Overview

Over $20 billion has been raised by Crypto projects through Initial Coin Offerings since the start of 2017. That’s $18 billion more than a year ago, when we released our first primer on the space, Token Mania. So what has this Cambrian Explosion brought to financial services? In this analysis, Autonomous tracks the complex themes developing within the crypto economy, separating underlying technology progress and institutionalization from the bubbly noise. 

Additionally, global law firm Latham & Watkins offers its views on current global regulatory approaches to crypto assets, as well as common tax considerations.

We are excited to share with you our latest keystone analysis, called “Crypto Utopia”, which seeks to explore the crypto landscape over the past year and deep-dive into the status quo for crypto funds, ICOs, and the regulation that governs them. We highlight the difficult path from ICO to a successful large-cap liquid coin, touching on how the financial industry is working to build tokens into an asset class, which would place the current nascent $300 billion of market cap as part of the $10 trillion in global Alternative investments, and eventually as part of the $500 trillion representing all securities and assets.


Free Download

This 124 page analysis is available below.

Enterprise Access

For paying clients, we provide consultations, underlying data sets, and strategic engagements. If you are an institutional investor or financial organization, contact us to speak about enterprise access.


Key Takeaways

  • 2018 YTD has seen $12 billion in ICO funding, vs $7 billion for last year, but nearly half of that funding is EOS ($4.2 billion) and Telegram ($1.7 billion) hiding emerging weakness in the ICO system.

  • The path from ICO to a successful large-cap liquid coin is difficult, and is often exposed to scams and fraud which constitute as much as 20% of project white papers, phishing and hacking responsible for the theft of 15% of all crypto assets by market cap, and over 50% of ICO projects have failed to raise funds or are no longer operational.

  • Over 300 crypto funds have formed to invest in crypto assets, and control around AUM of $7.5-10 billion; however, assets are highly concentrated with a few entities, and the operating future for funds of less than $25 million is likely to be difficult

  • The financial industry is working to build tokens into an asset class, with developments across custody, institutional exchanges, decentralized exchanges, traditional financial products (e.g., Bitcoin futures) and Security Tokens

  • A variety of third parties – from legal to corporate advisory to exchanges – have formed in the ICO space to monetize solutions around these needs, driving the all-in price of an ICO process to $1-5 million, which is in turn passed on to investors through unreasonable valuations

  • We highlight emerging token taxonomies in the space, and propose a unified framework that incorporates public and private blockchains; and in conjunction with Latham & Watkins, we survey the regulatory and legal environment for crypto offerings across the world


Selected Charts & Market Maps

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Are you a financial enterprise or institutional investor interested in our help with the intersection of the Crypto economy and the financial services industry? Reach out to learn more.