ICO

How Can a Startup Prepare for Crowdfunding Campaign?


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Building a crowdfunding platform such as ICO is not an easy task. Apparently launching crowdfunding campaign seems exciting because of the money and the fan base it generates. But things are not as easy as we think.

Hire ICO expert or crowdfunding service providers for an advice. They know how crowdfunding campaigns can produce better results in no time.

Successful crowdfunding campaigns take time. They need strategic planning, and proper marketing. There are few things important for crowdfunding campaigns.

Assess if the crowdfunding is right for you?

Crowdfunding is an amazing tool for raising funds and making a startup financially stable. There are following questions you have to answer before launching a campaign.
  • How your brand is different from your competitors?
  • Which form of crowdfunding do you need? (equity and reward-based crowdfunding are few forms)
  • What is the fee structure for the platform?
  • How thoroughly do you know about your audience?
  • Do i have the crowdfunding campaign tools?
  • Do I have the team for manufacturing the product once the campaign is over?

Pick the type of crowdfunding for the project / startup

There are basically four types of crowdfunding. Reward-based, just like Indiegogo and Kickstarter. Peer to peer lending, like Lending Club. Donation-based crowdfunding, like GoFundMe. Equity crowdfunding, like CircleUp. Each crowdfunding platform offers its pros and cons but all of the mentioned platforms are well-known and ideal for crowdfunding.

Use powerful campaign titles

Best practice in picking a name or title of the campaign is understanding the fact that name will drive audience. Be descriptive, don’t title the campaign with the product name only, lead them towards ‘what the product is?’ Moving forward, explain the product benefits and not features.

Plan your marketing budget

Luck has nothing much to do with the success of the campaign. Plan the budget ahead of time. Invest efforts smartly on the tasks where you can actually get traction. Don’t fall for common crowdfunding mistakes and beware of the current marketing trends.

Offer series of great rewards

For getting the support of your fan base, offer them some rewards. Rewards engage your audience and the response will improve as a result. It may be time taking to think of ways which motivate and excite your audience....

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ways for ico marketing

Know Smart Ways for Optimizing ICO Marketing


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Decentralized market and ICOs are trending majorly because 2017 was the golden period and still in 2018, we are witnessing a boom in crowdfunding. A blockchain based crowdfunding platform cannot succeed without proper ICO marketing.

Investors are keenly interested in ICOs because return on investments is much higher than the initial investment. However, there are risks involved. An ICO must run on a genuine idea and address real-world problems.

In order to prove ICO idea vitality, and gain trust of an ICO, hire ICO experts or blockchain experts. They know their domain and helps in optimizing ICO marketing efforts too.

Email Marketing

One of the best ways for optimizing ICO marketing efforts is using the email channel. The term email marketing isn’t new but the message and reach through this medium is effective. For that matter, customer data is the key.

You can run email campaigns to the selected list you have of a customer data for quick results. For viable results, segmentation of target audience is important. Once you know the interest of your target audience after the vetting process of experimentation, you’ll get amazing results.

And for a long term results, build your own email list over time. For many ICOs this is not possible because of the time constraints. However, ICO marketing agencies have their opt-in lists of customers.

Bounty Program

A bounty program serves as a marketing channel. It is an incentive-based reward method and a crucial part of ICO development. Marketers never forget adding this part into the ICO.

Making ICO viral is the goal behind incentivizing investors or the participants of the ICO.  Ideally, it should start as soon as the pre-ICO sale.

Airdropping is another program gaining traction because it’s the way of offering free tokens too. For making airdropping programs successful, plan strategically.

Offering too little or no rewards at all, you will run a risk of not optimizing your fundraising campaigns. Start airdropping before pre-sale or between pre-sales and main ICO sales.

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How to Participate in Token Generation Event? 3 Easy Steps


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Many first-time buyers of token don’t know about crowd sales and even ICOs. Probably, they heard the term and the notion ‘ICOs are hot for investment’.

Is there a difference between ICO and token launch? Not really. They are used interchangeably and liberally in the ICO market.

Some say token launch is related with Ethereum and ICO is related with Bitcoin / Altcoin. But the fact of the matter is, there is no distinction line. They serve the same purpose one way or another. Know in detail and hire ICO experts even if you just want an advice.

