ICO Sector Divide Between East & West

There is a glaring divide between the ICO sectors in the West and the East. In the US, they are about ideas. In the Asian market, they seem to be about returns.

The Asian market took its functioning independently, informed by the ecosystems around Bitcoin and Ethereum, but also distinct from them. Some of the differences between the two markets became clearer during the Blockchain Week in New York City.

When talking about Asia’s market, it’s clear that retail and institutional investors all want returns to materialize much faster than investors do in the U.S., which also explains why the Asian market has a vigorous ecosystem of exchanges.

With the Asians, it’s more fast-tracked. They don’t want long lockup periods like so many Western projects expect. They are more intent on releasing tokens, listing them and enjoying the gains that come from retail investors and market makers buying into a new coin.

“The Asian Crypto Landscape” panel at Token Summit III in NYC was an interesting panel that argued this East-West divide. “We’re money in, money out in crypto,” said Jason Fang, managing partner at Sora Ventures.

Entrepreneurs also talk about other aspects of the East-West divide in crypto, such as why Asian projects mirror Western protocols and the China ICO ban. However, Asia’s growing crypto market cannot be underestimated. “It could be argued that Asia is kind of the most important part of the world in terms of cryptocurrency.” Nick Tomaino, of VC firm 1confirmation, told Token Summit attendees.

There was a popular opinion that the West had more talented cryptographers. “Most of them, I think they are in the U.S.,” said Gordon Chen (FBG), on the panel.

“The general view is that a lot of American companies are pushing the boundaries of technological advancement,” Chen said. “In China, it’s slightly more balanced. More companies are looking from a business point of view.”


Fang summed up the West more succinctly: “I think right now people are betting on professors.” Plus the U.S. has a giant pool of liquidity. “It’s about the community engagement,” Li argued. “If they want a project to be successful, you have to be global. Even NEO is very well received globally.”