“An initial coin offering (ICO) is a means of crowdfunding the release of a new cryptocurrency. Generally, tokens for the new cryptocurrency are sold to raise money for technical development before the cryptocurrency is released. Unlike an initial public offering (IPO), acquisition of the tokens does not grant ownership in the company developing the new cryptocurrency. And unlike an IPO, there is little or no government regulation of an ICO.
There has been a lot of talk about fintech lately. We talk about the billions of dollars being invested in fintech; the wave of unicorns and start-ups in this space; the challenge they bring to banks and incumbents; the way in which they are reaching new spaces and places; but what is fintech? It is no longer this big bucket of finance and technology. In fact, saying ‘fintech’ is like saying ‘retailer.’ But what exactly are they retailing and, in the fintech sense, what areas of finance are these companies automating?