Moving Beyond ICOs

Like many crypto-enthusiasts recently, we’ve gotten a bit caught up in the ICO craze. After publishing a few ICO analysis reports, we noticed the posts were driving a lot more organic traffic that we’d ever had, that people were actually leaving comments. Naturally, that lead us to publishing more ICO reports. In fact, we’ve published over 30 of them. However, it’s time to stop.

The purpose of the reports was to present information in a standardized way. Every token crowdsale is run and presented differently, making it quite difficult to compare. Even leaving the nature of the project out of the discussion, there are so many variations in the method tokens are sold, bonuses, token allocation, usage, etc. that it becomes prohibitively difficult to compare without doing a lot of work. Something as simple as how much money projects are looking to raise is obscured. And determining the value of your specific contribution is often even more difficult with closed private sales at enormous discounts on tokens that are likely to be dumped onto the market post-ICO.

With that in mind, our reports are not sufficient. Though we stopped trying to rate each ICO a while ago, even gathering the information has become too cumbersome and there others doing a much better job of it. As we often cite in our reports, some of our favorite sites for in-depth, single-project analysis include CrushCrypto, Hacked (subscription), Picolo Research (release delayed for all but clients), ICO Alert, and ICO Rating (look for the in-depth reports, not the ratings). There are others we’re overlooking at the moment.

None of these allow for comparing multiple ICOs using standardized info, but that’s not necessarily a problem. For one, the ICO landscape is changing so fast that comparing a project from 3 months ago to a new one coming us is virtually meaningless. Second, there are others much closer to what we envisioned originally. TokenData tracks over 140 ICOs currently and TokenReport has comprehensive data on over 700 projects (albeit at $225 per month).

Without a comprehensive solution, it would seem like a good niche too fill. However, the time investment is no longer worth the effort, given the extremely high valuations and waning returns of late. Our bandwith is limited, and it’s simply not worth trying to find the needle in the oversized haystack, especially when the risk/reward ratio is as terrible as it appears now. While we aren’t completely foregoing looking at particular projects in depths, we’ll rely on others to call our attention to it.

Our initial interest in crypto currencies had nothing to do with ICOs. Like most, we were first drawn to Bitcoin and the possibility of a decentralized currency and a finite number of tokens that could be exchanged with anyone in the world nearly instantly. Over the past year, we’ve gotten more interested in the bigger possibilities created by Ethereum and token sales. Beyond funding, there opportunities for new business models, new business structures, automation, anonymity, etc. that will bring more meaningful, macro changes. That’s where our interest lies and where we’ll be focusing here.

If you feel we’ve underestimated the value of our ICO reports, and you’d like us to continue, let us know in a comment. 

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