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A few days ago, a startup called Bancor raised around $153 million in two hours and twenty-five minutes.

The ICO, short for initial coin offering, followed several similar, equally successful funding events, and the numbers are rising. Prediction market Augur raised around $5.2 million over two months in 2015; this year, its competitor Gnosis raised $12 million in just 15 minutes. And we could only be getting started. The initial coin offering (sometimes also called a token crowdsale) is, in certain ways, similar to an initial public offering. Instead of stock, in an ICO a company sells a number of cryptocurrency tokens. Every ICO is a little bit different, but typically there’s a time limit for the sale, and a set number of maximum tokens that will be sold. Once those limits are reached, the sale is done, and the owners can use their tokens as they please. Tokens are different from shares, though. They can be traded and they have a value, and after a successful ICO this value can easily double. Again, this is similar to an IPO; those who get in early usually benefit from the initial spike in value. But tokens don’t typically give their owners ownership over a part of the company that issued them. Each token is, in fact, a smart contract that can provide additional benefits down the road. For example, the tokens issued by Storj — a decentralized storage solution — can be exchanged for storage space on the platform. If you’re wondering, Storj’s ICO was also successful; the company easily raised $30 million in May 2017. So how do you get in on the action? First, you need to get some ETH, or Ethereum. Thanks to this, most ICOs these days are Ethereum-based, and to participate in the sale, you typically need to exchange your ETH for tokens. Buying ETH isn’t particularly complicated; you can do so on exchanges such as Kraken or Coinbase. If everything went OK, you will receive the new tokens soon, usually within a week. But that’s all theory. Actually participating in an ICO is next to impossible; trust me, I’ve tried. This means that transactions during an ICO will go through slowly, and similar to trying to buy a ticket for the Super Bowl online, your efforts might be in vain. There are also various tricks big players can employ to buy tokens before others; some companies are undertaking measures to make the playing field more even, with mixed success. Finally, ICOs aren’t regulated. A company that sets out to do an ICO will post some rules on a website, and that’s pretty much all you have in terms of regulations. This is me socially precommitting that I will not be an advisor for future ICO projects. — Vitalik Buterin (@VitalikButerin) June 13, 2017 5. Most existing projects that listed me as an advisor never paid me a cent for it. — Vitalik Buterin (@VitalikButerin) June 13, 2017 The result of these issues is that it will be hard for a small player to participate in an ICO. Again, this is similar to many IPOs, where the majority of available shares are pre-sold to banks and funds. The difference is that here, the barriers to entry are mostly technical, not political. Finally, disasters happen. To fix this, Ethereum forked into a new software version, restoring the funds, but the incident led to a big drop in Ethereum’s price. Despite the issues outlined above, the ICO craze currently looks and feels like a bubble. Tiny, unknown startups which barely have a functional product are raising tens of millions of dollars within hours. By amassing big amounts of ETH, which (typically) stays outside the market for a while, every ICO is driving the price of ETH upwards. And the price of ETH is already up some 3500% compared to last year. Here’s how this may look from one user’s perspective. Say you bought 10 ETH in 2016 for a meager hundred bucks. Today, your 10 ETH are worth around $3,500. But say that instead of doing nothing with your ETH, you invested half of it in the Gnosis ICO this April. The price of GNO tokens more than doubled within hours of trading. If you sold those for ETH right away, you’d have roughly 15 ETH, which today would be worth $5,250. This scenario, while theoretical, isn’t uncommon; in fact, with the growth Ethereum has experienced in the last year, gains such as these were easy to achieve. A little bit like building a Jenga tower? That’s because it is. There are currently few people who think this kind of growth is sustainable; and many point out that some sort of correction is necessary. There’s no “cure” for bubbles except to let them run their course and pop, unfortunately. For some, this will end badly. “The wealth of the space is being driven by greed which attracts more than its fair share of charlatan - but there is opportunity, too. Money for nothing will lead to dire straits for some,” Hayter said. On the other hand, the space and possibilities that Ethereum has opened are expanding rapidly. Take Bancor, for example; currently the top dog in terms of money raised via a token sale. The way it all works is complex stuff, and yet raising $153 million seemed easy. Bancor, however, is largely unfazed by the enormous success of their crowdfunding effort. “Bancor stands in the category of Ethereum as a landscape-shaping product,” Galia Benartzi, Chief Business Officer at Bancor, told Mashable in a phone interview. “When the product launches live, and anyone in the world has easy access to creating a smart token, this will change the face of cryptocurrency adoption. We’re very excited in unlocking the power of the long tail.” While extremely ambitious, Bancor is just one of hundreds of startups built on top of Ethereum, and you’ll hear similarly audacious words from others as well. And many of these upcoming startups have ICOs, or token crowdsale events, lined up in the near future. Long-term, the success or failure of this new breed of apps will likely determine the fate of Ethereum. But right now, despite the big numbers that often don’t make sense, the crypto crowd can’t wait for the next ICO to begin. Disclosure: The author of this text owns, or has recently owned, a number of cryptocurrencies, including BTC and ETH. These days, the ICO market is booming. Companies come up with more and more synonyms for this notion: crowdsale, token sale, contribution campaign, and so forth. Even those who have never been related to cryptocurrency, let alone invested therein, weigh on launching a token sale for different purposes. The market is still expanding, and most new ICO’s, whatever they are called, use Ethereum-based solutions to issue their tokens and roll out smart contracts. The hype around ICO’s has not subsided even after the notorious SEC decree that bans all such campaigns in case they don’t meet their requirements. Bitcoinist talked with Andrei Stehno, CTO and co-founder of Blockstarter, the company developing a comprehensive platform that enables anyone to create and hold an ICO. There is some scarcity of such solutions on the market right now, so they hope their solution would be of use. [embedded content] Bitcoinist:Is Blockstarter some sort of an ICO lego? How did you come up with this idea? AS: I wouldn’t say it’s really a lego, but it’s an erector set all right. Our solution doesn’t require some in-depth knowledge of crypto technologies or smart contracts to issue a token or generate a contract. It’s not that difficult to use a regular computer interface, and lots of people do that without knowing the internal workings of a machine. It doesn’t require them to have a profound knowledge of software engineering, or any knowledge at all for that matter. Our concept mainly seeks to do the same for token sale campaigns. If you analyze the entire process sequentially, you can understand how to make everything way simpler. You just need to create a comprehensible and manageable interface for an average computer user who knows the ideology but is not that tech-savvy. The need for such an interface doesn’t pertain solely to ICO’s. That’s the common problem of the entire cryptocurrency industry. That is one of the reasons why it still can’t reach the general public. Bitcoinist: So you think such a solution will be demanded? AS: We think it’s more than a demand, it’s actually needed. Take a look at announcements of ICO’s these days. Literally, thousands of new campaigns kick off every week. And it’s a truly rare occasion when they don’t use an ERC20 token or some other Ethereum-based solutions. Bitcoinist: So, in fact, you’ll enable anyone to hold a token sale? Aren’t you afraid your solution will become a dreamboat for scammers of all sorts? AS: We can argue a lot as to whether one needs to raise money in order to raise more money over a token sale later. What goes without any doubt is that none of those ‘raisers’ have a readily scalable solution. We’ve got the solution, but we’re not ready to roll it out straight away. We’ll hold a few token sales on our engine to create a proof of concept. When it goes far and wide, the solution will be as flexible as possible. Of course, there’s always a risk of a scam. But, what is good, most projects try to heed the risks of dishonest ICO’s flooding the market. The recent paper by the SEC and the halt of Chinese cryptocurrency