Trading 101 - CoinDesk

Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)

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Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) History
Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are a means of fundraising for the initial capital needed to get new projects off the ground within the cryptocurrency ecosystem. More often than not, Bitcoin and Ethereum, are used to buy a quantity of project tokens. However, new projects are also being launched on alternative Blockchain platforms such as NEO or WANchain, wherein the “parent” chain’s tokens will be used to fund these ICOs. Pre-launch, ICO tokens are endorsed as functional currency in the project ecosystem. After a project’s ICO, it is available on exchanges, and then the market determines the value of those tokens. The main benefit of using the ICO funding system is that it avoids the prohibitive amount of time and expense incurred by launching a startup in the conventional method, by way of Initial Public Offering (IPO). The lengthy and costly process of ensuring regulatory compliance in different jurisdictions often makes the IPO format unfeasible for small companies. Thus, the ICO method of fundraising is far more attractive as a means of crowd funding for the project. But at the same time, an ICO is certainly riskier for the investor.
It is important to note the different stages of the token sale. Token prices generally escalate the closer the token gets to its listing date. Projects often seek funding from angel investors even before the date of the private pre-sale is set, though some ICOs do go straight to pre-sale. After potential initial investment has been sought from angel investors, pre-sale begins. Usually there will be a 15–30% discount from the public sale price. The main-sale begins after the pre-sale has concluded. At that time, normal everyday crypto enthusiasts, with no connections to the team, may buy into the project at pretty close to the ground floor price. Angel investors and pre-sale investors sometimes receive quite large discounts from main sale prices, but their tokens are locked up for varying amounts of time, to prevent dumping, or selling all their tokens for a quick profit at the time of listing. Today the vast majority of ICOs make use of the Ethereum blockchain and the ERC-20 token. The very first token sale was arranged by Mastercoin, a Bitcoin fork, in July 2013. Ethereum soon followed in early 2014, raising 3700 BTC in only 12 hours (equivalent to $2.3 million at that time, and just under $35 million today). Before late 2015 there were sporadic ICOs, with Augur, NXT and Factom all successfully raising funds. 2016 was the year that the ICO format grew to truly disrupt the Venture Capital industry. There were 64 ICOs in 2016 which cumulatively raised $103 million USD.
Tremendous Success & Why Real World Case Study
The ICON (ICX) Initial coin offering is an example of a project that reaped the rewards of a token sale done with precision of execution and clarity of vision. The project promised to build a world-wide decentralized network that would allow Blockchains of different governances to transact with one another without a centralized authority, and with as few barriers as possible. ICX offered fair and clear tokenomics, with 1 Ether buying 2500 ICX, and with 1 ETH costing approximately 250 dollars when the ICO began on September 18th. 50% of the total amount of tokens were put up for public sale, 400,230,000 out of a total of 800,460,000, equating to a fundraising goal of 150,000 Ether. One of the core reasons for the project’s spectacular success was the incredibly distinguished background of those involved, and the foundation the project had in many years of stellar achievement. ICON was originally a project developed by “The Loop”, a joint venture between DAYLI financial group and three Korean Universities. They lead the Korea Financial Investment Blockchain Consortium, one of the largest organizations of its kind in the world, boasting members including Samsung Securities. The Loop had already implemented Blockchain solutions for high profile clients well before ICX was born, including completing a KYC/AML authentication smart contract platform for Korea Financial Investment Consortium.
Real World Example of Failure & Why Case Study
The risk involved in starting your own company is huge. Over 75% of startups eventually fail, according to the Harvard Business School study by Shikhar Ghosh. The study’s findings show the rate of failure for new companies is roughly 50% after 5 years, and over 75% after 10. Shikhar Ghosh identifies the following issues as the most common factors in start-up failure: -Insufficient Market Demand -Insolvency -Wrong Team -Got beat by competition -Pricing/Cost issues -Poor Product -Need for or Lack of business model -Ineffective Marketing -Disregarding Customer desires The statistics concerning rate of failure for conventional business startups pale in comparison to the number of crypto startups that fail according to Tokendata. They are one of the most rigorous ICO trackers, recording 46% of the 902 ICO crowdsale projects initiated in 2017 as failing by the time of writing. Of these 46%, 142 collapsed before the end of the funding stage, and a further 276 had either “exit scammed” (took the money and ran) or slowly faded into eventual obscurity. With no shortage of failed and abortive projects to look into, we thought it would be more helpful to look into an ICO that was mismanaged and unsuccessful in terms of its execution, rather than being fraudulent, or terminally mismanaged.
Real World Example of Failure & Why §3
Tezos was designed as a “new decentralized Blockchain that governs itself by establishing a true digital commonwealth”. The project was a partnership between the husband and wife team of Kathleen and Arthur Breitman, and a Swiss foundation run by Johann Gevers. They had a novel idea of “formal verification”, a technique that mathematically proves the veracity of code governing transactions and heightens security of smart contracts. That idea was wholeheartedly endorsed by investors, resulting in $232 million USD raised in the 2017 crowdsale. Trouble arose after the Breitmans asked the head of the Swiss foundation they were in partnership with to step down. In Gever’s words, the Breitman’s were attempting “to bypass Swiss legal structure and take over control of the foundation”. The resulting 6 class action lawsuits that were spawned from the wreckage of one of the most successful ICOs of all time have yet to be fully resolved at the time of writing, though Gevers has stepped down and a new leadership team is in place. The Tezos Network has a prospective launch date of somewhere around Q3 2018. The debacle, though not terminal to the prospects of the Tezos network, provides a cautionary tale about the need for a clearly defined leadership structure and plan for the allocation of funds after an ICO. It is entirely possible that the Tezos project could have ridden the late 2017 market euphoria to sit near the top of the cryptocurrency hierarchy if boardroom strife could have been avoided.
Real World Example of Failure & Why §4
Projects often also “pivot” from one focus or project to another. More often than not, teams change the project name entirely, even while retaining the same core team, to try for a successful venture one more time. One such project is Chain Trade Token (CTT) which, while technically speaking, not yet a “deadcoin”, shows all the signs of shutting down operations within a few months, and “pivoting” into a new project. The CTT project aimed to be the “first blockchain-based platform for the trading of futures and options on food and raw materials (aka commodity derivatives)”. But through a combination of a non-existent social media presence, and a distinct lack of urgency in securing listings beyond decentralized exchanges, the lofty ambitions of the top-level team were left unrealized. The team has supposedly split their operations from solely Chain Trade, to a former business endeavors, and the Nebula Decentralized Exchange. The project leaders then offered a 1-for-1 token swap which has been accepted by the vast majority of CTT holders.
