Anybody following the crypto market would be well aware of ICOs along with their rise and demise. Once, these were so popular that even an ICO called Dogecoin was able to raise millions. More than that, ICOs made blockchain and crypto a household name, once only reserved to the dark corners of the internet. ICOs really changed people’s perception of the whole industry. Before it was a fantasy of geeks, afterward everyone started accepting the fact that this industry has got a lot of potential. After a string of crackdowns and dubious projects issuing ICOs, they have lost their luster. There has been a steady decline in the amount of money raised through ICOs. Investors are warier and are not as keen as they were before. But recently, Dubai, the city which wants to run on the blockchain, has emerged as the number one place where funds are raised through ICOs.
Securing the Top Spot
Recently, a report published by ICObench has revealed something unexpected, Dubai emerging as a leader in funds raised through ICOs. The report further went on to elaborate on the fact that Dubai has raised over $210 million Dollars in January and February 2019. In January alone, Dubai was able to raise $142 million which is 41% of the total funds raised throughout the world. Estonia was just behind raising $64 million around 19% of the global total. UK and Singapore lead in terms of the number of ICOs issued, but Dubai leads in terms of funds raised. This was made possible due to a single ICO, GCBIB.
Genesis Crypto Blockchain Investment Bank
The main reason for Dubai emerging on the top was due to a single ICO, GCBIB (Genesis Crypto Blockchain Investment Bank). This single ICO alone raised $142 million which is a figure not seen recently by any ICO. GCBIB aims to bridge the gap between emerging and traditional financial services. This is achieved by being the first fully compliant crypto-friendly bank having the necessary regulatory framework and technology infrastructure. One of the main innovations put forward by GCBIB is a payment gateway in which merchants will be able to accept payments in crypto along with debit and credit cards.
Dubai is a city of riches and this has led to the city launching many ambitious projects, the most recent one to turn the city into the world’s first city fully powered by blockchain by 2020. The main reasons are to speed up the governance, reduce costs and most importantly decrease corruption. Along with this, Dubai has opened up for crypto and this has led it to become like a crypto-hub in the Middle East. This has seen many projects like the cross border payments between Dubai and Saudi banks using crypto coming up, also many ICO’s are becoming hugely successful like GCBIB and BOLTON (Has raised over $67 million this February).
As mentioned before, after the heydays of ICOs, companies are finding it harder to raise capital through them. Most investors distrust the projects and are worried about the returns they might get out of it. Since most ICOs are issued by startups, there is little for them to show to gain trust, which is where organizations like ICObench comes in. They are a crypto rating platform and they evaluate ICOs, STOs and other crypto products. There are other platforms like ICObench but so far it has remained on the top spot.
The report highlighted the drop in the number of ICOs from the beginning of 2018. Compared to 2018 when 162 ICOs were recorded, this January only 159 was recorded. Out of the 159, only 116 projects went on to raise funds, which is an all year low number. On average, projects raised $10.8million. Also, the time taken for ICO campaigns is also getting longer at 95 days in January 2019, compared to 40 days in January 2018. It might seem like ICOs are dying but as this report shows, people are willing to invest more given the right project and set of regulations. The reason for this is that unlike 2017, people are more informed and as more projects adhere to regulations, we can indeed see more funds being raised through ICOs
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