Filecoin looks like one of the more ‘professionally’ run initial coin offerings (ICOs) around at the moment. It’s a decentralised file storage project from Protocol Labs, which counts Y Combinator, Union Square Ventures, Digital Currency Group and the Winklevoss twins as backers.
It’s so professionally run that it has a proper “private placement offering memorandum“, which features a fairly extensive list of Risk Factors. They include the standard warnings that investors may lose all of their money, the world might come to an abrupt end, and so on. But there’s also these two:
There may be occasions when certain individuals involved in the development and launch of the Filecoin Network may encounter potential conflicts of interest in connection with the Network Launch, such that said party may avoid a loss, or even realize a gain, when other Investors in the Presale or in Filecoin are suffering losses.
There may be occasions when certain individuals involved in the development and launch of the Filecoin Network or Filecoin may encounter potential conflicts of interest in connection with this Offering and the Network Launch, such that said party may avoid a loss, or even realize a gain, when other Investors in the are suffering losses. Investors in SAFTs may also have conflicting investment, tax, and other interests with respect to SAFT investments, which may arise from the terms of the SAFT, the Filecoin’s code, the Filecoin Network, the timing of the Network Launch or other token pre-sales, or other factors. Decisions made by the key employees of Protocol Labs on such matters may be more beneficial for some Investors than for others.
Investors may lack information for monitoring their investment.
The Investor may not be able to obtain all information it would want regarding Protocol Labs, Filecoin, or the Filecoin Network, on a timely basis or at all. It is possible that the Investor may not be aware on a timely basis of material adverse changes that have occurred with respect to certain of its investments. While Protocol Labs has made efforts to use open-source development for Tokens, this information may be highly technical by nature. As a result of these difficulties, as well as other uncertainties, an Investor may not have accurate or accessible information about the Filecoin Network.
Roughly translated into English, and taken together, that looks to us like, ‘You might not realise you’re being screwed over’.
The ICO opens in a little under eight hours. Good luck!