The research team at BitMEX exchange has released a report in collaboration with TokenAnalyst which reveals that various ICO teams in 2018 gifted themselves a grand total of $24.2 billion worth of crypto tokens.
The abstract of the piece is quick to state that “in reality liquidity was too low for this value to be realized,” adding that the true value has fallen by now to $5 billion due to the crypto bear market, and $1.5 billion worth of transfers from team address clusters have gone through.
Arthur Hayes, the CEO of BitMEX, mocked crypto startups for reaping the fruits of creating “poo poo” tokens through ICOs. The research is based on data for 108 tokens which, at the all-time high (ATH), were worth $80 billion in total, representing a $70 billion “loss” from the peak value, although again, it would have been impossible to sell for that much due to liquidity issues. The BitMEX research team acknowledges this in the piece but considers it a useful guideline because some trading did, in fact, occur at the ATH for these projects.