What is an ICO?
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ICO stands for Initial Coin Offering. It is also sometimes referred to as Initial Public Coin Offering, IPCO. In layman’s language, an initial coin offering is when a cryptocurrency start-up sells its tokens or coins to raise funds for a project.
The first ICO is attributed to the cryptocurrency startup Mastercoin. Records indicate that the company received over $5 million in the form of Bitcoins. Others soon followed, and the most successful ones make the ultimate list of the best previous ICOs.
So, what was the best ICO of those launched over the years? Let’s find out what the facts of the top six reveal to us.
Top 7 of the best ICOs Ever
NXT is the best ICO of all time launched as a blockchain project. The NXT project is a revolutionary blockchain platform for applications and financial services. The NXT ICO took place on the BitcoinTalk Forum beginning 27th September 2013 and lasted until 18th November 2013.
- The developers aimed at raising funds to build a new open source blockchain on its cryptocurrency called NXT.
- The core aim hinged on helping NXT cryptocurrency users to develop their blockchain apps and plug-ins for financial purposes.
The ICO funding raised $16,800 from the sale of 1,000,000,000 NXT tokens. The ICO promised to be a game-changer in financial autonomy, fuelling interest and hype in the social and mainstream media.
NXT users can use the NXT platform to develop unique blockchain applications suitable for their business.
At the ICO, investors bought one NXT coin at $0.0000168. But today, one NXT coin stands at $0.665 translating into a cool ROI of +3958333%.
- ICO Period: 27th September 2013 – 18th November 2013
- Funds raised(USD) $16,800
- Tokens sold: 1,000,000,000 NXT
- ROI percentage: (In USD) 3958333%
What do we learn from the NXT ICO?
- Investing in legit pioneer blockchain tokens has a potential for a very high ROI
- Projects run on Baas platforms have the edge over other platforms
What has made the NXT ICO succeed
- NXT has a dedicated team of developers who work together.
- The NXT community is the strongest among Bitcoin Forum groups.
In the history of all ICOs, the Bancor ICO is considered as a record-breaking one. On the 12th of June 2017, within three hours of the ICO’s release, the Bancor foundation managed to raise a staggering figure of $153 million worth of Ethereum coins. Ending up as the largest token sale ever, the Bancor ICO did end up setting groundbreaking standards in the world of ICOs.
The prime reason why Bancor managed to fuel the attention of investors in a short time was its promising protocol. The prime goal of the Bancor ICO was to raise as much as possible, so as to allow further development in its blockchain framework.
Bancor offered a relatively new concept of trading cryptocurrencies that is by using smart contracts. This way, Bancor tokens will automatically match themselves instead of having the need to involve third-parties (crypto exchanges) for matching buyers with sellers. A concept that stirred a lot of hot debate and the interest of investors.
While the price of 1 BNT token was set at 3.92 USD (0.01000 ETH) in its ICO, the current token price lies at $4.378.
ICO Period: 12th June 2017
Funds raised (USD): $153 million
USD return since ICO: 1.12X
ETH return since ICO: 0.60X
BTC return since ICO: 0.46X
What do we learn from the Bancor ICO?
Introducing new and promising ideas, usually, leads to a lot of hot news and fuels interest among the investors. Furthermore, there is no technical upper limit set to the number of funds that can be raised through an ICO.
What has made the Bancor ICO succeed?
The prime reason for its success was the unique concept of cryptocurrency exchange that it offered. Behind the curtains, however, it would not have been possible without having a team of extremely skilled researchers and Blockchain experts with strong linkages in the Blockchain industry.
IOTA came to the scene in 2015 with a project proposal to develop a transactional Internet of Things (IoT) system. Integrates the existing blockchain technology and IOTA’s Tangle model to solve issues related to fees and scalability that plague cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. IOTA aimed at entirely decentralizing transactions to create a zero-fee network using its IOTA ledger.
The IOTA ICO began on November, 24th 2015, eventually selling a total of 999,999,999 tokens to the initial investors.
They raised a total of $434,511. At the time, one IOTA traded at $0.0001. However, trading on public exchanges did not begin until June 13, 2017, when one IOTA sold at $0.63.
Today, one IOTA goes for about $4.050, marking a substantial +952250% ROI making this one of the best previous ICOs.
Much of the hype around IOTA was as a result of its possibility to turn management of internet transactions free, making business lucrative.
- ICO Period: 24th November 2015.
- Funds raised (USD): $434,511
- Tokens sold: 999,999,999
- Profit percentage (In USD): +952250%
What do we learn from the IOTA ICO?
- Highly innovative projects that offer solutions to everyday issues have the potential for high ROI.
- Projects that target future markets can pay in the long run.
- Independent platforms can translate into returns- IOTA does not operate on a full blockchain platform.
What has made IOTA successful?
- IOTAs development of its unique digital currency has helped solve issues in the cryptocurrency world.
- IOTA continues to promote its cryptocurrency as the ultimate in the Internet of Things transactions.
Ethereum is an open-source platform that allows developers to create smart contracts and Decentralized applications. The Ether, Ethereum’s token coin is now the 3rd and sometimes second most valuable crypto-coin.
- Vitalik Buterin started Ethereum in 2013
- The most prominent blockchain platform on which many start-ups run.
