By Peter Reuschel
When we announced the foundation of Leondrino Exchange during TEP Conference in New York in September 2014, we were using our Leondrino Bell to explain the huge potential of our Leondrino Concept of issuing tokens for companies to secure their communities and to raise funds.
We used our Leondrino Bell and the comparison of ICOs (initial coin offerings) with IPOs (initial public offerings) to get the message across to the audience. But still, communication about the potential of smart tokens for start-ups and enterprises based on blockchain or comparable crypto-networks was a tough exercise in September 2014.
In one of my blog posts on December 12, 2014 I wrote:
“The trend of the transaction costs being virtually zero, also in virtue of new technologies, such as cryptocurrencies, foster the chance of changing the view to optimum currency areas. Leondrino Exchange assumes that the business and the customers of global brands will be a good base for a private, efficient currency area. Therewith citizens especially of currency areas with demographic challenges also will have the opportunity to participate in the benefits of growth of a global brand, which, for example, also acts on future markets in Asia and Africa.”
During that time, there have been only a few people who believed that this might happen during their lifetime. Some of my friends said that eventually I became crazy. But this was not the first time in my life that I went through such an experience when you see things before others. We simple moved on and started to implement the Leondrino idea in parallel to the trends towards more mature DLT platforms, multi-currency wallets, consensus algorithms, smart contracts and innovation in regulation.
Attending the inaugural Token Summit in New York City end of May this year, was a very exciting moment for me. Participants of the conference developed the believe, that raising funds via ICOs will become something totally normal. Honestly, I enjoyed the feeling of have been right in my prediction about the importance of ICOs and tokens as an alternative new asset class with the potential to change the structure of markets. CoinDesk just published a report about funding sources in the blockchain and crypto-space and showed that ICOs passed VC funding in that niche.
Based on the current public visibility and attention to ICOs, I believe that we will see first enterprises outside of the niche of blockchain and crypto start-ups over the next 12 months that will test with tokens for one of their brands to gain more experience regarding community building, customer retention costs and potential to raise money. With more push from traditional exchanges towards politics to regulate this new topic, I expect first approvals of advanced currency concepts and operations by SEC, BaFin and others. This will open up the game of tokenization of enterprises for traditional exchanges, too.
At Leondrino Exchange, we are proud to give start-ups and enterprises the opportunity to gain initial experience with branded tokens already now. Without a final decision about an ICO, start-ups and enterprises can test already pre-currency scenarios and get a better feeling about the readiness of their customer base for a private currency holding the brand´s name and about potential rewarding customers when sharing their data or giving other support to the brand. We believe that starting early to gain experience is the best way to get an idea of the chances of private tokens and currencies for the protection and further growth of an enterprise community and ecosystem.