Far from being able to cash in on its marketing value, many are instead seeking to buck the categorization altogether. Their chief concern? Worries that the language brings undue attention from regulators.
So, in an effort to stay under the radar, the entrepreneurs running these offerings have begun changing the language, sometimes only slightly. “Initial token offering,” “token sale,” “token generation event” or “initial capital building mechanism” or “ICBM” (an acronym more commonly thought of as a delivery mechanism for nuclear bombs) have all cropped up of late.
Amidst this inconsistency, CoinDesk took the topic to the floor of the ICO Forward Summit in New York City last week. The event brought together token projects, interested investors and existing blockchain companies to talk about the use case, its promise and possible pitfalls.
And while there might not be consensus on the issue, those CoinDesk spoke to believe the language is a natural symptom of regulatory tip-toeing.
According to Matt McKibbin, of the blockchain industry consultancy DecentraNet, the rhetorical positioning is just growing pains.
He told CoinDesk:
“I think the industry is still very, very young. Obviously, the lawyers still have a great amount of say in what their thing is called.”
‘If you say ICO’
In this way, McKibbin argued the decision of whether to use the word “token” or “coin” seems like one coming directly from attorneys. In fact, speaking with many entrepreneurs with ICOs on their roadmap, it almost sounded as though they were reading off a memo from counsel as we spoke…