exchanges make it clear that just one major scam can disrupt the entire progress. Lots of really good projects will become impossible again, in that case, everyone knows that. Bitcoinist: What do you think about so-called boxed ICO solutions? AS: It just means that some agency completely covers literally all needs of a project, including development and marketing. Frankly, it’s a really weird idea, and it has something to do with your previous question. A good honest project wouldn’t want a boxed solution. They are interested in raising funds, and that’s it. This approach has no future. Bitcoinist: What’s a good project then? AS: It’s a group of devoted enthusiasts. Their primary goal is to deliver a product that can actually work and change the world for the better. They raise money to deliver it, and in best case scenario they will make money out of a working solution, not some unhealthy and artificially induced hype. A good project seeks to tackle a problem that lies on the surface, and everyone is aware of. What makes it good is that no-one before them could come up with a working solution. Of course, it’s not just about that. A circumspect economy is also a good project’s feature. A great blockchain project is, first of all, a great economic system. It has to work like clockwork. It has to be described in the clearest possible terms. Everyone should see where’s demand and where’s supply. Lots of projects we know of can’t stand up to this test, and it’s a shame. Lots of people want to invest, lots of people want to develop, but only a few want to understand. That’s why there’s such a great demand for expert opinions. That’s why the institution of advisers is blooming now. Bitcoinist: So, you claim that your project is a good one? AS: Who would think that they work on a bad project after all? It all comes to the motivation of the team. I like our motivation: we’re creating a solution that could help others. Motivation is an important thing when it comes to the matters of survival. It’s rational, after all: if you want just to raise money, it’s much easier to go and buy an island once your campaign is over. A working solution won’t buy you an island, it will buy you a future. And to me, it’s way better. Bitcoinist: Are you going to introduce some rules and frameworks? It all sounds great, but I can’t help thinking about some bad guys fooling everyone. AS: Of course, some rules are required. If you take a look at some notable ICO’s of the past, you’ll see that most of those companies were self-regulated. Some projects pay salaries with their tokens. Waves, for example, couldn’t access their funds until they rolled out their testnet. So, it is a matter of trust after all. Nobody forced them to impose such restrictions on themselves, but they still did. And look at them now! The industry tends to rely on crowd wisdom as well. But it has certain challenges: Bitcointalk, for instance, is obsolete, it’s inconvenient and mobile-hostile. Reddit isn’t focused on the crypto community whatsoever. Ethereum should be more scalable and include some incentive for projects to be completely honest. Bitcoinist: So, are you still waiting for some technological advancements to occur in this area? AS: Of course, there are numerous issues that the general public doesn’t know or doesn’t want to know about. If a major project holds a token sale these days, the Ethereum network goes down. But we still believe that Ethereum is the best technology for scalable solutions there is. So, frankly, I admire their devotion. Bitcoinist: What does the industry’s future look like for you? AS: The future is reserved for services that can effectively harness the power of smart contracts and create infrastructures that reinforce Ethereum capabilities and other platforms for token issuance. Some of them, like Waves or BitShares, are yet to be fully appreciated, so I think we’ll see more projects putting their options to a good use. It will provide for long-term growth of the entire cryptoeconomy, not just Ethereum. It will allow projects to focus on their product, not their crowdsale, and it’s actually one of the best things that could happen to them. People will start looking deeper into the problem. With the important opinions and information in place, it will be really great. The future is no bed of roses, of course, but I’m confident it’s mature, reasonable, and transparent. For more information about BlockStarter and the services they offer, please visit their company website at blockstarter.co. Do you think that the increasing number of ICOs being launched is helping or hurting cryptocurrency adoption? Let us know in the comments below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock, BlockStarter Andrei StehnoBlockStarterICOsinterviews‘);”>

Buy Lots ICO Whitelist

  • Give the user back his/her Ether in exchange of their DAO tokens.
  • Register the transaction in the ledger and update the internal token balance.

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In this guide you will learn why most ICO’s Will Fail.. On June 12, 2017, an Ethereum based called Bancor held its ICO. It raised $153 million in 3 hours. No, you are not reading it wrong, 153 million…..in 3 hours!!! If that doesn’t get your brain melting, then how about this? The BAT ICO $35 million in 30 seconds!!! That’s near $1.2 million per second! And if that still doesn’t get your jaw dropping, then how about this? Have you heard of UET? UET had an ICO which raised $40,000 in just 3 days. Admirable if not particularly mind-blowing. Why do we bring it up after talking about Bancor and BAT? Here is the sales pitch that they used, “UET is a standard ERC20 token, so you can hold it and transfer it. Other than that… nothing. Absolutely nothing.” And they raised $40,000 in 3 days! Welcome to the crazy world of ICOs! There is no doubt that ICOs have changes the financial landscape over the past 2 years. In the first half of 2017 alone they raised over $1 billion! However, all these insane success stories tend to make us look at facts with rose-tinted glasses. The fact is, that around 99% of all ICOs out there will fail. And that’s not exaggerated doom and gloom, over the last few years, thousands of cryptocurrencies have been created and over 90% of them have failed. We don’t “hate” on ICOs. (Well, we hope more than just a whitepaper) That’s truly brilliant. 🙂 With that being said, let’s start. Firstly, the developer issues a limited amount of tokens. By keeping a limited amount of tokens they are ensuring that the tokens itself have a value and the ICO has a goal to aim for. The tokens can either have a static pre-determined price or it may increase or decrease depending on how the crowd sale is going. The transaction is a pretty simple one. If someone wants to buy the tokens they send a particular amount of ether to the crowd-sale address. When the contract acknowledges that this transaction is done, they receive their corresponding amount of tokens. So, that’s a general idea on how ICOs works. But then why do most ICOs fail. There are two words that makeup cryptoeconomics: “cryptography” and “economics”. While most developers pay attention to the cryptography part, they hardly pay any attention to the “economics” part. As a result of which, it is very rare to find a token whose economic skeleton has been properly and thoroughly mapped out. What is seen is unsustainable token inflation which largely happens because of flawed economic models and the greater fool theory (more on that in a bit). Before we go into all that, however, we need to understand where the fundamental problem of most ICO economic model lies. One of the biggest advantages of ICOs is that anyone can come and raise money for their concept…not a finished product, a concept. There is still a long way to go before that concept can become a product and as with anything, there is a 90-95% chance that it will be a failure. However, many of the early adopters of ICOs have made a killing because of the low entry and the high profit. Look at this, for instance, ICOs made nearly $800 million in the second quarter of 2017 alone! Seeing this trend, the developers shifted their focus. Instead of making Dapps/currencies which added something new and unique to the ecosystem, they started making products for the ICO. Their end goal became: “Build a flashy enough whitepaper to get good money in ICOs”. Because of this rampant speculation and very little due diligence, the “Greater Fool Theory” came into play. Art is a great example of the greater fool theory. So let’s apply the same to ICOs. You have a bunch of dapps and currencies coming up which are bringing in nothing new to the ecosystem. However, because they have been hyped up so much and there so many ignorant investors around, their value increases anyway, and as a result, the tokens face an inflation. The whole ICO situation is scarily reminiscent of another wave that swept us in the late 90’s. They say that those who are not aware of history are bound to repeat it. So let’s do a quick history lesson and turn back the clocks. Around 1997, the internet became big and tech companies began to emerge everywhere. Investors started putting in their money and flipping their investments into huge sums. Common sense went out of the window and every random internet business was making a killing in the IPOs. Too often, an IPO, not profits, was the primary goal of a company’s promoters.” BOOM! He hit the nail right on the head, most of the companies that got millions from their investors failed and some turned out to be nothing more than scams. Eventually, the bubble burst in 2002. Companies crashed and lost millions within a year. One of the most infamous examples of this is Pets.Com which lost $300 million in just 268 days! The parallels between the ICO bubble and the dot-com bubble are a bit frightening. Much like dot-coms, the ICOs have attracted a lot of investors who don’t want to miss out on the gold rush. Much like the dot-coms ALL the investing is done purely from speculation. You have to realize that most of the companies that you are investing in, in ICOs barely have anything ready. Most of them don’t have the alpha version of their end result, it is all based on speculation and the potential of the project. As with anything, most of these projects will fail to get the end results. The parallels are very apparent and it can get real scary thinking about it. But we are not market experts. All we can do is speculate. What is the definition of Utility? Utility means the total satisfaction that is received by the consumption of the goods or services. Most of the ICOs do not maximize their token utility. The tokens should be absolutely integral to the ICO and must increase the overall value of your final product. If you are an ICO developer, then ask yourself this question: If you take away your token does your business fall apart? If the answer is no, then you don’t need a token. There are only a few cases that make sense to tokenize. Most people get tokens only so they can “HODL” it and buy more bitcoin and ethereum in the future! Is that all that your tokens are worth? If you do use tokens for your business, then you need to completely understand its role and maximize its utility. You have to understand that tokens can be multi-purpose tools which can bring in a lot of “oomph” to your business. Your business model should be such that you are exploiting your tokens to the maximum possible limit. (Before we continue, we would like to give shoutouts to the inimitable William Mougayar and Kyle Samani for their brilliant work and research.) by having DAO coins in your possession, you could have had voting rights inside the DAO to decide which projects get funding and which don’t. The tokens create an internal economic system within the confines of the project itself. The tokens can help the buyers and sellers trade value within the ecosystem. This helps people gain rewards upon completion of particular tasks. This creation and maintenance of individual, internal economies is one of the most important tasks of Tokens. It can also act as a toll gateway in order for you to use certain functionalities of a particular system. in Golem, you need to have GNT (golem tokens) to gain access to the benefits of the Golem supercomputer. The token can also enable the holders to enrich the user experience inside the confines of the particular environment. Can be used as a store of value which can be used to conduct transactions both inside and outside the given ecosystem. Helps in an equitable distribution of profits or other related financial benefits among investors in a particular project. If you want to maximize the amount of utility that your token can provide then you need to tick off more than one of these properties. The more properties you can tick off, the more utility and value your token brings into your ecosystem. Now, let’s move onto another interesting concept called “Token Velocity”. Token velocity in simple terms means: Are people going to hold on to the tokens for long-term gain or sell it off immediately? This is a problem with most ICO and token structures because they are being treated more as a vehicle for liquidation than as a store of long-term value. In fact, regarding this, Willy Woo did an interesting case study. He plotted the performances of 118 coins, from the first day of their inception to the day he made the graph. His only qualification was this; the coin should have reached a market cap of at least $250,000 in any one year of its existence. Let’s see what he came up with: Image courtesy: WooBull See that red line soaring triumphantly over everyone else? That is bitcoin. It is the only crypto that has performed consistently and grown from strength to strength. (The blue line above the bitcoin line is a statistical aberration according to Woo). In fact, Woo’s research becomes more interesting when you break it down even further. Here he has grouped the coins together according to the year of their inception. Let’s see how well the coins from each year group performed: Image courtesy: WooBull Yikes! That does not look good at all! What this shows is that every year the coins are performing worse and worse. And the reason for that is simple. More and more scam ICOs are coming in and developers are not making valuable enough projects. People realize their potential as a proper long-term store of values. This is exactly why developers need to pay attention to token velocity. The reason why Bitcoin and Ethereum have such high values is because, they are low-velocity coins. Let’s quantify token velocity (TV): Let’s quantify token velocity (TV): TV = Total Trading Volume / Average Network Value. So, more the trading volume aka more that coin is traded more the velocity. Consequently, less the network value, more the velocity. Now if you examine this from the perspective of bitcoin, then you will know exactly why its velocity is less. So, what should developers do to ensure that they have less token velocity? They need to work and re-examine their tokens. They need to understand whether a token is being fully utilized or not. If you haven’t paid attention to your security, hackers will attack you and they will rob you. That is staggering. The crimes that happen largely fall into three categories: Perhaps the most infamous example of this is the DAO attack. The DAO aka the Decentralized Autonomous Organization was a complex smart contract which was going to revolutionize Ethereum forever. It was a decentralized venture capital fund which was going to fund all future DAPPS made in the eco-system. The way it worked was pretty straightforward. The DAO tokens were indicators that you are now officially part of the DAO system and gave you voting rights. If in case, you and a group of other people were not happy with the DAO then you could split from it by using the “Split Function”. Using this function, you would get back the ether you have invested and, if you so desired, you could even create your own “Child DAO”. In fact, you could split off with multiple DAO token holders and create your own Child DAO and start accepting proposals. And this was where the loophole was created. People saw this in advance and brought it up but the DAO creators assured that this was not going to be a big issue. They couldn’t have been more wrong. On 17th June 2016, someone exploited this very loophole in the DAO and siphoned away one-third of the DAO’s funds. That’s around $50 million dollars. The loophole that the hacker(s) discovered was pretty straightforward in the hindsight. If one wished to exit the DAO, then they can do so by sending in a request. The price of Ether dropped from $20 to $13 overnight. This still remains the worst ICO hack ever. The aftermath of the hack was so extreme that it split Ethereum into two different currencies: Ethereum and Ethereum Classic. Here is something truly scary for you to wrap your head around. Phishing scams have stolen up to $225 million in Ethereum related cybercrimes. In fact, as we have mentioned before, more than 30,000 people have fallen prey to ethereum-related cyber crime, losing an average of $7,500 each. So, before we continue, what is phishing? Phishing is the process by which scammers get your sensitive information (like credit card details) by impersonating someone trustworthy and of notable repute. The scammers usually use email and in some cases, they use social media. In fact, someone has been trying to phish ICO developers by impersonating our very own Ameer Rosic! As a developer, you need to be very very very careful of this. Imagine giving away your card details or, more importantly, your key details just before your ICO! Obviously, the investors get scammed more than the developers. Which is a very valid question. The way that you can allay these fears is by using a multi-signature wallet. The easiest way of understanding how a multi-signature (multi-sig) wallet works like is by thinking of a safe which needs multiple keys to operate. A multi-signature wallet is great for 2 purposes: How does multi-signature wallet save you from human error? Let’s take the example of BitGo, one of the premier multi-sig wallet service providers in the world. They issue 3 private keys. To do any sort of transaction in a BitGo wallet you will need at least 23 keys to operate. So even if you have a hacker behind you, it will super difficult for them to get their hands on 2 private keys.

Buy Lots ICO Allocation

  • No other crypto has as much network value as bitcoin.
  • No one wants to trade off bitcoin because they know that there is value in holding it.

And on top of that, even if you lose your private key for whatever reason, you still have that backup key that you had given to your friend.

Now, how does a multi-signature wallet create a more democratic environment? Imagine that you are working in a company with 10 people and you need 8 approvals in order to make a transaction. Using a software like Electrum you can simply create a custom multi-sig wallet with 10 keys. This way you can make seamless democratic transactions in your company. And that is exactly how you will allay fears regarding the safety of the investor’s money. However, despite all this, even a multi-sig wallet is prone to a hack attack. A wallet is only as secure as the code that makes it. On July 19th, a vulnerability in the Parity Multsig wallet was exploited and hackers made do with $30 million in ether. So next time you are about to hold an ICO please make sure that you are taking care of your security. Does this mean that we hate ICOs? We don’t. Like we said, we really think that it is revolutionary. If you cannot convincingly answer any of these questions then please, do not do your ICO. Don’t contribute to this “bubble”. Make something meaningful. Make something that will add to the environment, not exploit it. Everyone needs to be aware of how initial coin offerings carry a lot of promise, but an equally large amount of risk. Just because you give money to complete strangers on the Internet doesn’t mean they will repay you, after all. The UTRUST ICO is getting a lot of negative criticism as of late. CryptoBriefing cited a “lack of transparency and experience”. This is a common development in the ICO world, unfortunately, as good ideas and lots of money don’t always make for a competent team. It is never good when people who perform independent reviews of cryptocurrency ICOs have to warn the public about certain investments. In the case of UTRUST, however, it seems there are some genuine reasons to be concerned over what this company aims to achieve. One of the first things people always have to worry about with an ICO is who is behind the project. Although this information can be easily faked, there will be more projects who reveal the identities of the actual people in charge. Any project failing or refusing to do so needs to be avoided, as it will most certainly have something to hide. UTRUST is operated by a person known as Nuno Correia, although it is doubtful he has the necessary know-how to pull off a successful venture on this scale. More specifically, his lack of legal expertise could come and byte UTRUST in the rear. We have seen increased scrutiny by governments when it comes to ICOs, most notably in the legal department. Without proper legal staff on hand, this project could eventually collapse due to a lack of preparation. It is understandable some people think they can handle everything, but running an ICO and the associated project is a far more demanding venture than most people assume. On the UTRUST website, we see plenty of team members mentioned. One would assume they are more than sufficient to ensure a proper ICO and hopefully a profitable company in the future. Surprisingly, most of these individuals bring no real knowledge to the table, which suddenly makes this whole enterprise far more worrisome. Nearly all members of this team work for an unknown web design and development firm. They have none of the necessary skills to run a company per se, especially not one which aims to tackle the industry in which UTRUST will be active. Secondly, there is the UTRUST whitepaper. Over the past few years, the appeal of a whitepaper has gone from “amazing work” to “a piece of paper with no value”. Anyone in the world can write whitepapers. The author of this article has been contacted multiple times to write whitepapers on behalf of ICOs but always refused. If people want to raise money for a project they think will change the world, the least they can do is explain it properly in words. The UTRUST whitepaper is quite complete, although it contains no real contact information. That’s a worrisome sign, according to CryptoBriefing. In the end, it remains to be seen if any of these concerns are justified. While it is true things look anything but impressive for UTRUST right now, there is still plenty of time to turn things around. For a company aiming to raise just under US$50 million in an effort to compete with PayPal, the current course of action will not be sufficient whatsoever. Aspirations and money will almost never trump experience. There are some exceptions in this regard, but UTRUST may not necessarily become one of them. The insurance industry is an old and traditionally minded industry, often plagued by conflicting interests between insurance policy holders and insurance companies. The incentive insurance companies traditionally have of withholding payments or making it difficult to submit claims is removed by giving power back to the people and cutting out the middleman. Instead, anyone can buy “tokenized risk” by holding the Etherisc token and earn returns on the risk they are taking. The potential for savings in a model like this is obviously huge in that it can cut the large bureaucracy that characterizes many insurance companies today. These savings could potentially benefit both insurance buyers and token holders. Certain sections of the white paper also suffer from poor English writing and structuring which can make it difficult to understand. In fact, the Etherisc white paper looks more like an academic paper than a typical ICO white paper. In our view, it still has a way to go when it comes to explaining their concept to the general public. We believe the team would benefit from putting all of these together into a single easily understandable white paper. This document should also include essential information about the token and token sale, which is now largely missing. Etherisc is a company registered in Germany that is issuing a token that will be known as DIP on the Ethereum blockchain. When it comes to the token allocation, details are not easy to come by. We were not able to find any information about this on the website or in any of the 3 white papers that are available online. Eventually, we were pointed to a Google Doc by one of the company’s representatives on Telegram. As stated in this document, only 30% of DIP tokens will be available to the public during the token sale. This is a really small share, which in our view challenges the idea behind decentralized platforms. The overall token allocation is presented as follows: The token price for early contributors will be $0.10 + up to 25% bonus with a high minimum investment of 10 ETH. During the main sale, the price will be $0.10 with no minimum investment. Only non-accredited US investors are mentioned as barred from participating in the token sale. When asked about this on Telegram, the Etherisc representative stated that “some other countries might fail the AML check,” without offering further details. The Etherisc team appears to be fairly large with lots of experienced people from a variety of industries. The team is also more senior than many other blockchain projects, which in our view is better than having a team of only young people with no prior work experience. There are three co-founders on the team, each one with his own area of responsibility: All three co-founders have Etherisc listed as their employer on LinkedIn. The team is also spread out geographically with people from lots of different countries. Despite this, we do have some concerns regarding the team’s preparedness for the ICO (or “Token Generating Event” – TGE – as Etherisc calls it). Firstly, the many white papers that are published on the website make it difficult and confusing to find the information investor’s typically look for before investing. These documents should be merged and rewritten into a single easy-to-understand go-to resource for ICO investors. Secondly, we are critical of the team’s decision to only make 30% of tokens available to the public through the ICO. Generally, anything less than 50% public ownership of tokens challenges our view of what a “decentralized” platform should be like. All in all, we agree that the insurance industry is a good candidate for disruption. We also like the idea of “tokenization of risk” and letting anyone participate and essentially buy risk in return for a profit. This way, there is a huge potential for savings and cutting down on unnecessary bureaucracy in the insurance sector. However, we believe the team still has some work to do on the promotion and marketing side in order to make this ICO more understandable for the general public. All token sale details also need to be made available in one place, and the team should explain clearly their reasoning behind the token allocation model they have chosen. Overall, we arrive at a score of 4 out of 10 for the Etherisc ICO. More information: Featured image from Pixabay. Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term trading. The author has no investment in Etherisc at the time of writing. Note: There will be a video recording published after the event. Subscribe to our newsletter to know the moment it becomes public. Superbloom is a simplified crypto investment platform to participate in top-ICOs. We make it easy for users to purchase ICO pre-sales, manage tokens, and trade with liquidity, security, and compliance, all in one place. Superbloom is built on a public blockchain for immutable ledgering and transparency of trades. Superbloom is geared towards retail participants as well as RIA’s and wealth managers who want to review customer portfolios. Follow these instructions to activate and enable JavaScript in Chrome. PC MAC We explain what an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is and how to buy into an ICO. To get started you’ll need a cryptocurrency wallet and some cryptocurrency. [1][2][3] Below we walk you through investing in an ICO (offering KIK’s KIN and Unikrn’s UnikoinGold as examples). Before we get to that, let’s briefly discuss what an ICO is and go over a few important warnings. Bottomline: An ICO is similar to a mix between an IPO and Online Crowdfunding, but for Cryptocurrency. Warnings: Cryptocurrency trading and use is generally legal. However, China recently banned ICOs and generally speaking ICOs are in a murkier territory in terms of legality. One must be extra cautious with ICOs. They could turn out to have different tax implications, and they could get banned in the future. READ THE WHITE-PAPER and DO YOUR RESEARCH before buying into an ICO (as the SEC warns, some of these are scams.) Many ICO tokens have done well over time, but few have consistently traded above their ICO price during the first few months after launch. TIP: Ethereum is (as of 2018) one of the leading blockchain platforms for ICOs. About 12 of ICOs use Ethereum’s blockchain to create unique cryptocurrency tokens and Ethereum-based “smart contracts” to do things like distribute tokens. An Initial Coin Offering (ICO) for cryptocurrency is like an Initial Price Offering (IPO) on the stock market, but instead of buying stock in a company you buy digital coins. The main difference is that with an IPO you own part of the company as stock, while with an ICO, you own digital coins issued by the company. You don’t have equity or voting rights; you just get the new token/cryptocurrency/coin. In short: An initial coin offering (ICO) is an unregulated means of crowdfunding that offers a new cryptocurrency at an initial cost. This is an alternative to other more traditional methods of raising capital. What is a token? ICOs offer “tokens,” thus it is helpful to understand that terminology. “Token” stands for “cryptocurrency token.” In other words, token=cryptocurrency=coin (meaning all cryptocurrencies are tokens). For example, Bitcoin tokens are the cryptocurrency built on the Bitcoin blockchain, and Ether tokens are the cryptocurrency built on the Ethereum blockchain. Interestingly, unique coins can use the Ethereum blockchain and build their own token network off it. This is what about 12 of ICOs here in 2017 – 2018 do. It is a bit like trading Bitcoin for Bitcoin Cash (a unique token built on the bitcoin blockchain), or Ethereum for Ethereum classic. The new tokens are built off the existing blockchain, but they are otherwise a unique cryptocurrency with a unique market value. To buy into an ICO, you’ll need cryptocurrency and a cryptocurrency wallet. Any combination of coin and wallet may be requested for a given ICO. However, in many cases, you specifically need Ethereum (AKA “ether”) and a MyEtherWallet (or a full Ethereum Wallet). This is because many ICOs are token-based systems built on the Ethereum blockchain. One is essentially exchanging “ether tokens” for rebranded “ether tokens” with unique mechanics. Meanwhile, all Ethereum-based tokens can live together in the same wallet. Since Ethereum Wallet (the core full node wallet) requires downloading the entire Ethereum blockchain, I suggest you use MyEtherWallet (which doesn’t). This means you can use MyEther Wallet or Ethereum Wallet. Do not use Coinbase’s Ethereum wallet to buy into the ICO. Transfer from Coinbase to MyEther or Ethereum Wallet first. Coinbase isn’t ERC-20 friendly, meaning it can hold Ether, but not other Ethereum-based tokens. TIP: One reason the Ethereum platform is used for ICOs is that Ethereum’s smart contracts can be programmed to distribute tokens. This makes launching an ICO simple and helps ensure the delivery of tokens to user’s wallets. Learn how to add a token from an ICO to your wallet. Warning: There are many ICOs launching, and not all of them are reputable. Of the reputable ones, only some will find success. If investing in the coins with the highest market caps is risky, and investing in altcoins with low market caps is even riskier then ICOs are even riskier than that. If you invest, please do your homework and be prepared for some ICO investments not to pan out. Some coins spike right away; you may miss out of this. However, most ICO-based coins lose value or remain steady for months before anything significant happens. It is rare that an ICO is too good to pass up it (although it does happen). If you are skilled, you can buy a token early using EtherDelta, if you are of an intermediate level, you can wait until it comes on an exchange. You’ll often miss the very best price offered by the ICO, but you’ll save yourself some headaches and will avoid tying up your funds. In other words, ICOs can be a great choice, but there are some real considerations depending on your skill level. FACT: Ether itself was an ICO. Ethereum’s Ether is probably the best example of a successful ICO. However, even that took a while to go from ICO price to big profits. In other words, you could have skipped the initial offering and bought in early and still done rather well. Not every state or country will allow ICOs to run in their region (generally the region will “ban ICOs” not ban users from buying into ICOs). That is the gist of it. NOTE: Here are some important warnings, tips, and tricks. TIP: KIN and Unikoingold are hardly the only ICOs. Ethereum was an early ICO, and since then there have been many more. When looking for an ICO, do your homework and make sure the company is legit. TIP: Never share your wallet password or private key and never enter your password or private key anywhere (unless you are accessing your wallet via private key and password). To send coins and receive coins you only need to share your public wallet address (your “public key”). You can share your public address with anyone, but again, never share your private key or password. Learn more about cryptocurrency wallets.

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  • How are they going to use the money that they raise from their ICO?

These come from tech companies selling their future services.

In my stock portfolio, I’m happy to find anything that can give me 10 percent return over the course of a year. These days you can measure a crypto portfolio in 2x, 3x, or even 10x (as in, 1,000 percent). But lately, all this good news has been bothering me. The financial magic works like this: imagine if someone builds a casino in your neighborhood and they fund the entire operation by selling their poker chips ahead of time. With that money, they will pay for every slot machine, every bottle of liquor, every plate in the dining room, and the salaries of every manager and construction worker involved. Would you go for it? Most of us would say no, and even most gamblers would just rather buy some chips when they actually go to the casino. Now imagine that casino is being built by Terry Benedict, the fictional casino owner from Ocean’s 11. Benedict offers you a deal: they’re selling the chips now, but they are only ever going to have 1 million of them total. In the future, the casino’s customers will have to buy chips from you. Benedict has created an artificial supply problem. They even look at Benedict’s past success (he got robbed and got his money back with interest—that’s security!) and his team on this project and they go all in. Even non-gamblers (“investors”) are buying chips and holding on to them. They’re placing bets before the casino is ever built. Heck, why go to a casino when you could stay home and watch your chips go up in value? That’s one of the many problems facing tech companies that do an initial coin offering before they even build their businesses. And just like casinos, these token-operated tech companies have no hope of ever getting any money from businesses, governments, or banks. To unravel this $353 billion problem facing the blockchain tech world, I caught up with Brendan Taylor and Patrick Manasse at MonetaGo. They run an “enterprise focused” (read: businesses, governments, and banks) blockchain solutions company down the street from Modern Consensus’ decentralized office in New York. Modern Consensus: No matter how exciting a blockchain solution is, every ICO seems to suffer from the same flaw. BT: “ICOs attract speculators. The price of the service is then driven by speculation instead of the fundamental value of the underlying service itself. That is a critical disconnect between what the ICO is intended to achieve and what every single ICO actually achieves.” MC: What determines a successful ICO? BT: “A successfully ICO only mean the raise is successful, not that the company is successful. It’s the opposite of what a startup is supposed to do. Patrick Manasse Patrick Manasse: “In a lot of cases, they’re not even building out a prototype. It’s normal in the startup space to conceive a product, work toward a ‘minimum viable product,’ and then work toward the desired product. Even then, you improve it with everything you learn. Google, Amazon, Facebook—they get better every day. A change in a regulation can change how your product functions. PM: “An ICO is primarily a way of raising funds. Putting aside the legality about it, they’re using it to raise money for companies. BT: “The driver for doing an ICO is never in line with the service they’re offering. They are a regulatory grey area. You don’t have to comply with getting accredited investors. It’s an easy and quick way of accessing money in a space where there is plenty of spare cash. People who made a lot of money in bitcoin and ethereum are looking for places to store that cash. On the other side of the coin, the people trying to raise cash see ICOs as a way of getting their funds. To stay in that regulatory grey area, you have to issue utility tokens. That token equals the right to use whatever service that company is offering in a tokenized system. BT: “The only current legal path is by utility token. You are selling the right to use the future service. Ultimately, the tokens will have to be used in a network. When you’re talking about an enterprise solution, none of our clients are authorized to use any tokenized system. So right from the getgo, our clients cannot use a system that uses a token.” PM: “You really can’t take this approach. If you’re trying to do anything in enterprise, you cannot use this type of architecture. So businesses, schools, governments, banks, etc. BT: “Ninety-nine percent of all companies doing an ICO will never be in an enterprise space. They’re trying really hard to make that model work.” MC: Your team never did an ICO, but you are currently running a blockchain in the enterprise space? BT: “The network we launched in India is to mitigate fraud. First of all, our network is not public. It is private permissioned. All participants that are permissioned do see everyone else’s data. The information we are sharing on this network needs to be known by all participants. We are trying to stop duplicate financing. The only way to do that is to share that financing to the rest of the industry. But nobody wants to share who their clients are, what their volume is. How do you get around sharing information without sharing information? Traditionally, you trust a third party. The alternative is to obscure that information or create a digital fingerprint of it. We use the same SHA-256 hashing algorithm. That fingerprint identifies an invoice that is not on our network. Someone would have to find the invoice itself to give you the details. And they will see the same fingerprint registered by the financier. So the real information of the invoice is only held by the customer and the financier.” MC: Should people who have already bought into ICOs be worried? PM: “The SEC has been busting people for straight up fraud. They recently sent out a swooping set of letters to many of the companies that touted as premiere ICOs, mainly because they are very clearly doing something illegal. What we’ve learned in the last few years is that there is a reason why they don’t want any type of tokenization. There are data issues with having any kind of open network. If you’re a bank, you don’t want to publish every single one of your transactions. Really you don’t want to broadcast that information. From an enterprise side, who is going to be actually using an open network?” MC: So an ICO could put a good idea in a bad spot? PM: “There are really only a handful of companies trying to think long term. The arc that we’ve seen is that three years ago, it was just early adopters, a few budding companies. Last year, it was a lot of financial institutions. This year, it was a 500-to-1 ratio of startup companies trying to sell ICOs to a real enterprise company. People have come up with this notion that this is the way to raise a bunch of money very quickly. The long-term prospects of that company are not looking good. Now they are locked into an infrastructure and processes that have a number of issues. It does make for a very crowded marketplace. It makes for a lot of noise. So, we’ll see who’s around in the next few years.” MC: I still do think that blockchain is the future. I just think people are on the wrong wave to the future with most ICOs. Startups need to make mistakes to grow. BT: “We have never tried to be a blockchain. We rely on hyperledger and we provide applications that live on these networks. BT: “The problem we initially had was we tried to ‘boil the ocean’ we took on an impossible task and made everything along the way more complicated. That was never very successful because they were too untargeted. Now we start with the problem and solution and tell them how we use blockchain on the back end.” PM: “Our clients were having a problem with fraud. They wanted to find a solution to make it possible to prevent that. The technology that makes that possible is interesting, but it’s in the background. We’re solutions first.” MC: So yours worked the second you plugged in your servers? PM: “From Day One, our clients were able to see if they had their invoicing right. Nobody will know the details of the financing—the name of the company or anything. ou know the receipt of the finances. And no single party has control over this network. It’s not our company, it’s not one client. If you’re permissioned,you can join the network. You can derisk your entire portfolio and provide lending rates and financing rates. We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. PM: “Yep. There are companies that get a lot of visibility. Overfunding can impact the trajectory of future financing. That is a tightrope you need to walk. or every company that is funded, there are lots of companies that are not. But most people never hear of the companies that starve.” MC: Is there some portfolio theory here? Getting involved in a lot of ICOs means you cast a wide net. PM: “In a lot of cases, an investor is really looking for that one success. They invest in 10 startups a year or 100 a year. They’re hoping that one or two are ultra-successful. But your traditional business training comes into play: Team, company, and structure. Market and solution. All the way you would judge a company.” MC: What about these venture capitalists who are leaving their funds and going all crypto? BT: “Sometimes you hear of some high-flying investor who has spun off his own crypto fund, but their success is still only driven by the frenzy. A lot of the actual successes are based on speculative valuations. So the fact that someone does create a new coin and the valuation goes up and they cash out—that’s a success for them. Speculation, not real results. You’ll see that die out as these companies fold.” MC: If you advised a project today would you talk them out of doing