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Analyzing ICO token sale data: 10 wallets own greater than 50% of the tokens in several projects

Who invests in ICOs? Interesting possibilities afforded by analyzing token sale data

A lot can be garnered from looking at historical and real-time data of token ecosystems. In this post, we dive into the historical data of 8 projects that conducted a public sale in 2017, followed by a broader look at token ownership today.

Data Issues

Well, just like most things in crypto, there is little transparency into what is actually going on, especially on the blockchain.

It’s hard to find the crowdsale wallet. Often, the current token wallet is different from the crowdsale wallet The start and end dates of token sales is buried in the bowels of Telegram groups Pre-sale data such as token supply and distribution is usually only mentioned in whitepapers and on other off-chain data sources Max/Min contribution amounts and sale mechanics vary project to project

I could go on, but essentially, contextual data lives in disparate silos on the web and is not easily accessible. Projects use different addresses for the pre-sale and the public-sale, and there is no go-to source for this data. (Shoutout to the Messari team — Ryan Selkis and co — for doing a great job creating reporting standards for issuers).

ICO Participation

Let’s dive into the data. We looked at investor participation in 8 public sales¹ that took place between May and November of 2017. The analysis reflects contributions only into the crowd sale wallet during the time of the public ICO. Each sale comes with its own mechanics (see more @VitalikButerin post) that could be analyzed individually, but for this piece, we stick to broad observations.

~45,000 unique wallets participated in the 8 public sales. You’d think investors would use a different wallet per token sale, but no:

4635 wallets participated in 2 sales 761 in 3 sales 89 in 4 sales 19 wallets participated in 5 sales Investor Behaviors

Why is this data interesting? In the traditional financial...

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