Now we believe there is one more important thing we clear before we proceed further. Is there any difference between Token Generation Event (TGE) and Initial Coin Offering (ICO)? Not really, they are the same. However, the first timers don’t know how to participate in crowdsales based on blockchain.

If you are one of those participants who know what ICOs are but you are a first-timer for token generation event, here are few steps to follow.

Step 1: Buy Bitcoin / Ether or Any Cryptocurrency

Mostly ICOs or TGEs accept funds in the form of cryptocurrencies. Find out which cryptocurrency is acceptable in the token sale. This is the most important thing before you think of participating.

Many ICOs limit crowdsales in Ether while there are many which accept funds contribution in Bitcoin.

So from where can I purchase Ether, Bitcoin or any cryptocurrency? Check out reputable cryptocurrency exchanges. Some of them accept bank drafts and credit cards.

Don’t forget doing buying weeks before token sales. As for token buyers’ transactions take time.

Step 2: Use Crypto Wallet for Saving Cryptocurrency

ICOs or TGEs don’t allow anyone’s participation from cryptocurrency exchange wallet directly. Buy personal crypto wallet and transfer your cryptocurrencies there. Personal wallets offer private keys and you can transfer funds to TGEs contact address.

There is a caution. If you send your funds using exchange wallet, you may lose the funds and they won’t recover.

Step 3: Transferring Funds to TGEs Smart Contract Address

Smart contracts govern token sales and they have their contact addresses just like your personal wallet. Another imperative point here is, send funds on correct contact addresses otherwise you’ll lose your money again.

This stage is very sensitive and there are many risk factors involved. TGEs send purchased tokens to the address from where a participant or an investor contributes.

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Top 4 ICO Benefits of Investing in Cryptocurrencies


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ICOs, on one hand, offer massive return on investment, but they are volatile and risky on the other hand. Although people are discussing ICOs and the cons associated with them but big financial institutions such as JPMorgan has started thinking of investment in cryptocurrencies. ICO cryptocurrency marketing and settlement costs are lesser than traditional IPOs.

Let’s take our conversation ahead and discuss the benefits of ICOs.

Return on Investment Is Impressive

Back in 2013, if $1000 was invested in Bitcoin, the worth of such investment moved to around $400,000 in November 2017. Also, if an ICO becomes a success, the ROI is potentially high for the investor. How would an investor know if the ICO is worth enough for investment? First an investor must know the crypto market trends and the ICOs trending.

Stronger the Network, Better the Liquidity

In order to realize the profit, a buyer or investor who has the equity finds someone who can buy the equity or either wait for the acquisition. In case of ICO, the cryptocurrency builds a solid network (such as Datum network of 56,000), the investors get more liquidity and can sell their cryptocurrencies for dollar instantly.

Execution with a Direction

In IPOs, startups often pivot because of a number of factors and one of those is the investment or venture capital. But in cryptocurrency ICO, direction of a startup is very clear. When you invest, you know what is the idea behind an ICO in the form of a whitepaper. In this document, token supply and the allocation is specified.

More Funds in Lesser Time

One of the best advantages of ICO for an entrepreneur is that a startup can raise more funds in lesser period of time. Also, if there is a brand name involved such as Telegram then raising funds is not an issue. They raised more than their hard cap set amount.

Point is, the idea of the ICO is what investor pays attention to. Also, the team, traction and the product market fit. However, idea is what a startup is based on but what makes ICO ideal is the quick results.

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Ethereum Timeline: A Brief History from 2013-18


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Vitalik Buterin had worked on various Bitcoin projects before a 19 years old programmer from Toronto thought of Ethereum. The platform was ideally developed for robust blockchain applications.

Since Vitalik worked on Bitcoin blockchain projects, he faced number of issues while working.

Bitcoin blockchain initially perceived as a medium for financial transactions / applications but Vitalik realized blockchain can perform more than just transactional computations.

