A Quarter-by-Quarter Look at ICOs in 2018
2017 was a very interesting and important year for blockchain technology as a whole. It was able to graduate from being known by a very niche market to being a much more mainstream form of technology. Business and individuals alike have seen and experienced first-hand the benefits of blockchain technology.
Now that 2017 is drawing to a close, we can begin to look ahead to 2018 and what the future outlook looks like for blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. In particular, we want to look at the explosion of ICOs in the last 12 months and what the future might have in store for ICOS in 2018. While ICOs have been taking place for a few years, 2017 was truly the year that they exploded onto the fundraising scene.
At the start of 2017, there was a couple million here and there being invested in ICOs, but fast forward nearly 12 months and there has been almost $5 billion invested in well over 700 ICOs throughout 2017, according to ICOdata. While there have been some scams and other hiccups this year, overall, it has been a largely positive year for ICOs. Let’s look ahead to 2018.
While the end of 2017 saw a ton of investment in ICOs, especially in November, they were largely in the same few deals. With so many deals and ICOs in the market, it became harder and harder for the best deals and companies to stand out above the rest. ICO and blockchain expert Emma Channing believes that this will continue into 2018 and that more and more will be popping up.
She also believes that investigative activities in North America will continue and there could be enforcement cases by the government that may slow down this volume of new ICOs popping up seemingly overnight.
Channing believes that the big question for ICOs in Q2 will be: what are the prices of some of the biggest cryptocurrencies in the world such as Bitcoin and Ethereum? These cryptocurrencies have been on a meteoric rise in 2018, it could have one of two effects on the ICO market, according to Channing.
On one hand, a higher price in BTC or ETH means that actually investing in ICOs will be more expensive (as many use BTC and ETH to actually invest in them), which could drive people away until prices cool down. However, people might actually become more bullish on ICOs as a result if they expect the ICO token/coin to grow and provide a similar return to that of a Bitcoin or an Ethereum.
Looking this far ahead is difficult for anyone, even an expert in the industry like Emma Channing. However, she did say that by this point, she believes that there will be various ATS (alternative trading systems) up and running. These will allow for security tokens to be traded, which will be regulated and sort of be a “hybrid” between a traditional security and a cryptocurrency.
As for how this may affect the market, there is a good chance people with a lot of money in highly-volatile cryptocurrencies may move some of that over to security tokens, which will likely change the price of these currencies.
This one is nearly impossible to predict in any sort of accurate manner. Think back to the fourth quarter of 2016; no one would have thought that the ICO market would look like it does currently in the 4th quarter of 2017. If things continue as many experts expect them to, we could see more and more ICOs at a much quicker pace than we did this year.
In conclusion, with how much blockchain technology has grown and matured over the last 12 months, we are very excited to see where the market goes next year. However, we all must remember that the world of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency is very new, so it is impossible to predict what will happen going forward.