Initial coin offerings, or ICOs, have attracted a significant amount of attention recently for the destabilizing influence this largely unregulated aspect of the cryptocurrency industry has had on the price of Bitcoin, and the crypto market as a whole.
Comparable to traditional IPOs, initial coin offerings have presented entrepreneurs and organizations with a new way to raise venture capital and catalyze rapid growth. The loose and largely nonexistent regulation surrounding the ICO sector, however, has led to a great deal of confusion regarding ICOs.
As a result, many regulatory bodies around the world have taken steps toward creating a framework with which to manage ICOs, with an ongoing debate raging regarding their legislative status. Some countries- such as China, have even gone so far as to completely halt ICO action in their jurisdiction completely, a move that was responsible for a 7.5% total Bitcoin price drop for a number of days until the action was clarified as a temporary measure.
Despite the hysteria surrounding ICOs, they remain a powerful financial tool, and have spawned thousands of success stories featuring developers and investors alike. Despite the extreme popularity of ICOs, however, there are a number of projects that fail to garner any interest whatsoever, for reasons that are difficult to determine.
In this article, we’ll present the ten least successful industries for initial coin offerings and present some key metrics regarding their total penetration into the ICO sector. Take a look at this graph courtesy of ICOWatchlist.com for Total USD Raised Per Category & Projects Per Category in %.
Surprisingly, content management is one of the least popular industries for initial coin offerings in 2017. Despite being a highly relevant sector to the blockchain, the content management related ICOs currently present in the market have seen a low adoption rate.
The content management industry has raised just $9.5 million USD throughout 2017 to date, or just 0.4% of all ICO funds raised, which is far lower than expectations. As regulations are developed for the ICO sector, however, analysts expect this figure to surge dramatically.
Real Estate/Land Property Asset
Real estate is traditionally a high value industry, which does not lend itself to the fundamental nature of initial coin offerings. There have been a handful of projects that have attempted to raise capital through ICO platforms, which have as a whole raised just $9.085 USD. The disparity between the expensive real estate industry and the nature of ICOs makes it doubtful that real estate as whole will capture more attention in the ICO sector.
Incumbent industries that are heavily invested in infrastructure have been observed to yield lower than average response rates in the ICO sector. Decentralized communication has struggled to achieve a significant amount of penetration through ICOs to date, gathering just $8.815 million USD throughout 2017. The highly publicized Kik ICO, however, may have a positive impact on the presence of communications in the ICO industry depending on the response it receives.
Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals
There’s no doubt that the cumbersome healthcare can benefit greatly from decentralized blockchain technology. Very few ICOs, however, have focused on the healthcare industry at this point in time. To date, healthcare and pharmaceutical related ICOs have collected just $8.31 million USD. There’s certainly a significant amount of room for growth in the ICO space for healthcare solutions.
The events and entertainment sector doesn't present many opportunities for developers to present innovative initial coin offerings. Despite this disadvantage, the entertainment industry has still somehow managed to gather roughly $8.07 million USD in funding through ICOs in 2017, which is an unexpected turn of events that may be worth tracking.
The social network industry is home to some very well established major players that are extremely resistant to change. Although there have been a number of aspirant ICOs that have attempted to shake up the social network industry, the total volume of capital collected by these ventures have not exceeded $5.625 million USD.
At a glance, it’s easy to understand why data analytics ventures have failed to raise a significant amount of capital via ICOs in 2017, as the industry lacks any serious relevance to ICOs as a whole. Data analytics offerings have raised just $2.037 million USD in 2017, almost making it into the top three worst performing verticals in the ICO sector.
Utilities & Energy
The obvious link between ICOs and energy presents many opportunities that could leverage the need for a decentralized platform that could be used to trade excess renewable energy, but the ICO sector has seen no strong projects focusing on this line of reasoning. As a result, the energy and utilities industry has gathered just a little under $2 million USD in 2017.
Logistics & Supply
The majority of blockchain-related projects in the supply and logistics are unlikely to utilize ICOs as a method of raising capital, which has seen only a desultory effort exerted in the ICO space by the industry. 2017 has seen only $851,295 raised for logistics-related projects, which is not entirely unexpected.
Betting & Gambling
While it may not be the best industry out of the eleven we have covered, there is no denying the radical shift blockchain distributed ledger technology is having on the cryptocurrency casinos. With the internet enabling gambling, betting, poker and esports to name a few, blockchain's shared accounting system for all records will prove to be much more transparent and efficient in the years to come.
Funding & Venture Capital
Let me introduce you to the newly found concept of I.C.O. aka modern-day crowdfunding campaigns aimed at direct access towards investing into new tokens, services, projects, platforms and programs.
One of the key axioms of blockchain technology is the intent to optimize and transform traditional rules of governance. Despite this, there have been very few ICOs that have attempted to focus on this particular sector in 2017- the total amount of funds raised for governance ICO projects in the year is just $258,645, a disappointing result that will hopefully change in the near future.