2017 saw a boom in 'initial coin offerings', or Icos.
This is where Startups issue their own digital currencies, in exchange for real money to build their businesses. Over the year, those startups have raised more than $5 billion through ICOs, creating over 1,400 cryptocurrencies in circulation.
As volatile as they can be, cryptocurrencies are the hype of the year. Regulators around the world have warned about these investments, describing them as extremely risky. They highly speculated that investors can risk losing all their money if they have less knowledge about how the technology and market work.
Many countries have banned ICOs in the hope to keep control of their economy. Executives from the World Bank and the ECB have compared the cryptocurrency market to Ponzi schemes.
Bitcoin, Ethereum, IOTA and other have benefited the trend, and at the same time, attracted many bad actors
While the demand was high in 2017, an increasing number of participants are skeptical of many ICOs.
This is because piggybacking the hype, people wanted to make money real quick and get rich. Unskeptical investors wanted to reap as much as they can by focusing on short-term gains speculating on coins, rather than backing long-term projects.
As a result, many startups pulled exit scams after raising significant amount of money for their ICO.
This market manipulation has hurt many legitimate cryptocurrency startups.
As of 2018, some consolidations in the market help people in becoming more careful when investing on ICOs.