What Happens at a Crypto ICO

What Happens at a Crypto ICO

When you think about the creation of money, you think about places like this. Or This… But what if money was created here… in a
Brooklyn loft, by a group of young entrepreneurs and data nerds. The company is called AirSwap. The founders all met at either Burning Man
or business school, and they envision a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchange. Today, they are launching their ICO or Initial Coin Offering. An ICO is sort of like an IPO, but instead
of buying shares, investors buy tokens. This process is entirely crypto, so you cannot
use, for example, a fiat currency like a dollar to purchase our tokens. So we’re selling our tokens for ether, which
is effectively a digital currency. Most people buy tokens in the hopes that they
will increase in value, much like shares of a company. Because this is a global sale, we need to
be available to people in different time zones. So the sale’s gonna run for 24 hours, and
by the end we will have a approximately $35 million. What will they do with all that money? To understand this, you need to know a little
bit about blockchain. Now let me keep this really simple. A Blockchain is a virtual public ledger that
keeps any and every exchange watertight and protected from fraud or hacking. Experts agree that blockchain is poised to
revolutionize the way we do business. Using this groundbreaking technology, Airswap is building an exchange that removes all middlemen. Lawyers, clearinghouses, banks and even governments
will be bypassed with this new peer-to-peer system. The same way that the internet and telecomm allowed for peer to peer information transfer, you’re seeing this now happen to blockchain where you have peer to peer value transfer. I think one of the reasons why people are
looking at this is, it really started in 2008, when people’s confidence in the financial
system was really shaken to the core. And all these intermediaries that people trusted
fell short, and people are looking for an alternative in which you and I can exchange
value without the need of depending on these institutions that we used to trust. Demand for this new kind of value exchange
is high- Something Airswap capitalized on by using social media to build a worldwide
online community in anticipation of their ICO. This is basically a live world map of all the orders we have coming through the system. It updates live and in real time. This is the AirSwap community. Yeah, they’re very excited. So they’re posting memes. We’re probably about 23 million right now. I can actually check. Yeah, we’re at 23 million. The 24 hour long token sale wasn’t without its hitches. Several well-designed fake accounts tried
to scam members of the AirSwap community out of their ether. Oh, this is a phishing scam. Right now, I’m crafting an announcement to alert the community to several, what are actually very well-done websites that are trying to
convince people that they are us. So we need to like actively expose them. The imposters were eventually shut down, and
sales resumed uninterrupted throughout the night and into the next morning. So where are we now? Uh, right now we have just around 13 minutes
left until the sale is over. It’s been a very tough 24 hours. We have sold out our entire allocation. Alright, we’ve got 5,000 token holders everybody! By the end of their ICO Airswap had raised what is now valued at over $50M of ether, issuing all of their available tokens worldwide. By most if not all measures, uh, we can call
it a success. But the playing field is flooded with ICOs right now. In 2016, there were fewer than 50 ICOs. In 2017, that number jumped to over 250. Now, everyone from Overstock.com to Kodak, yes, Kodak, has jumped onto the Cryptocurrency bandwagon and launched their own ICOs. No one knows who will survive the hype, and
Airswap remains a relative newcomer. But they’re optimistic that their global
community of thousands of token holders will push them to dominance, all from this Brooklyn loft. And in this bleary landscape of cryptocurrency,
that’s worth something. Hell of a morning. Hell of a week.


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