Image result for ethereum blockchain

Vitalik got introduced with the Bitcoin and blockchain technology right in the year of its launch i.e. 2011. He started a Bitcoin Magazine the very same year. Through this magazine, he shared his views on digital future. Later, he worked on Mastercoin and other alternate coins with Bitcoin codebase. This work was a pushing factor for him as he knew the scope of Bitcoin is limited.

Ethereum Whitepaper 2013

A whitepaper of Ethereum launched in 2013 illustrating the new protocol of decentralized applications.

The key difference between Bitcoin and Ethereum was the platform’s ability in trading more than just a cryptocurrency.

Official Announcement in 2014

An official announcement of Ethereum had made. Also the team expanded. Along with Vitalik, Dr. Gavin Wood and Joseph Lubin were developing the blockchain platform.

Ethereum yellow paper released by Wood which showcased how Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) will execute smart contracts. Lubin on the other hand, founded Consensys, a studio for decentralized apps.

Ether Crowdsale 2014

In July 2014, Ethereum Foundation conducted a crowdsale where they sold 60 million of their tokens. For expansion, development and marketing activities, the foundation created 12 million Ether tokens.

First Live Release of Ethereum 2015

Frontier was the first live release or a product of the network which helped developers interact and develop apps over the network in 2015.

Hence, Vitalik thinks Ethereum is the solution of all problems or use cases of blockchain.

50$ Million Ether Stolen 2016

An anonymous hacker had stolen about $50 million Ether from Ethereum network which placed a question mark on its security. The incident caused a split in Ethereum community. Now there are two blockchain factions i.e. Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC).

Ethereum Growth in 2017

The network grew 13000 times in 2017 which attracted investors but the volatility of this platform makes investors think twice or stay cautious.

Present - 2018

The infrastructure of the Ethereum is much better from its infancy state. Still the platform is young and has limitless potential within. Recently it has topped $2.2 billion in circulation and moved from 12th to 10th place in top 10 cryptocurrencies....

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What are the Top 3 Successful ICOs of 2018? And What We Can Learn


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Hundreds of cryptocurrencies are launched on daily basis and the ICOs hype and anticipation have made them talk of the town. Every investor is closely observing the ICO trends so that he could invest in the one which will grow and bring in revenue.

One shocking thing that we observed in March 2018 as revealed by Business Insider was, ‘about half of the ICOs failed or crashed’. So the primary question playing in the minds of investors is what makes an ICO a success or a failure? The coin or a token ‘utility’ makes or breaks an ICO. If the investor can buy or sell coins or tokens and they won’t find any other utility along, they may not be much interested. That is one core factor we have identified besides other.

Moreover, many ICOs fail because they don’t offer real-world solutions. Also, they don’t have a good pitching idea. Security and scalability issues were common too in some failed ICOs.

Hire ICO expert because defining the success in ICOs is tricky. Is it about raising the most funds? Or building a loyal customer base? Or is it about the best product idea? Here is the list by CryptoSlate depicting the figures of raised money.

ICOs

Source: Coinschedule

Let’s move on with some of the top ICOs of 2018.

DAOStack

After successfully running presale and private sales, their public sale took only 66 seconds to achieve their token cap. Their concept on decentralized autonomous organizations is what makes them different. Their product DAOs don’t need a CEO or HR Manager as the positions are filled by the free agents or members of the DAO network. The idea of this ICO made it win big.

They raised $30 million in the presale and main sale of the ICO.

Telegram

Around 1.7$ billion was raised in the two private sales of this ICO hence making it the largest ever ICO in the history. The app is busy building in-app token based ecosystem for peer to peer transactions, micropayments, micropayments, file storage etc. However, many TON token holders started exchanging their tokens because of hype of fraud circulating. As there were many fake websites who were selling TON tokens.

On the positive side, Telegram ICO got popular because it was associated with a big name and investors had trust while investing.

Dragon

The ICO was launched by Macau based hotel and casino corporation. Dragon Coin is a cryptocurrency based on Ethereum and it was specifically designed for gamblers.

Dragon is one of the biggest ICOs investment. The Dragon Coin cashed popularity of Macau because of the prime gambling location in China for high rolling gamblers.

Dragon raised $320 million surpassing top ICO of 2017 – HDAC. The Reason why it got attention is the strict rules implied by the Chinese government for taking the money out of the country. Actually, for gambling credits, gamblers had to contact junket companies. This ICO solved gamblers credit problem, in short.