The ICO Process
Before even researching the particular strengths and weaknesses of any specific project in which you may want to invest, it is important to know the overall processes of the ICO crowdfunding method. This will allow you to avoid any potential pitfalls if you do decide to move forward and invest money into a particular idea or project. How does an ICO happen? Stage One: Token sale details are set: This takes place usually after release of the whitepaper, and the presentation of a project to prospective investors in forums and on social media. Stage Two: Whitelisting for private sale begins: The vast majority of all ICOs have instituted KYC checks for investors which usually involve uploading a photograph of your passport or driving license along with a selfie holding the ID. Did you know? Participation in ICOs has proven to be a regulatory nightmare in some localities. Most token sales restrict contributions from investors in China and the USA entirely, though accredited investors may participate in the USA in some cases.
Stage Three: Private/Pre-sale states: Typically, 10% of tokens will be offered to early investors at a 10–30% discount. These select few investors will likely have a close association with the team. But not all projects have a pre-sale round, some go straight to public sale. Stage Four: Whitelisting for Public/Main sale starts: The same format used for pre-sale investors is used for public sale investors, though it is a regular occurrence to see main sale KYC checks closed early due to overwhelming demand. An investor must then register a contribution wallet address. That is the address used to send cryptocurrency from, to buy the ICO tokens, and then also into which you will receive your purchased tokens. This wallet address must be a non-exchange wallet, like Blockchain.info bitcoin wallet, or MyEtherWallet for ERC-20. You already understand from the prior lesson that making a mistake with your wallet address may mean you lose the tokens forever as well as the BTC or ETH you used to purchase them. Copying and pasting your cryptocurrency public key into the whitelist wallet form is the next task to complete. And then, as the investor, you wait for confirmation of successful ICO registration from the team.
Stage Five: Public sale starts: Commonly on a specific date, though sometimes for a specific period of time. If you are interested in participating in an ICO, it is important to make your contribution as quickly as possible, or you risk sending your ETH or BTC after the hard cap has been reached, resulting in your funds being sent back. This refund can sometimes take many days, or even weeks in times of high market activity. Did you know? In 2017 it was not unheard of to find ICOs that had originally scheduled their ICO period for many weeks, but then they met with such high demand that they could close their crowdsale in a matter of hours or even in just a few minutes!
Stage Six: Tokens are allocated to successful participant investor wallets, and trading can begin on some decentralized exchanges like IDEX, or EtherDelta in the case of Ethereum based tokens. Tokens will be sent to and received by the wallet addresses from which the investor contributions were made. Stage Seven: Tokens are listed on mainstream exchanges: The tokens will then be listed on the exchanges with which the teams have negotiated listing, prior to or during the sale. It can cost huge amounts of money to list on large exchanges like Bitfinex Bittrex, Huobi or Binance, so usually smaller projects will not be listed on top 10 exchanges so quickly. As tokens are listed on more and more exchanges, their price usually rises because more and more investors are exposed to opportunities to buy that particular token.
Evaluating a Blockchain Use Case
Evaluating a particular use case for Blockchain technology, and thus how successful an ICO project’s ambitions might be in a particular market, is not a simple endeavor. As demonstrated in the graphic below, Blockchain technology has nearly limitless potential to be applied to a great variety of business areas, but as an ICO investor, you are looking for projects that have the potential to deliver significant long-term success. In the currently saturated ICO environment, some use cases have more potential than others. Ascertaining which use case is likely to have long term success is a key distinction. Also, we must recognize that businesses and corporate entities may be overeager to experiment with this new Blockchain technology, whether or not usage of the technology is actually advisable or profitable for their particular purpose. The main questions to ask when analyzing specific solutions proposed by the project are: What are the problems posed and the solutions offered? Does this particular area of business need a Blockchain solution? That is, is a Blockchain solution in fact superior to the current way this particular business operates? Is the use of Blockchain in this specific instance feasible and applicable? What are competitors doing about Blockchain projects in this same area?
A Blockchain network provides a shared, replicated, secured, immutable and verifiable data ledger. The implication for use case analysis: Shared and replicated: participants have a copy of the ledger and many people can view it or work on it Secured: Secured through cryptography Verifiable: Business rules are associated with all interactions that occur on the network Immutable: Transactions (records) cannot be modified or deleted, therefore a verifiable audit trail is maintained by the network So, with all this considered, what should we look for with regard to a possible business use case that would be best solved using Blockchain technology? 1. Data exchange that has trust issues i.e. businesses transacting with one another. Trust must be established through a multitude of verification processes with regards to employees and products. These processes increase operational cost. Example: Digital voting. 2. Any potential business process involving data storage, or compliance and risk data that get audited. Blockchain solutions would provide the regulators a real-time view of information. Example: Supply chain solutions like VeChain or WaltonChain. The possibility of close to zero operational loss would of course be attractive to any business. 3. All kinds of asset transactions. A Blockchain network, with its tamper-proof ledger, validating traceable and trackable transactions, could save many different industries untold amounts of money. Example: Tokenization of assets e.g. Jibrel Network or Polymath
Purpose of Tokens
Within the cryptocurrency ecosystem, the definition and role of a token iswidely understood. They represent programmable units of currency that sit atop a particular Blockchain, and they are part of a smart contract “logic” specific to a certain application. In the business sphere, a token can be defined as a unit of value that a project or business venture creates to enable it to self-govern. And the business venture also allows token users to connect and collaborate with its business products, while facilitating the sharing of rewards to all of its stakeholders. A token can also be described in a more general sense as a type of privately issued currency. In the past it was solely within the purview of governments to issue currency and set the terms of its governance. With the advent of Blockchain technology we now have businesses and organizations offering forms of digital money over which they, not the government or central bank, have control of the terms of operations and issuance. Wide scale adoption of these mechanisms could fundamentally alter the global economy. This is like the creation of self-sustaining, mini-economies in any sector of business or life, via a specific token or currency.
