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Tezos co-founder Kathleen Breitman speaks during the Money 20/20 conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. on October 24, 2017.

  • Over $4 billion raised last year by around 1,400 companies issuing their own digital coins through “initial coin offerings” (ICOs).
  • BTCC founder and CEO Bobby Lee told BI: “I don’t touch altcoins, I don’t touch ICOs.”
  • Lee supports more regulation around how ICOs are carried out.

LONDON — The founder and CEO of one of China’s biggest bitcoin companies says he would not invest in so-called “altcoins,” which are new cryptocurrencies created by companies through “initial coin offerings” (ICOs).

BTCC CEO and founder Bobby Lee told Business Insider: “Unfortunately I’m very conservative, I’m very old school. I don’t touch altcoins, I don’t touch ICOs.

“It’s just too risky. It just doesn’t make sense to invest in those guys. Maybe I’ll change my mind next month, next year, I don’t know.”

2017 saw a huge boom in companies raising money by issuing their own digital currencies, which are structured similarly to bitcoin, in return for funds to build their business. Over $4 billion was raised through these so-called ICOs last year and there are now over 1,400 “altcoins” in circulation, according to CoinMarketCap.com.

But doubts have been raised about the viability of many of the projects raising money and the lack of investor protection or regulatory overnight.

Tezos has proved a cautionary tale for many watching the sector. The startup, which wants to build a more efficient blockchain, raised $232 million last year but has since been wracked with internal fighting and legal disputes. Investors have been told they are not eligible for refunds.

Lee said: “I only recognise and endorse: bitcoin, litecoin, ethereum, bitcoin cash. Anything outside of that basket I wouldn’t touch myself — I don’t touch myself, I wouldn’t touch myself, and I wouldn’t endorse or recommend for anyone else to touch.”

Founded in 2011, BTCC was the world’s oldest bitcoin exchange until it Read More Here