An ICO or Initial Coin Offerings are precisely what IPOs or Initial Public Offerings are. The only difference is that ICO is applicable for DeFi (Decentralized Finance), whereas IPO is relevant for traditional, centralized stock markets. ICO is an effective method of raising funds and is often employed in the creation of new and emerging cryptocurrency tokens. Investors can buy-in, and instead of receiving proportionate stakes in the company, they are rewarded with the newly developed cryptocurrency token after bitcoin revolution. This token can represent just stakes in the company. Still, it can also hold value just like any other cryptocurrency token, such as BTC or ETH holds, fluctuates, inflates, or deflates its value over time.
- Almost everyone has heard about Ethereum at this point, and if you’re into cryptocurrency, there’s no chance that you somehow don’t know about Ethereum. I mean, that’s for good reasons. Ethereum is singlehandedly the most successful ICO, which started at just 0.31 USD and hit an unbelievable 2,470 USD in late April 2021.
- Another one is NEO, which is an open-source Chinese project. Where Ethereum grew naturally and organically, NEO is this massive primarily due to supports from the Chinese government, Microsoft, and some other big-name companies. And yet, NEO is sometimes referred to as China’s Ethereum because it did rise from an initial price of just 3 cents up to an all-time high of 180 USD. However, it quickly stumbled and was at just 71 USD.
- Next up on this list is NXT (pun intended). NXT was one of the earliest ICOs, launching way back in 2013. Also, one of the most successful too, with an initial token value of 0.0000168 USD, peaked at 2.15 USD. However, regardless of being one of the most successful, their value collapsed and was 0.09 USD in April 2021. According to CoinMarketCap, the current ranking of NXT is hovering somewhere around #495 as of writing.
- Ark is the one that brings its primary adjective to mind for anyone who really knows about it. That word is “efficient”, and the entire purpose and design of Ark are for incredible efficiency, allowing for quick integration into its own blockchain, aiming towards decentralizing several different cryptocurrencies at once. With an initial value of about USD 0.04, Ark is stunning to have peaked at almost 11 USD, traded at about 2.60 USD in April.
- One currency on this list that hasn’t made it into the mainstream is Stratis. Stratis’ foothold is having its unified platform compatible with major programming languages. This makes it quite easier for businesses to integrate digital platforms that can become cross-platform compatible. The prime reason behind Stratis’ ICO success has been none other than Microsoft. From an initial of 0.01 USD to 2.51 USD in April, it just continues to grow.
- Alias or Spectrecoin is one of the most unique and exciting cryptocurrencies, in my opinion. The entire point is anonymity. Nobody can monitor who sent or received these tokens as its public ledger isn’t shared at all. Of course, most governments aren’t exactly comfortable with such anonymous crypto that leaves no trail. Due to this and some other factors, Alias has not broken into the mainstream, neither it witnessed significant growth.
I hope this article was able to grant some insight into ICOs. Of course, none of this is financial advice. Several studies have regarded ICOs as gambling and claimed that as many as 81% of ICOs are scams, so keep your eyes and ears open.