Fun Fact: Tokens of the particular Blockchain upon which the project is launched will usually have to be bought in order to be exchanged for ICO tokens, hence it is important for traders and investors to be aware of the schedule for upcoming ICOs. ETH is usually the token used for exchange because the majority of ICOs launch on the Ethereum Blockchain. But this is not always the case. During January 2018, two NEO token ICOs, both the Key TKY and Ontology ICOs, were being carried out, and this caused the NEO cryptocurrency to spike to its all-time high in excess of $160 USD. Since the product or project is more often than not in its embryonic stage at the time of the ICO crowdfunding process, the ICO token’s true function and purpose is in most cases yet to be realized. At the ICO stage the tokens can usually be grouped together into one of three categories. Knowing how to distinguish these categories involves determining the specific nature and function of the token around which the project is centered. The main and crucial distinction, is whether or not a token is a security, and therefore subject to securities registration requirements.
ICO Stage Token Categories
Howey Test: This is the test created by the US Supreme Court to ascertain whether certain transactions qualify as “investment contracts”. If they are found to fall within this classification, then under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Exchange Act of 1934, those transactions are considered “securities” and participants must adhere to registration and disclosure requirements. One of the most important and amazing considerations of the effect of Blockchain technology is that normal people with a computer science background are now empowered to make decisions and offer products and services that previously only licensed financial institutions were able to do. This is a very complex and complicated situation with serious ramifications for anyone involved. One thing to note well is that ordinary participants and actors in this arena can easily commit white-collar crime, violating serious securities laws, without even realizing it. If a token falls within the US legal definition of “Investment Contract” then you must adhere to US regulations. For that reason, many ICOs simply do not want to sell to US based investors, perhaps until all the rules and regulations are clarified.
Security Tokens
The broad and varying definition of the term “security” is a regulatory minefield. This has always been true for traditional financial products, and now it is especially true for the as yet unregulated cryptocurrency market. In the case of SEC V. Howey, parameters were established to determine whether or not a particular financial arrangement could be classified as a security and thus be subject to securities regulations. Cooley LLP Fintech Team Leader Marco Santori has said, an arrangement is a security if it involves “an investment of money, and a common enterprise, with the expectation of profit, primarily from the efforts of others.” Investors have the option of accessing a huge range of security tokens through ICOs. Prime examples are the gold backed DigixDao (DGD) and CProp (still in crowd funding stage). A security token is fundamentally different from the currently available ICO project tokens in that it provides a legal and enforceable ownership of a company’s profits and voice in its governance much like common stock traded on any exchange. If security tokens are the next step in the evolution of crypto-finance, real estate, stocks, venture capital, and commodities can all be tokenized. The traditional markets could be fully connected to the Blockchain. Financial assets would available to anyone in the world, not just licensed or accredited investors. That is one aspect of Fintech, the financial revolution taking place today, as Blockchain technology clashes with traditional finance.
Equity Tokens
One exciting application of smart contracts on the Ethereum Network is the potential for startups to distribute equity tokens through initial coin offerings. That would reduce the hurdles that an average person has to face in order to take part in the early stages of a company’s development. And, democratic governance of a project could be conducted in a transparent manner through voting on the Blockchain. As of yet, few startups have attempted to conduct equity token sales for fear of falling afoul of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the US. But many Venture Capital insiders are bullish on the prospect of equity tokens taking a central role in the crypto finance industry, when and as the legal issues are resolved. For example, the Delaware State legislature recently passed a bill enabling companies to maintain shareholder lists on the Blockchain. That is one major step to enable Blockchain based stock trading. Lawyers also generally believe it is only a matter of time before the regulations are clarified. Did you know? Important consideration: The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 made it unfeasibly expensive for smaller companies to be listed on exchanges, causing a halving in the number of IPOs between 1996 and 2016 (7322 to 3671). In 2017 there was an almost 5-fold increase in the number of ICOs, from 43 to 210, with the 2017 volume already being eclipsed in the first 5 months of 2018.
Utility Tokens
However, given that this area is still a regulatory nightmare for people planning to issue security and equity tokens, many projects attempt to ensure that the tokens within their specific model fall under the definition of Utility Tokens rather than securities, so as to avoid the SEC regulations altogether. If a token is imbued with a certain functionality and use within the Blockchain infrastructure of that particular project, the token can avoid being labelled as a security, and thus render SEC regulations inapplicable. Just this week in fact, the SEC made the long-awaited and momentous decision that Ether was not a security. In the words of William Hinman, director of the Securities and Exchange Commission division of corporate finance, “Putting aside the fundraising that accompanied the creation of Ether, based on my understanding of the present state of Ether, the Ethereum network and its decentralized structure, current offers and sales of Ether are not securities transactions.” This means that Ethereum, in fact, fails the Howey test, which is exactly the decision the crypto world wanted. Hinman said, “When the efforts of the third party are no longer a key factor for determining the enterprise’s success, material information asymmetries recede,” Hinman said. “The ability to identify an issuer or promoter to make the requisite disclosures becomes difficult, and less meaningful.” We will now cover various use cases that projects have been adopting up to now in order to get their tokens classified as utility tokens rather than securities.
Voting Rights
Some coins portray themselves as a company with tokens being held in a way that is analogous to voting shares of a stock. One coin held is equal to one vote. This form of token utility has a major flaw in that so-called whales (people with huge amounts of a particular cryptocurrency) can manipulate any poll conducted. The cryptocurrencies Aragon and Lykke are examples of projects that have written voting rights into the structure of their code. In-App Reward: Another common tactic to evade the security label has been the addition of in-app rewards to the functionality of a particular token. The Basic Attention Token (BAT) is the unit of currency for use with the project browser named “Brave”. The BAT is a unit of account for the advertisers, publishers and users of the platform. Filecoin, the cloud storage project that raised a record $257 million through their ICO, pays other people or companies for use of their spare storage space. Some of the many rights afforded to token holders in various Blockchain projects are described by the graphic below.
