The advent of blockchain technology has revolutionized finance and other industries. One of the major aspects that make blockchain attractive is the concept of raising funds through Initial Coin offering (ICOs). ICOs are the equivalents of Initial Public Offerings (IPOS) whereby instead of using established investors as funders, anyone can participate in funding a blockchain project. Since 2009, there has been hundreds of ICOs raising millions of dollars in funding. The trend is continuing to catch momentum and 2017 has seen some of the biggest ICOs to date, raising a total of $1 billion in 2017 alone. In this article we review the top 5 successful ICOs to date based on aspects such as financial performance, type of blockchain technology, the time period, technical details, the amount of capital raised, ROI and finally the all-time high token price.
Tezos ($232 million)
Tezos project aims to ensure a system of secure and future proof smart contract system. Unlike the current blockchain system that offers financial incentives to core developers for maintaining ledgers, Tezos aims to seamlessly establish a system of amending the rules governing its protocol and reward those users that participate in developing the protocol. Through a governance system, developers can propose upgrades and then attach invoices to be paid if the upgrades are approved. These aspects seemed to have excited investors because it raised an estimated $232 million during its ICO period which ran between July 1 and July 14 2017.
The technical feasibility of the project is reasonable because instead of just building on top of existing blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, Tezos aims to establish its own blockchain that allows for improvements, upgrades and innovations over time. This reduces the risk of hard forks that have befallen blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The ROI on Tezos investments looks promising because part of the funds raised are to be directed in investing in other areas such as stocks. Indeed its market price since launch has skyrocketed after the launch but has since stabilised and lowered in the last 1 month with the current price being $1.62. The coin is still in pre-launch stage and therefore not possible to know ROI and market cap.
Filecoin ($250 M)
Filecoin’s idea is to form a decentralized storage network and unused storage can be sold. Users can use Filecoin to hire the network to store their files and storage providers get paid in Filecoin. Individuals are incentivised to be part of the network by providing storage solutions to people nearby and the sum of all the individuals creates a strong network that is more powerful than the centralized storage systems we have today.
The ICO period began on Aug 10 2017 and ended in early September 2017 and raised over $200 million. Unlike other cryptocurrencies, Filecoin focused on raising money from accredited investors and not anyone in the general public. An additional $52 million was raised from venture capitalists to make the total amount raised to be about $250 million.
The technical feasibility of the project is promising because it allows a decentralized way of storing data and has an incentive structure that would encourage more people to participate.
Filecoin is currently not listed on any exchanges because of its policy of ensuring only high net worth individuals are able to invest. Only 2100 investors took part in ICO and mainly focused on institutional investors. However, the prospect of Filecoin looks promising even though there are two other projects with the same concept because it has raised significant capital for scale and was the first to move to market.
Status ($100 M)
Status mission is to act as a browser, messenger as well as a gateway to the decentralized world by enabling users to access the entire Ethereum ecosystem from anywhere. Users can rely on peer-to-peer protocol in order to send payments and smart contracts from within charts. Users can do this while enjoying encrypted messaging of peer-to-peer protocol without relying on centralized servers.
The ICO started on June 20 2017 and raised estimated 299,897.84 ether which is about $100 million. Initially, participants in the crowdsale encountered challenges because of overcrowding of the Ethereum network. With current market cap of $100 million, Status is trading at $0.029919 and has the early investors gained because of initial price increase but later slowed down as seen. It has since been volatile with total ROI being ROI -53.65 but the average +0.68%. The current price has reduced and is at $0.029 which is lower than ICO price.
Bancor is building a decentralized exchange ecosystem in order to enable holders of various digital assets to trade with one another with ease. This is necessitated by the current state whereby there are many cryptocurrencies and the need to exchange from one cryptocurrency to another is necessary. Even though the exchanges facilitate this process, they are not efficient and expose users to risk because of their centralized nature.
Bancor raised $153 million in its ICO in June. Its current market cap is $83, 693,248 and the circulating supply is 40 million out of total supply of 79 million tokens. Currently, it is trading at $2 or 0.00027 BTC. At ICO, the price was 0.01 ETH/BNT. The total ROI has been -85.21% since ICO so it has plummeted.
The future development of Bancor is not very clear. However, it says that it will enable better execution of smart tokens on the Ethereum ecosystem. Being a dominant player in the Ethereum platform, the long term investors could gain.
EOS raised an estimated $183 million on its ICO which started in June 2017 and is still ongoing. EOS aims to provide a new blockchain architecture that enables scaling of decentralized applications. This is due to inherent problems faced by current decentralized applications that face challenges such as high user fees, poor user experience and reduced performance in executing transactions. This is achieved through creating an operating system-like construct upon which other applications can be built. The unique value proposition of the software is that it provides authentication, databases, asynchronous communications and scheduling of applications across hundreds of CPUS cores and clusters. This enables EOS to deploy a blockchain infrastructure that is able to scale to millions, eliminate user fees and enable faster transaction processing than the existing blockchain infrastructure.
This cutting-edge technology makes EOS one of the best performing blockchain launces of 2017. The market cap is above $700 million and ranked among top 20 cryptocurrencies on www.coinmarketcap.com and currently trading at $1.61. Even the EOS charts shows the strong performance of the token which has currently a high return of investment with average daily ROI standing at 4.02% and total ROI at 66.44% and the current price is $1.56 which is the highest so far.
Future developments of EOS also looks promising because it is supported by block.one which is targeting to use EOS to help large business automate their process such as auditing, accounting and compliance related activities as well as develop multiple applications and monitor their assets.