Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) have raised $20 billion since the start of 2017, which is $18 billion more than the previous year, according to a recent study by financial research firm Autonomous Research. The study dubbed “Crypto Utopia” explores the cryptocurrency industry over the past year, focusing on ICOs and the regulation to which they are exposed.
Per the study, $12 billion has been raised through ICOs in the course of 2018, while last year they raised $7 billion. The ICOs of blockchain protocol EOS and messaging app Telegram are responsible for almost half of all ICO funds in 2018 at $4.2 billion and $1.7 billion, respectively.
Though over 300 crypto funds have been launched to invest in crypto assets, a vast majority of funds are concentrated within a small minority of organizations, according to Autonomous.
The research notes that ICOs are often exposed to fraud and scams, which form 20 percent of project white papers, while phishing and hacking are responsible for stealing 15 percent of all crypto assets by market capitalization. More than 50 percent of ICOs have failed to raise funds and subsequently have closed.
2017 saw over $7 billion of investment flow into ICOs, which is fourfold greater that equity investment in crypto companies. Many ICOs were purportedly launched to take advantage of the “goldrush,” subsequently resulting in quality and regulatory concerns regarding tokens.
Price performance for the top 200 liquid coins during the last 1.5 years has reportedly demonstrated an unprecedented surge, from 10 to 1 million percent. The authors of the study suggest that such a performance shows exponential software-like growth for digital currencies.
The study states that venture and trading funds are “the most numerous and hold the most assets under management.”
Another study by Autonomous Research published last month stated that funding in ICOs has seen its hardest slump in 16 months, stating that in August startups raised $326 million, which is the smallest amount since May 2017.
In August, ICORating published a study showing that the ICO market more than doubled in a year. ICOs in Q1–2 2018 had already raised over $11 billion in investments, a figure which it purports is ten times larger than the sum of investments from ICOs in Q1–2 2017.