Initial Coin Offering or ICO, is currently the most popular way to get blockchain startup off the ground and the numbers show off exactly why.
According to a report compiled by CoinDesk, startups based on blockchain were funded with a huge sum of $797 million in the second quarter of 2017. And that’s more than triple the amount that similar startups raised from venture capital.
The ICO is similar to an IPO, the only difference is instead of stock, the company sells cryptocurrency tokens, which aren’t the same as company shares, but they do carry benefits to owners, and can easily be traded for other cryptocurrencies.
Bancor, Status, TenX, and MobileGo are listed as the largest ICOs by the CoinDesk, which are worth $153 million, $95 million, $83.1 million, and $53.1 million, respectively. On the venture capital side, the biggest deals listed are R3 – $107 million, Canaan – $43.6 million, Blockchain – $40 million and Axoni – $20 million.
It isn’t hard to understand the blockchain-based startups’ crazy interest in the ICOs, as these are relatively easy to do, aren’t well regulated, and most of them have been very successful.
But as there are benefits, there are setbacks as well. ICOs are in trouble because of the above mentioned traits. Recently, China banned ICOs, while the South Korea also issued a warning that fraudulent ICOs will not be tolerated. On the other hand, Hong Kong and Russia’s regulators warned that lack of regulations in relation to ICOs has opened the doors for scammers.
After China’s ruling, ICOs that originate in China, have been postponed but there are still dozens of them lined up for the month of September. And the next quarter might be even bigger for ICOs. As the CoinDesk reported, $650.19 million was raised in ICOs in the first half of Q3 2017. And all in all, startups have raised $1.19 billion through ICOs since the early 2014.