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ICO Is an Investment Risk, That’s Not True


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Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) is the fastest growing form of investment whereas seeking funds from venture capitalists is a daunting task. Many label ICOs are risky for investments but they don’t know the capability and the true power the platform holds.

In IPOs, investors get their shares in return for their investment but that is not always the case for an ICO investment. Hire ICO expert and know in detail about the intricacies of the ICO development process. The experts will tell how ICOs are better than IPOs.

ICOs offer utility and security tokens in exchange for the crypto investment. Security tokens act more like a share but utility tokens are meant for offering services in particular. Anyways, ICOs if developed properly, chances of scams are low.

When we talk about investments, they are subject to risk in any form. If you are thinking of serious crypto investment, we will advise for thorough research on ICO official website, whitepaper, smart contracts, team, and social media presence.

Smart contracts and ERC20 token standards are discussed here for an understanding.

Smart Contracts

Self-executing contracts written on blockchain are super easy because they save time. Transparency of these contracts minimizes the risk in ICO investments. Terms and conditions of the contract are visible and there is no way of corrupting them.

Highest level of data encryption for these automated contracts is another plus. There is no central authority so there is no way of upsetting the balance of a smart contract.

Accuracy in detailing the contract is immaculate and there is less to no communication gaps. Hence, transparency and accuracy factors reduce investment risk.

ERC20 Token Standard

ERC20 standard is in place for all to follow the set rules. Although, this isn’t the imposed rule as DAPP developers can adopt other ways. Point is, this standard ensures compatibility of the code with various wallets, exchanges, and smart contracts without any complications.

Also, this standard shows how the tokens will work in future. And the ERC20 token standard is widespread and accepted in DAPP developers.

The standard performs 4 basic functions:

  • Total token supply details
  • Account balance
  • Token transfer from one account to another
  • Tokens approval as a monetary asset
  • ERC20 is industry known practice for tokens which is the reason why, it can be trusted.

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How to Promote ICO through PR and Marketing?


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There is no denying in the fact that ICO will stay for long. As previously, there was a doubt in the growth of ICO based blockchain projects. However, everybody witnessed the success of ICOs in the year 2017 and now more and more startups are adopting the ICO way for fund raising.

Only few startups are making efforts for proper PR and marketing. Mobilizing communities of cryptocurrencies (which we will talk about later) isn’t sufficient. You have to take a 360 degrees’ approach while marketing an ICO product.

There were many unsuccessful ICOs who failed as they didn’t touch their soft cap. In terms of ICO marketing, total budget is increasing with the rise in trend of ICOs. Also, initial cost of investment is rising with time.

If you are looking forward to launch an ICO, there are certain tips which may help.

1-Publish a schedule of planned ICO in specialized ICO Calendars and ICO Listings sites.

ICO organizers should post-release their tokens on specialized ICO calendar or listing sites. They should consider this as a first step towards marketing their ICO. There are many resources, easily found. For instance, if you are running an ICO on popular Ethereum blockchain platform, you can google and mark calendars accordingly.

A brief list of such ICOs is here:

  • Coinschedule.com
  • ICOCrowd.com
  • CoinGecko.com
  • CyberFund
  • ICOCountdown.com
  • Tokenmarket.net

(Screenshot of coinschedule)

2-Mobilize social blockchain / cryptocurrency communities.

Social networks and links are great for announcing your ICO. Don’t post in hundreds of communities without even considering if such postings will pay off or not.

Go for specialized and big communities with high number of followers. Bitcointalk is one such example. It is the place where all known ICO projects are published and announced.

Reddit is another best platform for social mobilization. Find the relevant threads such as /r/icocrypt. Further, go to Quora and start posting in discussions related to ICO, cryptocurrencies, blockchain etc.

3-PR posts and blogging help in better penetration in the market.

While you are busy generating buzz for your ICO through listing sites and communities, don’t miss doing PR and blogging. Access top-tier websites such as Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Forbes etc. If your PR post with ICO details in it gets published on any of these sources, it will boost reach and engagement.

