Initial Coin Offerings: The Opportunities and Pitfalls of Funding Start-Ups With Cryptocurrencies

Lecture | February 13 | 12-1 p.m. | 201 Moses Hall

 Lukas Repa, European Commission

 Institute of European Studies

Start-up funding is still a prerogative of venture capital firms in the Silicon Valley. Yet, this may change. The boom of Bitcoin has attracted investor interest to cryptocurrencies in general. As a consequence, both in Europe and the USA, entrepreneurs are increasingly issuing cryptocurrencies to fund their start ups rather than seeking venture capital. The so-called "Initial Coin Offerings" raise risk capital from investors on a global scale, more than venture capital firms could usually offer to a start-up in its early years. Will cryptocurrencies make venture capital firms superfluous? Are Initial Coin Offerings a sustainable conduit for funding start-ups? Will regulators crack down and make ICOs a footnote in history? During his presentation at the IES, Lukas will share with the audience his preliminary insights and looks forward to a lively discussion.

During his fellowhip at IES, Dr. Lukas Repa is exploring how fintech changes banking. He is a civil servant of the European Commission; his expertise is in finance.

Disclaimer: All views expressed are Lukas' personal opinion and do not represent an official position of the European Commission.

 heike@berkeley.edu, 510-643-4558