The Dawn of $1B ICOs


These will be common fixtures in our future financial landscape.

Filecoin ICO: $186M in 1 hour — What does this mean for upcoming ICOs?We are at the beginning of a tectonic shift in consumer financial behavior and with the windfalls going to those teams and companies arming themselves with what are essentially called ‘trading vehicles’.

The implications for future ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) is summed up in the latest activity surrounding Filecoin’s ICO. In just one hour, it raised $186M after having to slam the doors shut on buyers trying to get in at the last minute. The demand was so high, the software supporting the execution buckled under the pressure.

It was August 9th 1995 when a small company with no revenue IPO’ed by the name of Netscape. An article in Time Magazine titled ‘Netscape’s IPO Sparks a Boom’ stated “We didnt’ know what it was. We had never opened a browser. We had never gone on the Net. But we had heard that the deal would be hot, so we at Cramer & Co., my $250 million hedge fund ,dutifully put in our share of stock in the initial public offering of Netscape. We got several thousand shares. And we, along with most everyone who got some, made an absolute killing. The stock, which we thought was going to be priced at $12 a share, came in at $28 and then opened at $71. (It peaked at $97.62 on March 17, 1999) We were giddy. We had never made money that quickly in our lives. We thought it was going to be a one-time event, never to be repeated.”

The cryptocurrency world is about to have its Netscape moment. I’m predicting we will see our first $1 billion dollar ICO sooner than later.

Considering the above, it could be a good idea to keep a few upcoming ICOs on your radar. Here are a few that might have that potential based on team, technology and breadth of market opportunity:

Starmine AI

The Starmine ICO comes with a product that is already being used by 170+ enterprise data customers for: unsupervised machine learning, artificial intelligence, advanced pattern recognition, context-controlled clustering, hidden relationship discovery or visualization for the Financial Markets (Stocks, Cryptocurrencies, Options, ETFs), Life Sciences/Drug Discovery, Entertainment, Automotive, Travel, Energy, Education, Advertising etc. Essentially, they look to power artificial intelligence systems with new kinds of datasets while enabling a transaction based marketplace using their tokens. The tokens can be used by machine or human build and transact what they call ‘supercolumns’ and other data assets. They can also be used to get discounts on their on-demand dataset updates. You can find more on the Starmine team here.

Kik

Messaging service Kik has revealed plans to launch its own cryptocurrency and ultimately create a new ecosystem for digital services.

The new digital token, called Kin, will be launched on the ethereum blockchain, the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap. Today, the company released a white paper outlining its strategy for Kin, how it will be integrated into the app and how it hopes to create a wider ecosystem for buying and selling digital services.

The Canada-based company, which has raised over $120m in VC funding, said the cryptocurrency will “combat the monopolization” of digital services where a large companies exert more and more control over digital services.

“These companies are the only ones with enough scale to effectively monetize through advertising,” said Ted Livingston, CEO of Kik, arguing this makes it difficult for independent developers to monetize their services.

Kik has now outlined multiple steps it will take for the creation of Kin and its ecosystem.

It will launch a token sale for the first Kin later in the summer and begin integrating the cryptocurrency into the Kik app where users buy and sell features and services like stickers, the use of bots and group chat hosting.

“It will also give Kin value on the public exchanges,” the CEO said. His company ultimately wants to spread Kin beyond its own app and create a decentralized ecosystem, using Kin, for all digital services.

To support these aims, the company will establish an independent non-profit called the Kin Foundation later this year or early next year. The organization will oversee the fair and open growth of the ecosystem, and further manage the Kin Rewards Engine, a financial incentive program to encourage uptake of the cryptocurrency and foster the ecosystem’s growth. More on the Kik ICO can be found here.

Science

Science, a startup incubator based in Santa Monica, California, is launching an initial coin offering (ICO) aimed to raise as much as $100 million to support a new blockchain-focused initiative.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Science — best known for its early investment in Dollar Shave Club (which was sold to consumer goods giant Unilever last year for $1 billion) — is launching a new incubation program called Science Blockchain, which will be funded by the ICO. Per the Journal, the incubator is reportedly eyeing a range of between $50 million and $100 million, though Science has not officially confirmed this figure.

Though details such as the start date for the token sale aren’t immediately clear, the news is the latest sign that the traditional venture capital world is taking note of the new fundraising model and changing the way in which VCs invest in startups. You can find out more about Science here.

The land rush to stake out claims in this new digital financial frontier is unprecedented. Ironically, it’s made possible, in part, by teams similar to the one that made Netscape a story that continues to be shared during technological and financial revolutions like the one we are experiencing at this very moment in time. It’s just the beginning, like it has been so many times before.

  • Gaëtan R., gaetanconsulting@gmail.com — Financial Data Consultant — Geneva Switzerland

https://medium.com/media/2150c182ecfb323522bb87d8f6863239/href


The Dawn of $1B ICOs was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


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