What is going to happen to ICOs in 2018? Will 2018 bring the death of ICOs or will ICOs continue to flourish?
2017 witnessed the upstart of ICOs – initial coin offerings – and many believe that ICOs are the driving factor behind why there are so many altcoins in circulation now. What, then, will 2018 bring to the table? ICOs probably aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, but it may be time to update the way crypto receives initial funding.
What is an ICO?
First, it’s important to understand what an ICO is.
An ICO works similarly to crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter – except, it’s for a decentralized concept and instead of receiving a product or company share for your investment, you receive tokens. The tokens are for the new cryptocurrency that the ICO is creating. Many ICOs are also creating a blockchain-powered movement to incorporate the token into, such as what Medicalchain is doing.
Many people believe that ICOs are a good thing for the crypto world. Here is a list of some of the pros for ICOs, in terms of ICO founders and initial investors.
- Because investing in an ICO gives participants tokens instead of a share in the company, founders of ICOs will get to keep 100% of their project. With an alternative like venture capitalism, this wouldn’t be the case.
- ICOs are open to the public and so open up investment opportunities to more people compared to traditional outlets that only allow the select elite to participate. This could mean more widespread support of the ICO and could also mean a higher amount raised. ICOs, it could be said, allow for equal opportunity when it comes to investing.
- The investment doesn’t have to be huge. This varies by ICO, but the minimum amount required to participate can be as low as a few dollars. Even if they choose to contribute a smaller amount, participants are still considered an investor in that project.
- Projects that otherwise wouldn’t receive any funding have the potential to take off and succeed. This will help to open the door for altcoins and so much more.
- Participants get the chance to get in early on a project. Later, that project, if successful, could earn the participant a large amount of capital gain.
ICOs aren’t perfect. There are downsides and some of the pros can lead to the cons.
- ICOs can fail. In fact, it is estimated that more than 90% of ICOs will fail in some matter.* If an ICO fails, for whatever reason, participants will lose their investments.
- ICOs, like crypto in general, are subject to little to no regulation. This leads to the 3rd point.
- Anyone can start an ICO. Anyone. That includes people looking to scam others out of their money.
I’ve listed fewer cons than pros and I’ve also left out a lot of the discussion on either end, but this is just to give you a snapshot of the world that ICOs are creating. The cons listed, although fewer in number, I feel are greater in importance and showcase why ICOs, as they stand now, do need to be addressed and re-evaluated.
*ICOs can fail in a number of ways. They might not reach their funding goal, might end up being unable to deliver on their promised product, or they might not be able to generate enough interest in the investment community.
What needs to change
The concept of an ICO is a good one for all of the pros listed, and beyond. But the cons can’t be ignored and do need to be addressed. 2018 needs to be the year to address these concerns before things get too carried away.
Like I mentioned, the crypto-sphere is highly unregulated. In terms of ICOs, this makes it difficult to tell what projects are legit and what projects are scams looking to cheat you of your money. Doing research will help you to wade through the many ICOs out there. Research can help to tell you which ICOs already have a product practically ready before their ICO even starts, a decent indicator that they’re more on the legit side. However, research can only take you so far and an ICO scam is scarily easy to create.
One of the only ways to limit the amount of ICOs scams is for ICOs to become part of a more regulated body. The problem with this, however, is that regulation is the complete opposite of what crypto is supposed to be about. While this does venture into some sticky territory, shouldn’t the safety and security of those participating in the crypto world be at the forefront of the revolution?
ICOs in 2018 and Beyond
ICOs are hardly slowing down, even with the issues that more people are beginning to focus on now. Here are some of the hottest upcoming ICOs on the market.
WePower – to provide a green energy trading platform. ICO starts February 1st.
Remme – to increase security of digital assets. ICO starts February 13th.
Faceter – video surveillance and security platform. Pre-ICO starts February 1st.
Vestarin – cryptocurrency marketplace for goods and services. Pre-ICO starts January 29th.
Sapien – incentivizing quality content on social platforms. Pre-ICO starts January 29th.
Featured image: PYMNTS