The Token Ecosystem Landscape Map

Making sense of the token mania

At Outlier Ventures we have been thinking about tokens for well over a year now. We published our first report: All You Need to Know About ICOs in November last year. To quote:

“In time tokens may come to represent a fundamental shift in the structure of companies, but already network tokens are having an impressive impact by providing a new business model for open-source and protocol development.”

At the time, $240 million had been raised through token sales, the majority of which from the hacked TheDAO project. From January to September this year, more than $1.7 billion has been raised, overtaking VC funding. This will almost certainly reach over $2 billion by the end of the year. What was a curiosity at the end of 2016 has become the de facto way for blockchain (even non-blockchain startups like Kik) to raise funds. Investors now even refer to equity raised as ‘old school’ raises. This is the kind of rapidly accelerating technological progress we can expect on an exponential growth curve.

We have been following developments carefully and bolstering our token understanding and capabilities. Our first token investment was into IOTA back in June; our second will be announced shortly. We became the first VC to hire a Head of Crypto-economics in Eden Dhaliwal; hired Greg Murphy to head up Regulatory and Token Compliance; and signed a formal partnership with Imperial College London’s Economics and Computer Science Departments to explore game theory and network modelling.

All of our learnings to date led us to outline our vision for the future of token sales in our paper: Community Token Economies (CTEs). This is where multiple parties join forces to realise what we have termed Minimum Viable Community (MVC) in order to achieve network effects more efficiently and rapidly compared to launching a token that at best can only be sub-scale because it can only address a small market need. The first realisation of a CTE will be announced over the next few weeks.

All of this work has been supported by Outlier Ventures Research: the blockchain startup tracker with 1263 startups; the corporate tracker with 245 corporates (to be updated); the Government & Regulation tracker (not public, yet); and our token tracker with over 500 tokens. We have an unparalleled understanding of the market development of the bitcoin, blockchains and now tokens ecosystems.

Below is The Token Ecosystem Landscape Map. 505 tokens categorised into 24 categories: Entertainment, Gambling & Gaming is the largest category with 64 startups and Charitable & Giving the smallest with 4. We have only mapped tokens that have been announced, ongoing, and completed.

More analysis around total funding, funding per category and stack development trends will follow. If you are an investor, corporate or startup interested in the CTE and want more information or analysis please contact me at lawrence@outlierventures.io.

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*The ecosystem map is not an endorsement of any particular token.*