by Ian Simpson.
“And I see that hope coming.”
With this one phrase, William Mougayar, General Partner at Virtual Capital Ventures and keynote speaker at the recent ICO Summit in Switzerland addressed the expectations (and perhaps fears) of most of the 400+ attendees gathered in Zurich’s Aura Club.
His speech – focused on blockchain token generation among other subjects – brought out the great potential for the ICO space and the expectation that new regulations – if and when they come – will recognize tokens as a new asset class, unbound by strict definitions of the past.
The theme of hope – mixed with excitement – was prevelant throughout the day-long event organized by Smart Valor (a Crypto Valley Association member) and its CEO, Olga Feldmeier. The buzz generated by the presence of the likes of Mougayar, Jamie Burke (Outlier Ventures), Richard Kastelein (Cryptoassets Design Group) and others was distinctly palatable. Outside the main hall, attendees pressed through the throng in a narrow foyer area as they attempted to network and visit the handfull of booths set up by startups looking for extra attention.
More than anything, the ICO Summit reflected the general state of crypto and blockchain – pioneers, starry-eyed idealists, hard-core techies and opportunistic adventurers all thrown in together to explore an amazing phenomenon and its possibilities.
The more than 30 startups who took a stab at pitching their ideas before the audience on two separate stages also offered an excellent sampling of the great potential for innovation. Two highlights were RecordGram – a music sharing solution and Etherisc – building decentralized insurance – both of whom captured considerable audience attention.
Was the ICO Summit a pivotal moment in the history of cryptocurrencies? Maybe not.
But it certainly underscored the huge popularity of the ICO phenomenon and the popularity of Switzerland as a top destination for startups looking to raise funds with token generating events.
Some were (rightfully) quick to point out Switzerland’s responsibility to lead the way in promoting standards and best practices on the ICO front. Said Arie Levy Cohen, President of Blockhaus – “There is something arising from this, a set of standards and a language being written and created that can give Switzerland a chance to lead.”
This is an opinion that everyone in the Crypto Valley Community can and should support.