ICOs have had an inconsistent year. Through Q2, data showed that ICOs were keeping up with the dynamic growth rates set in 2017, but Q3’s continued bear market and hesitations caused by national regulatory bodies seemed to slow the pace and the amounts of 2018’s second-half ICOs. As the market moves forward, coins looking to ICO face increased pressure, an environment quite different than the early years of crypto, and one likely for the better.
The ICO Environment Has Matured
As mentioned in previous articles, the environment that an ICO enters into today is much different than those of 2015-2017 (before then was quite different as well, since there were such fewer investors).
Regulators, from countries like the USA, China, and Japan, have focused much of their early regulations in ICOs, rather than coins themselves. Why? Because ICOs see such a quick influx of cash, that regulation makes sense as an urgency.
As we published:
There have been many projects that have been served cease and desist letters as well as some that have been prosecuted. This is the landscape that many blockchain projects find themselves in today. This has had a sizable impact on the number of projects that have been raising funds through ICOs.
Still, innovation is the cornerstone of the blockchain and cryptocurrency world, and an ICO is a way for a young project to find speculators who believe in its tech and vision. Without it, it’d be hard to compete with already established companies and coins. It’s the jumpstart that many need.
But, regulators have a duty to make sure this is done properly and in earnest. As we wrote, “There’s a spectrum between outright scam and well-developed project, and it can be hard for the average investor to tell where any given ICO falls.”
So the onus falls on the ICO projects themselves—not only to weed through these regulations, but also to show a marketable roadmap for their technology to provide value for investors. That’s tricky. There are resources out there, some paid and some free, that can help ICO projects do this, but the reality is that details like coin type, country of origin, and marketing budget are going to affect what a coin can and will do during its ICO phase.
The cryptocurrency world is full of unique thinkers who see ways to change the world, so we shouldn’t ever see an end to ICOs and new coins popping up. The future is just going to look different than the past, and the very nature of this early stage for projects will continue to evolve in its complexity.