The Truth About Crypto ICOs

Dear Rundown Reader,

Recent headlines have painted a bleak picture for initial coin offerings (ICOs).

A sample: Nearly Half of 2017’s Cryptocurrency ‘ICO’ Projects Have Already Died.

And: Almost Half Of 2017’s ICOs Wiped; Plenty More Failures To Come.

Truth is, there’s a lot more to this story. Today we examine the what and why, and what the data shows for the ICO space and you.

Your Rundown for Wednesday, March 7, 2018…

More ICOs Should Fail Even Faster

46% of all ICOs launched in 2017 have failed. That’s ICOs that have fallen to a value of zero.

The investment capital gone, never to be seen again. By ICO buyers, at least.

According to a Fortune report, if you add the 113 projects called “semi-failed”, the rate increases to 59%. “Semi-failed” is when the money’s almost entirely disappeared.

Far from a ringing endorsement for the space. Or is it?

If we look at the bigger picture for IPO history and today’s ICO craze, the numbers become a lot less staggering.

And could even point to some positives for the space.

Remember the dot-com boom?

Ordinary people became multi-millionaires in a flash. “Get in on the right IPO,” they said. “And you too can make a fast fortune.”

But in one of the most prosperous economic time periods in our nation’s history, most IPOs bit the big one quickly. is the prime example, but there were tons of other startups that showed promise only to fizzle and die.

When’s the last time you Asked Jeeves? Remember Webvan, the online grocery delivery service?

Their model sounds like Amazon and Walmart’s recent plans for growth.

What about This health information website raised $88.5 million from its IPO in 1999, as reported by CNBC.

By 2001, the company liquidated. Yet, today we have WebMd and people love it.

According to a Fast Company report, roughly 75% of all startups backed by traditional funding fail. Even worse the report notes, “30-40% of those take all of investors’ capital with them.”

Here’s the point. When you start lots of new things, many of them fail. From that failure comes new leaders and even bigger piles of wealth.

Contrarians will note the fact that the failed ICO projects raised and lost $233 million, as reported by

That’s a lot of money, certainly.

But as an report notes, this $233 million only amounts to 3.9% of the $5.6 billion raised in ICO funding last year.

A drop in the bucket.

Hawthorne once wrote, “Families are always rising and falling in America.”

Well so too are IPOs, venture funded startups and ICOs.

Only the best will survive and grow. And that’s where the real money will flow.

Now, turning to the markets this morning…

Market Rundown for Wed., March 7

S&P 500 futures are off 25.75 this morning at 2,698.

Oil’s down $0.57 at $62.07.

Gold’s off $2.20 at $1,333.

Bitcoin goes for $10,636 this morning, according to CoinDesk.

A1 headline in today’s Wall Street Journal announces Gary Cohn will resign from his role as White House economic adviser.

The White House has more employee churn than your neighborhood Subway franchise.

Is the chaos a feature or a bug?

We’ll talk again on Friday.

For the Rundown,

Aaron Gentzler

Aaron Gentzler

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Aaron Gentzler

Aaron Gentzler is the publisher of Seven Figure Publishing. He is also the editor of The Rundown and has been with Agora Financial / Seven Figure Publishing since 2005. He's been covering technology and markets for over a decade.

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