OKEx, Binance, Still Lead in IEO Returns

Exchange-based token sales, or IEOs, are one of the avenues for returns in 2019.

OKEx and Binance take the lead when it comes to returns from exchange-based token sales in 2019. While almost all projects are risky and volatile, and some go on to lose most of their value, for those that realized profits, the selection of the two market operators was the best.


IEO events have happened across the board, but smaller exchanges also list more dubious projects, which then trade without adequate liquidity. Some projects were sold with no limitations on participation, once again creating an imbalance, with “whales” holding vast amounts of tokens to later dump on the market.


Although a total of seven exchanges reached positive returns for their IEOs, with average ROI ranging between 173% and 19%, some projects went underwater. Binance DEX was surprisingly unsuccessful, with coins that went to trade on the decentralized market losing a net 73% on average.

But when it comes to IEOs, quick sales made money. Most exchanges marked robust gains from the IEO price to the brief peak of trading. Tokens usually spiked early as trading launched, then went on to slide. Selling at the right moment could mean returns of 1,000%.

Based on ICOBench data, in 2019, IEO sales may have reached $1.5 billion’s equivalent. The anomaly among token sales was Bitfinex, which reported a private placement of its UNUS SED LEO (LEO) token to the tune of $1 billion, with a nominal price of $1. The sale was counted among IEOs, although it was not following the model of small-scale crowdsales with limited participation.

The LEO token currently trades at $1.14, down from a peak of $1.99. The sale of the asset was used to cover for a loan of $900 million that Bitfinex took to cover a liquidity gap.

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