The wild ride to Bitcoin’s all time high of $20,000 through the latter portion of 2017 was not the only thing taking off. It was also the build up to the ICO craze which reached incredible heights in January 2018 when almost anyone with a white paper was making millions with ease.
That frenzy of ICOs was the pinnacle of greed and excitement that was only matched by Bitcoin fever, and, much like the price of the major cryptocurrency in 2018, the ICO hype fell rapidly, even though there was talk that it was maturing and becoming legitimised.
Now, data has shown that the number of projects launching ICOs more than 18 months fast their highest point has dwindled to nearly nothing. This is even highlighed in the fact that ICO Watch, a site that is a source of this data on these fundraisers, seems to have gone out of business.
Understandably, there are less projects launching ICOs as that model has been found out. Regulators had a huge problem with this model of raising funds with the SEC of the US stepping in and calling most ICOs a security which led to a lot of problems for the projects.
More so, many of these ICOs were found out to be scams, or just poorly run businesses as a small start up team were handed millions of dollars for their dream and just had no idea how to use it and execute it.
More so, the fundraising model has not entirely died, it has rather evolved somewhat to leave ICOs as obsolete. ICOs have been taken over by STOs, as well as IEOs as these new models look to get around the problems of their predecessor.
Money has also, understandably, fallen away from ICOs as investors are no longer star-struck and happy to hand over their cash in this nascent space.
In the chart below, each individual ICO in the data set is plotted as a dot based on its listed end date and the amount of money it raised. In 2018, fourteen different ICO projects cracked the US$50 million mark, and many of them raised quite a bit more than that. In 2019, only one project (Contentos) has managed anything similar with its ICO ending just the other side of 2018.