Top 300 ICO Crypto Token Investment Returns Between 2014 and 2018


Investment Returns from the Top 300 ICOs

Initial coin offerings (ICOs) are a powerful way to make money – until they’re not. To some people, ICOs are a get rich quick scheme where they can make a quick buck. To others, ICOs are a chance to jump in on the ground level of a promising technology.

But how much money have investors really made from ICOs?

Steven Zheng and the team at The Block tried to answer that question by creating a list of ICO returns from 2014 to 2018. Zheng and his colleagues charted 300 publicly traded ICO tokens and their returns. The results are surprising. They provide new insight into just how bad some ICO investments were – and how good others were.

The list was created using data originally organized by The Block in a recent blog post called, “How Wealthy Did ICO Investors Really Get?”

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the information gleaned from the study:

  • Ethereum is the most profitable ICO to date. The Ethereum ICO took place in summer 2014 and was completed in September. During the ICO, ETH was sold at a price of $0.311. Today, the price of ETH sits at $185.52 – a return of 59,552% for investors. An investor who bought $1 of ETH in summer 2014 during the ICO would have $596.527 today. Of course, ETH is at its record low price point for the year – so this return could have been even more impressive if the story was completed earlier.
  • The top 10 other ICOs are also big names. Ranked by their returns on investments, the top 12 ICOs after Ethereum include Spectrecoin, Stratis, NEO, Ark, Lisk, Komodo, Storj-x, Aeternity (Phase 1), Augur, Bitquence, and Golem.
  • Of the top 300 ICOs, the top 17 all generated quadruple digit returns for investors (returns of 1,000% or higher).
  • Of the top 300 ICOs, fewer than 100 delivered positive returns for investors. Some of the ICOs with 0% to 15% ROIs include Telcoin, Bread (BRD), Kyber Network (KNC), FirstBlood (1ST), Boscoin (BOS), Lykke (LKK), and Civic (CVC).
  • Some of the worst ICOs on the list delivered returns of -90% or lower for investors. The worst 90 ICOs, for example, delivered returns of 80% or lower for investors. An investor who invested $100 in these ICOs would have $20 or less today.
  • The worst ICO on the list was the ICO for Bolenum (BLN). That ICO raised $18,606 in August 2017 with a token price of $0.724. Today, the token sits at a price of $0.002 – a spectacularly bad investment return of 99.72%.
  • Some of the worst ICOs on the list have nevertheless managed to raise hundreds of millions of dollars. Envion (EVN), for example, raised $100 million in its January 2018 token sale, selling tokens at a price of $0.80 apiece. Today, those tokens are worth $0.040, a return of -95%.
  • Other major ICOs that have delivered horrible returns for investors include DomRaider (DRT), which raised $42 million and delivered -96.67% returns for investors; Sether (SETH), which raised $30.5 million and delivered -97.19% returns for investors; and Leadcoin (LDC), which raised $50 million and delivered returns of -97% for investors.
  • Stox (STX), Patron (PAT), BitDegree (BDG), Rentberry (BERRY), and Datawallet (DXT) collectively raised over $100 million while delivering returns of negative 90% or worse to investors.

Ultimately, some will take this list as a positive: it shows that people have genuinely made four and five digit percentage returns by investing in ICOs. In fact, there are dozens of ICOs on the list that delivered extraordinary returns for investors in a short period of time, and nearly one third of the list consists of profitable projects that have delivered positive ROIs for investors – even though we’re in the midst of a bear market.

Pessimists, of course, will point at the ugliness of the top of the list, where dozens of ICOs collectively raised billions of dollars from users, only to quickly deliver returns of -90% and lower. That’s the ugly side.

You can view the full list of the top 300 ICOs and their ROIs here.

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