What is it all about
The last two years have become a time of exponential development for the blockchain industry. While in 2017 the total amount of funds attracted by ICO companies reached almost $4 billion, in 2018 the total amount of funds raised in 5 months already exceeded $7.5 billion and this is clearly not the limit.
The first ICOin the history,Mastercoin project, collected $5 million of investments in 2013. Now the most expensive projects raise hundreds of millions of dollars at the click of a finger.
At the moment, there are more than 15 ICOs that collected over $100 million during the tokensale. Moreover, we have seen examples that easily raise over billion dollars.
Source: icobazaar.com, coinschedule.com, tokendata.io
You can see that in our Top 10 there are only four projects from 2017, and given that we’re just in the middle of the year 2018, we will witness lots of interesting stories to come. Be patient. In the next series we will look in detail at the most successful ICOs in the history of the planet.
Impressive but contradictory. When not only money matters.
El Petro - first national cryptocurrency.
Profile: a sovereign crypto asset backed by oil assets and issued by the Venezuelan State as a spearhead for the development of an independent, transparent and open digital economy
ICO: February 2018 - March 2018
Coin price: $60
Funds raised: $5 billion
About: no info about actual product, the coin is said to be listed on various Latin American exchanges soon.
The largest cryptocurrency project up to date, which was able to attract about ;5 billion, is Venezuela's oil-backed cryptocurrency, El Petro (Ptr). This is also the youngest and most controversial project on our list. Announcing the last pre-sale day the president of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro told the press that during the pre-sale El Petro had obtained $3.338 billion. He also certified 16 crypto exchanges to list his country’s new currency.
The coin was created in February 2018 to escape from the impact of international economic sanctions. The Venezuelan government over the recent years have earned a specific reputation, as they still haven’t solve a plenty of problems with violence, lack of civil rights protection, blooming corruption and hyperinflation. Not so long ago various sources wrote that Russian officials and oligarchs helped launch the coin. This makes us look at El Petro exclusively in a political way.
The 16 exchanges this cryptocurrency will be available at seem to be Venezuelan or non-existent, and most of them can’t be easily googled (for example, Criptoexchange or Criptocapital). There’s also Italcambio, the only brick-and-mortar exchange house that the government granted authorization to participate in the cryptocurrency industry. Permission granted, Italcambio official webpage still doesn’t show any plans of El Petro distribution.
In fact, The US government has forbidden its citizens to trade Venezuelan currency – two legislative bodies of the country declared the state coin Petro illegal. The most interesting thing here is that even a number of Venezuelan politicians do not support this initiative, for example Venezuela's Asamblea Nacional says that El Petro is unconstitutional.
It seems that the creation of the national cryptocurrency was an excellent way to raise funds in the country at a difficult time, but it is not entirely clear what development to expect from this currency in the future. Let's check it in a year.
Tezos: far too successful in the beginning and repeatedly sued afterwards
Profile: Identification verification (IDV) tool with blockchain based dynamic multidimensional identification
ICO: July 2017
Coin price: $5.18
Funds raised: $137 million
Today: project release is planned for Q3 2018
Tezos is so far one of the most successful ICOs. During the first 5 days the ICO raised more than $137 million. Tezos proclaimed itself a “new digital union”, and the platform itself is positioned as an alternative to the Ethereum network. Tezos is supposed to be safer that Ethereum. The main advantage is that Tezos can update the decentralized circuits protocol without creating a hardfork.
Despite the ambitious program, the project soon raised many questions from investors. Over the past months, the platform has not been launched yet, and investors have not received a single token and have already filed several lawsuits against the company.
All this happened along with an internal conflict in the startup team. After the ICO, co-founders of the project Arthur and Kathleen Breitman discovered that Johann Gevers, the manager of Tezos funds, put $1.5 million in his pocket without discussing it with the other team members. The Breitmans claimed Gevers drew up his own contract, granting himself excessive compensation in the process, while Gevers claimed his character was being attacked. This led to a lawsuit and sufficient reputational damage.
Investors’ concerns on the current situation are understandable, since the future of the project is currently in doubt. According to lawyers, it is likely that during the Tezos ICO, the US Securities Act was violated. If it is proved that the Tezos tokens are "securities" sold to US investors without proper registration with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, then according to the law such a transaction can be terminated.
In its most recent update published in April 2018, the foundation projected a Q3 public launch following a Q2 beta release. An alpha has been running for the last year, but Jesperson noted that real-world conditions are needed to really see how the technology performs.
Stay tuned: in the next part we are going to explore the most successful ICO stories and talk about projects generating value and reaching their goal.