What Are ICOs, and Why Do They Matter?

Depending on who you ask, Initial Coin Offerings, or ICOs, are a scam, a brilliant new way for cryptocurrency companies to raise startup money, a sneaky way to get around securities regulations, or some combination of the above.

What we do know for sure is that ICOs are garnering a lot of attention these days. China outright banned them last year, and the SEC recently launched its own “HoweyCoin,” a fake ICO meant to steer potential investors away from scams.

To talk about what these things actually are and what they mean for the future of capital markets, we’re joined by three of the best in the field:

  • Brian Knight is the director of the Mercatus Center’s program on financial regulation, and a Mercatus Policy Download veteran
  • Chris Brummer is a Georgetown Law professor, and a leading academic in the financial technology space
  • Lydia Beyoud is a fintech reporter for Bloomberg Law, where she covers the latest market and regulator activity on ICOs and a host of other issues

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Looking to connect with a scholar you heard on the Download? Email Kate De Lanoy of our Media team at [email protected].