seen in the early 2000s.

However, those same commentators should probably look a little closer to home if they are looking for a bubble, especially one predicated on promises of equity and growth in user base.

ICOs and startups follow a very similar model in terms of capital raising. The biggest deviation, however, is the inclusivity of an ICO whereas startups look to major investors for their funds, and then turn their user base into the commodity.


This play from startups is much more open to collapse whereas the ICO model of individual and open investing allows individuals to become members, rather than a commodity, of the project.

The Silicon Tech Bubble is hitting its peak

Many think that the tech bubble popped in 2000, however, it has emerged as a slightly different beat. We are seeing instances of overvaluation creeping back into the space, especially when successful startups are being taken to IPO.

Venture Capital-funded companies, some reaching the status of unicorns, are dying all the time as they enter the market. These companies are severely overrated when they reach the billion dollar mark, as much as by 50 percent- according to research conducted by Will Gornall at the University of British Columbia and Ilya Strebulaev of Stanford.

Of those 135 unicorns examined, the researchers estimate that nearly half, or 65, should be more fairly valued at less than $1 bln.

This is already a huge indicator of a bubble brewing in Silicon Valley. Keith Wright, instructor of accounting and information services at the Villanova School of Business, explains the way in which this overvaluation occurs.

“Investors focus on growing the unicorn customer base, not turning a profit. New regulatory conditions, including wildly separate share classes, which give some shareholders significantly more rights than others, have resulted in a danger of widespread overvaluation,” Wright said in an interview to CNBC:

“Some shareholders have voting rights to assets, rights to dividends, rights to inspect records.”

ICOs and their similar model

People will argue that at its core, ICOs are often overvalued as well, but while there is a similar model between startups and ICOs trying to raise capital for the company, there is also one major difference.

Startups will go to venture capitalists and other sources of major resources in order to gain capital, and in exchange, as Wright states, these shareholders get huge rights. However, the situation with an ICO is that there is no barrier to entry for individuals to ‘invest’ in the company- it is accessible to everyone.

Essentially what this allows is any person who invests in an ICO becomes a member of the company and thus has big and powerful rights over the way in which the company functions.

If, for example, a Blockchain project attempted to raise funds through an ICO by saying they will have complete control of their users and user data once the product launches, it would be considered ridiculous and the project would fail without even starting.

However, with startups, only the wealthy investors have members rights, and those who utilize the project become the commodity with their data and information.

A change in scene

Venture capitalists are starting to become dinosaurs, and the entire startup space is being reworked with the advent of Blockchain and ICOs. But it is not only the startups that are looking at new disruptive technologies.

“Large incumbent companies are learning how to adopt emerging and disruptive technologies faster than ever. Companies such as Actesy.com from St. Gallen have recently perfected and piloted new software that enables Fortune 500 companies such as Porsche, Roche and BASF to quickly and easily adopt emerging technologies while maintaining their existing highly expensive, entrenched legacy solutions,” Wright adds.

“Previously, it may have taken 10 or more years to replace enterprise-wide global systems. When large companies learn to sustain their competitive advantage through disruptive technologies, the unicorn game is limited.”

Trust is the ultimate catalyst for any community. There are projects like U°Community that build a transparent community platform with dynamic reputation. Users could create content, interact with people, direct their own communities, run businesses, and even build dApps without having to leave the ecosystem.

The shift at the top is happening as the incumbent companies look further afield than those big, and overvalued, unicorns in Silicon Valley. And at the grassroots level, individual investors, such as those being seen in ICOs are starting to become as big and as important as your traditional heavy investor.

The exclusivity of backing a project no longer fits the mark, rather the crowdfunding, ICO model is what is working in today’s world, and as such Silicon Valley startups that are still pursuing becoming unicorns and gaining too much funding to become overvalued, are blowing up that tech bubble all over again.

A personal touch

The real crux of the matter between a startup using Venture Capitalist money and that of an ICO using funding from individuals who back the project is the support. Major companies fund projects hoping to mold and control them for their own gains, and they have little to no worry about the company and its users needs or wants.

At the same time, when it comes to an ICO, the people investing in it, have a vested interest in the success of the project, they are supporting it and wanting it to succeed.

When it comes to defining a bubble, overvaluing a project just to pick up users and without looking at the potential and growth of the company, it becomes quite apparent which is more of a bubble.

Cover image via u.today
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Question of the Day: Can Stablecoins Accelerate Cryptocurrency Adoption?

  • Yuri Molchan
    ⭐ Features

    Stablecoins show hardly any volatility compared to Bitcoin and altcoins, many are hoping that they will be able to bridge new crypto economy and regular fiat money


Question of the Day: Can Stablecoins Accelerate Cryptocurrency Adoption?
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Bitcoin, the father cryptocurrency, emerged in hope that it will remove all intermediaries in electronic commerce that cut off their share of payments. BTC was perceived as a P2P way to replace fiat cash in an electronic format, which would enable one party to pay another without any financial institution or payment platform which would demand its share of a transaction as a reward for its services.

What is wrong with Bitcoin

For quite a while Bitcoin was performing the way the crypto community expected. But the situation changed later – BTC rate became weaker, thus bringing down its financial and economic reliability, when it gets to be used as a regular means of payment.


You cannot have a currency that would cost like a British castle today, a gram of gold – tomorrow and a pack of French fries the day after.

At that point practical fintech minds came up with an idea of creating something which would become a breakthrough in the universe of crypto – a so-called stablecoin.

Will stablecoins solve the volatility problem?

Technically, stablecoins are protected from the volatility roller-coaster that Bitcoin and other cryptos love to ride. They are programmed to keep their prices stable and investors now are largely attracted to this new type of digital assets.

Stablecoin does not show any volatility in its monetary value, since it has a fixed connection to an asset it is pegged to. The major goal of using stablecoins is taking the best from decentralized crypto coins and combining it with a constant value. Thanks to it, stablecoins can be used as a reliable means of trade.

Asset-pegged stablecoins

Asset-backed ones get their value from an asset as can be understood from the name. An asset provides the necessary value to a coin, as well as the necessary legitimacy.

A great example of an asset-pegged stablecoin is Tether (USDT). In spite of a series of scandals at the end of last year, it remains the most popular stablecoin in the crypto market.

Recently, it has partnered with the Tron Foundation to launch a Tron-based stablecoin.

Other examples are TrueUSD (TUSD), USD Coin (USDC), the Gemini Dollar (GUSD), and the Paxos Standard (PAX). They are all pegged to the USD.

Crypto-backed stablecoins

Some digital coins work in a similar way to fiat-backed ones, however, they are pegged to collateral crypto. That means that crypto assets that ensure the value of such stablecoins are stored in a wallet similar to escrow.

A good example of a crypto-pegged token is Maker, which is ranked 16 on CMC.

Algorithmic stablecoins

Even though, stablecoin can be interesting at first thought but the way they are built goes against the principle of decentralization that crypto coins have as a foundation. Thus, many crypto fans and evangelists are positive that stablecoins must be linked towards not a centralized asset but a computer algorithm which takes value from a balance between supply and demand.

Basis is now considered the most promising algorithmic stablecoin of all.

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Can stablecoin ensure smooth future for the crypto industry?

The primary goal of all crypto assets was and remains to come up with virtual asset that would be liquid enough and not vulnerable to market volatility. From this point of view, stablecoins are a dream of all crypto fans and evangelists of a decentralized economy.

Apart from the potential to conduct crypto transactions smoothly, experts believe it can bridge the two worlds – fiat and crypto, bringing them a mutually beneficial coexistence. However, that may take time.

Cover image via u.today
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