MobileGo’s goal was to build a cryptocurrency platform for making purchases inside video games and betting on esports, which had become a sizzling-hot trend. The ICO was one of the biggest such deals of the year. But today, few people know where that $53 million is. The startup claims 150 people are working on MobileGo products, but Sergey and Maxim Sholom, the brothers who lead the project, keep company financials private. According to former employees, the Sholoms have moved away from cryptocurrency as a central aspect of their business plan. A spokesperson for MobileGo insists they are still trying to deliver on their original goals.
Or take the case of Polybius, an Estonian project named after the classical Greek father of cryptography. It raised $32 million through an ICO in the summer of 2017. Its lofty goal was to create a crypto version of the popular personal finance service Mint. “Financial Peace of Mind for the Digital Generation” was its promise. More than a year later, Polybius doesn’t expect to launch the first version of its product until November. Its tokens, trading under the symbol PBLT, have sunk by 84%. That has dragged down its market capitalization (circulating supply of tokens multiplied by market price) to about $6 million, despite the fact that its ICO proceeds, sitting in a series of secure wallets mostly in the form of bitcoin, have since risen to a value of $40 million.