Stock exchange Nasdaq vice chairman Bruce Aust has claimed that the initial coin offering (ICO) is still very immature as a funding method and that the stock exchange is still the best place for companies to raise money. He further stated that ICOs are still in their early stages and offer high risks to investors.
In an interview with CNBC at the Web Summit tech conference that was held in Lisbon, Portugal in early November 2017, Aust argued that the Blockchain technology-based ICOs are still in their “infancy” and the stock exchange is still the best bet for raising company capital. He cited the key role played by Nasdaq in assisting firms in raising money through the Nasdaq private and public markets.
"[Nasdaq is] the market for companies to raise capital. We are a regulated market, I think that's the difference between us and an ICO. And we'll see at some point those markets become regulated and that will change everything.”
Latest developments in and performance of the ICO market
ICOs have been growing in popularity as a means to raise capital for startup companies. Based on CoinDesk’s ICO Tracker data, ICOs have generated more than $3.5 bln so far with the bulk of the amount raised in 2017.
However, the market has been hounded by negative headlines recently.
In October 2017, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has criticized the ICOs as “absolute scams” and warned investors to be very careful about them. This scathing remark was followed by a similar claim by financial analyst Jordan Belfort, who is called the “Wolf of Wall Street.” In his comment, Belfort said that the ICOs or token sales are the “biggest scam ever.”
Meanwhile, the financial regulators in China and South Korea have ordered outright bans on ICOs.