The initial coin offerings (ICO) market is down 97% on a year-on-year basis making $40 million so far in 2019, according to research by cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX released on May 13.

In the first quarter (Q1) of 2019, the ICO market has reportedly dropped by 97% based on the amount of attracted capital. The slump followed the 2017–2018 cryptocurrency boom, with low investment returns among ICOs through most of 2018.

Per the report, the top 10 ICO projects in terms of capital raised in 2018 were EOS, Telegram, blockchain-based cloud computing project Dfinity, blockchain-based digital bank Bankera, t0, Basis, blockchain infrastructure-as-a-service Orbs, cryptocurrency billing infrastructure PumaPay, decentralized mobile engagement network Jet8, and Unikoin Gold.

Of the aforementioned projects, Orbs, PumaPay, Jet8, and Unikoin Gold are seeing negative returns on the average ICO price of 64%–99%.   

BitMEX suggested in the report that some projects have rebranded by “changing the ‘C’ into an ‘E’” as enthusiasm for ICOs has waned. The number of IEOs (initial exchange offerings) has reportedly increased in recent months as the model has proven successful, with investors having earned strong positive returns based on the IEO price.

Per the report, IEOs conducted in 2019 were priced at a level which implies a total market capitalisation of $907.7 million, based on the disclosed total token supply.

According to a recent report from rating site ICObench, in Q1 of 2019 there were almost 350 ICO projects, which is fewer than in Q4 2018. The total volume of funds raised in Q1 reportedly amounted to nearly $1 billion, however the number is lower by roughly $0.5 billion compared to that of Q4 2018.

A survey of institutional investors published in February revealed that 19% believe that digital assets will be regularly invested in and traded by 2021. Per the survey, 41% believe that institutional investors will only enter the ICO sector in the next five years, while 23% said that they do not see investment potential within the ICO market.

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