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Morning Report: ICOs Keep Climbing Mt. Vaporware

Morning Report: Another day, another half-baked ICO raising more than $100 million.

The initial coin offering (ICO) boom continues with new records being set about as quickly as we can cover them. ICOs, ways that new crypto-assets and the like can raise liquid cryptocurrencies to fund their development and pre-sell their services, are massively speculative endeavors. It’s a fact that has not dampened enthusiasm for their creation and launch.

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In June, Bancor’s ICO raised $150 million for the incredibly nascent technology. Here’s how we described Bancor at the time:

You can think of Bancor as an ICO for ICOs in that its token could bolster liquidity intra-cryptos, helping smaller tokens stand up in the market on their own. That hypothesis was enough to generate a staggering raise.

That brings us to today’s news concerning a $185 million ICO result (so far!) for the EOS token. From our friends at VentureBeat, here’s what EOS will do:

To sum, the technology isn’t real, and the use-case is speculative. What could go wrong aside from everything? Everything.

What I don’t like about ICOs at the moment — aside from everything financial, given that the damn things look much more like a drunk dude with a dart board and a lot of hope that he’s at the Ballmer Peak and isn’t about to lose his shirt in a game that should have not have been started to begin with — is that they want to solve everything. Just as an argument that answers anything answers nothing, the above-text is gross in that it claims that “blockchain” will bring more “transparency, security, process integrity, speed, and lower transaction costs” all at the same time.

With just one new coin. Buy now.

Or not.

At some point, we have to admit that many of these ICOs are fucked. Climb Mt. Vaporware if you want, but dear god don’t bet any money you wouldn’t be willing to drink away at the blackjack table. At this point, you are just gambling.

From the Crunchbase Daily:

Misconduct reports shake VC industry

  • Following revelations of sexual misconduct by Binary Capital partner Justin Caldbeck, news of inappropriate behavior by other prominent investors is surfacing. Dave McClure, founder of 500 Startups, published an apology letter and said he is handing over day-to-day management of the firm to managing partner Christine Tsai. Recently retired Lowercase Capital founder Chris Sacca also wrote a post offering apologies.

Redfin files for IPO

  • Redfin, a real estate brokerage known for its heavy tech and online focus, has filed to raise about $100 million in an initial public offering. Founded back in 2004, the Seattle-based company has previously raised nearly $170 million in venture funding.

Austin founders take the spotlight

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