ICO Returns Waning?

In their last two weekly emails, which unfortunately are not published on their blog, TokenData.io has shared some interesting findings around ICOs lately. Last week, they shared:

We’re also tracking more than 140 tokens that have been issued through ICOs (142 to be precise). A quick analysis on the returns of these 142 tokens – relative to BTC and ETH – shows that “only” 31% of tokens outperform both base cryptocurrencies (graph can be found below) if held since issuance.

And this week, they shared further data showing a slowdown:

On average, tokens outperformed the two base cryptocurrencies for the first 3 quarters of the year. And – although time and data are very sparse – this outperformance trend has come to a slight halt right now. The 4 ICOs that took place in October and whose tokens are being traded, have underperformed both ETH and BTC. Moreover, BTC is outperforming both tokens and ETH for the first time. While it’s too early to proclaim that “winter is here” the TokenData team will keep you up to date in the coming weeks as this unfolds.

Below is a screenshot of their data. Interestingly, the average amount raised by the 40 “successful” ICOs is much lower than the ones that underperformed ETH and BTC ($14.8 million vs $10.2 million).

 tokendata - ico performance

Likewise, ICOs have raised much more as of last vs pre-2017 and Q1.

  • 2016: $3.8 million
  • Q1 2017: $1.6 million
  • Q2 2017: $17.9 million
  • Q3 2017: $14.2 million
  • Q4 2017: $31.5 million

While recency likely plays a part, since some tokens haven’t had time to see large gains, the fact that the values are starting significantly higher decreases the changes of a huge gain significantly.




ICO Analysis Report Updates & Additions


  • Ripio – added a speculative buy score from Picolo Research
  • WorldCore – added a “negative” opinion. If you’re considering participating in this one, give the full report a read.


Token/ICO Links & Notes – 10.13.17

Tokens/Projects We’ve Covered

  • BlockV has postponed their ICO (or token generation event) slightly. It will open on October 19th, a week later than originally anticipated.
  • Airtoken raised $15 million in their ICO. AIR is trading on HitBTC and EtherDelta. The token is down from the average ICO price with more to come. After a quick rise above the average ICO price, AIR is now down about 30% likely due to a number of early-buyers flipping after receiving significant bonuses.
  • Worldcore’s public sale begins on 10/14. They have changed their ICO to require less registration info.

Industry News

  • CoinDesk reported that news of a Nasdag traded ETH product. “CoinShares, headed by former JPMorgan Chase trader Daniel Masters, is launching an exchange-traded note (ETN) for ether
  • CrushCrypto, who recently launched a fund on ICONOMI, announced their first “crusher of the month” as 0x (ZRX tokens). 0x is a protocol upon which fast decentralized exchanges are built. They cite the relatively small market cap compared to Kyber. While true, we’d argue the market cap is closer to $189M (ZRX) vs $280M (KNC), when accounting for total tokens rather than available supply.
  • TokenData.io reported that of the 142 tokens they are tracking, just 31% have outperformed both BTC and ETH since their ICO date.

New ICO Analysis Format

We’re working on a new format for our ICO analysis reports. We haven’t posted as many new reports lately while getting the new format ready. Once ready, the new format will provide a few advantages:

  • Better visual layout. There more be more tweaks to come but the new reports are a big improvement versus our mostly freeform posts
  • Standardized layout in order to facilitate comparisons to other ICOs
  • Sorting & filtering. Most data fields will be filterable and sortable in our new reports to make it easier to find ICOs that meet specific criteria.

Although improved, the new format won’t be the finished product. In all likelihood, we’ll continue to make improvements as we refine our process and new sources of data and analysis begin to emerge. It’s still very early in the ICO/token market and charges are sure to come quickly. If you have a great source we’re missing or have a recommendation of how to improve our ICO reports, leave a comment below and let us know.

BitDice ICO Analysis, Links & Info

The BitDice ICO is winding down today, after opening a month ago. Gambling tokens have been on my mind since reading a post at TokenData that discussed the possibilities of gambling tokens. When browsing ICO Rating a few days ago, I noticed they had a report on BitDice’s ICO. After a quick read, it seemed worthy of further research.


Founded in 2015, BitDice is an existing, profitable online gambling business based in Costa Rica. They currently transact in digital currency only and are looking to expand to accept fiat currency, which still holds 95% of online gambling market.

BitDice is looking to raise a minimum of $10 million, with a hard cap of $25 million, in exchange for 68% of tokens. Token value will be based on the number sold (as opposed to returning unsold tokens to company). BitDice token holders will receive quarterly dividends, taken from 70% of the company’s profit.

