Andrew J. Chapin


Reverse ICOs, Full Steam Ahead

When the benjaCoin sale was announced, we spoke about the benefit of bringing our existing business and its partners to the ICO market. We talked about how this would offer a shorter path to a usable, stable, and meaningful token.

People nodded along but in the year since, something became clear: people didn’t really care.

Don’t get me wrong: existing businesses have run successful token sales. Kik and Telegram certainly did, raising more than (a combined) $1.8 billion. For the most part, though, it’s been business as usual. New businesses with unknown teams trying to raise millions more through a token sale than they would in an early Angel round.

This has been bad. It is bad. I’m still here begging someone to please change the record.

Finally, it seems the tide is changing. The catalyst could be the number of token projects that have failed since 2016 and 2017, or perhaps a cry for stability in what is (week to week) a volatile crypto market. The market has even assigned a name to projects from existing businesses: the reverse ICO.

And there are some real reverse ICOs on the way.

PlayChip is the “universal gaming token” from Australia-based PlayUp. PlayUp has spent the last four years becoming a fully-licensed sports betting provider, and expanding into 70 countries through the acquisition of multiple fantasy sports and betting-related companies. They claim 500k+ users and have former cricket and rugby stars on their team. You’ll find the team at events and they appear to have dozens of employees.

I can’t really speak for the quality of their offering, their token structure, or anything else, but this is a primetime, real, existing company with a legitimate use case and user base. This is exactly the kind of company that should be running a token sale.

Fantasy sports and gambling are some of the most popular token sales (thanks to the clear use-case) but none have brought this kind of user-base or operations to the table. It’s exciting. Someone finally changed the damn record.

Do you know of other exciting reverse ICOs? Hit me up on Twitter. I’m making it my mission to amplify these projects.

Andrew J. Chapin is the Co-Founder & CEO of Benja, head of the benjaCoin token project, author of Art of the Initial Coin Offering, and a token advisor for several projects. This November, Andrew is running the New York City marathon for Athletes to End Alzheimer’s.

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