Token Roles Function
The token can be used as a mechanism through which user experience is enhanced, enabling such actions as connection with users, or joining a broader network. It may also be used as an incentive for beginning usage or for on-boarding. Examples include Dfinity and Steemit. Value Exchange: In its most basic usage, a token is a unit of value exchange within a specific app or market. This usually is made up of features that allow users to earn tokens through real work or passive work (sharing data, allowing use of storage space) and to spend them on services or internal functions within the specific market ecosystem created by that organization. Augur and KIK, amongst countless others, are projects that have implemented this functionality into their tokenomics. Toll: The token can also be used for getting onto the Blockchain infrastructure, or for powering decentralized applications run on that particular Blockchain. This ensures that users have “skin in the game”. Tolls can be derived from running smart contracts, paying a security deposit, or just usage fees. Examples include Bitcoin and Ethereum. Currency: Seeing as the particular platform or app is designed with a view towards functioning in synergy with a particular token, the token is an extremely efficient means of payment and transaction engine, resulting in frictionless transactions. This means that companies can become their own payment processors and no longer have to rely on the often unwieldy stages of conventional financial settlement involving trusted third parties in the form of banks and credit card companies.
Rights: Owning a token bequests certain rights upon the holder, such as product usage, voting, access to restricted markets, and dividends (e.g.: GAS for holding NEO). Though most businesses are trying to avoid fitting the definition of a security laid out in the Howey Test, the right to real ownership of a particular asset is sometimes granted as a result of holding a token, for example DigixDAO or Tezos.
Comparison to Traditional IPO and Equity Capital Raisings
Despite the similarity of the acronyms and the derivation of one from the other, Initial Coin Offerings and Initial Public Offerings are very different methods of fundraising. The distinction is not limited simply to the fact that IPOs are used in conventional business, and ICOs are associated with cryptocurrency. Through ICO’s, companies in their early stages issue digital tokens on a Blockchain and those tokens act as units of value for use within the ecosystem created by the project. They have many other uses, but it is also fair to say they are analogous to shares offered in an Initial Public offering.
In an IPO, shareholdings are distributed to investors through underwriters, usually investment banks. But in the case of ICO token sales, companies often do not even have an actual product to show. Often, all that there is a whitepaper, evidence of the partnerships involved and the particular social-media infrastructure they have established. IPO’s take place when a more well-established company floats shares on a stock exchange. The company would have a well-established history of success and significant reasons to expect a bright future. In the vast majority of cases, an ICO is used for a new company with no such history, just trying to get off the ground.
Another important difference is the expected return in exchange for the investment. Companies engaging in IPOs may offer participants dividend paying stocks which result in various levels of return depending on the success of the company after the shares are issued. An ICO however can offer no such guaranteed return. When buying tokens in an ICO, you do so with no promise of return. An investor who holds the tokens of a particular project does so with the promise, rather than an assurance, of future success. The main benefit to investors taking part in Initial Coin Offerings, compared to Initial Public Offerings, is the need for only basic Know Your Customer checks in the case of the ICO, compared to the costly, complex and time-consuming regulatory obstacles that must be traversed in an IPO. In the case of Initial Public Offerings, a business must obtain authorization from a number of entities before the act of “going public”. Prior to an IPO, companies are not obliged to disclose so much of their internal records or accounting. It is not so complicated to make a private company in the United States. But in the run up to going public, the company must form a board of directors, make their records auditable to the relevant authorities in one or more jurisdictions, and prepare to make quarterly reports to the SEC (or equivalent).
Relevant Factors to Consider in ICO process
When analyzing the chances of success for a specific project, and the likelihood of a favorable return on investment in the long term, it is essential to break down the project into its constituent parts, and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each part individually. An effective investigation and analysis would start with the team and white paper. Consider the stage the project is at,and VC investments in the project. That would lead to a good initial idea of the actual progress thus far. Next, evaluate the social media presence and the credentials of the community that has formed around the core team. If a compelling case is made by the team, (e.g.: via an in-depth dive into the use case), and the tokenomics, distribution schedule, potential competitors, as well as the team’s awareness of any future business or regulatory concerns all check out; then the ICO might present a good opportunity for investment. In the following slides we tackle each of these considerations in order so you will be able to evaluate an ICO’s worth and assign a grade for the success of each project.
Relevant Factors to Consider in ICO process
The Team First and most important, we need evaluate the background and experience of the team, the people involved in the project. Well-established developers, for example, will likely have LinkedIn profiles demonstrating their previous endeavors and occupations, from which we can judge their suitability to the project and the likelihood of the team’s success. The LinkedIn profile is a point of reference for professional accomplishments and official positions. But we can also learn more about a person from their personal accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and Medium etc. That is also a good way to follow along with the progress of the project. By investigating team members through as many means as possible, you will know how long they have been involved in cryptocurrency. If they have been around and active for a long time, they are that much more likely to be knowledgeable and capable of making better quality decisions in this business. It goes without saying that it is a huge red flag if it is too difficult to find information about the team members online, and worse still if the team members are anonymous.
Relevant Factors to Consider in ICO process
A good Whitepaper gives a detailed description of the project, the problems the team is going to solve, the timeframe projected, and methods to be used in the implementation of their ideas. If, in answering the question about what the project actually does, it seems the team is presenting ideas that are too complicated or advanced to understand, then you simply should not invest until you are satisfied you have been given the requisite level of insight to understand the concepts described. It is always possible that the whitepaper is nothing more than a salad of buzzwords and technical language intended to give the impression of competence while really doing nothing but obfuscate the truth. The whitepaper should clearly and concisely present the problems and the solutions needed. The whitepaper must give a solid and coherent answer as to who needs this project and why. Also, if the team have put no effort into explaining why a Blockchain solution is needed for this particular problem, or why such a solution is superior to its “real-world” equivalent, it is likely they are only in it for the money. We have more to say about red-flags later.
While 2016 raised a comparatively small amount in comparison to the proceeding years, there were a few specific projects that raised significant amounts of capital. These are respectable amounts of money, even by today’s standards, and especially impressive when contrasted with the immaturity of the ICO market at the time, and relative to amounts raised in traditional IPOs. Waves ($16.4mill), Iconomi ($10.6mill) and Golem ($8.6mill) were the three largest fundraisings of the year. 2017 was the year of the ICO whales. Hdac ($258mill), Filecoin ($257mill), EOS Stage 1 ($185mill) and Paragon ($183.16mill) were the largest that year. To be able to raise so much money, so quickly, in such a new market, using such a new mechanism is truly incredible. 2017 was the year that proved ICOs are for serious individuals and institutional investors as well. We have also had some phenomenal amounts raised so far in 2018. Telegram ($1.7bill), Dragon ($320mill), Huobi ($300mill) and Bankera ($150mill). Telegram might be the first mainstream example of an ICO, not only by raising close to $2billion, which would be beyond incredible and impressive even by traditional IPO standards; but also, because it is one of the first ICO companies to tangibly put a product in the hands of hundreds of millions of users, and successfully compete against traditional companies such as Facebook (MessengeWhatsApp), Microsoft (Skype) and Tencent (WeChat).
