The Evolution of Crowdfunding
If you really think about it… Entrepreneurs are the engines of economic growth in society. For whatever products and services that you’re enjoying right now, it’s because there was an entrepreneur who brought fresh thinking to the marketplace and created a prosperous economy.
Many people whom I’ve spoken who works in a 9-5 job dreams of being an entrepreneur. However, it’s not very often you get to jump out of a stable income job into a territory where your income is being put at risk every single day.
And to make it worst.. Research has shown that 96 out of 100 businesses fail on the 10th year. 4% odds to succeed? What kinda terrible odds are those?
I started Owners Circle because I wanted to turn consumers into business owners while increasing the ‘4% odds’ to succeed. Our team started matching investors with entrepreneurs to create an ‘Owners Circle’. Now, the consumers turned co-owners can proudly share to their friends and become influencers of the business. I believe that with crowdfunding, we are moving into a period of human history whereby very large numbers of people can become owners of wealth through sharing a business like a restaurant or a hotel.
Yes! I was leveraging on the power of crowdfunding to change the face of business. Through the wisdom of the crowd, we were disrupting conventional financial models to create collaborative ventures to open up a whole new universe of investment opportunities.
Over the past few years, my team at Owners Circle and I had the privilege to incubate crowdfunded projects such as The Barn wine bar, Artisan Eco Hotel, and several more out there.
Already, Owners Circle was changing the face of finance. But in 2017, I was exposed to the world of ICO. When I studied in depth on the world of ‘Blockchain IPO’, it blew my mind. ICO not only can improve the efficacy and efficiency of raising money, it also lowers the cost for the issuer and it allows previously unimaginable groups of burgeoning investors to participate.
Now, imagine a world where opportunities can be shared more equally in the wealth created by the society? Where consumers are no longer just consuming. They can also be producers at the same time. Imagine a new category of people called the prosumers.
Initial Coin Offering
So, what is the Blockchain IPO aka ICO all about? Imagine companies can raise funds “on the blockchain” by issuing tokens, or crypto-tokens or cryptocurrencies in a decentralized platform.
Imagine not relying on your local bank account to invest.. Because you only need a mobile phone with Internet access with major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum to participate.
Imagine the crypto-tokens received can not only be held as your digital asset that stores the value of your wealth, but also be used as a new payment rails to transact with counterparties.
This blockchain technology is creating a whole new set of business models previously unimaginable that empower individuals as economic agents.
Challenges of ICO
As ICO remains in an unregulated territory, it faces it own challenges as well. Most recently, Savedroid was reported going missing after raising USD$50 million.
It’s founder even posted on Twitter that he was sipping drinks at the beach. (https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/news/german-ico-savedroid-pulls-exit-scam-raising-50-million/)
Of course, later it then posted another article saying that it was a stunt to show fragile the ICO world is like for investors. https://ico.savedroid.com/
In Malaysia, where I came from, ICO is often known as the tool used by Money Game to scam regular moms and pops.
The Future of Finance
I believe that it’s just a matter of time where governments and governance are putting their hands into blockchain. Blockchain technology is already revolutionizing the way we live.
Rather than predicting a blockchain future, I’m glad to see more and more governments are advocating it.
Personally I’m a big fan of blockchain because I believe that the economy works best when it works for everyone, and this new platform is an engine of inclusion. It drastically lowers the cost of transmitting funds, lowers the barrier of investing, and it supports entrepreneurship and participation in global trade. It catalyses distributed capitalism, not just a redistributed capitalism.
In my humble opinion, blockchain is the next best thing that has happened to modern humankind since the introduction of the Internet. Admittedly, a bold statement. Watch on and judge for yourself!