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A 2019 Check-in with the 20 Most Funded ICOs Ever

It’s 2017/18 and the ICO world is blossoming. Crypto projects are popping up faster than molehills. The palpable excitement is buzzing as blockchain jargon fills the air. ICO funding as at an all-time high. Projects push the investment ceiling well over the hundred million mark and into the billions. Life looks sunny.

But as time has taken its toll on the crypto markets, what has become of these highly-funded projects? Have they weathered the storms or simply been swept away in the flood of scammy projects and sneaky CEOs.

Here’s our rundown of the top 20 most funded ICOs of all time, and what they’re doing now.

EOS – $4.2B

EOS is a super speedy and very cheap smart contract platform. EOS takes the top spot as the most funded blockchain project to date. During the ICO, tokens cost just $0.99. Hovering at $2.96 now, EOS tokens remain firmly in the top 10 cryptocurrencies. Despite this success, the project has none of its original funds remaining. Critics question what Block.One, EOS’s development company, has done with the funds. Aside from this, EOS has been soldiering on to meet its goals. The project recently completed the largest update on the system ever via a hard fork.

Telegram – $1.7B

Telegram’s private ICO did exceptionally well, coming in as the second most funded ICO. Despite the massive funding, the messaging app has yet to release a token. The slow progress has led to questions regarding the whereabouts of the ICO funds. While Telegram raised money to fund an integrated blockchain payment system, disparagers wonder if these funds have been used elsewhere in the company. That said, the beginning of September saw Telegram finally release the token’s code.

PetroDollar – $735M

Introduced by the Venezuelan government, PetroDollar is supposed to be pegged to the country’s oil and mineral reserves. PetroDollar was declared the national currency in 2018, replacing nation’s plummeting currency, the bolívar fuerte. This made Venezuela the first country to implement a cryptocurrency as its primary national tender. Simultaneously, the crypto may be designed to circumvent US regulations and ease the process of international funding. Despite a crazy leap in 24hr volumes and coin price in September 2017, PetroDollar has never really succeeded as a project. These days it is rarely used at all, with typical 24hr trading volumes sitting at around $200 or less.

TaTaTu – $575M

Intended to be a similar product to Netflix, the entertainment coin raised over half a billion at ICO. Despite this, the company claims not to be a crypto company, per se. Instead, TaTaTu claims to be an entertainment company with a small blockchain element. In this sense, TaTaTu has largely abandoned their TTU token. There is an overwhelming sense of disappointment amongst ICO investors who believed the token would function on a decentralized platform. This is especially disheartening following rumors of partnerships with Johnny Depp and funding from Lady Monika Bacardi.

The Dragon Coin – $420M

The Dragon Coin claims to leverage blockchain to pair simple payments with entertainment. Upon its launch, over half a million DRG were traded per day. A year and a half later, this figure has dropped by 90%, while token prices have plummeted FROM $2.22 to $0.10. There are suspicions that Dragon Coin is linked to organized crime. This theory seems credible considering the company’s market cap jumped from $0 to over $40 million overnight in August 2019.

HDAC Tech – $258M

HDAC Tech are creating a blockchain network that utilizes global IoT devices and focuses on machine-to-machine communication. HDAC Tech just announced its new blockchain development plan for 2020. This will see the launch of the TestNet in November 2019 and MainNet in Q1 2020. The project has had its setbacks, October 2018 was fraught with issues concerning investor compliance. This seems to be remedied now.

Filecoin – $257M

Filecoin describes itself as a blockchain-based storage solution and cryptocurrency. Having recently announced the launch of their TestNet in December 2019, Filecoin plan to have the MainNet running by 2020. Filcoin has made steady progress thanks to its notable backers, especially Sequoia Capital, Boost VC, and Union Square Ventures. Their native coin, FIL, has plateaued between $3 and $5 for the last 6 months, but their new announcement is likely to see movement on this.

Tezos – $232M

Funded by significant investor, Polychain Capital, Tezos is a smart contracts platform for decentralized apps. Tezos has had issues along the way with lawsuits and in-house power struggles. Regardless of this, the company is progressing steadily. A new partnership with Securitize will see Tezos digitizing securities for major banks such as Santander. In other news, Binance has recently listed the coin, expanding its adoption. Despite the coin’s ups and downs, 24-hour trading volumes are still over 10 million USD.

Paragon – $183M

Paragon works to track agriculture and healthcare inventory in the cannabis industry. Creating an integrated blockchain-based software, Paragon focuses on supply chain integrity. Unfortunately, the firm has been in trouble with the US SEC for issuing tokens deemed as securities. Settlements have now been reached but this has led Paragon into a period of rescission. Claimants can receive refunds on their tokens until November 2019.

