ICOs – Initial Coin Offerings were the hottest method to raise money in 2017. In total, $5.6 billion was raised through ICOs, from just 435 successful launches. A staggering 25% of the total money raised from ICOs was from just 10 launches and 2018 shows no sign of slowing down.
By the start of March, there were already nearly 50 successful ICOs raising $1.1 billion, with hundreds more scheduled in for the rest of 2018. The figure raised so far does not even include the scheduled Telegram ICO, which has already raised $1.7 billion of its projected $2 billion.
However, 2018 is very different to 2017. For a start, there is far more increased competition, with more and more companies choosing to go down the ICO route instead of the IPO (initial public offering) one. There were 902 ICOs in 2017, but with nearly 400 scheduled into the ICO calendar already, we can certainly expect last year’s total being topped quite comfortably. The biggest challenge, however, is in the marketing.
In January, social media giant Facebook banned all advertising of ICOs and cryptocurrencies. Twitter followed suit in March, banning all ICO advertising with immediate effect. There have also been bans by LinkedIn and the largest email service provider, MailChimp. But it is the impending ban on crypto advertising by Google in June that looks set to have the biggest impact. PPC (Pay-per-click) spending is massive on Google and has proven to be a lucrative and successful method of attracting investment for ICOs and cryptocurrencies up until now.
Companies launching ICOs have had to think elsewhere and explore new marketing channels. One particular method that proved successful in 2017 was the Bounty system. This is where tokens were given out at a discounted rate or free such here: https://www.0on.info/p/free.html . When given out free it is called Airdropping and was used to great effect in 2017. However, there were a number of scam ICOs which used this method and the general public as a whole are rightfully a bit more wary about the bounty and airdropping programs than before.
It isn’t just the advertising bans that any prospective ICOs face. Increasingly, there is a battle raging between regulators and the crypto world. Some countries have started treating crypto coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple as commodities and are trying to regulate them as such. Some countries have actually gone further and banned bitcoin and other digital currencies altogether.
Despite the advertising bans, country bans and heightened regulation, 2018 will see last year’s total of ICOs and the money raised from ICOs easily surpassed. Companies will have to be a bit smarter, and think more outside of the box in their marketing strategies, but the appetite for all things crypto shows no signs of slowing down or dying just yet.