Week in Ethereum News
September 25, 2016

DevCon2 News

DoS Spam attack

Overall: This attack is making Ethereum stronger.   Event better, the attacker is paying into the ecosystem (by paying gas costs) to make Ethereum more resilient.  Annoying short-term; big win in the long-term.




Dates of note
  • 9/26 – eSports First Blood crowdsale begins
  • 9/28 – Hong (similar to The DAO) closes.
  • 9/29 – Iconomi closes
  • 9/30 – Coinbase to release ETC, presumably meaning many DAO investors will sell their ETC for ETH.
  • 10/1 Kibo lotto crowdsale opens
  • September TBA – Golem crowdsale begins
  • September TBA – SingularDTV crowdsale (“within a few weeks” as of 9/13)
  • November TBA – .ETH name system goes live
ICO thoughts – First Blood

First Blood more or less fits into my investing thesis. It’s an eSports platform for players who want to bet money against each other, seemingly solving things on the blockchain that might not work well currently or in a centralized manner.  Potentially with clients so motivated that they’ll figure out blockchains.

The fundamental mistake of investing is to put money into things you don’t understand.  I don’t understand this space well enough.  I’d never be a customer (I’m not a gamer), I don’t really know what competitors are out there.

The people: the team seems decent enough – a bunch of young go-getters fresh out of Boston University.  One of the things I look for is whether I think they’d really sacrifice for the vision (see my ICO framework) and…I think I haven’t really done enough due diligence to be convinced that they would.

Bottom line: I haven’t been able to figure out if First Blood more or less fits the investing thesis.

Bad crowdsale structure = lost my appetite to do due diligence and learn more about eSports

First Blood has a “power hour,” where you get a pretty large bonus for giving them your money in the first hour.

I HATE IT.  As I talked about in my ICO framework, this really prejudices me against.  It suggests that the team doesn’t have enough confidence in the opportunity, so they structure a FOMO deal.  Maybe it will work – they’ll raise a huge chunk of their crowdsale in the first hour.   It’s possible.

But think about it: if getting some press due to “power hour” gets you more investors, who will those investors be?  They’ll be FOMO investors, who aren’t really interested in the project and who are much more likely to go complain to regulators if their investment is at any time losing money (ie, because the project release date keeps getting pushed back).

Plus, a power hour probably loses people like me who were interested, but didn’t decide to put money in for the power hour.  If I have to take a haircut because I missed the first hour, then I’m out.

Front-loaded bonuses like “power hour” will only hurt most of the crowdsales who offer them.  They’ll raise less money, and the people who do invest money will be much less “bought in” to the concept.

[Also FirstBlood might have issues with the gas limit during their power hour]

ADDENDUM: a few weeks ago I discussed ICO investing strategies. I neglected to mention a strategy I’ve thought of but do not have the risk tolerance for (I’m quite risk averse, it all has to do with the marginal value of money and my utility curve).

Essentially, the strategy would be Spray and Pray with Bonus and then Pick the Winners with Liquidity.   The idea would be to buy into all crowdsales immediately at their highest bonus levels.  Then, when those tokens became liquid only keep the ones that you believe in.

Given ICO history so far, we seem to see that tokens are valued higher when they eventually become liquid.  Thus, you could invest with the highest bonus, then sell on liquidity.

There’s a few behavioral psych reasons why this makes sense.  However, I personally am not inclined.  If you are so inclined, then I wish you luck.

Disclaimer: This is not investing advice. Nothing I write in this newsletter is investing advice. Make your own decisions and be responsible for them. I don’t know your portfolio, tax considerations, goals, tolerance for risk, etc so I can’t possibly even be close to giving you investing advice.    Also, it’s expensive.     

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