ICOs – My Journey

I am a tech guy, not an investment advisor.  So take what you read here as sharing my experience not investment advise.

In the summer of 2014, I was following the movements of the Crowdfunding organizations like Kickstarter and Quirky.  When I happened upon an article about a new blockchain similar to bitcoin but more generalized.   Ethereum article read “I Backed Oculus Rift On Kickstarter And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt” explaining how an investment in Ethereum would not leave me out in the cold with a T-Shirt.  I read the paper and dug deep into the website to understand what they were up to.

Admiring the Moxi but skeptical they would be able to pull off anything close to Bitcoin scale I “Contributed” Bitcoin, not expecting I would ever see that money again.   Around March 2016 I noticed the Contribution had grown from .31 cents to 15.00 dollars.

Using this windfall I launched myself into a preoccupation with the changing economic and financial landscape.  I signed up with MIT to study the changing landscape in Financial Technology (FinTech), bought and devoured every book or publication dealing with blockchain Bitcoin or Ethereum that I could find.

Around this same time what came to be known as the Initial Coin Offering”, spilled on to the headlines.  I survived that learning experience that was “The DAO” and was not turned off by the notion of investing money with people I never met.  Clearly understanding that there would be scams and less than truthful actors, I was confident I could discern the difference.

I have done well and continued to learn and earn.  Some of the notable texts that have helped me along the way are:

  1. The text resulting from our MIT course on FinTech – David Shrier
  2. Cryptoassets – Chris Burniske and Jack Tatar
  3. The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order – Paul Vigna &‎ Michael J. Casey
  4. The internet of Money V1 and V2 – Andreas M. Antonopoulos
  5. Debt The First 5,000 Years  – by David Graeber
  6. The Business Blockchain: Promise, Practice, and Application of the Next Internet Technology – William Mougayar &‎ Vitalik Buterin
  7. VALUEWEB: How FinTech firms are using bitcoin blockchain and mobile technologies to create the Internet of value – Chris Skinner
  8. Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy and How to Make Them Work for You – by Geoffrey G. Parker,‎ Marshall W. Van Alstyne,‎ and Sangeet Paul Choudary
  9. Who Can You Trust?: How Technology Brought Us Together and Why It Might Drive Us Apart – by Rachel Botsman
  10. The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World – Niall Ferguson
  11. Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business – Rana Foroohar
  12. The Book of Satoshi: The Collected Writings of Bitcoin Creator Satoshi Nakamoto – Phil Champagne
  13. Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money – Nathaniel Popper

I look for radical world-changing ideas and technology, grounded in good business practice and common sense.  I have invested in:

  1. Chronobank
  2. IOTA
  3. DragonChain

I am looking into:

  • Experty IO.  As a serial entrepreneur and consultant, the concept has great appeal.
  • Pindify – Living with a family of artists I realize the disconnect between their work and their compensation.

When considering ICOs don’t just follow the herds, a great resource is “Cryptoassets The Innovators Investor’s Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond“.  Chapter 14 covers ICOs but the whole book is a goldmine of knowledge.

While there are several services that list ICOs  ICOAlert.com is an informative service – the podcasts are very interesting and the listings are comprehensive.

Cryptocompare.com is a valuable service for tracking real-time trades in all sorts of crypto assets.

Well, that covers it up to today, it is really true “we live in interesting times”!


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