- ISOs are being proposed as an alternative to ICOS
- ISOs do not involve the creation of new tokens – only the promise of a product or service, similar to kickstarters
- The model is being proposed not by the IOTA Foundation, but by members of the IOTA community
IOTA is one of the most ambitious projects in crypto. Positioning itself to become the protocol of choice for the upcoming Internet of Things, it has abandoned blockchain for the tangle and eschewed normal mining for a feeless network. And now members of the community are proposing ISOs as an alternative to ICOs as well.
This October members of the IOTA community put forward the idea of Initial Service Offerings – ISOs. Under this new model, projects building on top of the tangle would not have to mint their own tokens and sell those to users, as happens with ICOs.
Instead ISOs would be conducted mainly using the IOTA token itself. Instead of ERC-20 tokens or the like, users would be compensated with promises of services or products, similar to more traditional non-crypto kickstarter campaigns.
This would certainly give rise to less speculation on new tokens – but this is not necessarily a flaw. The 2017 bubble was driven to a large degree by speculation on ICOs, which were once seen as guaranteed profit for investors, but somewhere along the line became almost certain to lose money – and of course, doubly so during 2018.
With IOTA trying to position itself for massive real world adoption, the community wants to distance itself from the hype and volatility that has engulfed large swathes of the broader crypto community.
Seen in that light, ISOs become a logical alternative to ICOs for projects that wish to make use of crypto technology but which do not require a token of their own. Though it bears mentioning that the IOTA Foundation does plan to make it easy for developers to create their own ‘coloured’ tokens on the tangle as well, for those projects that require that.
As crypto has expanded, so too regulatory interest in the space has grown, with many countries implementing harsh restrictions, even outright bans on ICOs.
Even crypto-friendly countries like Japan have clamped down and demand similar high standards for crypto start ups as for other financial firms.
With more and more countries starting to take crypto regulation seriously, the early days of zero oversight ICOs and wild speculation may be over. While this may help soften the crash for any future downturns in the market, it does make it harder for new crypto startups to raise funds.
But for projects that don’t require their own token, ISOs and the tangle, with no network fees and no central authority taking a cut, may well be the future.