As February draws to a close, news is circulating from Bitcoin.com of a less than 41% success rate for ICOs in 2017. Though the figure may concern amateur investors considering investing, it’s not a true reflection of the success of the industry. A look at ICO activity in January and February 2018 compared to January and February 2017, using statistics from TokenData.io on ICOs, shows massive growth in both the number of ICOs and the amount of funding raised.

In January and February 2017, 21 ICOs raised just over $20 million CAD. By comparison, 258 ICOs raised over $2.5 billion CAD in the first two months of 2018. The number of ICOs includes those that failed and who didn’t raise any funds at all. For 2018, the figures do not include the over $1 billion CAD raised by Telegram in its first private ICO sale of 2018.

Mixed results for ICOs in 2017

Many digital currency news outlets have settled on percentage figures for the number of ICOs that failed in 2017. These range from 46% of ICOs failed – drawn from TokenData – for outright failures, through to a potential failure rate of 59% if a further 113 projects are included. The additional 113 “failures” were identified by Bitcoin.com as having teams who seem to have gone “off-radar” and marketing channels which are no longer being updated.

The failure rate, though, is not surprising. Theoretically, anyone can launch and market an ICO in a thus-far unregulated marketplace. Many ICOs appear with an outline of a team, a website, and a white paper, but could be written by anyone regardless of product or technical ability.

The high failure rate can be interpreted positively, however, as investors whittle out weak, unsubstantiated ICOs. Concern remains however for ICOs that gain investment, but then fail or disappear. With no protection for investors, many often lose their entire investment from the failure.

A year-long trend

The number of ICOs launched rose quickly after the first quarter of 2017, peaking in December and carrying on high volume growth of new ICOs into January and February 2018.

The rise in the number of ICOs and amount of funding raised is indicative of both the success of digital currencies, the investment and trading of them, and the ease of entry to this new financial marketplace.

Far from being deterred by shoots of regulation within the sector, many reputable ICOs are encouraged as investors glean confidence from regulators and government interest. Reputable ICOs are glad of a credible marketplace to operate in.

February 2018 showed 88 ICOs listed on TokenData.io, a dip compared to January with 170. The fall could be a reflection of a shorter month, or of investor confidence as coin prices continue to fluctuate.

In March, however, TokenData is already recording information for well over 100 ICOs.

 

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