- There is confusion on how much ICOs raised in 2018 as different trackers give different figures
- There is no standard method of disclosure among industry players
- Some digital tokens are issued through private sales and therefore not accounted for
In 2016 ICO investments raised $95 million covering 43 projects while 2017 saw $3.88 billion raised for 210 ICO projects (according to coinschedule.com.) which lead to increased interest in this form of financing technical startups. This year’s figures are neither here nor there as it is estimated Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) have raised $22 billion or half of that, depending on the ICO tracker you contact.
Non-existent Data Uniformity
ICOs have been the rage even in 2018 because of their potential to raise millions of dollars in investment and when cards are played correctly a great return on investment. People searching for ICOs to invest in may look at the state of the cryptocurrency market which is nearly 80 percent off what it was at the end of 2017 and ask whether investing in ICOs is still worth the trouble.
Where ICO trackers should have come in to show the right direction, they all give varying facts and figures, leading to even more confusion as there may not yet be any standard methods of disclosure. This has made it difficult for anyone to independently ascertain the claims of an ICO issuer when there isn’t a method for submitting filings or revealing identities. Alex Buelau, the co-founder of UK-based listing site CoinSchedule said:
“At the end of the day, there’s no way to really agree on the information based on provable facts, it’s early days. The question is how can the industry create an incentive for these guys to report accurate numbers? At this point, there’s no incentive.”
Depending on the issuers for information, which is what most ICO trackers that earn from reporting do comes with its set of challenges, hence the conflicting figures. Take the case of Venezuela’s Sovereign Petro. The country’s president Nicolas Maduro announced it had garnered $5 billion in March but a month later he stated $3.3 billion while the tokens website mentions $735 million, the same figure cited by ICORating and CoinSchedule.
What is happening with ICOs is not strange, the development of railroads in the 19th century had a long and rough start with its share of frauds, mishaps booms and busts, and skepticism. The nature of ICOs is also evolving so that some tokens are offered privately to selected investors rather than crowd-funded via the internet as the innovation was initially known for.
Lex Sokolin, Global Director of Fintech Strategy at Autonomous Research, went through 50 different underlying trackers to compile its ICO and eliminated what looked untrustworthy says:
“There’s always a little bit of a difference, but when things were going up it didn’t matter at the edges, now that things are getting tight people want to tell different stories.”