ICOs and decentralised funding – an introduction to the Bitcoin formula crypto-economy

Astratum invited to two interdisciplinary evenings on ICOs, decentralized funding and crypto-economy.

Somehow one feels reminded of the typical bad jokes: “A lawyer, an accountant and a developer go to a bar…”. – But it was not a bar, but the coworking studio IKONIC in Neukölln, where the phenomenon Initial Coin Offerings or ICOs for short was illuminated from different sides.

Blockchain Bundesverband – why does need the Bitcoin formula?

The event was organized by Astratum. As we from BTC-ECHO had an interesting Bitcoin formula conversation with Sven Läpple it was a matter of honour for us to visit this Bitcoin formula event.

On two evenings there were blockchain-based events organized by Astratum in the context of the Tech Open Air Festival. While the first evening was about Blockchain, Smart Contracts, Tokens and ICOs from different angles, the second evening was about different projects.

Sven Läpple gave an introductory keynote speech, describing how the public classifies first the crypto currencies, then the blockchain technology. He presented ICOs as an important new use case for Ethereum and paved the way for further contributions.

Next, Florian Glanz, President of the Blockchain Bundesverband, deepened Sven’s thoughts a bit. Florian is a lawyer and programmer who, as he himself put it, was looking for a job that would protect him from the everyday professional life of a lawyer. He found that in the Blockchain. Even in Bitcoin’s time, he recognized the disruptive potential that blockchain technology also has in the regulatory field.

Over time, he realised that one thing was missing to realise the potential: a common voice seeking dialogue with governments and authorities. That is why the Blockchain Bundesverband was founded two weeks ago.

The goals of the federal association are ambitious: In the next coalition agreement a legal framework for the Blockchain technology should be one goal. In addition, the government would be invited to experiment with the new technology itself. A look at Estonia shows that some things are possible. Germany is currently working on the digital file, perhaps that would be such an application.

Investing and fundraising – the legal perspective

These two speeches were followed by two discussion panels. In the first, several ladies talked about the legal perspective of ICOs or a DAO. The panel included Nina Siedler, a lawyer from DWF.Law, Elfriede Sixt, an auditor from fintech.academy, Ola Orchowska from neufund.org and Toni Lane from Bitnation. In the panel, the ladies presented their access to blockchain technology and what they think needs to be done about ICOs, crowdfunding and the crypto economy. The original tone was that the discrepancy between a globally operating economy and national regulations must end. Despite all the difficulties, ICOs were assessed very positively: On the one hand, there are scams and nonsensical projects even without ICOs. However, it was pointed out that these ICOs are an opportunity for European projects to collect sums of money that would otherwise only be achieved in American funding rounds. This would be a necessary basis for a European Facebook, Google or Uber.

Until then, of course, some work has to be done, for example Nina sees the efforts to create an electronic legal entity in the light of artificial intelligence, inter-machine communication and decentralised autonomous organisations as an important next step. The ladies were able to see interest on the part of politicians, authorities and banks, but in order for something to change, it is important not to criticise the problems of current regulation in general, but to criticise them concretely by mentioning paragraphs.

To advance this is the endeavour of the Bundesverband Blockchain. Elfriede Sixt, among others, is active in Austria and is working on a legal classification of tokens – currently the classification as donation seems to make sense.