Daily Fintech Conversations

Bernard's post about XBRL

I would consider myself well versed in XBRL. I wrote a chapter about it for my last book and interviewed many of the players. I believe XBRL is great for transparency and very poor for finding good investments. I don’t think anyone, including Warren Buffett, can read public financial reports and determine whether a stock is under/overvalued or just right. I think that was a common misperception in Peter Lynch’s time and it continues to be a shared delusion among investors and commentators.

I don’t see how XBRL will help ICOs. To the extent that today’s utility tokens are investments, they are early-stage, high-risk/high-return investments. The same would be said about equity tokens. Close to 99 percent of funded startups fail, and 99 percent of all successful startups have pivoted away from their original plans. How does XBRL help at this stage?

I submit that the goal of anyone “rating” or filtering or looking at groups raising money through token sales is to try to eliminate fraud. Anything else - for example, using such information as white papers and risk assessments to try to determine which projects will be the big winners - is another shared delusion. It’s very common, and people argue for it all the time, but if you look at early stage financing from a statistical perspective, you’ll see that what I say is true. I refer interested readers to my essay, www.globalbetaventures.com

Hi @davids good to see you here and a vigorous debate is what makes Fintech Genome interesting.

We clearly agree about XBRL. There were two areas where I think we disagree, but I may be misunderstanding you. These two areas are both big subjects in their own right and deserve their own thread and your post highlighted that I had not made my thinking clear (thanks). Here are the two threads: