Last week the Status (SNT) token sale clogged the Ethereum network, and left many people trying to get in on the ICO craze disgruntled. The sale started and no transactions were being processed. Later in the day some folks were able to get in by spamming transactions with slightly higher gas prices. Meanwhile many spent the day trying to get in on the crowd-sale, only to have their transactions returned. The next day the ICO officially closed having reached the hard cap of 300,000 Ethereum tokens (ETH) which were contributed for 3 trillion SNT tokens (1 ETH = 10,000 SNT). Since ETH was trading in the range of $350 USD at the time of the sale on June 21st, we can guesstimate one SNT to be worth 3.5 cents, and Status's market cap to be at $105 million ($350 * 300k).
One really smart person, in my opinion, not only got in on the crowd-sale, but was able to quickly turn a profit. Reddit's u/cintix/ claims to have bought around 5 million SNT using Parity, which would be a cost of 500 ETH (valued at $175,000 USD on June 21st). He then created a smart contract to host a Dutch auction and sell a portion of the SNT he had successfully acquired.
See the reddit thread for the Dutch Auction:
I wasn't the only person who though this was clever, Ethereum's own Vitalik Buterin tweeted:
The Dutch auction allowed those still wanting to get on the sale to send ETH to the newly created contract. The auction started with one ETH only returning 2 SNT, but got cheaper by 2 SNT for every block in the Ethereum blockchain. This equated to a price of 5,000 SNT for every 1 ETH after 12 hours, and a price similar to the ICO of 10,000 SNT for 1 ETH 24 hours after the auction fun began. And of course, it sold out. So u/cintix/ ran a "backup" auction offering up an additional 291,115 tokens. And it sold out as well. u/cintix demonstrated how effective the Ethereum smart contract is by creating the auction in Solidity with 73 lines of with less than 30 lines of actual code and the rest comments and spacing (see below for link).
A number crunching recap: With the first auction dispersing 694,000 SNT tokens u/cintix/ sold 985,115 SNT tokens of his claimed 5 million. u/cintix/ reported "Average was around 130% above ICO, with the lowest priced sale 94% above ICO" which would mean that for his 985,111 SNT that originally cost him 98.51 ETH he two days later had 226.57 ETH. At June 21st's price of $350 USD that would be an investment of $34.5k USD and a profit of $44.8k USD. That is with the assumption of buying ETH at $350 and selling it at the same amount. Interestingly though today, only 5 days later, ETH is trading as low as $220 USD (down almost 40%). It will also be interesting to see this week when the SNT token hits the exchange how it trades. SNT becomes tradeable June 28th at 11:45:21 AM UTC
u/cintix/ has also completed an auction for the recent TenX (PAY) ICO:
He sold 42,000 PAY at 1.76x ICO price of 420 PAY:1 ETH, netting 76 ETH Profit ($26.6k @ $300 ETH)