Some 8,200 people attended Consensus 2018, part of Blockchain Week in New York City from May 14—18, and the big surprise is that there weren’t many. Except of course if you count the fact that the value of cyrptocurrencies plummeted by week’s end.
Myriad satellite events took place throughout the week, and not to toot Clarity’s own horn but the Monster Token Event of the Century event we put together for our Securitize client was a raging success, according to everyone who attended. (Toot, toot).
Overheard in the bathroom at the event: “This event is way better than Consensus!”
The team worked for more than a month to pull together the invitation-only gathering at The London Hotel on West 54th Street, just across the street from the New York Hilton Midtown where Consensus was happening.
170+ people attended to gather pearls of wisdom from Securitize CEO and co-founder, Carlos Domingo, and from Gene Grant, CEO and co-founder of VRBex, another Clarity client. They appeared on different panels.
The fact-based discussions centered on the rapid emergence and impact of security tokens, as well as regulation and the overall community’s need for more education on these topics.
The panelists all expressed varying levels of astonishment at the fact that so many people still do not fully understand what’s happening with security token.
As Domingo said in his opening remarks about what sparked the idea to start Securitize, the thinking was, “Nobody knows how to issue a security token so we began to build a platform. People were laughing at me because of regulation. But one of our goals was not to go to jail.”
Price discovery and liquidity are the hallmarks of VRBex’s offering, Grant told the audience. He was on a panel titled, “The Reality of Security Tokens and the Select Few Who Are Driving the Space.”
VRBex, which opened its security-token presale on April 23, is in the process of building a blockchain-based regulation compliant exchange for buying, selling and storing cryptocurrencies, security tokens and fiat currencies. Grant expects it to be operational by early 2019 at the latest.
Grant criticized what he called the “pump and dump” mentality of the crypto community.
“Security tokens are not well understood,” he said. “People are interested in speculation and trading but not in investing.” VRBex is structured along the lines of a traditional financial-services company, Grant said.
“Utility tokens don’t provide investors protection,” he explained. “The #1 investor protection is the right to sue someone. Utility tokens are built on the hope that people will do the right thing,” whereas a security token is a protected asset class.
Grant said he spends a lot of time explaining regulation to crypto enthusiasts, including much of his time during Consensus 2018.
Domingo appeared on the second panel, “Security Tokens: Ownership Evolved and the Future of Digitized Assets.” He hailed the three main components of security tokens, which he said are capital formation, automation, and liquidity.
Each panelist listed a virtue of security tokens:
- They are not locked up for 8-10 years and so give investors liquidity
- They bring legitimate investment into the space
- They appreciate in value and are regulation compliant
Domingo also made a bold prediction for 2019, the year he said when “security tokens will explode” as an investment class.
You heard it here first. Toot, toot.