The last eighteen months have seen a boom in ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings). Although still only representing 2 percent raised through IPOs (Initial Public Offerings), over $5.6 billion was raised in 2017. Only 48 percent of the ICOs were deemed a success, i.e. making it past the initial launch stage, raising the funds it set out to raise. Despite a Bitcoin (BTC) crash at the end of last year, the number of ICOs being launched started to gradually increase. Hundreds of millions of dollars were wiped off the value of the cryptosphere which led to many believing the bubble had burst.
In January, social media giant announced a complete ban on advertising for all ICOs and crypto products. The ban was a devastating blow as a good social media marketing consultant could help an ICO project return a strong ROI (return on investment). Marketing channels were squeezed further when other social media platforms; Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), and LinkedIn, implemented their own crypto bans. The ad bans spread further. MailChimp, the largest email service provider banned all crypto advertising. However, it was the banning of crypto (and binary options) advertising from ad platform king – Google Alphabet Inc Class A (NASDAQ: GOOGL) that made ICO marketing strategies needing a revisit. Approximately 60-80 percent of all ICO marketing budgets were believed to be spent on Facebook and Google advertising.
ICOs Overcomes Ad Setbacks
As the ways in which to promote an ICO became more restricted, rumbling away in the background was the threat of regulation. A series of failed and scam ICOs prompted the SEC into action. The debate over whether or not cyrptocurrencies are assets like gold, or indeed, an actual currency continues to trundle on. Meanwhile, there are more ICOs than ever before. In the first quarter of 2018, already $6.3 billion had been raised through ICOs. The 118 percent increase from all of 2017’s total showed the public’s appetite for ICOs was still strong. Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptos rose, clawing back some of December’s losses.
So, despite the squeezing of marketing channels, increased volatility and the threat of regulation, the ICO calendar is getting fuller by the month. The advancement of blockchain and crypto usage means ICOs are here to stay.