ICOs: Crowding-in Blockchains?

Nowadays, ICOs (or Initial Coin Offerings) are all the rage. Unlike traditional IPOs, ICOs allow startups to streamline the capital-raising process while at the same time enhancing the number of potential investors.  While venture capital is still part of the equation, other non-traditional investors and stakeholders are more than welcome to join. How is this possible? Is venture capital being democratized?

By default, blockchain technology (BCT) has built-in financial incentives. In the now-classic case of Bitcoin, such incentive is the generation of a cryptocurrency. Users mining the Bitcoin blockchain to process network transactions get rewarded a certain amount of Bitcoins for their computationally expensive and power-hungry efforts. Without such incentive, Bitcoin network members will

Read More

Governments, Crowdsourcing and Innovation

citizensDualRoleThe paper on the role of governments in crowdsourcing I presented at the last ICEGOV 2014 gathering in Guimaraes, Portugal, is now available here – in this blog. The paper was supposed to be published by ACM press as part of the proceedings of ICEGOV.  However, the proceedings are still not available in the ICEGOV web site, nor at the ACM site. In any event, we have chosen a publishing license that allows the authors of the paper to publish it on their own web sites. Note that copyright still applies to this material (please read the license before downloading the paper!).

The paper makes the case for government to harness crowdsourcing as one potential way to improve service delivery and foster people participation in selected public policy-making processes. It presents a governance-centered

Read More

The Role of ICTs in Empowering People

In the last twenty years, we have witnessed a very rapid and dramatic evolution of ICTs, at a pace perhaps unprecedented in history. This evolution, however, has come in a series of waves. First, we saw the advent of the Internet in the early 1990s, a network of networks that quickly gained global relevance -although uptake by developing countries lagged well behind initial expectations. By the of the millennium, we saw a second wave which essentially brought forward the application of Internet-based solutions for businesses, governments, and almost any other sector.

This wave ended suddenly with the so-called dot-com crash in March 2000. By 2004, Web 2.0 and social media emerged as the third wave of ICT innovations where user-driven content, interactivity, netwempowerorking, and collaboration

Read More