SIRIN LABS – $157.9M

SIRIN LABS announced it had developed its first blockchain smartphone back in November 2018.  However, the company was hit hard by the crypto crash. This resulted in SIRIN LABS having to lay off 25% of its staff in April 2019. Now attempting to bounce back, the company claims to have developed the world’s most secure blockchain operating system for smart devices, Sirin OS. This will run as the operating system on their Finney smartphones. For ICO investors, however, the news isn’t so bright. The token value has plummeted considerably from $3.45 at its highs in Jan 18, to practically zero now.

Bancor – $153M

Bancor Network has developed a protocol for crypto users to convert tokens, without going through an exchange. While Bancor has had its successes, the value of BNT has dropped — especially since banning US users due to regulatory problems. There have also been questions about the strength of the company’s technical integrity, due to possible flaws in their market-maker approach.

Status – $153M

Status is a blockchain-based web3 browser, messaging app, and crypto wallet. The market downturn in late 2018 saw Status lay off a quarter of their staff, with their coin’s value dropping to zero. Nowadays, the company is extremely active on Reddit and Github. Their team is pushing the project along quickly as a mobile client for Ethereum smartphones. In spite of their setbacks, it seems that Status is likely to flourish with the introduction of blockchain smartphones.

Liquid – $105M

Liquid is an advanced crypto trading platform for mobile devices. The Japanese unicorn has made smart partnerships to expand globally, including their joint venture with Virtual Currency Partners in May 2018. While the native token, QASH, has dropped in value, 24-hour trading volumes still stand at over 250,000 USD. The future looks rosy for Liquid thanks to an exclusive deal with Telegram to host the public phase of Telegram’s ICO. There have been concerns about the convenience of this deal. The crypto community is whispering about a conspiracy — which Liquid CEO, Mike Kayamori, firmly denies.

Aragon – $73M

Aragon is a blockchain software to enable the creation of decentralized organizations. Sadly, the ANT token has gone from highs of $6 to nothing. During their ICO in 2017, the promising company managed to sell $25 million ANT tokens in under 15 minutes. Despite the champagne-worthy beginnings, the project seems quiet. While it’s still trundling along, it doesn’t seem to be at the forefront of anything monumental.

Bankex – $70.6M

FinTech company, Bankex, is tokenizing real-world assets by building the infrastructure for a decentralized global market. Despite the plummeting token value, the company and its team have won a series of awards since their inception — including the Frontier Award in 2018. Bankex has just launched MainWallet. This is their decentralized finance infrastructure platform for the Telegram AppStore. This bodes well for the future of Bankex.

TRON Network – $70M

One of the top-performing blockchain projects, TRON Network has done fabulously since its ICO. TRON is delivering on promises to investors and is now one of the largest blockchain-based operating systems in the world. TRON’s founder, Justin Sun, is considered something of a wunderkind in the crypto space. Consistently in the top 5 performing cryptocurrencies, TRON recently announced their plans for a new POS mechanism.

DomRaider – $65.9M

Despite their promising ICO start, DomRaider’s native token, DRT has never taken off. Since the close of the ICO, the coin’s value has simply fallen away to nothing. The French tech company raised ICO funds to develop Auctionicity, a blockchain auction house. While up and running, the project hasn’t blown up like expected.

World Asset eXchange – $64M

WAX is developing a full suite of blockchain tools for users to safely and easily trade, buy and sell digital and physical assets worldwide. This is based on their exchange protocol. Up until now, the native token’s value has collapsed. However, the company recently launched one of the world’s most popular real-time economic strategy games on its platform. The game, The Prospectors, is one of the largest dApps and will now be on the WAX blockchain – a big win for the company.

Gnosis – $63M

Focusing on the redistribution of resources, Gnosis is building blockchain platforms to help exchange things more easily. This includes both physical, digital, and conceptual property, from ideas to assets. The company has developed prediction market platforms, a Dutch auction protocol, and a secure multi-signature wallet. Having completed their ICO in just 15 minutes, Gnosis was the fastest ever ICO. It is still worth more than $15m, with tokens trading at around $14 currently. They have been relatively quiet over the past 6 months, however.

Nebulas – $60M

Nebulas is creating a self-evolving blockchain system that works both as a search engine for blockchains and a place to develop dApps. Last year the development company, Nebulas Labs, teamed with the xGoogler Blockchain Alliance to form Atlas Protocol. The new start-up received several million dollars in funding, led by SB China Venture Capital. While the Nebulas project itself seems to have slowed down, Atlas Protocol aims to “construct a new paradigm of interactive marketing”. The Nebulas project is currently in the process of letting token investors vote on burning reserve tokens. This could affect the token value considerably.