Is the ICO craze over? From a recent Token Economy newsletter:
However we are coming across more and more projects avoiding public sales all together, opting instead for phased out private-only rounds structured as traditional equity rounds or SAFTs/private pre-sales, or a combination of both in sequence. Data provided by our friends from Tokendata show that, in January, $180 million worth of capital was raised by projects that had initially planned a public sale, but eventually cancelled it and raised privately. These include Olympus Labs, Nucleus Vision, Coinfi, Shipchain and a bunch of others (not going to lie, we had not heard of most of them). Of the balance, anecdotally 50–75% was possibly raised via private pre-sales.
They speculate it’s due to regulatory fear, influx of institutional money, huge capital due to increase in value of $ETH, and a handful of other factors, including “more sanity” among founders (ha!).
What this means is unknown, though have some well-reasoned predictions including alternative distribution models where real usage is the goal, increased transparency from quality projects, and a boom in the fully compliant tokens.
Fully-compliant is one thing; proving worthy of the funds raised will be a big task this year. Many projects will not survive and that trend will begin to hurt wavering projects, where token holders decide to sell before value goes to zero.