ICOs, which are generally deployed by startups for fundraising, have seen an unprecedented growth over the past year raising over $1.6 billion globally, surpassing early venture capital (VC) funding for internet companies.
This summer alone has seen several ICOs’ all-time record hits.
In June, for example, Bancor raised a then-record of $153 million. A month later EOS and Tezos surpassed Bancor, raising $185 million and $232 million, correspondingly. Now, the Filecoin is a new leader accounting for $257 million raised during its ICO, making $188 million in just 60 minutes.
Filecoin is a blockchain-based storage network that will use the peer-to-peer InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) to secure and store data. Miners can earn its native token called Filecoin by providing open hard-drive storage to clients, while users spend these tokens to store their data in the decentralized network. Simply put, users can get paid for donating their unused hard drive storage space.
Prior to the official ICO, the company conducted a pre-sale, raising a total of $52 million. The project was supported by around 150 investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, Union Square Ventures, and Winklevoss Capital, and nearly 100 prominent Silicon Valley investors. These investors received a discounted price paying a maximum of $0.75 per coin and could choose discounts based on the amount of time the coin would vest. This scheme was later criticized by people saying that there was a big difference between the price per token paid by advisors in a pre-sale and the price paid by investors in a public sale, as well as in the extent of risk, which these two categories faced.
The Filecoin’s ICO, launched on August 7, is quite unique: to comply with SEC securities regulations, only accredited investors with an annual income of at least of $200,000 were allowed to participate. In such a way, given that accreditation requires a high net worth, the average investor in the crypto community was excluded.
Even taking into consideration these restrictions the ICO was so popular that many users had trouble accessing the website. There also were some problems with displaying Filecoin ticker that tracked the total sum raised and the crowdsale was even paused. Still, despite the problems, it is the most successful ICO so far.
For the first time ever, the crowdsale was conducted through CoinList, a platform that was developed by Protocol Labs and AngelList to streamline ICO processes.
Meanwhile, Bitfinex, world’s major trading environment for the spot purchase and sale of Digital Tokens, has announced the addition of NEO currency for trading against USD, BTC and ETH. The information appeared in Bitfinex official blog and on Twitter on Thursday, September 8.
According to the CoinMarketCap, after Bitfinex announced the addition of NEO, the cryptocurrency gained 26.18% and is currently trading $29.90, demonstrating recovery since the initial crackdown (which also was seen by all major cryprocurrencies) on Monday, preconditioned by China’s ICO ban.