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Now That Winter is Over, What's Next For the Crypto World? If you're in this industry solely to get rich quick, this is probably not the best time. If you're here for the marathon, you are in luck

By Grace Wong

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If you've been following the cryptocurrency craze over the last two years, it will come as no surprise that the entire ecosystem is now under review.

The 2017-18 market boom saw a number of scams and Ponzi schemes, literally copy whitepapers, and hitch a ride on the hype-train to raise millions of dollars in dead funding.

The space was polluted with unfeasible ideas and illegitimate teams, all of which made it incredibly difficult for real projects to have their value seen and heard.

As a result, many of these legitimate projects retreated completely from blockchain and crypto, waiting for all that noise to settle down. With all the hype, was crypto actually viable, or even useful in the real-world context?

This is when I realized something fundamental: many people looking to use crypto and blockchain had incredibly large ideas and ambitions for their ecosystems, but hardly anyone had established an actual network of people who would participate.

And this brings us to the wonderful time of crypto winter.

If you're in crypto solely to get rich quick, this is probably not the best time for you, and you're probably hurting.

But if you're here for the marathon, then you are in luck.

The End of the ICO "Wild West'

The fundamentally decentralized nature of initial coin offerings — paired with slow-moving regulatory oversight — has, until recently, made the ICO industry fertile ground for bad actors.

2017's "Year of the ICO" saw initial coin offerings capture over $6 billion across 875 different token sales, leaving regulators scrambling to develop function frameworks for ICO control.

Only a year later, studies by ICO advisory firm Statis Group showed some sobering statistics—more than 70 per cent of all initial coin offerings launched in 2017 were identified as scams.

The early 2018 initial coin offering ecosystem was home to hundreds of exit scams and outright fraudulent platforms. Despite more than half of all ICOs failing within four months of launch, however, investor sentiment toward token sales remains extremely positive—2018 ICOs raised a massive $7.8 billion across over 1,200 different projects.

Contrary to popular thought, crypto winter has been nothing but positive for organizations, which, instead of banking on the crypto frenzy alone, decided to take a sustainable, mature and customer-focused approach.

So, What Next?

The future of the crypto-currency ecosystem has no space for fakes. If we call the Wild West Phase 1, there was no proper maturity of thinking, no common sense applied to the valuations and little regulation. Phase 2 is much different.

For anyone with any experience in business, the imminent nature of the crash became apparent long before it actually happened. But for the rest of the community, the hype was so big, expectations went through the roof.

The latest generation of initial coin offerings is now operating within a new regulatory framework driven by nuanced ICO regulation, spearheaded by blockchain-friendly countries such as Switzerland and Malta.

2019's ICO ecosystem is a far cry from the Wild West of the 2017 ICO market. Regulatory bodies such as the US SEC and Australian Securities and Investment Commission now provide comprehensive regulatory and legal guidance on the launch and operation of compliant initial coin offerings, paving the way for a new generation of authentic, transparent, and legal token sales.

And while expectations from the general public are so low that they sometimes don't even exit, it's not all bad news. It just means the legitimate players will have an easier time rising to the top – welcome to Phase 2 –Crypto's Industrial Revolution.

Companies who have customers, real revenue and real business models can now start incorporating blockchain technology into their everyday businesses models, and prove its actual, undeniable uses.

Because when it comes to the blockchain, we haven't yet cracked its potential. It may not be the answer to everything, but at least now, post-winter, real, honest companies with a proven track record can attempt to work it out, and be seen.

Grace Wong

Co-founder, Liven

Grace is the co-founder of dining rewards and payment app, Liven, which allows users to earn and spend LivenCoin every time they dine at tens of thousands of venues.   

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