BitDice ICO Info

Symbol: CSNO
ICO Dates: August 14 (5pm) – September 14 (5pm) 2017 (PST)
Links: BitDice ICO SiteWhitepaper
Soft Cap/Hard Cap: $10/$25 million
Token Allocation: 68% in ICO, 30% retained for team, 2% reserved for bounties
Distribution: Within 7 days of close of sale, but should be much sooner (hours)
Implied min/max valuation cap: $14.7 million, $36.8 million
Who is running ICO? Self-run
Bonus:  15% first week, 10% second week, 5% third week, 0% final week
Unsold Tokens: There will be no unsold tokens. Token value will be based on the final amount raised divided by the 100,000,000 tokens being offered.

What Others Say

The BitDice ICO hasn’t gotten a lot of coverage among the crypto analysis and data sites. Here’s who has covered/listed it.

ICORating gave the BitDice ICO a hype score of low, risk score of medium and no investment score nor in-depth analysis. No info given for reason to either score (though the hype score certainly seems accurate).

ICOAlert, as mentioned in the intro, covered the BitDice ICO. It’s a good summary of the project and token offering.

TokenData has listed the BitDice ICO. Unclear when it was listed. Although not mentioned specifically in the post, they recently wrote about the potential of gambling tokens on their blog.

TokenMarket has also listed the BitDice ICO, where there are 284 followers, a decent amount. No further analysis.

ICO Tracker has also listed the ICO, but no data/analysis provided.


  • Existing, profitable business
  • Team has demonstrated they are capable
  • Only open to 5% of market currently and looking to open to other 95%
  • 70% of profits shared via dividends
  • Relatively low cap rate (especially considering it’s only a little over the soft cap on the final day of the ICO)
  • Online gambling industry seems ripe for growth via digital assets


  • Part of their appeal may be their focus on accepting crypto currency
  • Online gaming is very competitive
  • Early ICO investors received bonuses and may look to flip/dump quickly
  • Team members are mostly anonymous (nature of online gambling industry)


Overall, I like this ICO due to the proven and profitable, albeit young, business with a relatively low funding amount and generous dividends. The business has been growing quickly and it seems likely to continue with the rise of digital assets, let alone the company’s plan to expand to accept fiat currency.


Kin ICO – Updates

As posted yesterday in our Kin ICO analysis, the Kin ICO began this morning at 6am PST. Here’s a few updates:

  • Over 17,000 people registered for the Kin ICO
  • For first 24 hours, registrants can contribute up to $4,393 (15.20 ETH), then unlimited
  • 512,195,121,951 tokens being sold for the equivalent of $75 million in ETH.
  • Exchange rate is: $289 = 1 ETH = 1,973,581 Kin.
  • Maximum participation cap will be raised over first hour and then removed until all tokens are sold
  • No info on specific max contribution amount posted on site, even after ICO went live. Appears only to have the first-24 hour cap.
  • Gas limit 200,000

Kin ICO – Links, Info & Analysis

The Kin ICO begins tomorrow morning at 6am PST. This one has been mentioned a fair amount on various crypto blogs, by legitimate VC investors, and on more mainstream business news sites so it seems worth looking into.

The Kin token will be used on the Kik messaging platform, which started in 2010, got a million users in the first year, and grew the number of users until plateauing in Sept 2016. They have over 150 employees in four cities currently. Kik has tested a “points system” successfully and believe it’s a good sign Kik will be adopted by users. They are known for providing easy anonymity. Kik is especially popular with US teens (40% of users). The currency would be used for tipping, paid membership groups, premium paid content, and sponsored messages.

Kin in their own words:

A decentralized ecosystem of digital services for daily life.

Digital services, such as chat apps and social networks, are bringing together communications, information, and commerce in new and unprecedented ways. The assimilation of economic value into communication systems are making digital services essential to daily life.

At the same time, more and more of these services are being controlled by fewer and fewer companies, leading to a future with less choice, less innovation, and ultimately, less freedom.

Envisioned as a general purpose cryptocurrency for use in everyday digital services, Kin will be used for all transactions within the Kin Ecosystem. Implemented on the public Ethereum blockchain as an ERC20 token, Kin will serve as the basis of interoperability with other digital services in the Kin Ecosystem.