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    2. Street art piece in Paris with a QR code for bitcoin donations (728 points, 63 comments)
    3. We did it ! Thanks to all the redditors, it came most from you guys 👏🙏🙏🙏 (703 points, 71 comments)
  15. 5118 points, 2 submissions: TipToeTiger
    1. Crypto Rider - A free game I made about racing on Bitcoin and other crypto's historical price graphs! (more info in comments) (5052 points, 309 comments)
    2. Thank You message to bitcoin from Crypto Rider team! (Message in comments) (66 points, 12 comments)
  16. 5021 points, 1 submission: UniqueUsername642
    1. This is Cryptocurrency (5021 points, 372 comments)
  17. 4820 points, 2 submissions: tinaclark90
    1. I've made some free Bitcoin Icons (4731 points, 246 comments)
    2. Very Soon in Vegas (89 points, 15 comments)
  18. 4558 points, 2 submissions: boobooyoudo
    1. Amazon filed a patent to de-anonymize Bitcoin transactions and sell the data to law enforcement (4501 points, 711 comments)
    2. Near Field Technology could help bring lightning Bitcoin payments to retail. (57 points, 7 comments)
  19. 4222 points, 1 submission: sparty_postgrad
    1. The answer on Jeopardy today! (4222 points, 174 comments)
  20. 4209 points, 2 submissions: installeris
    1. 17000000 Bitcoins Have Been Mined! 4 millions to go! Happy anniversary day! (3735 points, 271 comments)
    2. The Irony (474 points, 37 comments)
  21. 3850 points, 1 submission: SingularityNerd
    1. Hilarious satire protest outside Consensus, the website says Genesis Mining put it on. #bankersagainstbitcoin (3850 points, 183 comments)
  22. 3673 points, 1 submission: sebastianstan21
    1. Current scenario (3673 points, 130 comments)
  23. 3632 points, 1 submission: awice
    1. WOW, this just happened on Jeopardy! last night. (3632 points, 363 comments)
  24. 3630 points, 1 submission: -All-Day-
    1. Ayy lmao (3630 points, 60 comments)
  25. 3617 points, 1 submission: JJKirsch
    1. Fake or Fork (3617 points, 354 comments)
  26. 3435 points, 2 submissions: tedand
    1. CoinMarketCap should remove Bitcoin dot com website from Bitcoin's page (3135 points, 200 comments)
    2. Bitcoin.com is first result in Google for "buy Bitcoin", selling "Bitcoin Cash" instead (300 points, 168 comments)
  27. 3429 points, 1 submission: universaleric
    1. Sh..should we get the "it's over 9000" memes ready? (3429 points, 204 comments)
  28. 3404 points, 1 submission: eragmus
    1. Erik Voorhees: “Roger - please stop referencing me to back up your opinion that Bitcoin Cash is Bitcoin. It isn't. Bitcoin is the chain originating from the genesis block with the highest accumulated proof of work. The Bitcoin Cash fork failed to gain majority, thus it is not Bitcoin.” (3404 points, 402 comments)
  29. 3354 points, 7 submissions: ayanamirs
    1. Satoshi Nakamoto about bitcoin.com (2332 points, 327 comments)
    2. Roger Ver is a well-known scammer. (451 points, 129 comments)
    3. Coinbase has become an unreliable and even dangerous service, subject to arbitrary, non-transparent actions as it merged with the US banking sector and started to provide information on its customers to the US government. It has become everything that Bitcoin was designed to stop - @Wikileaks (313 points, 145 comments)
    4. Electrum 3.1.3 release! (96 points, 24 comments)
    5. I'm so glad bitcoin don't have a central man on the top. (71 points, 23 comments)
    6. Fees are low, use this opportunity to Consolidate your small inputs! (58 points, 7 comments)
    7. The segwit adoption doesn't increase anymore. We need to do something. (33 points, 33 comments)
  30. 2819 points, 4 submissions: Mikeross14
    1. Cracks me up everytime (2161 points, 70 comments)
    2. Baby Saver offers to buy this sub (270 points, 270 comments)
    3. Marvel referencing cryptocurrency in one of its latest comics! (261 points, 21 comments)
    4. You want to help Bitcoin but can't code? Do a simple thing then, call out all the scammers and call out everyone who supports these scammers. Make Crypto free from these scums. Simple. (127 points, 37 comments)
  31. 2795 points, 4 submissions: Fly115
    1. Bitcoin.com has fixed it's webpage after lawsuit (1642 points, 572 comments)
    2. Microsoft + Bitcoin Lightning Network. Decentralized Identity proof of concept to be shown off at Consensus 2018. Seems big (721 points, 104 comments)
    3. A major announcement at #consensus2018 that did not seem to get a lot of airtime @LedgerHQ announcing an institutional custody solution in partnership with @Nomura and @GABIjersey. Addresses a major issue for institutional investors (242 points, 16 comments)
    4. Segwit Adoption - Steady growth to 35% (190 points, 70 comments)
  32. 2590 points, 1 submission: dustincrypto
    1. Bitcoin going mainstream in Las Vegas (2590 points, 109 comments)
  33. 2567 points, 3 submissions: edlund10
    1. Nick Szabo retweeted: "⚠️ If you are new to #bitcoin then please be aware that bitcoin .com is a fraudulent website. ⚠️ This website is run by Roger Ver who is a known serial scammer. ⚠️ The current main scam is the promotion of #bcash which is a fake version of bitcoin." (1906 points, 302 comments)
    2. Exactly 5 years ago Wired wrote "The world’s most popular digital currency really is nothing more than an abstraction. So we’re destroying the private key used by our Bitcon wallet." The loss is currently worth $124,453.58 (568 points, 134 comments)
    3. Warren Buffet vs. Bitcoin, 5 years chart, logarithmic scale (93 points, 52 comments)
  34. 2556 points, 1 submission: SchnitzelBoss
    1. Coinmarket cap removed Bitcoin.com from Bitcoin's website list. (2556 points, 159 comments)
