Mainstream ICOs may have finally arrived.
The much anticipated token sale for social messaging giant Kik, which is today offering buyers the chance to purchase tokens that will power future apps on its platform, launched at 9 a.m. EST. In total, Kik is looking to raise a total of $125 million through the ICO, though it's already raised $50 million from the private sale of its token, called Kin, to institutional investors.
Going forward, the remaining tokens are to be sold in two parts: today's sale allows investors to purchase up to 15.2 ETH in Kin tokens, with any remaining tokens to be sold tomorrow should that limit not be reached.
While the exact totals are difficult to determine (some transactions have yet to confirm), the preliminary figures suggest Kik is performing comparably to other major ICOs focused more on die-hard technology users. In response to requests for comment, Kik declined to confirm the amount it has so far raised, stating its final fundraising totals will be posted on its website tomorrow.
Still, the Kik fundraising should help push up the total earned by ICOs to date. All time, more than $1.8 billion has now been raised via the funding method, according to data from the CoinDesk ICO Tracker.
Scams and complaints
That's not to say there weren't issues with the sale.
Prior to the launch, a fake URL was distributed on social media boasting the ICO had begun 40 minutes prior to the official launch. That malicious address has since acquired 70.9 ether ($21,656.82), and some donations to the scam site were quite substantial, with payments of up to 5 ether ($1,527.20) sent earlier today.
Phishing scams and other malicious schemes are popping up frequently surrounding the investment schemes. Last month, ICO scammers stole $500,000 in ether from supporters of the Enigma blockchain project following a security compromise.
Further, there were some issues reported when an audit was published by smart contracts security firm Zeppelin Solutions yesterday that found issues with Kik's code.
Zeppelin Solutions published its full review complete with errors, comments and corrections, and some took to Twitter to declare their outrage. There, blockchain researcher Udi Wertheimer went so far as to assert that it was "unbelievable" that Kik had not fixed the issues prior to the sale.
The reaction may be more understandable given the sale is one of the most widely anticipated due to the familiarity of the Kik brand.
As such, the comments will likely add to the narrative that ICOs might benefit from a longer development timeframe given their unique (and still relatively untested) combination of experimental fundraising and technology.
Scammer hand via Shutterstock
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, institutional digital assets exchange. Bullish group is majority owned by Block.one; both groups have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary, and an editorial committee, chaired by a former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, is being formed to support journalistic integrity.