2017 was the year for cryptocurrency, with major digital coins seeing gains above the 1000% mark within just a few months time. Bitcoin gained mainstream spotlight within the last half of 2017 and is now being traded on two major wall street exchanges, in the forms of futures contracts. While the blockchain and other cryptocurrencies gained some major attention and momentum, what stood strong in the background of all of this bustle, were Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).
ICOs are a fundraising technique for projects or companies and can be considered similarly to Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) in which its investors are able to purchase individual shares within a company. Instead of shares, cryptocurrency tokens and other benefits are distributed to its investors. Bypassing traditional fundraising methods which include venture capital funds and specific funding seed rounds.
According to Token Data, ICOs raised a total of $5.6 billion in 2017, with $1.2 billion being brought in, within the month of December. That doesn’t include the EOS token sale that is still being counted but reportedly brought in between $700-900 million. The ICOs that contributed greatly to the December figures were Sirin Labs, which raised $158 million, Bankex, which raised $70 million, Nebulas, that pulled in $60 million, and Blockstack which raised $52 million. December was the first month that ICOs reached over the $1 Billion mark and 442 ICOs were completed within 2017, the average coming to $12.7 million, with a return of 12.8 times.
Despite the continued backlash from many mainstream investors and regulators, as well as the unfortunate fraud activities within ICOs in 2017, January should be yet another ‘bumper’ month for token sales. Envion, a green-focused crypto mining solution, ICO raised $10 million dollars in the first hour of its launch which is set to conclude its sales within the next ten days. Bloom completed its crowdsale on the first of the year and raised over $40 million. As many governments still scramble to come up with regulations on ICOs in their country, early 2018 looks extremely promising for this fundraising strategy.
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