ICO

Top 4 ICO Benefits of Investing in Cryptocurrencies

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

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

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

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?

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?

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

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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5 Things We Like About ICOs

Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) is a means of crowdfunding through cryptocurrencies for funding blockchain based startups. Investors either corporate company or individual can invest in an ICO through cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum etc. In return, they either get the percentage of the company shares or services / products as it all depends on the type of ICO or tokens up for crowdsale.

When Ethereum was launched in 2015, its value was in between 0.46 - 0.61$ and now it’s more than 456$. ICOs have become hot than they were ever before. The positive shift in ICO investment started in 2017 and the growth inclination is visible this year too.

ICOs are popular for many reasons, here is what we like about ICOs.

1- International reach

From entrepreneur point of view, it provides reach to international investment markets without much of legal delicacies involved as in IPO. In IPOs, a company can only issue its stocks in a registered country. ICO community building if done properly an ICO can easily reach its capital mark within the set time period.

2- Easy approach towards fundraising

Traditional venture capital involves long complex processes which require services of third part for legalities. Whereas ICO smart contracts solve this problem easily. There is no need for hiring third party for verification instead a blockchain network verifies the information of the sender and the receiver.

3- Anyone can initiate ICO

Customized tokens can be developed through number of options such as Ethereum, Stellar, Waves, Counterparty etc. Initiating an ICO has become easier with so many options at the disposal. Else, hire ICO expert who can do the rightful job for you. Transaction costs related to contribution settlement and marketing is lower than IPOs.

4- ICOs are fast and secure

ICOs are based on blockchain network which is distributed ledger where there is no central authority. This means, the network is incorruptible. Each transaction block is verified and connected to the other one in the form of a chain. Also, ICOs are fast for raising funds rather than IPOs where fundraising takes years.

5- Democratization of investments

Financial hubs as we hear, Silicon Valley, New York City and London - are considered as venture capital places but with ICO anyone from any location can participate in ICO token crowdsales. ICOs can literally raise money from any geography as it generally allows everyone for participation. That’s the best part of ICOs. Also, this makes fundraising easy....

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Are ICOs the Future of Funding for Startups?

Blockchain startups investment upsurge scenario developed in 2016. Though, ICOs - blockchain based platforms got more recognition in 2017 because of the amount of capital raised. Hire ICO experts if you are planning your next blockchain project funding.

Data research by Coin Desk clearly shows that the era of ICOs’ will prolong and there is no ambiguity. Just consider the fact that in Q1 of 2018, $6.3 billion had raised. And this is equivalent to 118% of the total amount raised last year.

If you are searching for the biggest trend in cryptocurrencies today, you may find initial coin offerings (ICO) ideally in your search list. This is possibly the good start. Idea of selling tokens in exchange for cryptocurrency made way for the ICOs.

First you should know what an ICO is and how it matches with your business ideology. ICO is a fundraising platform for blockchain projects especially working well for startups with budget and time constraints.

Are ICOs offering democratization of fundraising in today’s world?

Yes. Through smart contracts, they are implementing transparent rules between sender and receiver. Also, there are different types of tokens serving different purposes. For instance, if an ICO sets utility tokens that means company services or products you can exchange after certain period of time. There are also equity and security tokens but again it all depends on the end-goal of the ICO.

Since 2013 ICOs are used for funding new cryptocurrencies. Tokens are used for selling and trading cryptocurrencies if there is demand for them.

ICOs Surpassing Venture Capital Funding

Do ICOs help in quick and easy acquisition of funds or will they won’t last long and it’s just another hype? Fact of the matter is startup funding has changed with time. Startups are now raising money at impeccable speed by timely utilizing ICOs. Unlike VC (Venture Capital) where startups has to go through long time taking legal proceedings, ICOs are way too easy for reaching and save investments through smart contracts. First three months of this year are clear indication that ICOs have superseded VC way of raising funds.

With that much of hype, startups feel excited for considering ICO for their funding campaigns. ICOs are good in a way that if it crosses the soft cap of the set token sale, it shows an indication that investors can rely on that ICO for their upcoming sales. However, do check the ICO team profiles if you are an investor before putting your cryptocurrency at risk.

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How an Investor Get to Know if the ICO Is Legitimate?

Lately, there has been a lot of confusion about what is ICO? What kind of companies can use ICO? What goes into launching ICO sales? Are there any regulations? Etc.

Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) is a smart way for startups or companies in need of funds. ICO offers quick mechanism for raising capital which otherwise seems to be a tough job with venture funding.

Given the fact that blockchain technology is new, so you won’t find much of information or useful facts required for clear understanding. With ICOs coming every day, companies are getting better insights on do’s and don’ts checklist.

Last year, we have seen boom of blockchain and ICO where around $4 billion was raised by startups. This stirred excitement and also opened doors for scammers.

Although you may have technical knowledge of what is blockchain and how the ICO sales work. But, there are certain preventive measures which you can take as a contributor or an investor.

There are few things which you can ask yourself to differentiate between a legal ICO and a scam.

1- ICO team members experience

Do seek proper details of the team members and their respective fields experience. ICO teams are comprised of developers, lawyers, designers etc. you need a solid chunk of your time for vetting the team members’ profiles. While in the process of digging, there are chances that you will find some red flags.

LinkedIn and Twitter are good places to search for the team members. Don’t just rely on their Twitter accounts. Go one step further and check their LinkedIn profiles. Read comments, follow threads and scan the content they share and the people they follow.

Over LinkedIn, do check past experiences, recommendations, connections, and activities. Fabricated online personas are common these days if you find anything suspicious it probably is.

2- Funds Utilization - Whitepaper documentation

A clear outline in the form of a whitepaper is provided along with the project before an ICO sale initiation. This gives an investor overview of what company does, how it operates and if it’s stable enough. Smart contracts and type of token are also listed in the whitepaper.

If an ICO delivers little information about allocation of funds, that’s another sign of ambiguity and scam.

3- How blockchain will solve the problem?

ICOs provide information in the form of use cases that how blockchain will propose a solution for a certain problem. After reading use cases, an investor can identify why blockchain was needed for a particular venture.

If you can’t find any reason blockchain or the tokens of any help, this is sketchy.

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