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The first ICO projects start to deliver. This is good news and demonstrates that not all ICO projects are scams. But as it as the case at the early beginning of any roll-out of disruptive technologies, hard times are also closely associated with it. The chance is that users are disappointed because they had different expectations, for example. Ask Elon MUSK and Tesla.

Using the example of the German-Swiss ICO’s ENVION, we can see the difficulties that can arise if token holders and the issuer’s shareholders cannot agree on a common strategy on how to increase the value for all stakeholders.

What rights do token holders actually have and what is their position towards the issuers’ shareholders? The answer to this question also includes interesting legal aspects. The token owners refer to Smart Contracts and White Papers and their own perception when investing into the ICO.

In the case of QUANTSTAMP, an interesting discussion has arisen. Theiir token owners feel badly treated by the issuer QUANTSTAMP. The company has raised approximately US$ 30 million in its ICO with the issuance of its QSP tokens to build a platform for the verification of smart contracts. Now this company, in particular, is having discussions about the rights of token holders. This discussion with the token owners in this company thus has an ironic component. The starting point of the discussion is that QUANTSTAMP uses not only its own QSP tokens as means of payment for its services, i.e. auditing Smart Contracts, but also accepts US dollars and Ether (ETH).

The QSP token holders now argue that this approach is not okay and reduces the value of their tokens. They want QUANTSTAMP to accept only their own QSP tokens as a means of payment. This would, of course, stimulate demand for these tokens and thus their value and price. This argumentation is conclusive in the first place, because the company (and its shareholders) profit from every transaction, regardless of whether payment is made in US dollars, ETH or the company’s QSP Token. The token owners, on the other hand, only benefit if customers pay with the QSP token.

It looks like QUANTSTAMP never explicitly stated in the white paper that only QSP tokens are accepted as payment for its services. But the self-conception of the token community is and seems to be consistent.

An interesting and possibly forward-looking discussion. In the end, we will perhaps have a bit more clarity about what the token holders’ rights are vis-à-vis the issuer and its shareholders.

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