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EOS Broke $4 Billion With Its ICO, Then Things Went Wrong

2 mins
Updated by Michael Washburn
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In Brief

  • EOS launched in 2018 as a promising smart contract platform aiming to challenge Ethereum's dominance.
  • The ICO raised a record-breaking $4.1 billion, but after launch, did not reinvest heavily into the chain.
  • instead spent millions on other projects, to the dismay of some in the industry.
  • promo

EOS is dusting itself off and getting back on its feet. But how did one of the most anticipated ICOs in history turn into such a disappointment? 

At launch, some viewed EOS as one of the most promising layer-1s in history. EOS is a smart contract platform that was founded using open-source technology developed by, a Cayman Islands-based company. This network launched in 2018 to challenge Ethereum as the leading platform for smart contracts. For a time, it was one of the most prestigious projects in the L1 blockchain space. 

Record-Breaking ICO

Its initial coin offering (ICO) in 2018 set new records. Becoming the largest crowdfunding campaign in the crypto market to date. It raised a staggering $4.1 billion in its ICO, almost a quarter of the entire ICO boom in 2017-18. 

Things started with great promise. During the ICO boom, blockchain projects raised billions by selling digital tokens. The industry felt generally optimistic about its potential to shake up traditional finance, enable decentralized apps, democratize fundraising, and offer high returns. The ESO ICO was the industry at its most excitable. But the high was not to last.

After launch, largely did not reinvest in the chain. The record $4 billion raised also failed to yield the benefits many expected. Instead, the company directed resources to other projects outside of EOS, including the social network Voice and centralized exchange Bullish. (Bullish derived much of its liquidity from the proceeds of the EOS ICO.) claims it can legally do as it likes with the proceeds of the ICO. However, critics say it has failed to live up to its public promises. EOS also did not meet the bar technically, either. Critics panned it for its centralization, governance, and lack of any development activity. 

The Community Fights Back

In August 2021, after years of failure, Yves La Rose founded the EOS Network Foundation (ENF). An organization dedicated to forcing’s hand into reinvesting in the network. La Rose maintains that the company exaggerated its capabilities and knowingly misled investors. 

According to a May 2019 Bloomberg report, shareholders in had received returns as high as 6,567 percent during a buyback. So generosity could be found in some places. 

“We’re victims,” La Rose told WIRED magazine. “The community is reclaiming the chain for itself.”

Led by the EOS Network Foundation, the community voted to freeze the founding team’s token vesting contract in 2021 and fork the open-source codebase in 2022. 


In adherence to the Trust Project guidelines, BeInCrypto is committed to unbiased, transparent reporting. This news article aims to provide accurate, timely information. However, readers are advised to verify facts independently and consult with a professional before making any decisions based on this content.

Josh Adams
Josh is a reporter at BeInCrypto. He first worked as a journalist over a decade ago, initially covering music before moving into politics and current affairs. Josh first owned...