An initial coin offering (ICO) for a blockchain project called Bancor has set a new industry record, raising approximately $153m in ether, the native currency on the ethereum blockchain, as part of a crowdsale that concluded today.
Data shows a smart contract connected to the sale had collected more than 390,000 ether by the time it ended at 18:00 UTC, an amount worth $152.3m at current prices. As such, the figure is higher than even the funding raised by The DAO, the notorious failed fundraising project that made headlines last year when it lost the millions of the $152m in investor funds it raised in a similar sale.
Overall, 79,323,978 Bancor network tokens (BNTs) were created as part of the ICO, with the top token holders now possessing 83.96% of the tokens, or 66,601,702 BNT. Fifty percent of the total tokens, or 39,661,989 BNT, were sold to the public, while the remaining 50% were allocated for future use.
The ICO attracted 10,885 buyers, according to available data, with more than 15,000 transactions sent to the address for purchases during the sale. One buyer went so far as to purchase 6.9m BNT, or roughly $27m, in the sale.
Launched in 2017, Bancor, overseen by the Bprotocol Foundation, has been pitched as a platform designed to make it easier for users to launch their own blockchain tokens.
Of the remaining funds, a blog post by the company states token capital will be directed toward partnerships, community grants, public bounties and project advisors.
Issues with the sale
As with past sales of this kind, the ICO was accompanied by reports that the ethereum network faced significant transaction loads, resulting in delays for buyers.
However, the project itself was adversely affected by long wait times on ethereum.
According to the Bancor website, an initial funding target was set at 250,000 ether, though this figure was not hard-coded into the smart contract deployed. As a result, a transaction sent on the ethereum blockchain in an effort to change the contract and limit the crowdsale in length did not work as desired.
Due to network disruption and delays holding up this transaction, the company said the crowdsale ended up continuing longer than initially desired. Overall, it lasted an two additional hours as a result of the delay.
Posts on social media further suggest that at least some users saw transaction issues during the sale. One thread on Reddit drew complaints about transactions being dropped as long as 35 minutes after they were sent to the ICO address.
Some participants who spoke to CoinDesk also said that they had experienced delays in transacting, including one who had issues moving their ethers off an exchange for the purposes of participating in the ICO.
One exchange operator went so far as to argue that the ICO had increased transaction congestion, colorfully remarking that larger ether buyers were disrupting the sale.