A democratic means of raising funds and creating a diverse, engaged community was the way crowdsales were showcased in the initial years. In 2018, with the onset of ICO’s, the previous landscape of crowdsales and crowdfunding changed. Private investors still got first dibs on the best crowdsales making the public sale almost an afterthought. The crowd is left with slim pickings since almost all the action is left to pre- and private stage.
Private investors comprised up to $1.63 billion – or 84% of the $1.97 billion invested in ICO’s. The Telegram private sale, a highly exclusive sale in which only the biggest of the big shots are invited raised around $850 million. $600 million was raised as a pre-sale by Telegram but the token allocation has been raised to almost 2x of private investors. The rich get richer by the implementation of these projects but users who belong to the platform do not get the required stake in the project.
28 ICO’s out of the 94 now have tokens available for trading on exchanges. At a mere 2.17x rests the average ROI for tokens purchased via ICO and sold on an exchange and the return on ETH is just 0.75x. Since the start of the year, it would have been more profitable in many cases to hold onto ether rather than swapping them for tokens. For the crop of 2018 to come good, it’s still early days of course, and there’s plenty of time.
The public sale participants do not turn as much profit as their private counterparts due to the generous discounts applied during pre-sales. The role of the public sale has been relegated to a footnote because of the pre-sale tokens often ending up on decentralized exchanges immediately. The ones with the necessary connections to capital and profit often make the most profit from crowdsales rather than the perception that crowdsales are more popular than ever.