an ICO? PM: “There’s temptation to raise that easy money. But if you understand the space and understand the systems, you don’t want to go for an ICO. We wouldn’t do one because it’s the wrong choice.” A. The Easy Homes token is a peer-to-peer, quantity committed, secure, private and robust digital medium of exchange for trading and investing. Purchase of Tokens will be available on https://easyhomes.io in the Crowdfunding Dashboard. During the ICO you will be able to purchase Easy Homes Tokens (EHT) using multiple payment methods: BTC & ETH. Account registration will be available once the ICO officially begins. A. EHT will be available on secondary market after the ICO ends. Follow our further announcements to learn more about it. Easy Homes is conducting a preliminary sale of its tokens for existing investors. Each investor will be granted access to an exclusive offer to convert its investment into EHT token at an additional discount. Successful ICOs require a multi-faceted approach to marketing. High profile advertising bans from Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and MailChimp are squeezing the ICO marketing channels available. However, what the bans mean is that other methods of marketing an ICO will need to get more attention. If there was just one platform in the world for people to exchange information about upcoming ICOs and cryptocurrency news, it would make marketers’ lives a breeze. However, that isn’t the case, and marketers’ lives are not a breeze. It is the responsibility of the ICO community manager to engage and optimize the community through the mediums favored by the cryptocurrency community. The channels that fall under the responsibility of the ICO Manager vary, dependent on the company size, its budget, its overall marketing strategy and the ICO manager itself. However, an ICO community manager should be looking to establish a presence and the transparency and trust needed for a successful ICO across as many channels as possible. Channels vary in popularity from country to country, but the main channels favored by the crypto community are: Telegram – Warmly embraced by the cryptocurrency community from its very outset. This platform, in the process of its own ICO, has a “secret chat” facility which allows conversations with end-to-end encryption and other security options. Reddit – The Reddit crypto community is a hard to win over crowd making Reddit management one of the more challenging aspects of the Community Manager role. Generally, the Reddit community is a knowledgeable and unforgiving group, but gain their trust with transparency and regular engagement, and you have the ability to make an ICO. Quora – This content-based channel requires the management of good quality content and keeping on top of updated threads. Again, a knowledgeable community and a community that should be catered to. Facebook – Although ICO advertising was banned from Facebook in January, community building and maintenance through pages and groups are still allowed and popular. Posting and commentating in other crypto groups also gains exposure. Facebook has over 2.2 billion active users and is too big for a community manager to ignore. Twitter – ICO advertising bans came into effect in March, but Twitter is very popular among the cryptocurrency community. By using hashtags and tweeting three times a day, it is possible to draw attention and convey your ICO message. LinkedIn – Another of the social media platforms that implemented a ban on ICO advertising this year, but still popular within the crypto community. There are knowledgeable, professional people in crypto and blockchain groups that have tens of thousands of members, all of which can be accessed and engaged with for free. Steemit – A Reddit style content sharing platform that is becoming more and more popular with the cryptocurrency community. An ICO manager will need to post quality content and engage with other users. BitcoinTalk – Probably the biggest and most important of all the specialized crypto forums. A community manager will need to engage with the forums to promote their ICO project. Regularly updated, it is one of the more labour intensive community channels to optimize, but an excellent channel for coverage. Medium – Similar to Quora in that it is used for publishing important content that conveys the information and message you want to get across. There is some definite blurring in the roles of an ICO community manager.

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Well, a lot depends on ICO management strategy and its intended presence in particular channels, and a lot depends on the actual person.

When one thinks of a “regular” community manager, someone who posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn springs to mind. Community managers are generally more social media centric with some forum posting. Regular community management is about engagement and being able to convey and respond to messages. The elite community management required in ICO community management needs a willingness and an ability to engage across many platforms throughout the whole ICO process 247, across different time zones. The ICO community manager has two very clear tasks which a regular community manager probably doesn’t have: Pre-ICO and Post-ICO. Pre-ICO, the ICO community manager has the responsibility of building trust, gaining exposure, and cementing brand identity. How the information is conveyed and how communities are engaged can make or break an ICO before its launch. In the immediacy of an ICO crowdsale, too often a post-ICO strategy is put to one side. The ICO community manager is vital for keeping engagement levels up and keeping the community informed. Keeping the community engaged is crucial for any next phase of growth in the ICO campaign or blockchain-related project. Now, no one is saying that ICO Community Managers need to have super-human powers, but there are certain qualities needed to be a successful ICO Community Manager. Dedicated – Community Management requires a 247 committed approach. Knowledgeable – This is not a position where you can bluff your way through. You will be expected to be the ‘face’ of the ICO and know everything about the company behind the ICO, including the technical aspects. A strong knowledge of blockchain technology and the crypto world is essential for an ICO community manager to build trust within the crypto community. Try and bluff your way through, and you will get found out very quickly, especially on Reddit. Patient – An ICO community manager will have to deal with all types of community members and potential investors, some more knowledgeable than others. Patience is important. Communicative – The ability to communicate is essential to the role of ICO community manager. Flexible – Most ICO community managers are forced to wear many hats. Facebook group posting one minute, then posting 1000 word articles on Quora the next minute, requires a degree of flexibility. Experienced – The key to successfully running a community is being part of the community itself. The ICO manager must know the nuances of important channels like Reddit and BitcoinTalk and ideally be experienced members themselves, to be able to fully optimize valuable the resources. There is no definitive role description for an ICO community manager, its tasks and responsibilities vary from person to person and company to company. However, the function and purpose do not differ and the person who sits in the role or roles of ICO community managers will have the biggest impact of all. As the advertising bans intensify and the coin launch calendar becomes busier, the ICO community manager will have more responsibility and more power to make or break an ICO. Therefore, it is essential the right person(s) fill the roll with the right backing given to carry out a defined and widespread ICO community management strategy. To bring you the best content on our sites and applications, Meredith partners with third party advertisers to serve digital ads, including personalized digital ads. Those advertisers use tracking technologies to collect information about your activity on our sites and applications and across the Internet and your other apps and devices. To avoid personalized advertising based on your mobile app activity, you can install the DAA’s AppChoices app here. You can find much more information about your privacy choices in our privacy policy. Even if you choose not to have your activity tracked by third parties for advertising services, you will still see non-personalized ads on our site. By now everyone’s heard of Bitcoin, and probably has an opinion on it. But the world of cryptocurrencies has a new object of fascination: ICOs. And while some ICOs are connected to companies, others are connected to “protocols” that aren’t even recognizably corporations. You’re not alone. On this week’s episode, we talk to Chris Burniske of asset management company Ark Invest to talk about this fascinating new world. Today the market is packed with lots of offers for investing and gaining by cryptocurrency (Lending Systems, Trusts). But not all of them are high-quality, profitable and reliable. Our system would effectively assist in obtaining the maximum profit safely, securely, comfortably and steadily. We have dramatically simplified investing by linking the profit to the exchange rate of our coin. The one and only thing you need to do is to purchase our coin either at ICO (which is cheaper) or at fully-fledged launch of the platform. Unlike most similar platforms, we generate profits not only by our coin resale, but