  35. 2549 points, 1 submission: bajanboost
    1. CEO of Binance actually gives a f***. This is the exact moment he was introduced to the Bermuda Shorts by the Bermuda Development Agency; A formal dress code in the country (2549 points, 125 comments)
  36. 2518 points, 2 submissions: Bitcoin_21
    1. WikiPedia's Bitcoin page removed the Bitcoin dot com explorer, because it misleads its users. (2083 points, 153 comments)
    2. Please report the bitcoin ,com wallet to the iOS app store for fraud. (435 points, 122 comments)
  37. 2403 points, 1 submission: TomasEddison
    1. Guy on CNBC says $100USD bill is used for far more illicit activity than bitcoin. (2403 points, 183 comments)
  38. 2316 points, 7 submissions: Suberg
    1. 600+ Bitcoin Users Seek Lawsuit Against Bitcoin.com & CEO Roger Ver for Fraud (1094 points, 298 comments)
    2. Bitcoin Lightning Network Matures With Record 2000 Nodes, $150K Capacity, 7000 active channels (500 points, 172 comments)
    3. Bitcoin.com Fraud Lawsuit Group Gaining Steam With Over 1000 Members (322 points, 184 comments)
    4. Tom Lee: Bitcoin Price Increase Coming After Consensus Conference (155 points, 46 comments)
    5. Russia's 'CIA' Memo Admits Telegram Was Blocked Because Crypto Is 'Uncontrollable' (151 points, 13 comments)
    6. Bitcoin Price Historically Surges With Consensus Conference, Data Shows (47 points, 26 comments)
    7. IMF's Lagarde: Bitcoin 'Could Have a Significant Impact on How We Save' (47 points, 11 comments)
  39. 2274 points, 9 submissions: TheGreatMuffin
    1. The CEO of Binance, a company with $200M yearly revenue, at a press conference (810 points, 103 comments)
    2. Goldman Sachs to Open a Bitcoin Trading Operation - NYTimes (498 points, 54 comments)
    3. Kraken's response to the NYAG enquiry (413 points, 117 comments)
    4. Jameson Lopp: "Today I've learned that a lot of data sources are incorrectly reporting the total bitcoin supply. We haven't actually hit 17M BTC yet; you can follow along in realtime at [link]" (141 points, 23 comments)
    5. Bitcoin was the 9th most viewed Wikipedia article in 2017, coming in just behind the entry for the United States. (h/t @lopp) (120 points, 18 comments)
    6. Samourai and goTenna Enable Bitcoin Transactions Without Internet Access (100 points, 16 comments)
    7. A German online bank uses Bitcoins to transfer loans (93 points, 35 comments)
    8. Huawei Is About to Give Chinese Users Easier Access to Bitcoin (62 points, 14 comments)
    9. Bitcoin Threat Model - extensive security review of possible threats to bitcoin as cryptocurrency (by JW Weatherman) (37 points, 11 comments)
  40. 2225 points, 1 submission: awesomedan77
    1. WARNING: HitBTC stole 5Btc deposit, even after I provided everything they asked for 2+ months! (2225 points, 486 comments)
  41. 2170 points, 1 submission: ronnnumber
    1. 45% of investors... (2170 points, 227 comments)
  42. 2041 points, 1 submission: YnotHaTony
    1. Truth about Bitcoin mining (2041 points, 136 comments)
  43. 2017 points, 9 submissions: Miladran
    1. Nasdaq is open to becoming cryptocurrency exchange, CEO says (966 points, 104 comments)
    2. BREAKING: Coinbase Just Bought One of Bitcoin's Biggest Startups (278 points, 103 comments)
    3. Bitcoin buy orders are >90% of the market for the first time since March 2017 (176 points, 28 comments)
    4. Telegram CEO Is Using Bitcoin to Help Bypass Russia's App Ban (173 points, 11 comments)
    5. Sell gold, buy bitcoin? The ultimate global safe haven debate has begun (128 points, 56 comments)
    6. Lambos are coming (117 points, 53 comments)
    7. Bitcoin gets boost from IMF head (71 points, 7 comments)
    8. Is PayPal driving people towards Bitcoin? (60 points, 83 comments)
    9. NASDAQ-Powered Cryptocurrency Exchange Platform to Launch in June (48 points, 9 comments)
  44. 1997 points, 1 submission: trainrekt23
    1. Found this today on the campus of my uni (1997 points, 225 comments)
  45. 1991 points, 1 submission: kynek99
    1. Here is the bitcoin.com owner who created Bitcoin Cash to scam people and show real Bitcoiners a middle finger. (1991 points, 408 comments)
  46. 1847 points, 1 submission: sha256art
    1. Fasten your seat belts (1847 points, 107 comments)
  47. 1822 points, 1 submission: 127fascination
    1. Australia Bans Cash For All Purchases Over $10,000 Starting July Of 2019 (1822 points, 531 comments)
  48. 1788 points, 5 submissions: coinmoon_com
    1. ‘Bitcoin’ was the 9th most read article on Wikipedia in 2017. Lets make it number 1 this year. Spread the word! (632 points, 35 comments)
    2. Bitcoin has worked non stop for 9 years. Without any days off, scheduled maintenance or severe issues. Let that sink in for a minute. (599 points, 226 comments)
    3. FORBES: Gold used to be money, and it was great money for its times. But Bitcoin's now the new flight capital. (286 points, 37 comments)
    4. 15 Claims Against Lightning, Answered (164 points, 12 comments)
    5. Bitcoin could replace cash in 10 years - Business Insider (107 points, 59 comments)
  49. 1694 points, 1 submission: BitMarKas
    1. New Ledger features! (1694 points, 42 comments)
  50. 1635 points, 6 submissions: _smudger_
    1. Today the 17th Million bitcoin will be mined (1070 points, 130 comments)
    2. Bitcoin to hit $50,000 by year-end, says BitMex CEO (158 points, 92 comments)
    3. Lightning + NFC? The New Plan to Bring Bitcoin to Retail (152 points, 45 comments)
    4. Vaultoro Becomes The First Exchange To Implement Bitcoin Lightning Network Payments (116 points, 6 comments)
    5. How to build your own portable plug-in Lightning node! (95 points, 5 comments)
