‘Young’ ICOs: Nasdaq Exec Says Exchange Still the Place to Raise Capita

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A Nasdaq executive has argued that the initial coin offering (ICO) markets are still immature and that the stock exchange is still the best place for a company to raise money.

Talking to CNBC during the Web Summit tech conference in Lisbon yesterday, Nasdaq vice chairman Bruce Aust said the ICO funding method is still “very young” and in its early stages.

Further, he continued, Nasdaq has been “at the forefront of helping companies raise capital” via the Nasdaq private and public markets. “[Nasdaq is] the market for companies to raise capital,” he said.

Suggesting his company may not always be able to rest on its laurels in the face of competition from token sales, Aust continued:

“We are a regulated market, I think that’s the difference between us and an ICO. And we’ll see at some point those markets become regulated and that will change everything”.

According to CoinDesk’s ICO Tracker, ICOs have raised over $3.5 billion to date, the majority of that in 2017.

Despite the growing popularity of the blockchain-based funding method, though, ICOs have been making some negative headlines recently. Last month, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said that ICOs are an “absolute scam.” Soon after, “Wolf of Wall Street” Jordan Belfort commented that token sales are “biggest scam ever.”

Further, regulators in South Korea and China have issued outright ICO bans, while countries like Singapore, Canada and Japan, among others, have issued warnings over the risks to investors.

Nasdaq building image via Shutterstock

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