Viewpoint: Cryptocurrencies have allowed 'bad ideas and crappy businesses to get funded'

Howard Tullman, CEO of the Chicago-based tech incubator 1871, cautioned against recent enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies in an interview with Chicago Tonight.

In recent years, investors have flocked to cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, because they offer "easy profits," according to Chicago Tonight. One bitcoin was valued at $17,475 for a short period of time in December 2017, representing a $10,406 increase since the previous month.

However, Mr. Tullman remains skeptical of the digital asset.

"We want to encourage people to create new businesses and invest in new businesses, but I think we also have to understand that some amount of this activity is not sustainable economic activity," he told Chicago Tonight.

In a recent op-ed published in Inc. Dec. 28, Mr. Tullman cited the "old adage" that "the biggest mistakes in business are made during the good times, not when the going gets rough." He added access to cheap capital has enabled "a bunch of really bad ideas and crappy businesses to get funded."

Though skeptical of cryptocurrency, Mr. Tullman told Chicago Tonight he sees potential in the underlying technology, blockchain.

"[Blockchain] permits for the first time, worldwide, almost instantaneously for users to transfer unique pieces of digital property or information to others," he noted.

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