    6. Bitcoin’s Recent Institutional Demand Is Unprecedented, Says Futures Market CEO (44 points, 6 comments)
  51. 1581 points, 1 submission: CoolStoryBroLol
    1. Bitcoin accepted at my dentist's office (1581 points, 210 comments)
  52. 1524 points, 1 submission: paintedfrog
    1. Found a helpful infographic. Could be handy to respond with this when people forget what Bitcoin is called... (1524 points, 294 comments)
  53. 1504 points, 1 submission: NikolaosKost
    1. Lawsuit from over 600 Bitcoin Users against Bitcoin.com and CEO Roger Ver (1504 points, 338 comments)
  54. 1497 points, 1 submission: 3hrdrive
    1. In Australia there is currently an investigation into banks and their practices, and the results are frightening (1497 points, 124 comments)
  55. 1423 points, 4 submissions: chek2fire
    1. Everyone must report this Bitcoin mobile wallet asap.Is a fraud (554 points, 174 comments)
    2. Roger Ver and Bitcoin.com do a social attacks to Bitcoin (506 points, 313 comments)
    3. Blockchain.info. 8 months and still no segwit support. They are more lazy than sub-saharan public sector (288 points, 58 comments)
    4. They said: "Segwit is not a scaling solution".... (75 points, 59 comments)
  56. 1420 points, 10 submissions: DesignerAccount
    1. Witness the future: Paying for coffee with LN in real life - Brisbane Airport (377 points, 144 comments)
    2. Bitcoin transaction fees in sat/b have not been so low since 2011!!! (173 points, 65 comments)
    3. PSA: Stop spelling the Bitcoin fraudulent site correctly - It only helps them as search engines pick it up. Use: bitcoin,com | bitcoin .com | bitcoin (.) com | bitcoindotcom | ... (153 points, 52 comments)
    4. "The bitlicense is a creature so foul, so cruel that not even Kraken possesses the courage or strength to face its nasty, big, pointy teeth." --- Kraken CEO: Exchange Won't Answer New York AG's Inquiry (141 points, 11 comments)
    5. Ready for work. (140 points, 69 comments)
    6. World Debt Hits Record $164 Trillion <-- That's WHY bitcoin. (133 points, 121 comments)
    7. Goldman Hires Head Cryptocurrency Trader (99 points, 4 comments)
    8. Chilean Anti-Monopoly Court Orders Banks To Re-Open Crypto Exchange’s Accounts (71 points, 3 comments)
    9. Hilarious: Lighting TESTNET app renamed Bitcoin Cash TESTNET!! (68 points, 23 comments)
    10. UNICEF Is Mining Crypto to Raise Funds for Children (65 points, 6 comments)
  57. 1381 points, 1 submission: girlpearl
    1. At the Gramatik show last night in Boston (1381 points, 63 comments)
  58. 1358 points, 3 submissions: zappadoing
    1. someone put a BTC-symbol on to the swiss federal bank! (1212 points, 84 comments)
    2. Bitcoin boosted as IMF boss Christine Lagarde praises cryptocurrency and suggests it could transform the way people save and invest (101 points, 8 comments)
    3. The Zurich bakery where you can't pay with cash (but bitcoins are fine) (45 points, 9 comments)
  59. 1337 points, 8 submissions: frankreddit5
    1. My daughter just informed me that someone told her "#Bitcoin is a worthless scheme" & that the US dollar has, quote, "one 'brick' of gold in a vault for every dollar there is."..There's so many things wrong with both of these statements that all I can do is sit here and facepalm (582 points, 184 comments)
    2. Here's my Bitcoin Starry Night art on Canvas! (250 points, 26 comments)
    3. I think it turned out sick! (whitepaper on metal) (122 points, 22 comments)
    4. It's funny to me when people say that #Bitcoin is a ponzi scheme or a bubble. The real ponzi scheme is the money system created by the Federal Reserve. And that's the real bubble, too. It's time for monetary reform; it's time for people to take back what is theirs. #BuyBitcoin (118 points, 39 comments)
    5. Argentina raises interest rates to 40% (80 points, 52 comments)
    6. my Satoshi Whitepaper art on 3/4" thick birch wood, treated with a high-gloss coating. (73 points, 16 comments)
    7. my Bitcoin Phoenix artwork (on metal) (70 points, 12 comments)
    8. my Bitcoin Astronaut art presented on a metal panel. It looks almost like an LCD TV in person! Image in comments. (42 points, 9 comments)
  60. 1200 points, 4 submissions: hodlerenfin
    1. Starting tomorrow Monday April 23, 2018 I will ask everywhere I spend my fiat, if they take Bitcoin even if I know they don’t. (609 points, 234 comments)
    2. Sad day today will be the last day we’ll see bitcoin below 9k.🙃 (275 points, 170 comments)
    3. Charlie Shrem on Twitter (162 points, 56 comments)
    4. I think at least everyday, wherever we spend fiat we should ask if they take Bitcoin. Even if we know they don’t. (154 points, 60 comments)
  61. 1196 points, 5 submissions: LegendsRoom
    1. Bitcoin dethroning Gold as a store of value. (349 points, 116 comments)
    2. Remember! with Banks, "only deposit what you can afford to lose!" (287 points, 121 comments)
    3. Remember! with Banks, "only deposit what you can afford to lose!" (287 points, 130 comments)
    4. Banking panic and chaos in UK, as customers locked out of accounts for 5 days running.. (155 points, 44 comments)
    5. UK Bank crippled, as customers panic, accounts emptied. (118 points, 41 comments)

Top Commenters

  1. TheBoyChris (2416 points, 4 comments)
  2. HODLTID (1954 points, 6 comments)
  3. Marcion_Sinope (1679 points, 303 comments)
  4. CONTROLurKEYS (1626 points, 204 comments)
  5. SuperGoxxer (1542 points, 284 comments)
  6. gonzobon (1428 points, 41 comments)
  7. technicallycorrect2 (1322 points, 29 comments)
  8. gbitg (1314 points, 4 comments)
  9. Bipolar_Chihuahua (1279 points, 3 comments)
  10. conv3rsion (1275 points, 1 comment)
