Tezos is one of the most recent of the initial coin offerings (ICOs), funding projects that have become increasingly popular since they were first introduced by the Ethereum network, and it's also the largest of all time. The ICO brought in $232 million through a 12-day uncapped token sale, which ended yesterday, amid cheers from media and tech analysts alike. Generally, the ICO seems to have generated a fair amount of excitement with regard to the perceived possibilities for the company as well as for the ICO as a funding method. However, it has also sparked some concern among investors as well.
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Signs of Value Leaving the Ethereum System
The major concern among skeptical investors is that Tezos (and other companies which have recently enjoyed similarly successful ICOs) will wholesale convert its profits, earned in Ethereum's currency, Ether, into fiat currency. Should such a large amount of value depart the Ethereum system in a brief window of time, it could drive prices of Ether down considerably. This may be even more of a concern for investors given that Ether has already seen a downturn in price this week.
Tezos is not the only company to dump its Ether in exchange for fiat currency. A similarly popular startup called EOS has already cashed out much of its Ether for fiat currency, according to a report by Coin Telegraph. Moves like this have prompted stern reproaches from Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum who maintains an active social media presence. In a Twitter exchange earlier this week, toward the end of the ICO for Tezos, Buterin indicated that he "disagreed" with the way that the startup had specified it would use its funds once the sale was finished, according to Coin Telegraph.
Too Early to Say?
For now, it appears to be too early to say what Tezos will do with the massive amount of ETH funding it built up across its ICO. The company responded to Buterin's doubts via Twitter but did not necessarily confirm that it would or would not begin a sell-off of its Ether at some point after the end of the ICO. The tendency for companies to engage in these practices may have put a damper on some of the excitement surrounding the ICO phenomenon, which recently surpassed the $1 billion mark thanks to several major offerings like Tezos'. Beyond that, investor concern about Ethereum and cryptocurrencies in general has been riding high, in spite of major gains across much of the industry since the beginning of the year, because of the extreme volatility of even the most stalwart currencies. Perhaps some investors believe that startups selling off their Ether will only add fuel to the fire.