From a $150 Million ICO to a Tanking Crypto Token, Where Did Bancor Go Wrong?


Two years can be a long time, especially when it comes to the crypto ecosystem. In June 2017, Bancor set a new industry record, raising approximately $153m in ethereum.

The ICO attracted 10,885 buyers, according to available data, with more than 15,000 transactions sent to the address for purchases during the sale. One buyer went so far as to purchase 6.9m BNT, or roughly $27m.

Now, after two years since the crowd sale, the narrative has changed. ICOs are no longer in trend and regulations around it keeps on haunting a number of crypto projects. From an all-time high of $4.49 in July 2017, the token just sunk to the all-time low of $0.44 on July 17th, 2019.

Bancor is a Decentralized Liquidity Network that allows you to hold any Ethereum token and convert it to any other token in the network, with no counterparty, at an automatically calculated price, using a simple web wallet.

Bernard Lietaer heads the foundation as its president. Eyal Hertzog, Guy Benartzi, and Guido Schmit-Krummacher are the other members of the foundation council. These are well-known professionals within the community. Others include Yoni Assia who is responsible for making strategies related to social trading. The algo trading is headed by Yariv Gilat while the Venture Capital department is managed by Tim Draper.

With this talented lineup and a solid business model, one could not have expected the project to fail, yet it has.

One of the major hurdles that Bancor faces is the one with regulators. They had to issue a new policy that made it illegal for Americans to trade on their platforms. The notice read:

“If you have a Bancor Wallet, you will still be able to log-in, hold tokens, and transfer tokens from the United States or from a country that is embargoed or restricted by SECO. Only the convert functionality will be disabled. This decision has been made in light of increased regulatory uncertainty; at this time, we believe this is the most judicious decision for all the members of our ecosystem. This will enable the Bancor community and ecosystem to innovate faster and with greater clarity.”

The exchange noted that by nature, the decentralized parts of its network were outside of its control, and may still permit U.S. transactions after the July deadline.

In July 2018, Bancor lost $23.5 million in a hack. No user wallets were compromised, but the platform itself lost $12.5 million worth of ether, about $1 million of Pundi X and $10 million of Bancor Network Tokens.

Despite this, the Co-Founder, Bancor Galia Benartzi is optimistic about the future of the company and says:

“During the second half of 2019, Bancor’s core developers remain fully focused on increasing access to Bancor’s automated liquidity and creating new incentives for network participants – from liquidity providers and token holders to tokenized ecosystems and developers.”

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