Kin ICO info

  • Symbol: KIN
  • When: September 12, 6am PST
  • How Much:
    • 5% in ICO
      5% private pre-sale (30% discount)
      90% to be allocated to users
    • Hard cap: $75 million
    • Soft cap: none
    • 10 trillion total tokens
    • If they hit hard cap of $75 million, along with $50 million from pre-sale, that’s 10% of tokens for $125 million, giving a market cap of $1.25 billion.
  • Distribution: Immediately
  • Exchanges: No info found
  • Who is running ICO? Self run (Kik)
  • Bonus: None

What Others Say about Kin ICO

CrushCrypto has covered the Kin ICO. They gave it a Neutral for flipping and a Negative for long term investing. Essentially they think the valuation is way to high for a product (Kik) that is declining in users and don’t feel there’s enough upside.

CrytoCompare has not yet listed Kin. They mentioned it in a blog post in email/blog post in May.

TokenMarket  has listed the Kin by Kik ICO. They have 2227 followers which is a high number for that site.

TokenData has listed the Kin ICO in their upcoming ICOs list. Not covered on there blog.

ICORating has rated Kin as a High for hype, Medium for risk, and High for Investment scores. No an in-depth analysis. Also, the ICO details tab was never updated from TBA.

BitCoinTalk has a number of threads on this ICO. There are a surprising number of people skeptical of this one. Threads tend to be dominated by lots of hype typically.

ICO Tracker has surprisingly not listed the Kin ICO.

Picolo Research (included in one of the BitCoinTalk threads) rated Kin as Speculative which is a 3/5 stars on their scale.

Hacked has covered the Kin ICO. They cite a number of problems, including the company not being profitable and doubting the viability/need for the Kin token vs broader-use tokens. Yet, they are positive overall due to the people (VCs) involved with Kik.

In Summary

There’s a lot of hype and interest around this one. It’s covered more widely than of the ICOs I’ve looked at previously and there’s a lot of venture capital money involved.

While it’s nice to have that backing, it’s hard to get over the fact that the Kik app/platform seems to be struggling. They may be able to turn things around and make everything work, but the $1.25 billion valuation is awfully high, and there’s a number of token-holders that received significant discounts (30%), which always is a bit of a red flag.

In the short-term, Kin should do well, given the interest levels and people involved. However, the upside is limited given the extremely high valuation. There are serious challenges ahead, given the current state of Kik and it should be watched closely for signs of improvement.

Social (Nexus) ICO – Info, Links & Analysis

The Social (Nexus) ICO began August 17th and ends September 17th. Social is the currency that will be used within the social network Nexus, which is a new decentralized social network.

Social in their own words:

Social is a cryptocurrency that will be used within Nexus, a secure and private decentralized social network with integrated marketplace and ad platform

Nexus is a social network built on modern technologies that also integrates popular features of e-commerce and crowdfunding. The network primarily concentrates on privacy, control of settings, security and listening to the voice of the community.

The Nexus platform hopes to integrate a full social interface that will be accommodated by a functional marketplace and ad platform that utilizes it’s native coin, Social.

Nexus is an already existing and established product on the iOS App Store, Google Play Store and the web.


Social ICO info

  • Symbol: SCL
  • When: Began August 17th and ends September 17th (a relatively long period)
  • How Much:
    • 95% in ICO
      5% marketing
    • Hard cap: 47,500,000 SCL
    • Soft cap: 250,000 SCL
    • 1 ETH = 500 SCL
    • Assuming an ETH price of $350, that gives a max market cap of $35 million and a hard cap of $33.25 million and a soft
  • Distribution: Immediately
  • Exchanges:No info found
  • Who is running ICO? Self run
  • Bonus: 50% week 1, 40% week 2, 30% week 3, 20% week 4, 10% week 5
  • ICO Progress:  14,708,671.86 Social coins sold (~30% of hard cap) to raise ~$6.7 million

What Others Say about Social (Nexus) ICO

CrushCrypto has not covered the Social (Nexus) ICO.

CrytoCompare has listed Social and shows just 5 followers, which is by far the lowest of any of the companies previously covered here.

TokenMarket  has not listed the Social ICO.

TokenData has not listed the Social ICO.

ICORating has rated Social as a Low for hype and Low for risk score. No info on investment nor an in-depth analysis.

BitCoinTalk has a thread on Social. As usual, most posts are by affiliates who of course are the biggest cheerleaders of the ICO.

ICOCountdown has not listed the Social (Nexus) ICO. They give spotlight to new crypto projects with a focus on crowdfunding methodology and conduct due diligence to ascertain viability of these projects.

