June 19, 2018

Some people have compared the recent cryptocurrency boom to the dot com bubble of the late 1990s that burst in spectacular style back in 2001. The common consensus is that those people who invested in dot com companies back at the turn of the century and hung on through the pricing slump ended up making substantial fortunes.

Now, many people are drawing parallels between the dot com era and the world of cryptocurrency. In the 1990s, people were jumping on to dot com companies, investing early in the hopes of riding the wave to certain riches as the value of the shares soared.

In reality, many of those dot com startups were simply raising start-up funding. Many had no realistic way to generate revenues after the ICO. Others had proposed business models that were unsustainable.

And then there were those wildly successful businesses – like Apple, Google and Amazon – that became global giants after the bubble burst. For those who invested in Apple based on the company’s business model and ability to generate sustainable revenues year on year, hanging on to those shares meant cashing in a small fortune in the years that followed.

Of course, hindsight is always 20/20. It’s easy to see the big players now almost two decades after the dot com bubble burst. Yet imagine trying to tell someone back then that a search engine called Google would grow to become bigger than Microsoft and end up pioneering self-driving cars.

Now, translate the same fundamental basics of the dot com era to the current landscape of cryptocurrencies.

It’s true that more than 1,000 cryptocurrency startups around the world have managed to raise more than $US10 billion in ICOs in the last two years alone. However, Yoni Assia, the CEO of eToro says that 95% of cryptocurrency startups will end up as nothing. He also notes that those few digital currencies that do survive have the potential to become huge.

Investing in cryptocurrencies in the hopes of striking it rich when prices begin to soar is a goal for many novice investors. However, consider that a large majority of cryptocurrencies will eventually fizzle away to nothing before revealing the remaining few big players.

Danny Masters is an ex-JPMorgan trader turned cryptocurrency investor and Bitcoin fund manager who believes that only 5% of cryptos are worth backing. He says it’s surprising how many cases there are where the cryptocurrency token has absolutely no connection with the underlying technology.

When you compare the IPOs of the dot com bubble with the ICOs of the current world of cryptocurrencies, it becomes a bit clearer which are only raising capital to fund their projects and which are more likely to have a strong basis for succeeding over the long-term.

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