Initial coin offerings, which are sales of newly-created cryptographic tokens by blockchain companies, may be the aspect of cryptocurrency that attracted the attention of authorities worldwide more than any other. This is because these schemes were regularly raking in millions of dollars, often within minutes of opening, and the numbers were always growing.
However, the latest statistics suggest that the hype is over, and the flow of money is drying up.
Diar reports that the year’s high was in February when a total of $2.6 billion was raised worldwide, while in November, people paid only $65 million for new tokens. This is a 97.5 percent drop. The news outlet used data from a website called tokendata.io.
Other sources of statistics have different numbers, but the same story. Icobench.com, a company which reviews and promotes ICOs, registered a high of approximately $1.7 billion raised in March, and $286.8 million in November.
Coinschedule.com, a similar service, registered a high of $5.8 billion in June, and $359.4 million in November. Icodata.io registered $1.5 billion in January and $179.3 million in November.
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Of course, it is impossible to escape the conclusion that a lot of this publicly-available cryptocurrency data is not worth the pixels with which it is displayed. But, selective as these data gatherers may be, less money is less money.
The falling numbers are likely connected to the fact that the cryptocurrency market is worth around only 13 percent of what it was in January ($831 billion to $109 billion).
Interestingly, while public interest appears to have cooled off over the second half of the year, regulatory attention is only increasing.
The principle held by most countries is that companies must be held to common standards, especially when they raise a lot of money. But many of the companies behind ICOs, even famous ones, were run by incompetents and/or scammers. This is why ICOs have been a hot topic at a governmental level, both local and international, since last year.
Regulatory uncertainty had been the status quo for ICOs, apart from the few countries which completely banned them (China, South Korea) or those that wrote new laws specifically to attract them (Malta, Gibraltar). But most governments have either promised to or already enacted at least some new regulations; the machinery of government has been activated. Like a sleepy bear recently woken by a passing jogger, the hungry authorities have lumbered to running speed just as the token-buying public has decided to rest under a tree.