Initial coin offerings (ICOs) have been thought to have raised a grand total of $3,880,018,203 USD throughout 2017 – and after the opening weeks of 2018 saw renewed regulatory pressure, many thought the day of the token sale was gone for good.
However, history has vindicated those who have placed their faith behind 2018’s ICOs – statistics from CoinSchedule reveal that an estimated total of $8,930,376,614 USD has been raised from new coin projects nearly six months into the year.
Within that sum lie three power players who’ve managed to re-shape the game through generous private investment and votes of confidence from the ordinary public. Here, we take a look at the biggest ICOs of 2018 thus far.
Telegram’s intent to hold its own ICO leaked to the internet before even the most committed investors heard of the news – and true to its origin, the platform’s new cryptocurrency project has done things a little differently than its peers.
Telegram outlined its Telegram Open Network (TON) concept earlier this year, where the company initially set an ambitious goal of $1.2 billion USD for its planned project.
At press time, Telegram has now has raked in a colossal $1.7 billion USD in funding from its private pre-sale.
While that figure means that Telegram has successfully conducted the largest ICO of all time, it’s also worth noting that the project hasn’t opened its doors to the general public as yet.
According to rumor, Telegram might proceed to cancel its public ICO to avoid legal scrutiny, and will instead use the proceeds of its private pre-sale to fund the launch of its open network.
Perhaps the most recognizable – and controversial – state-backed cryptocurrency, President Nicolás Maduro elected to launch Venezuela’s own oil-pegged digital currency, the Petro, earlier this year.
The bid, which attracted strong criticism from Maduro’s political opponents as well as governments around the world, aims to attract investors from nations such as Denmark and Norway while circumventing sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union.
Maduro outlined a vision to raise a total of some $6 billion USD through the sale of 100 million Petro units, which will be traded under the ticker PTR.
Sources indicate that the Venezeulan government succeeded in raising some $735 million USD in the first day of the Petro’s sale. Conversely, President Maduro has claimed that the Petro has reportedly succeeded in raising over $3 billion USD from investors in some 127 countries.
In March this year, government sources claimed that “About 87,284 users made offers to acquire Petros, of which 3,523 are companies and 83,761 people…127 countries have participated at the moment.”
Accordingly, it has been purported that the Petro has received “a total of 171,015 certified purchases”, wherein some “40.8% has been offered in Dollars, 6.5% in Euros, 18.4% in Ethereum, 33.8% in Bitcoin and 0.2% in Yuan”.
Beyond the scope of Telegram’s private sale and the Petro’s dubious existence, Dragon Coin takes the third spot on the list of 2018’s most successful ICOs thus far.
Punting itself as the gambler’s cryptocurrency, Dragon Coin launched onto the market with the intent of serving as a “frictionless, low-cost & transparent alternative financial mechanism within Casino”.
Despite a rumored association with Macau-based gangster Wan Kuok-Koi and disgraced media firm Cambridge Analytica, Dragon succeeded in raising some $320 million USD earlier this year.