A Big ICO Team is a Bad Sign
Big teams are meant to instill trust, which is something a blockchain company shouldn’t need
ICOs have started following a pretty standard script in how they introduce themselves to the crypto-community:
- An announcement on Bitcoin Talk offering bounties for shilling
- Advertisements on Coinmarketcap.com that make browsers die
- Requisite whitepaper that no one reads
- Slick website featuring glossy images of the giant team
The point of all of this is, of course, to raise a lot of money when the ICO starts. This is dramatically different than the way a “normal” startup works – build a minimum viable product, get some customers, find a Venture Capitalist to fuel your grown. Startups generally can’t raise money until they’ve developed some sort of proof that what they’re building is actually something that people want.
ICOs are the opposite. They raise a gigantic round of funding long before they have a product. To get people to invest they need people to trust them, which leads to the giant teams. A team page with a picture of happy, smart looking people is meant to signal that the company knows what it’s doing.
Examples of Big ICO Teams
I’m not saying these ideas are good or bad, they’re just examples of the trend and were literally just the first 3 companies listed on ICO Alert.
Medicalchain aims to store medical records on a blockchain, which may or may not be a great idea. Their team page lists 8 people on the team, along with another 8 advisors. Of those people, I count one developer. Do you need 16 people in a company before you’ve written a line of code? And does it really make sense that only one of them is a person who can write a line of code?
Dreamteam wants to use their token to pay professional gamers because that’s never been done before. Their team has 12 members, with another 12 advisors. But at least 4 of them look like they might be able to write code. And their white paper mentions blockchain…kinda?
BitDegree wants to be an online skills-learning website like Coursera, with a bit of blockchain thrown in too. I have no idea why you’d need a blockchain for that, and I read their white paper. Their team has 22 members, including 7 “Leaders”, which I assume is a euphemism for “we won’t be doing any of the actual work”.
What’s the problem with big teams?
The whole point of a distributed blockchain, the bedrock of almost every cryptocurrency around today, is that you shouldn’t have to trust anyone for it to work. That’s the whole point of cryptocurrencies – no trust is required. If trust is required, then you’re better off using fiat currency. Most ICO’s I see are only using blockchain technology tangentially, and probably just so they can have an ICO an raise money. And if you think that’s the case, stay far, far away.