ICO Era: What Went Right?

At Consensus 2023, a few CoinDesk staffers came together for a panel reflecting on major events in crypto history. When we were polled on the most important of these big moments, the plurality of votes went to what might seem an odd choice – the chaotic, fraud-filled period of “ICO mania” spanning from early 2017 to mid-2018.

That’s not an obvious choice, because these “initial coin offerings” (ICOs) were not unambiguously a Good Thing. Many of the downsides and threats they brought into crypto have remained big problems – problems like investment fraud and securities violations. One retrospective study found that 80% of all ICOs during the boom were outright scams.

Source: CoinDesk Turns 10: The ICO Era: What Went Right?