Anyone with an entrepreneurial idea could float a token and invite people to invest. The investment vehicle was not a broker or bank but a distributed platform that connects buyers and sellers. What they got in return was not a stock or share in the profits but the rising value of the token itself. It’s a highly liquid stake in a protocol. Small businesses, churches, schools, websites, and charities of all sorts could raise money this way.
Most importantly, the ICO illustrated the hope that anyone could be involved in both soliciting and investing in the enterprise while bypassing the hugely regulated, bureaucratized, and impenetrable apparatus of traditional financial markets, including rarified venture capital funding.
It seemed like we were watching a beautiful future unfold, the democratization of investment and fundraising. The possibilities are without limit. We’ve never seen anything like it in the history of finance.
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