By JP Buntinx

It would not be an exaggeration to call 2017 the year of initial coin offerings. We saw hundreds of projects try to raise money by creating their own ideas and native currencies. Whereas most ICOs are still on Ethereum, it seems NEO is getting a lot of attention as well. One of the more recent ICO projects is known as TheKey, but it may go down in history due to the negativity surrounding it. Although there is no indication this project is a scam, the NEO community seems rather annoyed by how things went.

A Brief Recap of TheKey’s ICO Campaign

In a way, it is good to see people host initial coin offerings on the various platforms that allow for them. Ethereum will remain the go-to ICO platform for some time to come, but Waves and NEO are also making an impact. Considering how NEO looks and feels a lot like Ethereum in many ways, it is only a matter of time until it becomes a major ICO platform. When that happens, things will need to go a lot smoother than TheKey’s ICO, though.

It seems there was a lot of interest in what TheKey entails exactly. With this interest also came a lot of money that people were willing to invest in this particular ICO. Unfortunately, things did not exactly go according to plan, as a lot of people were left out. Some people may see this as a good thing, as other companies have struggled to complete their ICOs due to a lack of interest. In the case of TheKey, the team could have handled things a bit better than they did, though.

With the presale having already raised the entire amount that the team had wanted to reach during their actual ICO, a very unusual precedent was created. The people who were unaware of the presale’s success couldn’t even access the project’s website during the ICO, as it kept crashing. When everything was said and done, the entire TheKey ICO sold out in less than one hour. It was a big success, but also one that annoyed a lot of people.

To get in on TheKey’s presale, users had to get manually whitelisted. This is a painstaking process which can take anywhere from a few hours to several days, weeks or even months. Raising money from whitelisted investors is commendable, but things will need to get streamlined a bit better moving forward. Getting whitelisted was no guarantee for partaking in this initial coin offering, though. A lot of investors had everything in place to spend money, yet they simply couldn’t do so because of the way this crowdsale was organized.

Speaking of the technical side of things, there are numerous claims that TheKey didn’t even use a smart contract for its ICO. Like Ethereum, the NEO ecosystem offers smart contract technology which can be employed to create new tokens and run crowdsales. It is unclear why TheKey would not resort to using this technology but rather rely on people sending them money manually. If that is indeed what happened, there may be a lot more to worry about as far as this ICO is concerned.

All of this goes to show that although NEO is a very powerful project, the people utilizing it may not be aware of how to use it properly. It is impossible to fault the NEO developers for this specific ICO, but it is evident TheKey has created a lot of bad blood and sheer disappointment. Whether or not this initial coin offering will be a big success has yet to be determined. Anything is possible in the world of cryptocurrency, and things may turn out a lot better than most people anticipate.