Europe Accounts for Nearly Half of All ICO Funding, Study Finds

When evaluated on the basis of initial coin offerings (ICOs), Europe is crypto central. The continent has attracted nearly half of the total ICO funding of the last three years, a sign that the region remains a favorable stomping ground for the fast-growing cryptocurrency space.

Europe Leads the Pack

Over the past three years, there have been 446 token raises held in the European Union (EU), according to venture capital firm Atomico. Combined, they generated $1.76 billion in funding. That’s nearly half (46%) of the worldwide total.

The data also found that EU countries accounted for 40% of global ICOs during the reference period.

In terms of ICO activity, North America is the second largest region with 244 crowdsales. Together, they raised $1.076 billion.

Atomico commissioned Token Data to collect the information and also relied on primary survey results.

Decentralized Teams

Although Europe may be dominating the ICO space, the report found that roughly a quarter of all token projects employed a decentralized team. This means that token launches are run by teams that are geographically dispersed, with founders and chief executives opting to build remote workplaces around the world. It’s not difficult to see why.

Remote workers offer significant cost savings and a diverse talent pool for business leaders seeking access to global markets. A simple search of Upwork or Freelancer talent webs reveals huge demand for cryptocurrency writers, blockchain experts and ICO marketing specialists.

Hacked reported last month that crypto-employment rose sharply in the third quarter. Matt Barrie, CEO of Freelancer, told CNBC that his platform is a hotbed for all things cryptocurrency.

With respect to decentralized teams, Atomico’s report issued the following statement:

“We see a pattern of geographical diversity between ICO founding teams and also within the teams themselves. If the future of business ideas lies in decentralisation, then decentralised founding teams will be a key aspect of it.”

The report also identified a burgeoning venture capital scene across the European Union, a sign that investors are zeroing in on the region’s technology sector. European venture capitalists have raised more than €10.6 billion in funds since 2016. First time funds accounted for up to 25% of the total raise.

That being said, many startup founders view regulation as a major barrier to scaling up the region’s technology industry. This was especially the case for Southern European firms, who were more likely to say that regulation makes it harder to start and scale a technology business.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi