ICO. That ubiquitous acronym has become indelibly associated with the crypto world.
Initial Coin Offerings have become the de facto standard for raising funds for a given crypto project. Hundreds of ICOs are currently in progress, and the human crew behind them hope they will become a historic success.
The truth is not that clear-cut, however, as relatively few ICOs do reach their targets.
In this piece, we will look at trending ICOs, and what blockchain enthusiasts can expect from the second half of 2018 and beyond in terms of the evolution of this omnipresent acronym.
ICOs in 2018: a story made of numbers
The numbers associated with the ICO market are ever-increasing. This month (July 2018) has seen almost $200m dollars raised across a number of ICOs so far. The previous month tallied with a figure of almost $1.5bn. May ended up with just over $1bn.
Indeed, there was a time when ICOs were akin to fairytale magic beans. Plant your ICO beans and watch your wealth grow overnight was the general viewpoint. Once the ICO craze took hold, everyone saw fit to partake, and many got burned bad. All of a sudden, the magic beans lost their shine.
But that was then. The ICO market is now a much more rational and sane environment,
one where scam-weary investors take their time use their wits before parting with their money.
The bottom line is that ICOs are a game of numbers, and in numbers we trust to determine for success. Overall, $13.7 billion has been raised by 537 ICOs during the first semester of 2018.
The ICO market: the ups and the downs and the in-betweens
Looking at a chart displaying ICO stats is a peculiar thing. There are savage peaks and troughs, especially if one looks at a historical chart.
Initially conceived as a means of disrupting the traditionally centralized capital raising market, ICOs have evolved into well-established crowdfunding affairs that have taken center stage across the global crypto ecosystem.
By far, the United States leads in terms of the sheer amount of blockchain projects, followed by the United Kingdom and Russia. As cryptocurrencies evolve and continue their relentless advance to mainstream, more and more countries join the race.
ICOs do have an inherent problem though: they are prone to scams, and some of them
have hit the headlines big time.
Pincoin and iFan, for example, were two such ICOs. Operated from Vietnam in south
east Asia, the offices closed one day, taking about $660m of investors’ funds with
Onecoin and Bitconnect were two other big names that turned out to be nothing but
elaborate Ponzi schemes of the crypto era.
The list goes on, but lately the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has grown wiser and is taking a more proactive approach to rooting out scams.
Success does not come cheap: top 5 ICOs by Return-on-Investment
As stated above, ICOs tell their story by numbers, and numbers are what investors live by.
One can choose to quantify success by the sheer power of numbers, particularly through Return-on-Investment (ROI), and in that case, here are the top 5 ICOs by ROI:
- NEO takes the top place, with an overall ROI of almost 99,000%
- Gatcoin goes second best, offering an almost 5,900% ROI
- Bitquence takes third position, with just over 5,500 ROI
- Augur goes in fourth place, with just under 5,000% ROI
- OmiseGO ranks in fifth place, with a ROI of just under 3,000%
Of course, most ICOs offer an ROI that is nowhere close to these figures, and in many cases, the ROI is close to zero.
Caveat emptor is a most appropriate term when it comes to ICOs. The ecosystem may be a far more regulated environment that 12 months ago, but buyer beware is very much a wise idea nonetheless.
Numbers are numbers after all, and numbers can conceal a lie, or a half-truth.