In collaboration with TokenAnalyst, this research article focuses on the treasury balances of the ICO tokens on the Ethereum network. It’s based on tokens where the team controlled holding’s were worth an astonishing $24.2 billion on issuance (in reality liquidity was too low for this value to be realized).
Today this figure has fallen to around $5 billion, with the difference primarily being caused by a fall in the market value of the tokens, alongside $1.5 billion of transfers away from team address clusters (possibly disposals).
The report publishes its summary and raw data, and also lays bare some major caveats on its methodology. Still, the researchers claim it appears as if ICO teams have profited by almost $13 billion from this ICO process: “In our view, this money was made incredibly easily, with very little work, accountability or transparency. Therefore, ICOs have proven to be an extremely attractive way for project founders to raise funds. The results for investors of course, have not been as attractive.”
The ICO cycle now appears to be dying down to some extent and it’s much harder to raise funds than it was in late 2017. But with so much money made and lost, the events of 2017 and early 2018 are not likely to be quickly forgotten. Entrepreneurs will remember the success (and keep trying to raise money) while investors will remember the pain. A repeat of this cycle within a few years is therefore less likely than many may think.