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Dec 21, 2017

Last word: Decrypting the equity story

Should you take an IR job at a crypto-currency start-up?

Crypto-currency and, in particular, the initial coin offering (ICO) market is booming, raising more than $3 bn in the first three quarters of 2017, according to Coinschedule.

ICOs are, however, an unregulated and controversial means of crowdfunding via crypto-currency used by start- ups. So with all this money to be made, seemingly so easily, should IROs consider joining a bitcoin start-up?* Take our handy quiz to nd out whether a job in ICO IR is the right fit for you. 

Q: The median average age of your three-person management team is 21 and the only work experience the founder has is a stint at McDonald’s when he was a teenager. What do you do?

A: Make a fake LinkedIn profile for a more experienced fourth co-founder. Link to the fake LinkedIn pro le on your company’s website.

B: Leave it as it is. Look for a new job. 

Q: Your company pays Paris Hilton and boxing promoter and former champion Floyd Mayweather to promote your stock on social media. In a series of tweets endorsing your stock, they fail to disclose that they were paid to promote your stock online. Do you...?

A: Email them to tell them they’ve done a great job.

B: Tell them to delete the tweets immediately. Consider looking for a new job 

Q: You have sat through your new employer’s explainer video hundreds of times, but you still haven’t the faintest idea how the product works. What should you do?

A: Nothing – the investors don’t seem to care how it works anyway.

B: Ask the founders for clarification (not a recommendation). 

Q: You ask your 20-something bosses to explain their business model and they can’t. Do you...?

A: Do nothing. There’s nothing to worry about. It’s just because they’re software engineers and everyone knows software engineers aren’t the best communicators.

B: Start worrying (if you weren’t already). Toy with the idea of pulling a sick day – for the rest of your life. 

Q: You are thinking of a new tagline for your company and the CEO suggests: ‘If you follow us you will make money’. What do you think?

A: Sounds perfect.

B: Sounds horrendous. 


Mostly As
You seem like you have the right kind of devil-may-care attitude to thrive in the world of bitcoin IR. You can happily sleep at night knowing that lots of retail investors will lose their life savings and you’re not too fussed about getting found out.

Mostly Bs
You sound too prudent and risk-averse for the role of ICO IR. Stick to listed companies that are governed by comprehensive regulations and you’ll feel more comfortable revealing what you do at parties.

*Most of the issues alluded to in this article have actually happened.