In 2017, the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) exploded onto the global scene and upended the traditional method of funding an early-stage business. For a while, many believed that we were witnessing the dawn of a more egalitarian financial era; one where anyone with a good idea and the ability to make it a reality could access easy money and a shot at success. As it turned out, it was too good to be true.
Cut to 2018, and we now know that somewhere on the order of 80% of ICOs conducted in 2017 have since been identified as scams. Together, those scams cost investors approximately $1.3 billion and tarnished the idea of ICOs as a business funding tool. Worse still, the rising tide of fraud got the attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which has come down hard on the ICO market.