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Trends Watch: November 16, 2017

EisnerAmper’s Trends Watch is a weekly entry to our Alternative Investments Intelligence blog, featuring the views and insights of executives from alternative investment firms. If you’re interested in being featured, please contact Elana Margulies-Snyderman.  

This week, Elana talks to Patrick Lowry, CEO, Iconiq Lab.

Why do you believe blockchain, crypto funds are an attractive investment opportunity?

I believe there are many reasons for this. As a pure technology, blockchain is attractive based in its ability to redefine the infrastructures of nearly every industry, changing the way we transfer, use and leverage data in existing business models. From a cryptocurrency and tokenization point of view, ICOs and token sales offer the first real chance to decentralize and democratize the global early-stage investment ecosystem. This leads to potential financing opportunities for previously disenfranchised or geographically disadvantaged entrepreneurs to secure funding, and to redistribute high-growth investment opportunities out of Silicon Valley and into the hands of global, digital investors. There are many questions, namely based regulatory and taxation, that still must be answered in this space, but the potential to digitally globalize investing remains intriguing.

What is your outlook for the crypto economy?

I, like so many others, strongly believe the crypto economy is in the midst of a bubble. I personally view this as a great thing. While many will unfortunately lose their investments, this is a necessary and natural reaction to too much hype being generated in an economy with limited underlying value in most projects raising funds through ICOs or token sales. Once the hype dies down and the bubble bursts, the crypto industry can work together to weed out the scam and fraudulent projects and truly focus on developing sustainable business solutions through token instruments that provide fundamental, not speculative, value back to investors.

What keeps you up at night?

Other than my wife stealing the blanket or maybe a new season of binge-worthy TV on Netflix, absolutely nothing. I have worked in too many high pressure environments before at JPMorgan, PwC and as a VC and know that there is nothing that is worth losing sleep over. This may sound very un-entrepreneurial of me, but I know firsthand that even the most seemingly insurmountable professional challenges will be overcome with hard work and smart decision making. I suppose once you learn to trust and believe in yourself, sleep comes easy.

Elana Margulies-Snyderman is an investment industry reporter and writer who develops articles, opinion pieces and original research designed to help illuminate the most challenging issues confronting fund managers and executives.

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