Token Summit

On Thursday I attended Token Summit which was my first cryptocurrency conference. It was really great to see such a large community passionate about crypto. I know ICOs and tokens have attracted a lot of controversies, some of which is deserved, but discussing issues in an open forum helps create progress that ultimately leads to better and more successful technology. 

The biggest news at Token Summit was the announcement that Kik was going to create its own token called Kin. I don’t know how successful Kin will be, but this is an important step to helping tokens become mainstream. Kik has 300 million registered users and 15 million monthly active users which are multiple magnitudes bigger than any other company that has their own token.  If Kin proves to be a success, I wouldn’t be surprised to see larger chat apps and social networks like WeChat, WhatsApp and Facebook issuing a token.

It was clearly obvious that speculation was driving the exponential increase in prices of tokens over the past couple of months. When William Mougayar, Token Summit organizer, asked who owned a token, most raised their hand, but when he asked who used it for a utility purpose, most hands went down. I believe it’s okay that these tokens are being driven by speculation as speculation is the first part of any new asset gaining appreciation. However, many tokens will need to start finding utility value soon or they will start decreasing just as fast as they increased.

My favorite talks were Analyzing The Data While Peering at the Future and What are Cryptoassets Actually Worth? Analyzing The Data While Peering at the Future featured representatives from Smith + Crown, Coinfund, and Coindesk. Smith + Crown's presentation had some really insightful data. The big points were that the average ICO has raised $2MM dollars and that more than half of the funds raised went to the top 10% of projects. Smith + Crown's data was very informative and I encourage you to check out the full presentation below.

Smith + Crown Presentation at Token Summit

The other talk I was a huge fan of was What are Cryptoassets Actually Worth? by Chris Burnsike of ArkInvest. If you don’t follow Chris on Twitter, you should @ARKblockchain. The highlights of his presentation was a valuation methodology for both tokens and cryptocurrency. Using traditional valuation methodologies such as discount rate, discount for risk, and expected rate of return, he translated them with perfection to cryptoasset.  I’ve attached his presentation below.

Cryptoasset Valuation Methodologies

A few other highlights of the conference:

  • Fred Wilson discussing how promising the cryptocurrency space is, but there is still a lack of mainstream adoption.
  • The legal landscape is a huge grey area and the SEC will need to eventually make a ruling one way or the other.
  • ICOs aren’t a fundraising mechanism, but a feature of a product in order to help build a community and be a potentially new way to monetize.

Overall, I really enjoyed Token Summit and applaud William Mougayar and Nick Tomaino for putting on a great conference! I look forward to going next year.