**How to raise $30 Million in 30 Seconds - The get rich quick scheme of 2017
Are initial coin offerings the next big investment platform? In the investment world, there are a myriad of startups offering digital coin products like the longstanding Bitcoin, as the New York Times reports.
The use of cryptocurrency to fund projects is becoming popular, seemingly because of the endless flexibility it provides companies using it as an investment vehicle. In the past five years, the number of projects funding with coin has reached the hundreds from almost nothing.
One example is to use the coin as a payment method for its platform, such as Brendan Eich, who is designing a web browser which will use its own cryptocurrency, labeled 'Basic Attention Tokens'. The BAT will allow investors to browse ad-free on Brave, his most recent browser project after co-founding the Mozilla browser.
While Eich is one of the biggest names to engage in this trend, smaller and less transparent entities are the majority. There is concern about scamming, both from the perspective of the buyer and seller. Projects have little transparency, and although they may advertise an investment is being made, there is no way to be sure.
Malicious hackers entered one system and stole one third of the $150 million raised. While these concerns are apparent for some, cash is pouring into these projects, with many earning millions within minutes of opening the offering.
The question remains, will this fundraising method just be a trend or is cryptocurrency here to stay. Some investors are making returns of 1000 percent or more. This is precisely what draws people in despite the risk of turning money over to fraudulent companies.
There is also a draw based on the unknown of the trade itself, Nathaniel Popper at the Times cites, comparing cryptocurrency trade to the 'Wild West'.
Business insider cites that there is much debate through industry on the nature of the cryptocurrency trade. Some Wall Street experts suggest that a bubble is forming based on investments which are more of facades with appealing presentations. One such expert feels that most of these projects raising millions may not really be worth the while, and that eventually the bubble would burst leaving worthless tokens.
Mark Cuban also commented in June on Bitcoin and other token type vehicles, stating that he does not know when or how much the bubble will rebound, only that he knew it would.
Those involved in the trade deny this, saying that illegitimate projects do not raise the largest sums of money, and that most of the individuals involved have every intention to use these funds to pursue something real.
Many questions remain regarding this newfound trade, and at this point it is for every one of us to decide whether the risk seems worthwhile. We would love to hear your thoughts on this, including on any coin investments you might be making or watching.