Publish at least 5 blogs a month on different social websites. There are companies like bitcoinprbuzz offering PR posts distribution at attractive packages.

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Do You Know Three Types of ICO Tokens?


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ICOs have passed mind-staggering amount of $6.3 billion benchmark in April this year. Analysts believe that soon ICOs will become multi-trillion-dollar industry.

Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) is a fundraising model for startups. Through ICO, they raise funds by selling crypto tokens on blockchain – most common Ethereum. These tokens which are transferred across network and traded on different exchanges can serve various purposes.

Token buyers may get a service in exchange for their tokens or they may get entitled for company dividends. Depending upon the purpose or the function they perform, we can categorize them into three types.

  • 1- Equity Tokens
  • 2- Security Tokens
  • 3- Utility Tokens

There is a confusion for investors on the fact that what each of these tokens meant for and how they can segregate each one of them in terms of usability and benefits.

Equity Tokens

Although we have seen security and utility tokens usage the most in the ICOs. But, equity token is one of the promising applications of smart contracts based on Ethereum.

Startups issue their stocks in the form of equity tokens where investors have some part of the ownership and voting rights over blockchain. It helps breaking the financial market barriers and eases out startup’s entry. These tokens are also security for investors because they are involved in the growth of the blockchain network. Rewards are as per the performance of the ICO and these tokens are mutually interchangeable.

However, equity token regulation is not final or compact which is the major concern for this type.

Security Tokens

Security tokens fulfill various purpose and it isn't any wrong if we say such tokens cover vast classification related with tradable assets. Investors can access variety of security tokens. Such as redeemable coins for expensive metals and tokens supported by real estate etc.

These tokens are subject to federal securities regulations. And in case of failure, there are penalties imposed by federal authorities. They have close proximity with equity tokens.

Utility Tokens

Future access to company’s products and services is what utility tokens do. One of the characteristic features of the utility tokens is that they are not for investments in ICOs. A properly developed ICO with utility tokens doesn’t fall under legal governing securities.

We can label them as digital coupons because startups using this type of token sell their service against the token. Just like retailers accepting pre-orders for video games.

Filecoin raised $257 million by selling this type of tokens in exchange for decentralized cloud storage platform.

Here is a diagram depicting the difference between security and utility tokens.

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Some Useful Tips for ICOs Promotion


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With the advent of ICOs, capital raising method will change and this will be more evident in an upcoming decade. Initial Coin Offerings is a tool for attracting great deal of amount from investors which otherwise was an upheaval task in venture capital.

Implementation of ICO is directly related to its promotion. Start a buzz beforehand otherwise failure of the ICO is obvious. Preparing whitepaper, smart contract, wallet development etc. are some of the ICO services any ICO company offers.

Let us tell you some of the useful tips for ICO promotion.

1- Add ICO Token Launch Event on Related ICO Calendars

First step in ICO promotion is placing the information of an ICO launch on popular ICO calendar sites. This helps investor mark their calendars before time.

Here is the list of some of the famous ICOs:

Coinschedule.com

coingecko.com

Cyber Funds

ICOcrowd.com

Tokensalecalender.com

Do place your ICO information where you find possibility. Main reason is, journalists and tech bloggers are always on the lookout for preparing the list of top ‘x’ number of ICOs for investment.

Placing information on maximum number of calendars is the right approach towards ICO promotion. In fact, it strengthens your next step approach.

2- Start Publishing in ICO Communities

Calendars strategy is a great one, but this doesn’t mean you can expect an immediate feedback. Investors don’t get a chance to see how unique or interesting the ICO is.

Logical second step is publishing the announcement of ICOs in communities and social groups. BitcoinTalk, for instance is the specialized forum where most of the ICOs are discussed.

Quora discussions - also a good source for ICOs, cryptocurrencies and blockchain related discussions.

Social groups and communities follow some rules. But all popular communities have thousands of people which is an indication that these groups are helpful in guerrilla marketing.

3- PR Posts and Blogs

After reaching out to communities, initiate blogging where you can showcase the information related to ICOs, thus giving confidence to investors that you know what you do.

Press release is another way of updating investors what you are up to for. Spreading updates and news is the core action for ICO promotions.

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