Photo illustration shows copies of Bitcoins seen in front of Tezos logo, October 10, 2017. Picture taken October 10, 2017.    REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/lllustratio

LONDON — 2017 was the year the initial coin offering (ICO) went mainstream. 

The fundraising method, first pioneered by Ethereum in 2014, was little used up to the start of this year but it has been widely taken up in 2017, eclipsing venture capital as a means of raising money for blockchain startups. Over $3.5 billion has been raised through ICOs this year.

ICOs are where startups issue their own digital currencies, structured like bitcoin. These tokens, which can be traded online despite the company being private, are sold for real money that startups then use to fund their projects.

Off3r, a website that lets people compare and contrast investment opportunity, rounded up data on the 10 largest ICOs of 2017.

Here are the ones that made the list:

10. SALT — $48 million

Total raised: $48 million.

ICO date: August.

Company location: United States.

What it does: Lets you use cryptocurrencies as security for fiat currency loans.

9. WAX — $68 million

Total raised: $68 million.

ICO date: November.

Company location: United States.

What it does: Offers technology that lets people set up online marketplaces at no cost.

8. TenX — $80 million

Total raised: $80 million.

ICO date: June.

Company location: Singapore.

What it does: Cryptocurrency debit card.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider