2017 was the year of ICOs. The ICO craze was sky high with quite a lot of cryptocurrencies shooting 100x, 200x or even 500x for those who timed the market. Lot of these projects boasted a lot prior to ICOs and fell flat in execution, and some even exit scammed leaving their investors broke and angry.
For the benefit of those who are new to the crypto space, let’s start with what an ICO is before going into the list of largest ICOs.
What Is an Initial Coin Offering (ICO)?
An ICO is quite similar to an IPO (Initial Public Offering), where a company or a startup exhibits their whitepaper, which includes the details of their project and future goals. This also provides the information on how much money they want to raise and the percentage of shares they will be releasing for the investors and the shares they will be holding for the project development.
Instead of shares ICO grants tokens (native cryptocurrency of the platform) for exchange of other cryptocurrency like Ethereum or Bitcoin or good old Fiat. While lot of companies claimed they were offering utility tokens and thus exempt from security laws – SEC vehemently rejected this position and went after lot of teams that ran ICOs without SECs approval.
That in a nutshell what an ICO is and why they have become a thing of relic at this point.
Now coming back to the ICO’s that raised the most money through an ICOs…
EOS – Over 4 billion
EOS has to be the longest ICO ever conducted, which ran almost a year (350 Days) and raised a whopping 4.1 billion for Block.One, the developer behind EOS. A total supply of 1,044,916,458 EOS tokens and 948,450,781 EOS are in Circulation at the time of this writing. The EOS token is currently trading on all leading exchanges at 3.64$ per token, putting its total market cap at 3.4 Billion.
Telegram Open Network — $1.7 billion
Telegram, an instant messaging service, which launched its ICO in 2019, has raised 1.7 billion through its Private Sale and ICO, making it the second largest ICO ever after EOS. The token was called ‘Gram’ and there were a total of 5,000,000,000 Grams and 44% were up for sale. Each token at ICO was priced at 4$ per Gram.
SEC recently filed a complaint over Telegram for running an unregistered ICO, which SEC claims to be a security and not a utility token.
Dragon Coin — $320 million
In March 2018, Dragon Corp, A Casino company based in Macau, raised $320 Million for their Project Dragon Coin (DRG). 500M DRG will ever be created and 360 Million DRG were up for token sale. The token is currently priced at 0.05 USD per DRG, which is 2.2% from its ICO price: $3.03.
Huobi — $300 million
Huobi(HT) the native token of Huobi Exchange, which garnered a high anticipation in the market prior to its ICO, had 60% of its total supply of 500,000,000 HT tokens for sale.
The team had decided to burn 15% of the profits from the fourth quarter and have burned upto 33M tokens which are worth over 100 Million USD, with the token now priced at 3$.
You can have a look at the burnt tokens here.
HDac — $258 million
Hyundai BS&C backed blockchain project HDac conducted the ICO that ran in the later part of 2017 managed to raise $258 Million, selling 2200 DAC per 0.1 BTC (0.81 USD per DAC Token). The token is currently trading at 0.02$ which is way down from its ICO price by 98%.
Filecoin — $257 million
Filecoin(FIL) is a decentralized distributed storage network which is backed by a token (cloud storage). This project raised $257 Million at a token price of $5 per FIL. The token is now trading at $3.8 with an all time high of $30 (Jan 12 2018).
Tezos — $232 million
Tezos (XTZ) is one of the very few projects that is doing pretty well even in such a long bear market, trading at 1.32$ which is 2.7x times its ICO price (0.47$). With a total supply of 694,191,974 XTZ and market cap of $899,583,613 is ranking at 14 in the market.
Sirin Labs — $157.9 million
Sirin Labs raised 157.9 Million USD for their project called Finney, a blockchain based smartphone with cold storage wallet built in. Sirin (SRN) a utility token was sold at 0.47$ per SRN, which fell drastically and is now trading at 0.004 which is 0.8% of its ICO price. The token was at $3.81 at its all time high during the early 2018. Soccer star Lionel Messi is endorsing their smartphones. Here is the link to the Tweet.
Bancor — $152 million
Another big project that tanked quite badly in the last two years is Bancor which raised $152 Million through ICO selling its Bancor (BNT) at $3.92per token. The BNT is currently trading at $0.22 which is about 5%. The token traded at 10$ during its all time high.
Bankera — $150.9 million
A digital Blockchain Bank, Bankera, did not raise the target amount $200 Million but it still collected $150 Million. The token (BNK) is now trading at $0.0015 falling from its ICO price: $0.02. Bankera made it to the 42nd position in Fintech100 2019, a Leading Global Fintech Innovators as per KPMG.
Here’s how much you would have if you had invested $1000 in each of these ICOs and never sold:
Here’s how much you would have made if you had invested $1000 in each of these ICOs and managed to sell during their all time highs:
One can easily see why ICOs could mean a dream retirement or a broken bank account depending on when you invested and how smart you were to time your exit.
Thank you for reading the article.
- Comparing the Best Crypto Tax Software.
- How to pick the right Crypto Tax Advisor?
- Top 5 Best Practices for Filing Crypto Tax Returns.
- What to do if you received IRS Notice Letter 6173 or 6174
Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.
We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.
All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.