Successful ICO Model: A case study
By Oliver Freeman
As the world enters an era of technical wizardry, tech-savvy people are jumping at the opportunity to invest in the latest cryptocurrencies and platforms. The startups that endured have seen their crypto coins and platforms soar in value, while others failed and upon their quiet slip into obscurity or grand exit under the glare of media attention took investors dollars right along with them.
Raw Model Startup
Whether soaring or falling, though, startups have all needed a foundation from which they can develop their new projects. Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), which is becoming one of the biggest and most well-known trends in the cryptocurrency sphere, has, for the majority, become said foundation. Initial coin offerings have allowed many new ambitious projects to raise funds from supporting investors. Through this modern, revolutionary concept, investors pay into the project in return for a proportionate amount of their new cryptocurrency. Immense project funding has been raised this way.
In 2017, the EOS Blockchain platform launched its smart-contract platform for building decentralised applications. The platform, created by Block.one, boasted an all-star team of prominent names within the cryptosphere: between them, Block.one, Bitshares Blockchain, Blockchain Capital, DNA, Ricardian Contracts, Steemit, Tether, and triple-entry accounting had all been created.
What makes a successful ICO?
The success and traction of an ICO are often judged by its popularity, level of investment and the media attention that it gains. EOS certainly gained plenty and, in the knowledge that their investments were in the safe hands of reputable crypto developers, investors jumped at the opportunity to get involved, and EOS’s startup ICO grew to astronomical levels. In its opening five days, EOS investment broke records, hitting $185 million USD, eventually reaching a figure of 5,148,884.15 ETH by the end of its year-long period.
The White Paper: Brilliant Idea
The new platform was initially proposed in the EOS.IO Technical White Paper as the dawn of a new era for blockchain computing. Developed in a way that made it similar to the operating system of a computer, EOS.IO relies on existing blockchain architecture that features both vertical and horizontal scaling of decentralised peer-to-peer applications (dApps).
EOS’s ambitions were, and still to this day are, to develop the world’s most robust infrastructure for decentralised application development, providing a regulating set of services and functions that dApps could leverage to assist and ease their development process. The system would include “databases, accounts, authentication, asynchronous communication, and the scheduling of applications across many CPU cores or clusters.”
Funding and Partnerships
To build an economy for this new blockchain, Block.one intended to launch a year-long, uncapped token sale. The sale would take place on the Ethereum blockchain, with the issuance of an Ethereum-based ERC20 token, known as the EOS token. After registering for a mandatory token swap, these ERC20 tokens would be converted to EOS tokens on the EOSIO platform.
To aid EOSIO in the pursuit of their EOS platform, Block.one created the EOS VC and has partnered with and secured investment, nearing $1 billion USD from the following organisations:
- Tomorrow Blockchain Opportunities. A partnership worth $50 million USD.
- Galaxy Digital LP. A joint venture to create the EOSIO Ecosystem Fund, worth $325 million USD.
- FinLab AG. A partnership to create a $100 million USD Europe-focused fund.
- A partnership with industry specialists, Michael Cao and Winnie Liu, to create a $200 million USD fund, to be used on Asia-focused EOSIO projects.
- EOS Global. This is a $200 million USD venture fund, investing in entrepreneurs and developers leveraging EOSIO technology to create a more efficient and aligned society.
- SVK Crypto. A partnership with the London-based Investor in blockchain technologies, worth $50 million USD, and will be used “to accelerate the development of the EOSIO blockchain ecosystem.”
It is worth noting that, while EOS has secured a $325 million USD investment to create the EOSIO Ecosystem, on their new platform the EOS.IO Technical White Paper states that holders of the EOS tokens will be responsible for managing and maintaining the blockchain’s ecosystem, achieved by voting for different block producers that mine blocks and maintain the network.
Marketing and Publicity
The popularity of EOS came, in part, from an excellent PR campaign. Block.one, as stated by Coindesk, “made a public relations splash, hosting numerous informational sessions, sponsoring post-conference receptions, giving out free t-shirts and even advertising on a Times Square jumbotron”. Furthermore, the executives of the company spoke at a myriad of conferences and met colleagues and potential clients at “meetups” in some major cities across the globe to explain and elaborate on their new idea.
But it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the startup. During the early stages of the ICO, EOS itself fell afoul of hype-ridden information. When John Oliver, host of ‘Last Week Tonight’ aimed to dampen cryptocurrency by stating that cryptocurrency combines ‘everything you don’t understand about money, with everything you don’t understand about computers,’ he went on to say:
“Who knows? Maybe EOS is going to be the next Google. I don’t think it is, and I certainly don’t think it can be worth over a billion dollars at this point, but I could be wrong. I’m absolutely not, but I could be”
As Phineas T. Barnum once said, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” And Oliver couldn’t have been more wrong about EOS’s estimated projection, which, as of March 8, 2019, sits at over $11 billion USD according to Revain’s Review Platform. Fortunately, Oliver failed to damage the reputation of the platform and may, instead, have contributed to its wild success.
EOS also built a team of professionals — of the highest calibre — who were also familiar faces within the cryptosphere. This drew potential investors in simply due to the prospect of these developers working together. The initial team of founders included Block.one CEO Brendan Blumer, crypto veterans, Brock Pierce and Ian Grigg, as well as EOS’s CTO, Dan Larimer, a prolific blockchain problem solver and developer. If ever you needed to choose four men to provide a blockchain education masterclass, the majority of the community would elect these four to provide it.
From the original EOS.IO Technical White Paper up until the present day, EOS has kept their word. According to the EOS.IO GitHub page, there are still 222 issues to resolve, and 3,897 which have been successfully addressed to date. January 2019 saw the release of EOSIO v1.6.0. On the platform, there are now 460 live projects as shown on EOSindex, which tracks the number of dApps on the EOS platform.
Among these projects, one of particular note is Everipedia, ”an Encyclopedia for the modern age,” which, back in 2017, caught the attention of Larry Sanger, the co-founder of Wikipedia, who opted to join the block.one team, as its Chief Information Officer. Upon his entrance, Sanger made the following statement:
“The biggest problem with online information today is that it is centralised and controlled by a very few players, that it benefits to have the most salacious and hype-ridden information. We can do much better.”
Where are they now?
All-in-all, the EOS ICO proved to be an incredible success, and investors interested in the project can monitor all the EOS development on the Revain Platform — the first blockchain-based review platform for the crypto community, exercising the provision of transparent and unbiased reviews on blockchain technology and developments.
EOS has come a long way in a short space of time. The developers are swiftly moving towards the finish line of their project, and the EOS token is well-circulated with market predictions suggesting that its value will soar over the coming years. The platform has seen the successful implementation of both vertical and horizontal scalability, interchain communication and DPoS, the combination of which has allowed EOS to process nearly 3,000 TPS, breaking another blockchain record.
The EOS story is far from over, in any case. With plans to introduce asynchronous byzantine Fault Tolerant (abFT) and Universal Resource Inheritance (URI), aiming to provide the gold standard for security systems among distributed systems, as well as challenging the current social norms surrounding property rights with URI. Causes which we could all, perhaps, get behind, showing that ESO has achieved its claim by ushering a new era of blockchain development to the forefront of crypto pioneering. It can be said that EOS is the most ambitious, but, arguably, the most successful ICO that we have witnessed, to date.