In 2017 and 2018, ICOs were popular due to investors getting a quick return. It turned out to be profitable for many of them since they invested in the right crypto project. Similarly, many ICO-funded ideas failed initially, but inexperienced investors were too ignorant to notice.
Although ICOs are a growing trend, there are still some that are so successful that they deserve to be mentioned. Thus, we will discuss ICOs from the past and explain them. First, let’s define an ICO and understand how they work.
What Is an ICO?
ICOs are a form of crowdfunding. Similar to Kickstarter, people pitch an idea to get investors. Traditional crowdfunding and ICOs differ significantly – the cryptocurrency you purchase is part of the ecosystem.
Differentially, blockchain-based projects will issue tokens worth a specific amount to their investors. With the project’s success, the price of tokens will also increase.
An ICO is a short-term event. During this time, the project’s team sells cryptos to interested buyers.
Investors decide whether to buy tokens by examining the whitepaper presented by token sellers. In this whitepaper, the team shares their idea for using blockchain technology to solve real-world problems.
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Have all ICOs been honest? Certainly not. Some have been scams. In addition to making a fake whitepaper and team members, scammers also made a fake LinkedIn profile. Investors with limited experience lost money to those scams. That is why ICOs are less popular than before.
Nevertheless, many companies in the tech industry raised money in this manner and went on to achieve greatness. Moreover, their ICOs had a huge return on investment.
The Top 10 ICOs With The Highest ROI
You can determine if an ICO was a success by comparing its current price to the price at which it started. As most of the projects are no longer active, most coins are no longer available. Nonetheless, some of them are still in business because their crypto/blockchain companies have become significant players.
ROI often varies because of price fluctuations in cryptocurrencies. So to accurately calculate everything, we used the highest price a token ever recorded. If you read this right now, the price might be completely different.
NXT has nonetheless been remembered as one of the most successful initial coin offerings despite its lack of popularity today. Its ROI at one point exceeded 1,265,555% in 2018.
Moreover, NXT was the first ICO. NXT’s value was $0.0000168, and the exchange took place on a BTC forum. NXT collected $16,800 from its creator, who advertised the currency as an “upgraded” version of Bitcoin. Today, one NXT unit costs $0.001.
In the IoT (or Internet of Things), this token is supposed to power transactions. The concept was well-received when the initial coin offering took place in 2015. Each token sold for just $0.001. This project raised $400,000.
When IOTA’s price reached its peak, it made a huge ROI of $5.2. Currently, IOTA is traded at a reasonable price of around $0.2.
It was big crypto! A Chinese company created it to create a Chinese version of Ethereum. It was immediately supported by all the big players in the technology world, including Microsoft and Alibaba – the two biggest in the US and China. In 2016, the company sold 17 million cryptos and collected more than $556,500. At its peak in 2018, NEO was trading for $162.11, making it the most expensive token in the world. However, it is now worth about $10.
It’s fair to say that Vitalik Buterin’s brainchild was the most successful ICO. At this event, Buterin proposed using blockchain to create dApps (decentralized applications similar to web applications) using smart contracts. At $0.311, investors seized the opportunity and purchased 50 million tokens.
Its current value is about $230 per token, and its highest point was in January 2018, when its value was more than $1,300. Almost all crypto enthusiasts consider Ethereum to be just as relevant as Bitcoin today, and they actively support it.
It achieved its $185 million goals when EOS first entered the crypto market in just five days. After its release, the token’s price increased from $0.925 to $5 within a few days. Block.one, a start-up to create a better version of Ethereum, sold EOS.
Stratis is a BaaS company that helps to build private blockchains. This company received support from Microsoft early on and raised $610,000. Each unit of its ICO costs $0.007. At one time, STRAT traded for $21.21. It is now $0.45.
It aims to establish a unique ecosystem by connecting blockchains. At the time of its ICO, its ARK token was selling for $0.01 per token, raising over $950,000. The coin trades for $0.3, a far cry from the high of $10.20.
Lisk allows developers to build custom sidechains for hosting their decentralized apps. In March 2016, Lisk’s ICO brought in $5,7 million, and its tokens cost $0.76 each. At its peak, Lisk reached $38.8 in January 2018. Today, 1 LSK is worth $1.14.
DigixDAO revolutionized the world of cryptography. Because it was the first Ethereum DAO, it attracted many ICO investors.
Within 24 hours of its ICO, the project had raised $5.5 million. DGD’s price started at $3.235. During its peak, it traded for more than $510, but today it is trading for nearly $44.
Including Telegram in this list was a difficult decision. In the original plan, GRAM, the app’s token, was to garner $1.2 billion via an ICO. Over $1.7 billion was raised in the ICO, setting industry records. Filecoin raised $257 million and was the second most-invested ICO, according to the latest data. Following a series of legal and financial challenges, Telegram has recently banned its crypto. The price of GRAM would have been higher if that hadn’t happened.
What Are the Risks of Investing in ICOs?
There are many risks involved in investing in cryptocurrencies – much more than other types of investments. Here’s why.
- There is fertile ground for fraud – many ICOs are scams with no other intention than to take your money and disappear.
- Since ICOs are anonymous, cybercriminals can use them and get away with them. But this is impossible when you use fiat methods, such as a credit card or e-wallet.
- ICOs are unregulated – Some authorities openly warn others about the risks associated with this type of investment since there is no official regulation.
To summarize, investing in ICOs can be risky. However, many investors are willing to take the risk once there’s the possibility of a large return. Its exchanges offer other popular cryptocurrencies so that you can use existing cryptos as a less risky option.