Companies would begin their fundraising efforts and garner the capital they needed, only to completely disappear six months down the line. Meanwhile, all the money invested into their operations was usually unrecoverable and investors were stuck with wallets full of useless coins. By some estimates, over $500 million has been lost to fake ICOs.
Over time, other network-boosting efforts — from airdrops to hackathons — have become more prominent, paving the way for ventures like CoinList to enter the space.
First assembled in 2017, CoinList helps digital asset companies and networks manage their token sales. In an interview with Distributed, company co-founder and president Andy Bromberg explained that the platform initially began as a collaborative effort between AngelList and Protocol Labs’ to run the filecoin token sale.
“Based on that experience, and thanks to lots of help from both companies, we’ve built a leading platform to help token issuers handle capital-raising and the building of communities,” Bromberg said. “Our goal is to support token projects throughout their life cycles.”
Over the last two years, CoinList has privately and publicly worked with dozens of digital asset ventures, including Blockstack, PROPS, Origin and TrustToken, and has processed nearly half a billion dollars in individual token sales, per company estimates.
The company also helped facilitate an airdrop for blockchain-based, cloud-computing project DFINITY in May and June of last year. Approximately $35 million in tokens was provided to new users.
Bromberg is a fan of airdrops and said that they’re an easy and effective way for new crypto companies to issue tokens to interested parties and build a name for themselves.
“Users sign up for an airdrop and are given tokens into either an existing wallet or a newly generated one,” he explained. Though many tokens are given away at no cost, an airdrop can be a powerful way of bootstrapping a network and initiating customer awareness.
“In some sense, you can think of PayPal as one of the original airdrops, although they didn’t use a token,” Bromberg said. “They gave away PayPal credits to users as they signed up for the service.”
The company has recently introduced customers to a new product known as CoinList Build, which helps token issuers strengthen their developer communities and push innovation within their networks by hosting hackathons and similar events. A hackathon occurs over the span of just a few days and often features some of the industry’s top programmers working to enhance a software system or create respective applications through a network’s technology.
According to Bromberg, CoinList’s first hackathon with the open protocol system 0x resulted in more than 50 “high-quality projects” coming to fruition.
“As CoinList evolves to support the maturing industry, CoinList Build will help these projects succeed in their next phase of growth, which will be finding and incentivizing developers,” Bromberg concluded. “We’re just wrapping up our first one with 0x, which was very successful, but we have many more coming up. We’re obviously excited about the industry long term, but even beyond that, our pipeline makes us incredibly excited for what’s to come in 2019.”