The TokenData Take: New Year, NEO Me?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Only two weeks into the new year, token sales and ICO fundraising have kept their momentum from the last weeks of 2017. A staggering $570M was raised by 23 token sales in the first two weeks of 2018. We’ve distilled a number of insights and trends from the first two weeks that point at a strong start and things to look out for in 2018:

Capital Raised
Both total and average capital statistics point at strong momentum for ICO fundraising as evident in the following:

  • $570M in 2 weeks: Only eclipsed by the fundraising in the last 2 weeks of Dec ’17, when ICOs were rushing to close into the year
  • Higher Average Raise: $24M vs $12M in Q4 17
  • Higher Median Raise: $20M vs $4.5M in Q4 17
  • ICOs that fill up within minutes: At least 3 ICOs (TrinitySelfkeyThe Key) filled up in a matter of minutes – something we haven’t really seen since June/July 2017

The rise of NEO ICOs*
During 2017 there were only a handful of ICOs that launched on top of the NEO blockchain. The two best known examples were QLink ($20M) and Red Pulse ($13M). A few weeks into the new year, we believe that NEO specific ICOs could be the catalyst for increased ICO activity in Q1 2018, because of the following patterns: 

  • Increasing number of sales >20 NEO specific ICOs have been announced
  • Short completion time: The above-mentioned ICOs that filled up within a matter of minutes are all projects building on top of the NEO blockchain.
  • Focus on infrastructure: Very similar to the first wave of Ethereum based ICOs, many of the NEO specific projects focus on infrastructure and second layer solutions. Examples are Trinity (off-chain payments/lightning layer, raised $20M this week) and NEX (Decentralized Exchange, token sale date tbd)
  • Regulatory conditions: Pent up demand for NEO ICOs could be due to Chinese Cryptocurrency Holders who cannot cash out into fiat due to the exchange-to-fiat ban.

*For those unfamiliar with NEO: NEO (previously known as Antshares and sometimes referred to as the “Ethereum for China”) is a blockchain that is similar to Ethereum in it being Turing complete and its ability to execute smart contracts and issue tokens.

Whitelist & Social Media Activity
Nowadays, almost all token sales employ some form of pre-registration and/or whitelisting (first introduced by Civic and 0x). This is often paired with social media programs (bounties, aggressive paid marketing) or required registration and reposting in social media channels (telegram, slack, etc). In recent weeks we’ve seen exponential growth in whitelist registration and social media channel growth. Some examples:

  • WePower: 120k people on whitelist for a $5-$10M public sale
  • Gems: >30k applications for whitelist and ~50k people in a telegram channel 
  • Apex: 12.5k whitelist spots fill up within 15 minutes

Active & Upcoming Sales
60 ICOs are launching this week…. This is the highest weekly number since October 2017. A full overview can be seen below

The first “Corporate” ICO
When a defunct camera company announces a token sale, you know that this is just the beginning of a wave of corporate ICOs. In the meantime, we’ve sent Kodak management a copy of this excellent book.

If you have questions or more examples for any these trends, hit us up, we’d love to hear from you. 


The TokenData Team

BONUS: New on TokenData

  • New ICO Calendar: The old calendar was made for 50 items, not 400… Our new layout should make it easier to browse through the active and upcoming sales. 

Token Sale (ICO) Calendar

Mon (1/15)

Tues (1/16)

Wed (1/7)

Thurs (1/18)

Fri (1/19)

Sat (1/20)

Sun (1/21)