It would have always been a difficult inning, but the revival had a recently vigorous corporate regulator and the money was never raised.
And who would not want to conduct an ICO? The crypto crash has not erased the memory of the billionaires created at a pace that was unseemly even for the standards of the technology industry as both issuers and holders of cryptographic coins piled up in the phenomenon.
And how Forbes The magazine said: "Anyone with an entrepreneurial idea could show off a token and invite people to invest."
ICOs are a new way for companies to raise money from the public without cost and regulatory bureaucracy associated with traditional options, such as the stock market.
Cryptocurrency fans describe ICOs as a cross between a crowdfunding campaign and the traditional financial option of an initial public offering (IPO), which companies use to raise money from the public before floating in a stock exchange.
One big difference is that an IPO offers you a share of a company. The shareholders end up with something tangible. In an ICO environment without rules, investors – who are often referred to as token holders – end up with a virtual currency, or token, with no value or underlying rights.
One example is Block.one, a blockchain startup that has raised $ US4 billion in a one-year auction process, and has also recruited the former chief financial officer of the Commonwealth Bank Rob Jesudason.
It has informed potential investors that "tokens have no right, use, purpose, attribute, functionality or feature, express or implied, including, without limitation, uses, purposes, attributes, functionality or functionality on the EOS platform".
But this is not the maximum of the gold rush. Especially when the US crypts watched celebrities like Paris Hilton and boxer Floyd Mayweather sell their ICOs last year.
GlobalTech wanted $ 50 million and it took Clarke a kick.
"I'm really excited to be involved with GlobalTech." Their ambition and drive is something I've heard right away and I'm not looking forward to learning more about blockchain technologies, "said Clarke on the stage managed by Tweet that Wednesday August evening.
If there's one thing Clarke learned about blockchain and gold cryptocurrency, it's that earning money in this space is more difficult than it looks. And he did not do well for his image.
Immediately after the tweet, the respected fund manager, the founder of Bronte Capital, John Hempton, wrote: "You are launching your reputation with the same confidence that you used sandpaper on the ball."
Another statement by Hempton proved prescient.
"That Michael Clarke breaks the Australian law regarding advertising investments with this tweet, I will let them decide for ASIC and their lawyers."
The high-profile tweet has indeed attracted the attention of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), which has knocked on the door of GlobalTech's founders Andrew Mclean and Marlon Donaire.
The corporate watchdog had already issued warnings on the unregulated ICO market, which had raised tens of millions from the public without any guarantees from regulated capital markets.
GlobalTech has folded within two months.
Not that he had much to close. The formation of its actual business depended on GlobalTech completing its ICO, which has never been successful.
"The initial offering of Global Tech Exchange (ICO) currencies has now ceased in accordance with the ASIC requirements," the company said on its website last month.
"As a result of this Global Tech has issued full refunds to all investors."
Any chance that Clarke had to collect what the insider described as a lucrative concert disappeared with it.
"We also want to inform you that Michael Clarke is no longer associated with Global Tech Exchange and the Global Tech Exchange Blockchain education and awareness program," he said on the company's website.
Michael Clarke was contacted for comment.
The scalp of Global Tech was ASIC's most public statement of intent to join the global repression on a market described as the "wild west".
"There is a certain level of opportunism – including businesses or people looking to undertake an ICO because it is seen as an easy, low-regulation and low-cost option to bring an immature business to market", Commissioner ASIC John Price told Fairfax Media.
He expressed concern about the "negative impact" he is having on investor confidence for the rest of the industry.
"If you're acting with someone else's money, selling something to someone or trying to raise money through the issue of digital tokens or coins, this entails certain obligations," he says.
"The bottom line is clear: there is a fundamental obligation, whatever the structure, not to be deceived or deceived through offers or marketing".
It is not just ASIC that realizes the problem.
"The development of ICO has highlighted a regulatory loophole that is exploited to the detriment of ordinary investors," said a report to the British parliament in September calling for regulation of the sector.
It may not be a coincidence that ASIC has launched its most explicit warning to the cryptic sector the day after the British report has been made public.
ASIC has interrupted five ICOs since April to prevent them from collecting money from the public "without the appropriate protection for investors".
And the ICO crackdown comes upon some particularly stringent verdicts on the cryptocurrencies that these public cash inflations generate at a prodigious rate.
Nouriel Roubini, the economist who predicted the global financial crisis, described these virtual currencies as "the mother of all the scams and bubbles (now busted)", in a submission to the US Senate in October.
The September report to the British parliament was not favorable either.
"Currencies act as a medium of exchange, a reserve of value or a unit of account At the moment there are no cryptocurrencies that perform these functions."
And in the words of the British deputy Nicky Morgan, president of the Treasury Committee, which produced the report: "Bitcoin and other crypto-assets exist in the wild industry of crypto-assets, an unregulated industry that leaves investors faced with numerous risks ".
