Cryptocurrencies are new, but the technology has a huge potential to improve operations in a large number of industries. One by one, as cryptocurrencies continue to replace traditional alternatives, entrepreneurs are finding surprising uses for cryptocurrencies, and one is using them to generate capital to run a business. This concept is called an ICO, or Initial Coin Offering. A lot of companies have seen huge success in using ICOs to raise capital for their businesses. Below details three ICO success stories from last year (2017).
To clarify, an ICO is how any cryptocurrency launches. However, as crypto specialists know, there is an important difference between coins which are created in order to be traded as currency on the open global market and coins which are created to serve as tokens within a closed system. The former is similar to a currency, like US dollars. The latter can be compared to tokens you might get at an amusement arcade or theme park, which can only be spent within that business. Tokens like this are usually offered in exchange for future products or services from a company.
Without further ado, below represents some of the best ICO success stories from 2017.
In internet years, Kik is a behemoth. Launched nearly 10 years ago, the service now boasts around fifteen million monthly users with a $1B USD valuation. In 2017, Kik decided to raise more capital for an expansion. However, instead of offering equity to venture capitalists, or floating on the stock market, Kik launched KIN, their own cryptocurrency coin. The Kik ICO turned out to be one of the most successful ICOs ever. The ICO resulted in the business raising almost $100M USD over a 2-week ICO in September 2017. This is a classic example of how it’s not only startups who opt for ICOs, but also established tech companies.
Storj is a decentralized cloud storage platform with a peer-to-peer network. The company seeks to one day become the largest cloud storage provider in the world. Their ICO took place over the course of a single week in May 2017. In the first 6 hours of their ICO, Storj raised $20 million, before pushing on to a total of $30 million for the week.
Monster Byte is a gambling platform that runs off cryptocurrencies. The platform allows gamblers to bet on different sports, or try their hand at blackjack, baccarat, or roulette. Again, Monster Byte wanted to expand and opted to raise money for the expansion through a two-stage ICO. The company agreed to take payments for their coins in five different cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Litecoin, Waves, Etherium, and Dash. When they announced their token pre-sale, they sold out in five minutes! Around 2.5 million tokens were sold out, at a value of $0.11 per token. This occurred before the start of the ICO proper a couple of days after the presale. That time around, the business managed to sell over five million tokens. In total, Monster Byte sold nearly 8 million tokens over the course of a month in July-August 2017.
Planning ICOs is technical and tough, and not without risk. But ICOs are a hugely successful strategy for a number of companies seeking to raise funds. Regardless of the gross amount of capital that needs to be raised, ICOs offer a secure way of gaining investment outside the gated processes usually required for fundraising. However, it is yet to be seen what types of regulation will be placed on ICOs in 2018 and beyond.