Initial coin offerings (ICOs) is a fundraising mechanism for Decentralized Ledger Technology (DLTs) projects. They have proven to be extremely successful in helping projects raise funds quickly and conveniently. In 2018, ICOs raised roughly $6.3 billion, with most ICOs being centered in the United States.
But this has been something of a double-edged sword. ICOs have come under the scanner for their tendency to be exploited by disingenuous individuals or groups, who purportedly launch a project and a corresponding token during an ICO, only to stop development or go dark once having raised money. This has led to investigations in several nations and, in some instances, an outright ban on ICOs.
Studies have shown that a vast majority of ICOs are indeed scams. Naturally, concern about investor protection is high, which explains the intense scrutiny placed on efforts that make use of ICOs, if not banning it outright. Furthermore, several ICOs have failed to meet their fundraising goals or alter their initial vision.
Having said this, a change in the regulatory approach has offered some hope for believers in ICOs. The blockchain space, being so nascent, has not had reasonable regulation yet be established, which has no doubt contributed to the wild west reputation of the cryptocurrency market. However, as regulation steadily forms, both the ICO facet and general use of cryptocurrencies are expected to safer for investors.