It’s hard to believe that this time last year, virtually nobody had heard of the initial exchange offering (IEO.) By May, the funding vehicle pioneered by Binance Launchpad was moving in full swing, with rival exchange Bitfinex going on to become the first $1 billion IEO. A PwC report issued in June noted that IEO adoption was “strongly accelerating,” having raised half a billion in addition to the Bitfinex sale in the first five months of 2019 alone.
Now in 2020, no other funding method has emerged that offers all comparable benefits to the IEO. Projects have a guarantee of some liquidity through the exchange’s user base, also making IEO token sales attractive to investors wary of being stuck with illiquid tokens after the ICO crash.
Sale participants are also pre-vetted as exchange users, removing the compliance burden from the project. Exchanges also benefit from the boost provided to their exchange tokens and the appeal of listing unique new projects.
With this combination of benefits for users, projects, and exchanges, it’s hardly surprising that in 2020, the IEO trend shows no sign of abating. Coincodex lists over 30 IEOs that are either ongoing or upcoming at the time of writing. Here’s a pick of three that are worth watching.
With Google’s achievement of quantum supremacy in late 2019, quantum computing made a huge leap ahead. However, quantum computing could seriously threaten blockchain security in the future, because the SHA-256 encryption standard used by blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum is susceptible to quantum attacks. This means that serious security upgrades, or another solution, will be required within the next 5-10 years before quantum machines develop and are adopted further.
So, the emergence of QAN is timely. QAN is the world’s first quantum-resistant smart contract platform, utilizing a post-quantum security variant known as lattice cryptography. Whereas using SHA-256 makes public keys vulnerable to a brute-force attack by a quantum machine, lattice cryptography is immune to attacks by quantum computers.
QAN also has many other features designed to make it appeal to enterprise users. It’s scalable, running at 1600 transactions per second, and far more energy-efficient than its predecessors such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. Although the QARK token is what drives the network, QAN is also fixing transaction prices in fiat currency so enterprise users can accurately forecast usage without being subject to the volatility of cryptocurrency.
The QAN IEO will go live on the Bitbay exchange starting from January 20. Unlike many IEOs where users can only participate using an exchange token, the QARK tokens will be for sale in a variety of fiat and cryptocurrencies.
Multichain Ventures has been around since 2016, and during that time, the company has developed multiple enterprise-grade blockchain solutions. Among others, these include supply chain visibility and cryptocurrency payment processing tools.
The payment solutions include cryptocurrency point-of-sale, e-commerce integrations, mobile wallets, and cryptocurrency ATM integrations for in-store token purchases. These are also available as a general package ready for immediate deployment as a general package, or as a white-label solution offering the ability to re-brand and license the software for a particular niche or sector.
Similarly, the supply chain toolkit is also an industry-agnostic toolset that can be deployed for any company or sector wishing to improve visibility and tracing of products in its supply chain. These products are also hosted by the scalable and reliable Reli.cloud, a sister company to Multichain Ventures.
Threefold is another established company with experience in its field. The project aims to create an “autonomous IT” grid of computers providing storage and computing capacity. Any application that can run on Linux — which includes all Android phones and many IoT devices — can run on the Threefold grid.
The company partners with big names, although Hewlett Packard Enterprise is perhaps the best-known. HPE provides its clients in the EMEA region with connectivity to the Threefold grid. Kleos is another participant, a 5G technology company working with Threefold to help bring last-mile connectivity to lower-income countries.
This year, the company plans to put the Threefold grid public. It has the ambitious aim of bringing this solution to one billion people by 2025, providing fast and affordable access to the internet.
The Threefold Network token sale will launch on the Liquid exchange and will run from Jan 20 to Feb 10.
Each of these projects has bold and challenging aims to bring blockchain to widespread adoption. Therefore, it speaks volumes about the IEO that each has chosen it as their fundraising method of choice. Unlike the ICO, which turned out to be a bubble that burst quickly, the IEO appears to stand a strong chance of lasting the distance.