If 2017 is to be remembered for something, then it shall be remembered as the year that the world sat up and took notice of Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency world.
ICOs (initial coin offerings) were the choice of companies to raise funds. Of the 902 ICOs in 2017, 435 were deemed successful, raising over $5.6 billion in funds. Meanwhile, Bitcoin (BTC) which in 2011, was valued at just $0.09, became truly global in 2017, hitting an astonishing $20,000 by December last year, before correcting to its current price of nearly $8500.
So, what was it about 2017 that saw the cryptocurrencies being embraced so warmly? And what does 2018 have in store for ICOs?
There were huge advancements in blockchain technology in 2017. Big banks and financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs saw the threat that the blockchain technology poses to the banking industry. Rather than try and stop it, which would be like trying to stop a runaway juggernaut using just hands, the big banks decided to embrace the technology.
As others embraced and developed the blockchain technology, more and more coins started to appear. Heavy advertising on Facebook, Twitter and Google brought ICOs to the attention of the masses. Airdropping – the method of giving away free coins such as: https://www.0on.info/p/free.html proved a popular method of attracting interest and investment for ICOs in 2017.
However, 2018 is bringing about its own challenges and opportunities. By the end of February this year, there were already nearly 50 ICOs launched, raising over $1.1 billion. The figure doesn’t even include the upcoming Telegram ICO which is on track to raise more than $2 billion in its ICO all by itself.
What looks set to be a bumper year for ICOs has its own challenges. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all banned ICO advertising from their platforms as response to the growing number of failed ICOs and scam ICOs. MailChimp – the largest email service provider also banned ICO marketing from its platform. But it is the upcoming ban by Google in June 2018, that will most likely have the largest effect. PPC (Pay-Per-Click) has proven to be one of the most lucrative marketing channels for ICOs and although there is still banner advertising available on crypto sites and networks, it will be interesting to see if the Google ban on ICO advertising.
Whilst government regulations tighten, advertising restrictions increase and marketing channels narrow, there are already nearly 500 ICOs scheduled in for 2018 and despite the best efforts of some companies and even countries, 2018 promises to be a better and more yielding year than 2017 for ICOs and the cryptocurrency world.
Author: Jacob Maslow