Surprisingly, there are hopes for ICO in Australia that would agree with this assessment.
"We were a little startled at the way the ICO markets were being managed, and for us it was just a matter of time before the legislators intervened," said Ian Jones, executive director of NaturesCoin. .
Jones and his fellow directors are veterans of traditional capital markets – with all the regulations that follow.
They are not pursuing the ICO of NaturesCoin next year for the relaxed regulatory environment enjoyed by these markets.
Like other believers, he sees the cryptocurrency as putting the cart before the horse.
It is really about blockchain and the potential that this has to trigger what is commonly described as version 2.0 of the Internet.
For players like NaturesCoin, blockchain and the cryptocurrency that the company will offer, they are just the mechanism to connect their investor clients with the sustainable development projects they support.
"We are using blockchain to solve the problem of the real world, or how to attract companies to sustainable causes," he says.
The company is aimed at large companies, fund managers and retail investors.
The key to its business plan is the role played by blockchain in the conversion of corporate, environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) spending of large companies from a budgeted cost to a resource.
Instead of spending corporate ESG spending in a black hole, the company could track where the money is going in complete transparency through the token generated by their sustainable development spending. Thus can the shareholders of the company.
These tokens can then be donated or exchanged on a future date.
Jones describes the cryptocurrency market as the "bubbling story" that has created a lot of money for some. "We could see it was a replay of the dotcom boom in the 1990s."
Even the co-founder of Power Ledger, Jemma Green, sees an analogy with the boom of the dotcom, but is more optimistic about the collision of funding and ideas.
While some of them "will turn to dust", he says, "the validation of some ideas will be tested over the next three to five years".
Green was more optimistic about the ups and downs of the Russian crypto mountains, but he also believed in the transformative power of the blockchain.
Power Ledger, a Perth-based peer-to-peer energy start-up, is an industry veteran who raised $ US27 million in the first ICO mode in Australia in October of last year.
"It was a real challenge because many people because many people had never heard of cryptocurrencies before," he says.
But Power Ledger was not just another Bitcoin street vendor.
The company promises to provide "democratization of power" using the blockchain to allow neighboring houses and businesses to trade excess energy they generate rather than sell it at low cost to their local energy provider.
"The work we are doing is really focused on the mission, I think that's why people responded to us," he says.
But Green is seeing the promise of developing blockchain in all sectors.
"The purchase of fractional assets is a large area of opportunity".
Imagine the millennials they buy in a house in fractional increments, just like the business cousins of Power Ledger in BitCar. It is offering luxury car ownership in micro increments via its virtual coins.
"We are actually tuning the car," said Bitcar's William Foster.
He says this is only possible because blockchain predicts that "high level of security and transparency" needs this to work.
"It's actually a ledger that can be read by everyone."
Ironically, for a company that sells its digital tokens / currency on the fact that it is anchored to precious real-world assets – such as luxury cars – Bitcar has encountered financial problems due to the collapse of the price of Ethereum, the popular cryptocurrency received by some subscribers to its ICO.
But the growth of ICOs by companies that offer tokens / tokens guaranteed by assets with a focus outside the cryptocurrency market could explain why the money raised by ICOs has challenged the cryptic crisis.
The amount of money raised by the ICOs is now starting to rival the amounts collected on Wall Street.
According to the CoinDesk research site, $ 18 billion was raised in the 18 months ending August of this year.
But an ICO is not for everyone. The cryptocurrency mining company Bitmain Technologies has surprised the financial markets by announcing plans for a multi-million dollar listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange through an IPO.
"For a company of this size like Bitmain, it will probably get a better valuation on a huge deal like this in traditional markets than an ICO, especially in today's market," said Blockforce Capital CEO Eric Ervin al Wall Street newspaper when Bitmain's plans were announced.
What is the blockchain?
What is blockchain: if Bitcoin freezes and burns, it will still have a lasting legacy through the blockchain technology that provides the digital magic of virtual currency.
Blockchain is a database that is replicated on the Internet. This means that its records are public, easily verifiable and – so far – impossible to corrupt.
It allows anonymous parties to operate with the trust that is usually provided by a trusted intermediary – along with the costs of using this third party. The nature of the blockchain is to remove this third part.
For Bitcoin, the blockchain provided a record of each transaction for each currency that guarantees currency integrity. Buyers do not need to know the seller or rely on an intermediary to make sure they get what they paid for.
The next wave of blockchain uses has been dubbed Internet 2.0, which gives an idea of the clamor surrounding its potential.
This includes "tokenising" goods. A recent example used was the packaging of a gold bar in a tamper-proof electronic label case so that it could trace that particular gold bar from its original mine.
The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) is planning to use blockchain technology for its settlement system that will allow operations to settle instantly rather than the traditional two day wait.
Colin Kruger is a business journalist. He joined the Sydney Morning Herald in 1999 as a technology editor. Other roles included the Herald's Deputy Director and Online Business Editor.