A new ICO is a subject that can seem like the stuff of science fiction. A cryptocurrency that doesn’t exist yet? How could anyone invest in something that doesn’t exist? But crypto has been around for more than a decade, and there are many different types of crypto. Now there is an ICO called polygon cryto, which is not exactly like all the other ICOs before it.
In the world of cryptocurrencies, you can think of an ICO as a form of crowdfunding. You pay money to get early access to an idea for a new blockchain-based platform or app. If it takes off and becomes successful, you’ll be able to sell your tokens back at a profit. It’s not possible yet to do this with polygon cryto, but the developers are working on it.
In the past two years, cryptocurrencies have made tremendous strides: Ethereum raised $18 million at about $0.30 per token; Bitcoin reached $1,000; Litecoin went a lot higher; Ripple has started trading on currency exchanges; and so on. But if you invest in something that isn’t yet built and doesn’t already have customers, how do you know whether it will succeed? There are many variables involved, including things beyond anyone’s control:
Polygon cryto is a new type of investment fund. The basic idea is that it can share in the profits from a portfolio of cryptocurrencies, and it can do so in a way that is safe and secure. And you don’t have to be super-technical to understand the advantages of this model.
The basic idea behind an ICO (short for “initial coin offering”) is that you raise money by creating your own cryptocurrency, which you sell in exchange for other cryptocurrencies or “tokens” of the same kind. You then use the money to start your own crypto fund, which will invest in all kinds of crypto projects around the world, including polygon cryto.
But how would polygon cryto fit into this picture? Well, polygon cryto will probably be one of the most profitable cryptocurrencies of any kind. Because it will be backed by a pool of real estate investments and other assets that are expected to bring in huge returns over time. So the proceeds from selling polygon cryto tokens will come from more than just their initial sale price.
There are two major kinds of cryptocurrency. One is a currency that people use for buying and selling things, like bitcoin or ethereum. The other is an investment product, such as a token for a decentralized app (e.g., Filecoin) or a security token in an ICO.
This second kind of cryptocurrency is often called a “ICO” (for “initial coin offering.”) There are several hundred ICOs running every year, raising $1 billion to $3 billion each. The startups that issue these tokens are exciting, but they have some drawbacks:
The biggest problem is that there is very little regulation of this market, which can make it hard to evaluate the projects. There are no rules about how much money you can raise, so there’s no way to know whether this project is worth the money it’s asking for; there’s no way to know if the team has done any due diligence; there’s no way to tell where they’re getting their money from; and there’s no public record of who their backers are.
Many people are worried about the security of cryptocurrencies. But if you look at things more closely, it is not that different from what has been going on for a very long time:
Cryptocurrencies were invented because banks weren’t giving out enough money. Anyone who could control the ledger that kept track of money was able to get rich. The first banks worked by trusting the word of their customers (and the government). If a bank’s customers didn’t pay up, the bank wouldn’t pay either. And the customers knew this and could hold the bank responsible for its actions (because it would have to pay up eventually or go bust).
This worked pretty well until 2008. Then billions of dollars began to disappear in an instant, and nobody could figure out where it went.* How had all those millions of dollars just vanished into thin air?
The answer is that they had been created by banks to make money vanish into thin air. Banks had figured out a way to create money out of thin air. They gave people false promises about their accounts, persuaded them to lend massive amounts of money they didn’t have, and then made off with the cash while they were still convinced they owned it.
A lot has happened since 2008. The problem has gone underground and become more
The word “crypto” is now in the Oxford Dictionary. It used to be a synonym for cryptography, but that was before Bitcoin came along. Prior to that, the term crypto referred to the encrypted messages used by spies during World War II, and it has been used like that ever since. But what most people now think of as crypto is cryptocurrency: a medium of exchange based on cryptographic algorithms.
Cryptocurrency is a relatively recent innovation. The first cryptocurrency was Bitcoin, invented in 2009 by an unknown person or group calling themselves Satoshi Nakamoto. Since then there have been many more cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin is a bit like money in the sense that it can be used to buy things and make small payments, but Bitcoin is not money—it’s a commodity, like gold or silver. It can be redeemed for cash at any time at a store that accepts it, like any other currency, but unlike other currencies it cannot be exchanged for anything else; it has no utility beyond the value of its own metal.
This is why bitcoin “mining”, which is how bitcoins get created in quantity, has become a competitive process among miners and why bitcoins are so expensive relative to most other currencies (anywhere from $1,000 USD per coin to over $100
Cryptography is the science of communicating secretly, securely and without error.
How does this work? The first and most important thing you need to understand is that there are two basic kinds of cryptography: public-key and secret-key cryptography. Public-key cryptography allows one person to encrypt a message, using a special key; only someone who knows the secret key can decrypt it. Secret-key cryptography uses a private key to encrypt secrets (like passwords) so that no one else knows the key.
The second thing you need to understand is that there are three ways of doing encryption: 1) symmetric encryption – where the same key is used to both send and receive the message – 2) public-key encryption – where each user has a private key, and 3) 3) asymmetric encryption – where a public key (a mathematical function) is used for sending messages but the private key is used for decrypting them.
We’ve been using asymmetric encryption for years, in technologies like SSL [Secure Sockets Layer] in browsers and PGP [Pretty Good Privacy] with email clients. Those were all one-way functions: we could use our private keys to send encrypted messages, but we couldn’t decrypt them back again unless we had the recipient’s
We use the word “crypto” to refer to things that are not just money, but they are also not just…. well, nothing. Crypto is both a noun and a verb: you can do crypto-stuff, or you can get crypto-stuff. But there is no crypto-stuff itself; it’s just an object of discussion.
Because the word “crypto” is both a noun and a verb, the word itself has become something like the currency of this particular subculture. I once heard someone talk about how he was going to buy some “crypto” for his startup. I don’t want to give too much away about what’s going on behind these words, but I will say that in this context, “crypto” is code for buying something with money. This is why we use the phrase “own your own crypto.”
In a normal market economy, if you need money to buy something — a house or a car or whatever — you try to borrow it. If you can’t borrow it, then you have to sell something else in order for your financial needs to be satisfied. In this case, we’ll say that someone who has no other way of getting money has a “liquidation preference” — they’d rather sell