First Blood’s crowdsale ended in within minutes of launching: $5.5 million raised in what must be the quickest major cryptocurrency crowdsale to date.  First Blood’s “Power Hour” (in which 1ST could be purchased 170/ETH) became a power ten minutes.
Many factors contributed to the rapid sale. The marketing behind the project in both English and Chinese was well orchestrated. How-to guides for different Ethereum wallets made navigating the smart contract process seamless. Finally, First Blood partnered with Chinese exchange Yunbi to host the sale to a Chinese-speaking audience. Yunbi was able to purchase 1ST in bulk to sell to their users. The contract address shows two large transactions: one over $3 million and another over $1.5 million. Yunbi reports that 434 people successfully bought through the exchange (726 people tried). At time of writing, the Ethereum smart contract address showed over 600 transactions, many invalid because they were sent too early or sent too late.
Demand was so high, First Blood recommended increasing the gas for the transaction to 300,000, and judging from reactions on social media, gas amounts may have been the difference between some people contributing and others not.
What is First Blood?
First Blood aims to be a decentralized wagering platform for P2P competitive gameplay. People can bet money on their own 1v1 or team-v-team games, such as Counter Strike: Global Offensive, DOTA 2, and League of Legends. Anyone can challenge friends or strangers to a match, and a network of nodes will verify results. Anyone can also organize tournaments or leagues for people around the world.
The network will run on Ethereum, smart contracts will distribute the wagered funds (in the short-term, ETH), and special nodes will automatically verify game results. The nodes are called “witness nodes,” and they earn fees for serving as nodes.
The ICO involves the 1ST Token, which lets its holder serve as a witness node.
What are 1ST tokens?
Smith+Crown wrote about the possible markets for 1ST tokens. Sale terms and conditions included many warnings that this sale promised no profit and people should participate only to support the project, though judging by online discussion, this is unlikely the primary motivation for most participants.
Holding 1ST tokens entitles the holder to serve as a witness in verifying match results. For most matches, this will be done automatically, and a node’s chances of being selected to serve as the witness will depend on their proportional holdings of 1ST–up to a maximum of 1% per game if the node holds 1% or more of all tokens. Serving as a witness earns fees, though the formula hasn’t been determined. Being a witness also entitles one to serve as a jury member to resolve disputes in case the witness software malfunctions or someone contests its results. This also involves (yet to be revealed) fees. In our analysis, we assume all fees scale with the amount wagered rather than being a flat fee, so the platform can take advantage of large semi-professional activity involving big bets.
 DigixDAO’s crowdsale earlier this year ended in less than 12 hours and raised a similar amount.