The Civil ICO became an indicator that the industry has cooled off and token sales no longer spark the same enthusiasm. The project announced it is rolling back its initial token sales, and returning the investments.
“It’s a setback for us, though not a shock. We watched the CVL token sale’s progress with the rest of you. We expected a different outcome when we launched the sale, but circumstances changed. We learned a lot of lessons which we will reflect on in the coming weeks and share with our community and the public.”
Still, the Civil project will launch as promised, sponsoring 14 newsrooms with a partial grant of $3.5 million from ConsenSys. But the project will have to go on without the $8 million equivalent in funding.
In general, ICO funding in October has dwindled, and statistics show the sums gathered are just around $655,000 by the middle of the month. The crowdsale model no longer draws in buyers, because of the lack of opportunity for flipping the tokens.
Civil is by no means the first hyped ICO to fail to meet its goals, and there have been smaller projects which did not meet their hard cap targets. Projects as large as KIN by Kik did not gather the intended funds, although they got close to their aim.
While Civil will keep its central activity - user-generated newsrooms and a blockchain plugin for Wordpress coming in the future, other projects are not so lucky. The most prominent case includes Cofound.it, which folded and started refunds after discovering that the crowdfunding market in the crypto space is no longer functioning as predicted.
At the end of August, another high-profile ICO failed - Fan Controlled Football League, backed by IndieGoGo. The token sale, although promising to be successful and to build an economy around fantasy football teams, failed, and the FCFL project folded. The MicroVentures platform which managed the ICO, also organized the return of proceeds to the buyers.
However, IndieGoGo continued with the token sale model, with a different approach. The latest foray into the crypto space happened this October, through the St Regis Aspen Resort security token offering. This choice underlines a tidal shift in the token sale market, from utility tokens related to apps and games and into security tokens tied to valuable real-world assets.