Ethereum’s ICO was launched on 21st July 2014, selling a total of 50 million Ether tokens. Single Ether traded at $0.311 raising $15,571,000 for the entire ICO period.
At the moment, Ether commands a trading value of $860.61, making it the 3rd most valuable cryptocurrency.
Investors who had invested in Ethereum get an ROI of +276546%.
It ranks as the best ICO ever on the open-source platform.
- ICO Period: 21st July 2014 – 2nd September 2014
- Funds raised (USD): $15,571,000
- Tokens sold: 50,000,000
- Profit percentage (In USD): +276546%
What do we learn from Ethereum ICO?
- Innovation should be a vehicle for both short-term solutions and long-term returns.
- Having the potential for further application of a platform leads to high returns.
What has made Ethereum successful?
- Ethereum’s Ether coin is considered the safest from fraud.
- Cryptocurrency start-ups adopt the Ethereum blockchain because Ether is useful in so many applications.
- Ethereum has a ledger publication of assets, giving investors’ confidence a boast.
NEO, formerly, Antshares, is a start-up blockchain from China. It’s project aimed at the creation of a digital ownership system that could provide legal proof. It gained a lot of publicity owing to its claim to digitize assets through a “Smart contract” platform.
The company launched its ICO on 30th September 2015 selling 17,500,000 tokens out of which it raised $556,500. The value of an NEO token at the time was $0.032. Today, an NEO trades at $94 meaning the initial investors have a mouth-watering ROI of almost 286571.562%.
The hype surrounding this Chinese start-up owed much of its momentum from the fact it had the potential for growth.
- ICO Period: 30th September 2015.
- Funds raised (USD): $556,500
- Tokens sold: 17,500,000
- Profit percentage (In USD): +286571%
What have we learned from the NEO ICO?
- Investing in technology that solves real-life issues is a recipe for a company’s success.
- An ICO will do well if the start-up company has identified a niche that is unique to the company and intended project.
What has made the NEO ICO successful?
- Venturing into a less common market has helped NEO maintain its place and thus the value of its cryptocurrency.
- Neo is a Chinese startup which gives it an advantage regarding marketing mix other foreign companies lack.
This UK based Start-up Company offers technological solutions on its blockchain platform to financial institutions. It operates on the Baas (Blockchain-as-a-service) platform. The organization can use Stratis to create an exclusive blockchain app tailored to handle its financial issues.
Stratis rolled out its ICO on 19th June 2016. The Stratis token valued at $0.007 at the time.
The company sold 84,000,000 tokens raising a total of $610,908.
Today, the Stratis token trades at around $15.203 which for the initial investor, translates into an ROI of +217185%. This return is quite impressive.
- ICO Period: 19th June 2016.
- Funds raised (USD): $610,908
- Tokens sold: 84,000,000
- Profit percentage (In USD): +217185%
What lessons do we learn from the Stratis ICO?
- A well-tailored and real-world project on the BaaS platform is likely to be very successful.
- Partnerships in the cryptocurrency industry work just as they do in the other business spheres.
What made Stratis ICO successful?
- A very robust and goal oriented team of developers have been driving Stratis’ agenda.
- Operating on one of the leading cryptocurrency platforms has helped the Stratis token gain value.
Spectrecoin ICO ranks as one of the best ICOs ever. Ranks as the 6th best ICO when compared to others launched over the years. The company’s initial coin offering aimed at raising funds to develop its privacy-focused cryptocurrency. It is a project that sought to use a proof-of-stake algorithm to provide efficient transactions for network privacy.
Spectrecoin’s ICO rolled out on 19th November 2016. The company sold a total of 19,000,000 XSPEC tokens at $0.001 each. They raised $15,427. At the time of this article, the XSPEC token sells at $5.1447 representing an ROI of +514470%.
The hype that drove Spectrecoin was in part due to the buzz around privacy and security concerns. It was also seen to be representing a better attempt at decentralization.
- ICO Period: 19th November 2016.
- Funds raised (USD): $15,427
- Tokens distributed: 19,000,000
- Profit percentage (In USD): +159174%
What do we learn from the Spectrecoin ICO?
- Despite raising a measly figure during the ICO, Spectrecoin’s investors are earning an outstanding ROI.
What made it succeed?
- The company has an ambitious roadmap that gives it uniqueness when approaching issues of privacy and security.
To sum it up
Initial Coin Offerings, ICOs, in short, have become the norm as more and more Cryptocurrency start-ups emerge.
- Investing in an ICO is one of the best investment opportunities today.
- Success stories like those of NXT, Ethereum, and IOTA prove that ICOs have the best ROI.
Are cryptocurrency investments risky?
- Yes, cryptocurrency investments can be risky
- Buying tokens of a start-up company may backfire when the business fails.
- There are also scams that masquerade as ICOs.
If you are looking to buy some tokens in a start-up, be advised to find as much as possible about the start-up before committing to invest in it.
Are ICOs here to stay?
My opinion is they are.
- Legitimate ICOs are the easiest way to get massive ROI for individuals and companies.
- New ICOs are being launched while previous ones continue to grow and gain support.
- Even mainstream financial institutions and mega companies like Microsoft and JP Morgan Chase support Ethereum, hyped to be on the way to overtaking Bitcoin.
Be prepared to hear about cryptocurrency and ICOs for much longer
A good investor is a wise investor.
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