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46% of This Year’s ICOs Launched with Nothing More Than an Idea

46% of This Year’s ICOs Launched with Nothing More Than an Idea

May 7, 2018 8:23 am,

It’s no secret that many ICOs launch without an MVP in place, or that many have simply hired a developer to create the smart contract for their token. Recruiting developers and writing code costs money after all, and money’s hard to come without an ICO, hence the eagerness to crowdfund first and code later. New research by ICORating shows the prevalence of this trend among crypto projects. Their market research report reveals that 46% of the ICOs that launched in Q1 of 2018 did so with zero development.

Just 26% had an MVP in place, and 15.5% had an alpha release ready at the time of their ICO. It’s become commonplace for projects, especially those working on blockchain infrastructure, to launch with just a roadmap and whitepaper as an ERC20 token before initiating a token swap once their mainnet is ready several months down the line. The difficulty for investors, trying to scrutinize these projects, is that they must trust the claims of throughput and other performance-based metrics, since there is no way of verify ICORating’s Q1 data also shows that the median return on tokens has fallen more than 10% compared to Q4 of 2017, and now sits at 49%. In addition, only 21% of this year’s tokens have been listed on exchanges so far, versus 33% for the previous period. Perhaps the most telling statistic that demonstrates the difficulty investors have had in turning a profit is the fact that 83% of tokens listed in Q1 traded below their ICO them.

A final finding of interest from ICORating concerns crypto funds. These have proliferated over the past 18 months, with a string of major investors from the worlds of VC and traditional finance entering the space. These funds tend to enter the market with great fanfare, but have a tendency to leave with a whimper.