The first ICO, or initial coin offering, was launched in 2013 by Mastercoin. They met with relatively early success, raising a total of $500,000. Today, ICOs are a $3 billion business with the record for highest earning project sitting with Tezos at $232 million raised in 13 days.
Based on the rapid growing popularity of cryptocurrencies, ICOs (initial coin offering) have a different method of rewarding their investors. As opposed to an IPO (initial public offering) where investors own shares in the company, investors in ICOs are given digital tokens that may be sold and traded. These token reflect the performance of the company and can fluctuate greatly in value.
Due to it’s new and currently unregulated structure, ICOs can be tricky to navigate. From the possibility of fraud and alack of third party research, investing in an ICO is more of a gamble than other tried and true methods of investing. Jordan Belfort, the wolf of Wall Street himself, called it the “biggest scam ever.”
ICOs have had its ups and downs through its short life so far, but in the last year has shown tremendous exponential growth and shoes no signs of slowing down. Take a look at this infographic for more on the rise of ICOs and what that means for the future of investing.