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Rebooting blockchain

According to figures from the platform, there were a total of 871 ICOs worldwide in 2017, which together raised US $ 6 billion. In 2018 the number should rise again, because by May there were already 740 ICOs and US $ 4.5 billion that had been raised. Recently, however, the trend has been pointing down again: At US $ 560 million, ICOs made less money in April than since last August. The high in December was three times as high at just under US $ 1.7 billion. “In principle, the market for ICOs did not emerge until 2017,” says Daniel Diemers from PwC Strategy &. The strategy consultancy had expected that the boom from the previous year would not repeat itself to the same extent this year. This has so far been confirmed at least with the number of ICOs, which is also due to increasing regulation.

CryptoRobby Schwertner also points out that some ICOs were postponed in view of the turbulence on the crypto markets at the beginning of the year. Just as there are fewer IPOs on the stock markets when the market environment is unfavorable, be it on the crypto market as well. In addition, the periods in which the coins are offered have often been extended. The market environment could well remain difficult for longer: "It will be two to three difficult years for crypto currencies because there is still fear in the market," says the blockchain expert. He expects an extensive sideways movement for this period, Bitcoin is likely to move in a range between US $ 5,000 and US $ 15,000.

What has also changed is who invests in ICOs: Before the crash on the crypto market, it was mainly small investors, explains Schwertner. People would have put € 500 or € 1,000 into projects that they wanted to support. Meanwhile, there are increasingly larger investors such as family offices or owners of medium-sized companies. "Small investors have burned their fingers, but larger investors see the current situation as an opportunity," says CryptoRobby. The market is no longer overheated. The large investors are professionals and would take a very close look at the ICOs in which they invest: “These people have an idea of ​​their respective areas and don't do it for the fun of gambling.” Last September, CryptoRobby created the hashtag #ReturnOnSociety To push blockchain projects with a social benefit. "This is a countermeasure to what happened last year," explains Schwertner, referring to the crypto hype, which also attracted adventurers and fraudsters. The basic idea of ​​the blockchain had a revolutionary character. In the first block of the Bitcoin blockchain in 2009, the until now unknown Bitcoin inventor with the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto hid a criticism of the policy of bank bailouts.

In the end, the socio-political aspect was somewhat lost: "We have to remind people that we are not doing this just for the sake of technology or even to make some rich people even richer, but to improve society," says Schwertner. As an example, he cites the French start-up Peculium, which he advised on its ICO in December. The company has developed an artificial intelligence-based system for investing money, even for smaller amounts. According to the expert, there are also examples in the area of ​​“green energy” or in the health sector. “Blockchain technology has the potential, but you also have to use it,” says Schwertner. So is CryptoRobby on a mission to bring the blockchain community back to its origins after the hype? “That would be far too little said,” says Schwertner. "I try to kick people's asses in such a way that they don't forget why we're doing this."

This article was published in our June 2018 issue "30 Under 30".