Regulators worldwide are cracking down on initial coin offerings after a frenzied summer of tokenized fundraising amassed more than $1.2 billion. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission clarified in July that some ICOs are subject to federal securities law, which means if fundraisers promise tokens will increase in value, they can’t be sold to the general public without certain restrictions.
On Monday, the SEC even issued a warning that some public stock scams are masquerading as ICOs. China, Canada and even fintech-friendly Singapore are all warning cryptocurrency buyers to steer clear of new tokens without communal, functional value.
What does that even mean?
The Australian energy startup Power Ledger is a great example of a blockchain company with community-driven utility tokens. Power Ledger co-founder David Martin told International Business Times the startup already sold 85 percent of the pre-sale ICO tokens, meaning the campaign is expected to raise $8.8 million this week and up to $30 million when the ICO closes in September. It is now one of many blockchain startups aiming to take renewable energy mainstream with the help of a little cryptocurrency.