Hacked has covered the Social ICO and were very negative on the opportunity, citing the difficulty in starting a new social network.


Nexus is an existing social network, and it’s easy to see how a token currency could benefit a social network (marketplace, ads). Of course, that assumes that the social network is adopted and used. Nothing that I’ve seen has convinced me that Social is anywhere close to building a successful, massive social network.

Of the existing leading social networks, Social most closely resembles Facebook. And while there may be many people that claim they want more control over their information than Facebook allows, it takes a lot more to convince someone to leave the most popular network and put their time into a unproven network with few members simply because it’s decentralized. 

They’ve been unable to garner much support for their ICO, or their “established” product. They’re unlisted on many ICO schedule sites, have few “followers” on others, and have just 2 reviews on the Apple App Store. More importantly, they’ve used a massive bonus structure over a long period of time for their ICO, yet have managed to raise just over 30% so far with about 10 days remaining.

Despite all the negative, the structure of their ICO makes it somewhat intriguing, and makes me wish that other ICOs would adopt a similar model. A vast majority (95%) of all Social tokens will be made available in their ICO, with just 5% being held for marketing costs. No tokens are reserved for the team behind social. Instead, they’ll buy back 5% via Bitcoin during the first 24 hours.

Additionally, all unsold tokens will be discarded, rather than returning the tokens to the company or using for some other purpose. This preserves the value of the tokens and actually increases the percentage value of previously sold tokens and valuing the company at a more palatable $7M USD currently (with ETH at ~$325), though that seems somewhat high given the limited success thus far.

Regardless, the heavy bonus structure is reason enough not to invest at this stage. Currently, there’s 15,198,897.53 SCL sold and 20261.66 ETH raised, for an average exchange of ~750 SCL/ETH when it’s priced at 500 SCL/ETH. Even with the currently available 20% bonus, you’d only get 600 ETH/USD.

It’s a significant difference, and with just over 30% subscribed, it’s extremely unlikely that the ICO will get anywhere near a level that will bring the average price up to the currently offered price. More likely, the price will end up somewhere closer to the average price paid, regardless of the bonus level.

At this point, I’m holding off. And even if you think Social/Nexus have a chance to build the next great social network, it’s probably best to wait ’til post-ICO to get your tokens on an exchange at a lower price.


COSS ICO – Info, Links & Analysis

The COSS ICO began August 8th and ends September 6th 5am PST. COSS is an acronym for Crypto-One-Stop-Solution. As the name implies, they provide a platform for all things crypto including an exchange, payment gateway, POS, wallet, and more. They’re

Coss in their own words:

COSS is designed as a living project with infinite possibilities for extension, aimed to bring cryptocurrencies to the masses by adopting and facilitating all the existing crypto- and the blockchain-related services and products into a user-friendly, intuitive and easy-to-use environment.

The number of customers and merchants listed on the COSS marketplace is constantly increasing, and currently counts 150 Merchants and over 1000 users. COSS has an international team spread many locations across the world from Singapore (the managing board) to New York (branches) and Bucharest, Romania (Development Team).



  • Symbol: COSS
  • When: Began August 8th and ends September 6th at 5am PST.
  • How Much:
    • 65% of tokens in ICO
      12.5% pre-ICO “fire swap”
      15% Developers, Staff, Strategic Partners**, Operations
      5% CAP (COSS Affiliate Program)
      2.5%  Shareholders***/Board of Directors***/Advisory Board***
    • Hard cap: 130,000,000 COSS Tokens. 1 ETH = 600 Coss tokens. ETH is currently at $392 but has been closer to 300 over the last month. That gives roughly a $65M hard cap.
    • Soft cap none
    • Max market cap of $100M
  • Distribution: By September 20, 2017
  • Exchanges: COSS, hitBTC
  • Who is running ICO? Self run
  • ICO Progress: As of Sept 1 at 12:15pm PST. 6884 ETH have been raised. At 600 COSS per ETH, that’s 4,130,400 of the total 130,000,000, just above 3%.

What Others Say about Maecenas

CrushCrypto analysis of COSS ICO (summary): Not good for flipping due to unlikelihood of reaching hard cap and delayed distribution date. Neutral for long term due to lack of focus and trying to provide too many disjointed services.

CrytoCompare has listed COSS and shows 54 followers, a relatively small number. Interesting, they show it has traded slightly above and below the ICO price (in ETH) at times during the last month.

TokenMarket writes that “COSS is a revenue-generating token on Ethereum designed to sustain the Crypto One Stop Solution (COSS for short) platform, which aims to boost the massive adoption of cryptocurrencies.” COSS has a moderate number of follwers at 195.

