With the value of cryptocurrencies lượt thích Bitcoin and Ethereum growing by leaps and bounds over the past few years, Initial Coin Offerings or ICOs are topics that are surrounded by a lot of hype và speculation.

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…What exactly is an ICO?…Who does the ‘offering’ and why?…What factors determine the success of an ICO?…What are some of the most successful ICOs of all time?

Don’t these questions sound familiar? Well, here we are, answering all of these questions in detail.

What Is An ICO?


For traditional companies, the path to lớn growth is fairly standard. Most firms start small and expvà operations as their bottom line increases. For a quiông xã influx of cash, companies often turn to lớn outside investors by giving away some stake in ownership. And often, firms go ‘public’, i.e. they offer a stake in the company (aka stock) to investors in the open market in return for their funds, through an Initial Public Offering or IPO.

In the cryptocurrency universe, an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is roughly the equivalent of a mainstream IPO. Through ICOs, also known as crowdsales or token sale events, companies raise funds for their projects by releasing cryptocurrencies khổng lồ interested buyers in the form of cryplớn tokens.

Who Issues An ICO?


A company looking to lớn create a new hàng hóa, coin or app, or aiming to lớn deliver a new service needs funds for this endeavour, so it launches an ICO. Interested investors buy into lớn the ICO và pay either with fiat currency (currency declared as legal tender by the government of that country) or with pre-existing digital tokens lượt thích ether or bitcoin. They sover their funds khổng lồ a smart contract that stores the funds. In return for their investment, the smart contract distributes an equivalent value in the new cryptocurrency token specific lớn that particular ICO at a later point in time. If the amount raised does not meet the minimum requirement of the ICO-issuing firm, the money is returned to lớn the investors và the ICO is deemed to lớn be unsuccessful. If the requirement is met within the specified timeframe, the firm uses the money khổng lồ fund its venture.

Why Is An ICO Issued?

Like IPOs, the goal of an ICO is two-fold, one from the issuer’s perspective and the other from the investor’s perspective:

Companies issuing the ICO hope lớn raise sufficient funding for their venture.Investors buying into the ICO hope that the token they have sầu received will perkhung well in future và provide them with a good return on their investment. This is why most tokens purchased during an ICO are speculative sầu investments.

What Is The Difference Between Crowdsourcing, IPOs và ICOs?

Although an ICO has some similarities with both IPOs & crowdsourcing, there are also significant differences:

Unlike IPOs, ICOs are largely unregulated by government agencies. They are also decentralised because there is no single authority governing them. For these two reasons, the structure of ICOs is less rigid than that of IPOs. Moreover, because ICOs enable an issuing firm khổng lồ circumvent the rigorous và regulated capital-raising route that is mandatory for traditional banks và venture capitalists, they are often used by start-up firms khổng lồ raise initial capital.

The market for ICOs has exploded over the past few years và made millionaires out of many investors. In 2017 alone, tokens purchased in 400+ ICOs returned an average of 12.8 times the initial investment (in USD terms). It must be noted, however, that the unregulated nature of ICOs is also their biggest disadvantage, making them a vehicle for frauds và scams.

Also, unlượt thích crowdsourcing or crowdfunding, methods which are often used khổng lồ garner donations for a particular purpose; parties who invest in an ICO are mainly motivated by prospective profits & a healthy return on their investment. This is why ICOs are also referred khổng lồ as crowdsales.

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What Factors Contribute To The Success Of An ICO?

In 2017, there were 435 successful ICOs.

Each ICO raised an average of 12.7 million USD and the total amount raised across all ICOs was 5.6 billion USD.

Out of the 435 ICOs issued, the 10 largest projects raised almost 25% of the total funds.

Fast forward lớn 2018, & we find that new ICOs raised funds worth 6.3 billion USD in the first quarter alone.

So, the ICO space has witnessed tremendous growth over the past few years. But what are some of the factors contributing lớn this success story?

1. Utility

One of the most important success factors for an ICO is whether the coin actually has good utility. ICO experts may differ on several aspects, but many agree that the coin should be more than just a commodity being bought và sold on an exchange. This underlying utility is what separates the top few successful ICOs from the thousands of others languishing unsuccessfully in wallets or on exchanges.

Showing potential investors a kiểm tra (or a visual prototype) of how the proposed project will function và what benefits it will bring is a good method of showcasing the ICO’s utility. Moreover, even if the token is a crucial element of the project it is meant to lớn fund, the ICO may still fail if the project is a repeat of past projects. In addition, a solid ICO launching platsize that brings together a number of stakeholders and provides a central dashboard can help with ideation và customer acquisition & raise the chances of its success.

2. Solid Marketing, truyền bá và Communication Strategies

Even the most creative idea can fail khổng lồ raise a successful ICO if the lăng xê, marketing và communication efforts of the launch team are slipshod. If the sale strategy is holistic & the information is communicated in an easy-to-underst& way – for example, what particular problem the ICO’s project aims khổng lồ solve sầu – the chances of success can go up manifold. Clear, concise, non-jargonistic websites, White papers, tin nhắn newsletters and social media profiles can all help in this regard. In fact, an ICO’s trang web and its Alexa Rank (an estimate of a website’s popularity) are among mỏi the top drivers of its influence và, thus, its eventual success.

3. Community Support

Some analysts who have sầu studied previously successful ICOs have sầu found that ICOs that are active on social media & discussion forums tover lớn enjoy greater success than those that are not. A cryplớn company RAD Lending Inc. found that successful ICOs have between 4000-5471 followers on Twitter/Facebook. In addition, ICO teams that engage with the community on channels lượt thích Telegram, Reddit & Quora tend to lớn reach more potential investors và thus get access lớn a greater pool of funds.