  11. GolferRama (1167 points, 164 comments)
  12. HeyZeusChrist (1098 points, 51 comments)
  13. BCashBCashBTrash (1094 points, 381 comments)
  14. WhyDontYouTryIt (1019 points, 401 comments)
  15. jagan1355 (1016 points, 7 comments)
  16. HelloImRich (973 points, 50 comments)
  17. TheGreatMuffin (955 points, 141 comments)
  18. LegendsRoom (906 points, 59 comments)
  19. Kalin101 (859 points, 59 comments)
  20. Hanspanzer (845 points, 317 comments)
  21. TipToeTiger (797 points, 57 comments)
  22. themonkier (782 points, 16 comments)
  23. ducksauce88 (779 points, 179 comments)
  24. EMC2_trooper (762 points, 23 comments)
  25. Cryptolution (756 points, 223 comments)
  26. Timeforadrinkorthree (751 points, 3 comments)
  27. tranceology3 (750 points, 132 comments)
  28. biologischeavocado (741 points, 52 comments)
  29. MuD_D (740 points, 1 comment)
  30. BitcoinAlways (732 points, 286 comments)
  31. Explodicle (716 points, 246 comments)
  32. fenstabeemie (715 points, 1 comment)
  33. harreh (709 points, 1 comment)
  34. BashCo (669 points, 81 comments)
  35. zomgitsduke (654 points, 92 comments)
  36. bluethunder1985 (643 points, 124 comments)
  37. dontshillmexrp (643 points, 3 comments)
  38. jakesonwu (641 points, 90 comments)
  39. bitsteiner (639 points, 148 comments)
  40. eintnohick (627 points, 4 comments)
  41. devonthed00d (624 points, 8 comments)
  42. bitmaincash (623 points, 114 comments)
  43. fomotheclown (623 points, 114 comments)
  44. Black_RL (620 points, 15 comments)
  45. castorfromtheva (619 points, 24 comments)
  46. hsjoberg (612 points, 18 comments)
  47. pepe_le_shoe (602 points, 196 comments)
  48. a33b (602 points, 1 comment)
  49. inchhigh314 (597 points, 28 comments)
  50. Bitcoin_21 (577 points, 100 comments)
  51. Cykablast3r (571 points, 10 comments)
  52. bitusher (567 points, 87 comments)
  53. mustbemoney (564 points, 63 comments)
  54. typtyphus (562 points, 105 comments)
  55. gta3uzi (556 points, 145 comments)
  56. StopAndDecrypt (544 points, 80 comments)
  57. bossman-CT (542 points, 1 comment)
  58. IceColdInferno (534 points, 1 comment)
  59. outofofficeagain (532 points, 85 comments)
  60. fruitlessbanana (531 points, 9 comments)
  61. harrapino (526 points, 1 comment)
  62. suninabox (522 points, 159 comments)
  63. NimbleBodhi (511 points, 27 comments)
  64. pilotavery (508 points, 172 comments)
  65. Let_It_Steep (508 points, 5 comments)
  66. DeucesCracked (504 points, 71 comments)
  67. SpoekplumpeN (502 points, 142 comments)
  68. MrRGnome (498 points, 68 comments)
  69. Kanye_B_redpillin (497 points, 9 comments)
  70. robinwindy (495 points, 259 comments)
  71. absurdparadox (485 points, 8 comments)
  72. Iruwen (469 points, 57 comments)
  73. Bitcoin_Acolyte (459 points, 32 comments)
  74. ToddVonToddson (458 points, 1 comment)
  75. crptdv (450 points, 10 comments)
  76. djLyfeAlert (447 points, 83 comments)
  77. BucketSnail (443 points, 1 comment)
  78. BenTG (435 points, 5 comments)
  79. Mikeross14 (431 points, 39 comments)
  80. Utoko (429 points, 112 comments)
  81. LouisOfTokyo (428 points, 13 comments)
  82. pwuille (418 points, 17 comments)
  83. DartmouthBG (416 points, 26 comments)
  84. Natanael_L (411 points, 23 comments)
  85. flipsfordayz (410 points, 11 comments)
  86. raumi75 (408 points, 25 comments)
  87. boxhit (402 points, 27 comments)
  88. bluepuma90 (400 points, 3 comments)
  89. StoneHammers (391 points, 35 comments)
  90. AussieBitcoiner (390 points, 28 comments)
  91. TheRedStoner (385 points, 36 comments)
  92. 127fascination (384 points, 5 comments)
  93. PineappleFund (383 points, 4 comments)
  94. The-Physicist (382 points, 153 comments)
  95. BcashLoL (382 points, 137 comments)
  96. ketefocko (379 points, 1 comment)
  97. ThisIsABeginning (376 points, 22 comments)
  98. randiwulf (375 points, 6 comments)
  99. SpaceDuckTech (374 points, 66 comments)
  100. cdecker (373 points, 39 comments)

Top Submissions

  1. Whoever put this up deserves a medal by jrs0080 (22960 points, 320 comments)
  2. What a time to be alive! by ltc- (14748 points, 470 comments)
  3. Value is always in the eyes of the beholder by bitchari (10970 points, 554 comments)
  4. This is NOT OK. Upvote for visibility by InteractiveLedger (10913 points, 1557 comments)
  5. Farewell from the Pineapple Fund by PineappleFund (10876 points, 611 comments)
  6. I see it every day. by EMC2_trooper (10387 points, 296 comments)
  7. You knew this was coming... one of my faves last year by normcrypto (9081 points, 128 comments)
  8. exceedingly efficient by StoneHammers (7945 points, 207 comments)
  9. Sir this seat is reserved for people with disabilities... by joe4c (7663 points, 526 comments)
  10. It’s over 9000!!!!!! by Dark_Dantex (6865 points, 429 comments)

Top Comments

  1. 2313 points: TheBoyChris's comment in This is NOT OK. Upvote for visibility
  2. 1951 points: HODLTID's comment in Whoever put this up deserves a medal
  3. 1309 points: gbitg's comment in Value is always in the eyes of the beholder
  4. 1275 points: conv3rsion's comment in Farewell from the Pineapple Fund
  5. 1220 points: technicallycorrect2's comment in Amazon filed a patent to de-anonymize Bitcoin transactions and sell the data to law enforcement
  6. 1219 points: Bipolar_Chihuahua's comment in This is NOT OK. Upvote for visibility
  7. 1014 points: gonzobon's comment in exceedingly efficient
  8. 987 points: jagan1355's comment in This is NOT OK. Upvote for visibility
  9. 740 points: MuD_D's comment in The answer on Jeopardy today!
  10. 715 points: fenstabeemie's comment in Truth about Bitcoin mining
Generated with BBoe's Subreddit Stats
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