1. In the first half of 2018, there were more than 2000 new blockchain ICO projects globally. Among them, projects in the financial service sector still accounted for the highest proportion at 22.6%, followed by commerce and logistics, IT and the Internet.
2. In the first half of 2018, there were more than 3,500 new contract addresses and more than 85,000 new personal addresses for Ethereum added globally per day. Affected by digital currency market conditions, the number of new contract addresses in the first quarter was significantly higher than that of the second quarter, and the number of new contract addresses in the second quarter exceeded 1,000 per day.
3. In terms of project quality, there has been a trend of refinement and specialization, with above 4-point (high quality) projects making up 14.7% of the total. Although most projects are classed as mediocre, they are also being improved in areas such as white papers and community maintenance.
4. In terms of launch locations, the U.S. remains the preferred destination for many projects, with 19.45% of projects released in the U.S. in the first half of 2018. Countries such as Singapore in Asia and Estonia in Europe have also seen a significant increase in popularity thanks to their favorable policies.
5. In terms of project fund raising time, 38% of projects have a fund raising cycle of about one month, and most projects have a fund raising cycle of no more than three months.
6. In terms of platforms selected by projects, 64% of projects select Ethereum as their token platform, while other platforms enjoying relatively high usage proportion include Waves, Stellar and NEO.
Ⅰ. An Overview of Global Blockchain ICO Projects in the First Half of 2018
1. There were 2,183 new projects worldwide, with the financial service sector leading the pack
According to third-party big data rating agency RatingToken, there were 2,183 new blockchain ICO projects globally in the first half of 2018. The financial service sector remains the most concentrated area for blockchain projects, accounting for 22.6%, followed by commerce and logistics with 17.4%.
2. There were more than 3,500 new contract addresses on Ethereum added globally per day, and the number of new contract addresses in the second quarter was significantly lower than that of the first quarter
According to RatingToken, in the first half of 2018, there were more than 3,500 new contract addresses added and more than 85,000 new personal addresses on Ethereum added globally per day.
Affected by digital currency market condition, the number of new addresses in the first quarter was significantly higher than that of the second quarter. The number of new personal addresses additions per day in the first quarter peaked at nearly 170,000.
3. The U.S. is the preferred launch destination, followed by Singapore
In terms of launch location, the U.S. remains the preferred destination for projects, with 19.45% of projects released in the U.S, followed by Singapore.
Countries such as Estonia and Switzerland are also among the top five locations to release projects thanks to favorable policies.
4. 38% of projects have a fund raising cycle of about one month, and most projects have a fund raising cycle of no more than three months
In terms of project fund raising cycle, 38% of projects have a fund raising cycle of about one month.
The proportion of projects with a fund raising cycle of around two weeks or two months was also higher. The proportion of projects with a fund raising cycle of more than three months was less than 8%.
5. 64% of projects select Ethereum as their token platform, while other platforms enjoying a relatively high usage proportion include Waves, Stellar and NEO
More than half of the projects select Ethereum as their token platform, while 28% of the projects have not yet released tokens. Apart from Ethereum, other platforms like Waves, a Russian blockchain platform, Stellar, developed by the founder of Ripple, and NEO enjoy a relatively higher usage proportion.
Ⅱ. The Specialization Trend of Blockchain ICO Projects
1. High-quality projects account for 14.7%, while around 70% of projects are still mediocre
In terms of project quality, at present, the proportion of high-quality projects (with a RatingToken score of 4 or above) among global blockchain ICO projects is 14.7%, and the majority of projects are still classed as mediocre.
Notably, there are still thousands of projects that scored 0 due to a lack of white papers or other reasons that may lead to basic score dimension deficiency. These projects are not included in the score statistics.
2. More attention has been paid to basic work such as white paper optimization and community maintenance
White papers have become a norm for blockchain projects. More than 93% of projects have white papers, and the number of multilingual white papers has gradually increased. At the same time, the types of white papers have also seen a trend of differentiation. In addition to professional business white papers and technology white papers, there are simplified versions of summary white papers for novice users.
Twitter, Facebook, and Telegram are the three most popular social media channels for blockchain projects. More than 90% of projects have Twitter accounts, and around 80% have Facebook and Telegram accounts. Projects with three accounts make up 67%, and only 3% do not have any of the above-mentioned social media accounts.
Some 48.72% of projects have Github accounts. By further checking the specific content of the projects’ code repositories on Github, we find that most of them have only token contract codes but no actual project implementation codes. This indicates that most of the new ICO projects are still in the envisioning stage and the degree of code implementation is low.
3. Domain names are specialized with .io becoming popular
According to statistics of blockchain project official website domain names, the number of domain names with the suffix .io has increased significantly and has gradually become mainstream. .io has always been favored by technical websites, because it is the same as the abbreviation of input/output in computer/programming, giving a ‘geeky’ feeling, especially in the field of blockchain. The popularity of .io also reflects the trend of specialization in blockchain projects, and to a certain extent, reflects the sound development of the blockchain sector as a whole.
4. Smart contracts, economic models, community popularity and other dimensions are the biggest concerns for projects
By extracting keywords from thousands of blockchain project white papers on the internet, we find that the words with the highest frequency are smart contract, token holders, and social media.
The attention to blockchain projects is now increasingly concentrated in several important dimensions such as smart contracts, economic models, and community popularity, and they have become basic dimensions in project ratings.
2018 is a turning point for the development of the blockchain sector. With the cooling of the digital asset market, blockchain projects have begun to develop in different directions, which is a sign of the dilution of the sector bubble. People are increasingly aware that blockchain technology needs more application scenarios to prove its value beyond coin issuance and money-making.
At present, blockchain application projects face the following problems: Firstly, there is no mature and stable solution for blockchain technology on key issues such as performance, which greatly restricts the development of blockchain technology and applications; Secondly, the separation between industry and technology is serious, which makes it difficult to form value circulation between blockchain technology and industry. The reality is that those who are tech-savvy know little about the industry segment and they are mostly in the proof-of-concept stage, while entrepreneurs with experience and resources in industry segment can hardly understand, let alone master blockchain technology.
Technology development and application implementation take time. In the next stage of blockchain sector development, the increasing maturity and popularity of blockchain technology will, will have a bigger impact on market structure, thus leading to business transformation and the formation of new business models and regulatory service models. Before that happens, people need to constantly improve their understanding and knowledge of blockchain, and screen blockchain projects carefully.
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The big data support platform for this report is third-party big data rating agency RatingToken. RatingToken focuses on the blockchain project data analysis and rating business, and has rolled out smart contract detection services. By testing listed project contract addresses and codes, RatingToken screens models using deep learning, GAN, and formal verification, and identifies smart contracts with vulnerabilities and fraudulent addresses to help users avoid risks when screening blockchain projects.