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4. ICO Audits To Increase Trustworthiness

Since many fraudsters and scam artists sometimes use ICOs as a tool lớn prey on overzealous & under-informed investors, firms that get their ICOs audited from independent auditing advisories communicate its inherent trustworthiness to lớn potential investors. Such audits can uncover potential issues with the ICO such as within its legal structure, financial Mã Sản Phẩm, corporate governance or forecasts. More importantly, audits inspire confidence in the investors so that they view the ICO as a ‘non-scam’ & are more willing to lớn invest in it.

8 Of The Most Successful ICOs Of All Time

1. Ethereum


Year: 2014

Initial Token Price: USD 0.31

Ethereum’s ICO was one of the early pioneers baông chồng in năm trước, debuting with a price of around USD 0.31 và raising cthất bại khổng lồ USD 18 million in just 42 days. The price of an Ethereum token hit a high of USD 1,417 in January 2018, making it one of the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency ecosystems at the time.

Unlượt thích Bitcoin, Ethereum is not only a digital currency, but also a ledger giải pháp công nghệ that can be used lớn build decentralised applications by means of smart contracts. Ethereum’s multi-application platsize can help streamline và digitise a number of business processes & make them more efficient.



Year: 2015

Initial Token Price: USD 0.63

IOTA’s initial coin offering in late 2015 sold a billion IOTA tokens & raised over USD 400,000, a very respectable amount at the time. Its price hit an all-time high of USD 5.69, which though not high compared to some other ICOs, offered an ROI of 332,500% for early investors, making it worthy of joining the ranks of ICO success stories.

IOTA’s popularity is not really surprising, considering that it is a chất lượng offering in that it combines elements from IoT (Internet of Things) and blockchain technology lớn conduct transactions. IOTA’s transaction ledger is fully decentralised, providing a zero-fee environment that is scalable and does not require an actual blockchain for transactions.

3. NEO


Year: năm ngoái và 2016

Initial Token Price: USD 0.032

Formerly known as Antshares, NEO is a Chinese open-source blockchain project that is sometimes known as ‘China’s Ethereum’. From an initial token price of just over 3 cents khổng lồ a price of roughly USD 180 in January 2018, NEO’s first ICO in October 2015 raised about USD 550,000. Its second ICO in late 2016 amassed even more: a massive USD 4.5 million. Although NEO is not strictly one of the largest ICOs in terms of funds raised, it has provided exceptional ROI for many early investors và is therefore considered a successful ICO.

A key reason for NEO’s success is the support and confidence it enjoys from some high-profile entities including the Chinese government và Microsoft Corporation.

4. Stratis


Year: 2016

Initial Token Price: USD 0.007

Based in the UK, the Stratis platkhung is compatible with multiple programming languages và enables businesses to create, thử nghiệm and deploy custom applications without having lớn set up or maintain their own infrastructure.

Its ICO raised nearly 1000 bitcoins over a period of five weeks, worth approximately USD 675,000 at the time. The majority of bitcoins were obtained during the very last day of the ICO. During the first five sầu days, investors even enjoyed a 20% bonus. At one point, the price of a Stratis token hit USD 22.29, offering a whopping 81,000% ROI for early investors.

5. EOS


Year: 2017

Initial Token Price: USD 0.925

EOS, a cryptocurrency token sold by the blockchain architecture start-up raised USD 185 million in just five days after issuing its ICO. It opened at a price of USD 0.925 & climbed to over USD 5 a few days after release.

EOS, which claims lớn be a viable alternative to lớn the Ethereum network, provides tiện ích developers with databases, trương mục permissions, scheduling, authentication và internet-application communication tools. Its comprehensive ecosystem allows developers lớn operate seamlessly without worrying about advanced cryptography implementations.

In addition lớn the ICOs covered above, several other ICOs have sầu also enjoyed considerable success and provided great returns on investment to buyers. These include:

6. NXT


Year: 2013

Initial Token Price: USD 0. 0000168

One of the earliest ICOs, NXT is also one of the most successful. With one token selling for just USD 0.0000168, the ICO raised the equivalent of about USD 16,800 worth of bitcoins at the time. These funds were earmarked for developing the platform’s digital currency & its proprietary open-source consensus mechanism. At its highest, a single NXT token was trading at USD 2.15, giving investors an astounding 1,477,000% return on investment.

7. ARK


Year: 2016

Initial Token Price: USD 0.04

ARK’s decentralised digital currency platkhung allows for the quick integration of other cryptocurrencies inkhổng lồ its own blockchain. Initially offered at a price of USD 0.04, at its highest levels, it climbed to lớn nearly USD 11, providing a return on investment of over 35,000% to lớn investors.

8. Lisk


Year: 2016

Initial Token Price: USD 0.076

Lisk, one of the first modular blockchain platforms, enables developers to create apps (complete with JavaScript) & operate these apps on side chains. It issued its ICO in mid-năm nhâm thìn with an initial token price of USD 0.076 & sold 14,000 bitcoins, worth roughly USD 6 million at the time. Hitting an all-time high of USD 39.31, Lisk provided an ROI of over 19,000% to lớn investors who purchased tokens at the time of its ICO.


The cryptocurrency boom has been somewhat unpredictable, with prices rising và falling at the slighchạy thử provocation. Nonetheless, cryptocurrencies và ICOs are here to lớn stay, for now. Although issuers can find it difficult to lớn time the sale of tokens to lớn earn maximum funding for their projects, they can increase the chances of achieving success with their ICOs as long as they offer value và don’t depkết thúc on ephemeral concepts like luchồng.