Trends in Initial Coin Offerings and Crowdfunding Volume

Autonomous Research has analysed the trend in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) as an unregulated means of financing public Blockchains.  ICOs have experienced significant growth in 2014-2016 with funding rising from $26 million to $222 million. Cryptocurrency Ethereum was responsible for the majority (73%) of total funding from its ICO in 2004, whereas theDAO lead with a majority (68%) in 2016. The number of notable ICOs also rose from 3 to 16 in this period.

Our second chart shows the 2015 breakdown of global crowdfunding activity. ICOs represent less than 1% of the $34 billion raised, with peer-to-peer funding making up a majority 74% of total funding. With the surge in financing of public blockchains, we expect ICOs to capture an increasing portion of crowdfunding volume.

Analysis of Blockchain Venture Activity and Bitcoin Relation


Autonomous Research has analysed the Venture Activity relating to Blockchain and Bitcoin in the period 2011-2016. Our findings show a strong growth in venture funding and deals made, starting in 2013 with $75 million (75 deals). Peak investment in this period occurred in 2016 at $525 million (142 deals) with deals made declining from 195 in 2015. This suggests higher funding per deal and new start-ups are increasingly supported by venture activity, primarily in North America.

Our second chart shows a decline in the share of funding targeted at Bitcoin entrepreneurs with 42% of venture funding not focused on the currency. This is a sharp decrease from 3% in 2014 and implies a shift in interest away from Bitcoin and towards other cryptocurrency and digital ledger technology.