New Weapon for Blockchain Startups: Nobel Prize-Winning Brains
With cryptocurrency mania over for now, blockchain startups need to dig a little deeper to attract attention. Their latest secret weapon: Nobel laureates.
Covee Network is the latest venture to announce a partnership with an economist of the highest standing: game-theory and market design expert Alvin Roth, who shared the economics Nobel in 2012. Prysm Group is borrowing the brain -- and name -- of Oliver Hart of Harvard University, a 2016 co-laureate; and Cryptic Labs LLC has partnered with both Eric Maskin -- who shared the prize in 2007 -- and Christopher Pissarides -- a 2010 co-laureate.
A year ago, just uttering the word “blockchain” was enough to spark interest. Photography pioneer Eastman Kodak Co. last year had a brief return to fame, and a 272 percent share-price jump, after a cryptocurrency licensing its name was announced. And soft-drink company Long Island Ice Tea Corp. rebranded as Long Blockchain Corp., with similar results, only to end up accused of misleading investors.
But the magic has faded. In August, funding from initial coin offerings, which are used as an alternative to public offerings by companies in the cryptocurrency business, dropped to the lowest in 16 months, according to data from Autonomous Research. Bitcoin, the oldest in the space, fell by more than half this year to $6,655.
By Richard J. Witismann on 1 October, 2018
Alvin Roth Photographer: Pau Barrena/AFP via Getty Images