订阅

多平台阅读

微信订阅

杂志

申请纸刊赠阅

订阅每日电邮

移动应用

商业 - 科技

区块链可能改变商业形态

Denis Baranov 2017年10月23日

各国政府也可能参与加密货币的发行。

近几个月,区块链和金融技术圈新出现了一个热门话题: 首次代币发售(ICO)。这引起了美国、中国等各国监管部门的注意。我对技术的一般原则很简单:当监管者注意到它的时候,你也应该关注它。

监管者对ICO的关注并不意外; 通过首次代币发售的形式,已经有数十亿美元的真实货币被用于购买加密货币,加密货币的总市值已经超过1,600亿美元。公司进行首次代币发售时,会推出自己的加密货币并向投资者发售,而不是寻求市场或风投公司的直接投资。虽然到目前为止多数资金都来自区块链社区内部,但这项技术的潜力巨大,很快就会有大型金融机构推出自己的加密货币,进入ICO市场。

事实上,这种情况已经开始出现。一个多月前,巴克莱(Barclays)、瑞士信贷(Credit Suisse)、加拿大帝国商业银行(Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)、汇丰银行(HSBC)、三菱日联金融集团(MUFG)和道富银行(State Street),与瑞银集团(UBS)和纽约梅隆银行(BNY Mellon)共同参与了一个项目,计划在2018年之前推出一种加密货币“多用途结算币”,用于有限的后期结算业务。另外,这些银行也在与监管部门探讨新加密货币的应用问题。

首次代币发售不止是一种众筹。正如瑞银集团前首席技术官和首席区块链专家奥利弗•巴斯曼最近所说的那样:“ICO作为一种利用区块链技术的全新商业模式,结合了众筹和包含股权与货币的新型混合资产类别,将以数字化方式继续存在下去。”

要想获得投资,公司通常需要在某一国家的交易所上市(至少初期是如此)。现在,公司可以通过开发和售出加密货币以获得各个国家投资者的资金注入,这突破了国家发行货币的正常限制。

到目前为止,进行首次代币发售的主要是小公司和初创公司,不过大公司也已经行动起来。今年,汉堡王(Burger King)在俄罗斯发布了“皇堡币”,而估值10亿美元的信息应用Kik也宣布发布自己的加密货币Kin。这些例子表明,大型跨国公司至少开始试探性地准备将首次代币发售,作为融资和吸引利益相关者的另外一种方式。

该系统大幅降低了渴望参与投资的公司的准入门槛。虽然该领域缺乏监管,可能意味着有人会蒙受巨额亏损,但获得重大收益的潜力同样巨大。

首次代币发售不只限于公司; 今年,爱沙尼亚已经在探讨推出一种国家加密货币Estcoin,以吸引更多外国直接投资。未来几年,完全有可能会有更多公司和国家推出自己的加密货币,形成一个类市场的交易环境。虽然欧洲央行(European Central Bank)行长否决了爱沙尼亚的想法,但它进行的尝试表明,首次代币发售正在全球获得越来越多的关注。

虽然公司可能会为自己的商品推出专用加密货币,但加密货币的发行实际上多用于融资。通过这种方式,从初创公司到成熟的行业领导者,都可以避开中介机构和诸多监管,获得真正全球化的资本来源。监管部门已经注意到了这种技术; 所以,现在任何人都不应该对它视而不见。

本文作者丹尼斯•巴拉诺夫是DataArt的首席顾问。

本文最初的版本称迪士尼参与了一款加密货币的开发,系错误陈述。

译者:刘进龙/汪皓

In recent months a new hot topic has emerged in the blockchain and financial technology communities: initial coin offerings (ICOs). Regulators from the U.S. to China are taking notice. My general rule for technology is simple: When regulators care about it, so should you.

The regulatory interest is no surprise; billions of dollars in real moneyhave already been used to buy cryptocurrency in the form of ICOs and the total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies has surpassed $160 billion. An ICO occurs when firms create their own cryptocurrency and issue it for investors, rather than seeking investment directly from the markets or venture capital firms. While most of this money has to date come from within the blockchain community, the potential of this technology is so great that very soon major financial players will launch their own cryptocurrencies and enter the ICO market.

In fact, it’s already begun. Just over a month ago Barclays, Credit Suisse, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, HSBC, MUFG, and State Street joined UBS and BNY Mellon in a project to launch a cryptocurrency—the “utility settlement coin”—set for a limited back-end run by 2018. The banks are also in discussion with regulators regarding applications of new cryptocoins.

ICOs are more than just crowdfunding. As former UBS chief technology officer and leading blockchain expert Oliver Bussmann recently said, “ICO as a new business model leveraging blockchain technology will sustain as the digital way, combining crowdfunding and [a] new hybrid asset class of equity ownership and currency.”

Whereas traditional investment methods require a firm to list in one country and utilize (at least initially) one exchange, creating and selling its own cryptocurrency allows a firm access to finance from anyone, anywhere, outside the normal constraints imposed by state-issued currencies.

To date, mostly smaller companies and startups have issued ICOs, but major firms have begun to make moves in this area. This year Burger King launched the Whoppercoin in Russia and the $1 billion-valued messenger app Kik announced the launch of Kin cryptocurrency. These examples illustrate that, at least tentatively, major global companies are gearing up to use ICOs as another means of raising capital and engaging their stakeholders.

This system dramatically lowers the barriers to entry for firms looking to invest. And while the lack of regulation in this area may mean some people are going to lose a lot of money, the potential for major wins is great.

ICOs are not just limited to companies; already this year Estonia is exploring the creation of an Estcoin cryptocurrency to drive more foreign direct investment into its economy. It is no longer beyond the realm of possibility that in a few years time multiple companies and countries will have launched their own cryptocurrencies and created market-like environments in which they are traded. Though the European Central Bank head has rejected Estonia’s idea, the country’s attempt shows that ICOs are gaining traction worldwide.

While it is likely that companies will launch their own cryptocurrencies for their own goods, the real use case for creating cryptocurrencies will instead be in using them to raise finances. With this method, firms from startups to established industry leaders can bypass intermediaries and perhaps many regulations to access a truly global source of capital. Regulators have taken note of this technology; it is time everyone else does as well.

Denis Baranov is a principal consultant at DataArt.

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Disney is involved with the creation of a cryptocurrency.

我来点评

最新文章:

500强情报中心

财富专栏