TokenData briefly describes COSS as an “Ecosystem for cryptocurrencies (exchange, wallet, PoS, payment gateway)”. No further info given.

ICORating has rated COSS as a Medium for hype and Very Low for risk score. No info on investment nor an in-depth analysis.

BitCoinTalk has a thread on COSS. Most posts appear to be by affiliates. No discuss of the low percentage of hard cap they have raised so far.

ICOCountdown has listed COSS. They give spotlight to new crypto projects with a focus on crowdfunding methodology and conduct due diligence to ascertain viability of these projects.


The fact that COSS has a working product, and have been self-funded prior to this, puts them ahead of many ICO-projects. There’s a need for a number of new crypto services, including payment processing, new exchanges, etc, but it’s hard to see what edge they have vs other, more-focused companies attempting to solve problems around one specific problem.

Their ICO used a number of bonus incentives, including up to 25% during the pre-ICO and 15% during the public ICO. While that can help buid momentum, it doesn’t seem to have worked in this case, and likely attracted more opportunists looking for a short-term flip.

At this point, with under 5 days remaining and over 95% of tokens remaining, there’s no reason to get into during the ICO phase.


Maecenas ICO – Links & Analysis

The Maecenas ICO begins September 5th. Maceanas is a decentralized art gallery seeking to raise up to $20 million. In preparation, here’s some stats, info, and links from other a number of ICO analysts.

Maecenas in their own words: The Decentralised Art Gallery
The first open blockchain platform that democratises access to Fine Art


Maecenas ICO info

  • Symbol: ART
  • When: Presale for private invites & cofound.it priority members begins September 5th. Opens to public Sept 7th. 12pm PST in both cases. Must join & fund CoFound.It Priority Pass by today, August 31st to access presale.
  • How Much:
    • 30% of tokens in ICO
      30% kept as reserve liquidity fund
      20% allocated to incentivise partners and client acquisition
      20% retained by Maecenas
    • Hard cap $20M
    • Soft cap $3M
    • Max market cap of $67M
  • Distribution: Immediately after contribution, locked from trading for 1 week.
  • Exchanges: No info found
  • Who is running ICO? The Maecenas ICO is being run by Cofound.it. They select promising business, give them guidance, and prepare them for success. They’ve run other successful ICOs, including the Musiconomi ICO, which was nearly sold out by the time of the public sale. Nice that company has been vetted and has good guidance.

What Others Say about Maecenas

CrushCrypto analysis of Maecenas (summary): Neutral for flipping due to lack of awareness relative to size of hard cap of $20M. Good for long term due to being an innovative business model without much competition in a potentially huge market.

CrytoCompare has not listed Maecenas yet.

TokenMarket  writes that Maecenas will democratise access to fine art by creating a decentralised art gallery — a truly open platform where anyone can own a piece of a Picasso. They are building a global art blockchain market where assets are traded quickly and fairly on a liquid exchange. Currently there are just 38 followers (for comparison, Monetha had 638 just before their ICO.)

TokenData summarizes Maecenas as a “marketplace and investing platform for art.” No further commentary or info.

ICORating has not yet listed Maecenas.

BitCoinTalk doesn’t appear to have a dedicated thread to Maecenas.

ICOCountdown has not listed Maecenas.


The project sounds interesting and there is a lot of potential. The art market is huge and largely inefficient. Competitors charge large fees and artwork is often off-limits to smaller scale investors. Maecenas’ platform has the potential to open the market to new investors, provide liquidity, and undercut competitors – provided they convince others to adopt the concepts and business model.

Admittedly, I don’t know much about the fine art market, but my guess is that there is hesitation to changes in the industry. So far, Maecenas has had “discussions with c-level execs” at a number of insurance companies, wealth management offices, law firms, etc. They don’t currently have a publicly accessible product (only in MVP stage) nor any paying customers/clients – though they have “30 artworks in pipeline worth over $100 million” have been proposed to the team.

The ICO hasn’t gotten the attention you’d expect from an ICO looking to raise $20 million at a $67 million valuation. Demand for CoFound.it’s previous ICO, Musiconomi, was more than I expected, proving to be more than sufficient to reach their hard cap within 30 minutes after the public sale began. However, it will be more difficult to reach a hard cap 2.5x as large.

There is a pre-sale but at this time, given the lack of attention and large hard cap, I’m content waiting for the public sale to see how the ICO develops.