Editor's note: This column has been updated to disclose the writer's advocacy of blockchain technology--the underpinning of all crytocurrencies--and a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau warning about these investments.
Initial coin offerings are the new hottest thing. Startups are raising millions of dollars, and in some cases hundreds of millions of dollars, very quickly.
Status raised more than $100 million through its initial coin offering, according to an early estimate. In fact, one of the first transactions involved someone who believed in the company so much that he or she put up $8.5 million worth of Ether into the ICO. (It should be noted here that I am an advocate of blockchain technology.)
According to its website, "Status is an open source messaging platform and mobile browser to interact with decentralized applications that run on the Ethereum Network."
Editor's note: Bitcoin and digital currencies, as with any investment, may involve the risk of loss. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has warned that virtual currencies, including Bitcoin, carry "significant risk" to consumers.
The most impressive thing about its technology is that it will be the first implementation of Ethereum on iOS and Android. You will be able to use DApps (decentralized applications) that are powered by Ethereum.
Built into this project is a private messaging app powered by Ethereum. The public and everyday user is going to be able to see, touch, and engage with the Ethereum platform through Status.
I wouldn't be surprised if we see major companies start building DApps to host on Ethereum and the Status Network.
But this wasn't all without hiccup. For the first several hours, ICO speculators had a very hard time getting involved. Transactions were failing by the thousands, which put significant stress on the Ethereum Network. Ethereum has a smart contracts feature that allows others to essentially run a token-based Kickstarter on the Ethereum blockchain.
It did slow down and have many issues, but at the end of the day more transactions started going through and the backlog was cleared. That nothing completely broke and everything eventually was processed was another win for Ethereum.
Many people did miss out, as they had to attempt their transactions multiple times later in the day. All of this buzz and FOMO could make for one of the wildest trading days once SNTs (the name for Status's tokens) are released on the exchanges for open trading.
The ICO craze isn't slowing down anytime soon. The next highly anticipated ICO is TenX's, and that's launching this Saturday morning. TenX figured out how to make cryptocurrency spendable on a debit/credit cards at businesses all over the world.