we trade systems at exchanges with excessive profits. These profits we share with you. Most people are trying and have been trying to trade at cryptocurrency exchanges on their own. Very few of them were successful though. Some of them have been buying ‘signals’ and trying to work on them. But, as it was obvious from the very beginning, it simply does not work. The only you got was a waste of money and it is wrong! At the outset, we were also trading on signals, investing in various funds, ICO. And we lost a lot of money too. 100%weight Experts are independently and voluntarily contributing to the community. If no expert has rated the ICO, only ICO analyzer’s results are used. Always research before investing as these ratings should not be taken as an investing guide of any kind.Ratings and ICO analyzer results are being updated (re-calculated) every few hours. Please read the disclaimer and risk warning. This offer is based on information provided solely by the offeror and other publicly available information. The token sale or exchange event is entirely unrelated to ICOholder and ICOholder has no involvement in it (including any technical support or promotion). Token sales listed from persons that ICOholder has no relationship with are shown only to help customers keep track of the activity taking place within the overall token sector. This information is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice or carry out your own due diligence before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content on our site. The world of finance has been going through big changes recently. One of the biggest changes in the past couple of years has been the introduction of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). It’s no surprise that one of the most popular questions in the crypto space this past year has been ‘what is an ICO?’. While you might be familiar with some popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, you might not be as familiar with ICOs. Before we get into details about ICOs though, I need to make sure you have a fair understanding of the technology behind ICOs — blockchains and smart contracts. If you’re already confident in your understanding of these two technologies, feel free to skip to “The Concept of an ICO”. So, let’s get started! A blockchain is not Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. It’s just that cryptocurrencies use the blockchain. Put simply, a block is a group of transactions. The chain is a group of blocks that are connected to each other. Put those two words together, and there you have it — blockchain. All these blocks linked together on the chain form a public database. This database is public because it is shared with hundreds or even thousands of computers. We can think of these computers as the servers for the blockchain/the database. (These computers are called nodes). Any changes made to the database need to be verified by more than 51% of the nodes. If they are not verified, the change cannot be made. This effect is called decentralization — meaning that the database is not stored in one single place, but instead in lots of different places. When we talk about “changes” to the database, these are transactions of data. In the case of Bitcoin, for example, these are transactions of Bitcoins — people transferring Bitcoin to other people. (For more on blockchain technology, read our Blockchain Explained guide.) Now, on to the next piece of technology that ICOs use. The transactions that happen on the database are not just limited to financial transactions like the ones on the Bitcoin blockchain. Instead, they can be anything that has value. For example, the value of the transaction could be a house or a share of a company. Of course, you can’t physically place a house or share of a company onto the blockchain. Instead, you need something that represents the value of the house or share of the company. I welcome you to the world of tokens. A token is created to represent the value of something. For example, a house, electricity, store credit or a share of a company. Instead, the tokens must use an application. The applications that tokens use are called smart contracts. However, they just look like a bunch of code. So, to be used by regular users, developers create dApps (decentralized applications). You can think of dApps as the interface you see when you use Instagram or Twitter, but behind Instagram and Twitter is a series of coded applications. These coded applications are the smart contracts. These smart contracts are unique for many reasons. These reasons include the following: So, you now know about the two pieces of technology that have made ICOs the success that they are today. Now, let’s talk about what an ICO is! ICOs can be compared to IPOs. An IPO is an Initial Public Offering — this is a term used when a company first releases their stock onto the stock market. Before that, the company’s stock was private and its shares were not available to the public. Hence, Initial Public Offering. It’s important to understand the differences between IPO and what is an ICO. When companies list themselves on the stock exchange, people and companies that are interested in the companies can purchase shares in the company for a certain price. The shares can be used to vote on specific actions that the company is taking as you have actually become a partial owner of the company! If the company does well, the value of their shares similarly increases, and you can sell them at a later stage for a profit. ICOs are not as neat and clean as IPOs. ICOs can be considered as a means of crowdfunding. With an ICO, you get a token. These tokens do not give you any long-term authority or ownership of the project; they are merely a means for the project to raise funds. However, once again, if the project succeeds, the value of your token could increase. So, you could sell the token for more than you bought it for (if you wanted to, that is). To get this money, you can run an ICO. If people are interested in your ICO and think the project is good, they can buy your token for a certain price. These prices are normally set in Ether (ETH), however, some projects accept more than one cryptocurrency — normally Bitcoin (BTC) and Litecoin (LTC). When you invest in an ICO, you send your ETH, BTC, LTC or whichever currency you want to pay in, to the ICO smart contract. This smart contract then sends you the amount of tokens that you have paid for. There are usually two main reasons for buying tokens from ICOs: Just because the idea is good, it doesn’t mean the project will be good! An idea can seem really good, but then completely fail once it raises the funds. It’s true, unfortunately. There have even been cases in which ICOs have turned out to be complete scams! So, now that you understand what is an ICO make sure that when researching an ICO, you are careful. Investors will usually pay close attention to the following things: That’s a lot of questions, I know. The good news is, you can normally most of the answers in their white paper! Knowing what is an ICO is almost as important as understanding what is a white paper. A white paper is a document that presents the idea that the ICO is raising money for. It contains a lot more detail than the descriptions you will find on the ICO’s website. You’ll find things like system architecture, the need for their idea (the problem it is solving etc. ), the uses of the token, market data, and growth projections. You will also often see a list of team members, investors, and advisors. Although, this is normally displayed on the website itself, too. For an ICO to be successful, it needs a good, solid white paper. If you ever find an ICO is live but doesn’t have a white paper, I would recommend not buying any tokens from it. Very few people will want to invest in a project that doesn’t have a white paper, or a good white paper. A good white paper will also provide information on what the funds are going to be used for. The focus needs to be on the funds being used to grow the business and not for personal gain. This is important! As you can see, you find most of the answers you need from an ICO’s white paper. However, you should continue your research outside of the white paper and the ICO’s website. You should check how well they are keeping their community updated. A good way to do this is to join their Telegram group (if they have one) or view their forums. From there, you can see how they are handling questions etc. BitDegree is the worlds first blockchain powered online education platform with tech talent acquisition. The project collected approx 32,500 ETH during the crowdsale and successfully reached the Hard cap. For the team members, each had a full history provided and an MVP was presented. The roadmap is also very detailed, and the community was kept up to date with blog posts and forum answers. As you can see, it is important to gain the trust of the community. This was a very important part of success — nobody gives money to people that they don’t trust. Now that you know what is an ICO, keep in mind that ICOs are new, which means there are very few regulations. So, as mentioned earlier, you should always be careful when choosing an ICO to invest in. It is extremely important to do your own research! You should understand the creators behind the ICO and the market that the ICO is entering. Always study and consider their ability to deliver on the project on time and on budget. Learn about what they are planning on doing with the funds that they receive and use their roadmap to see when they say their project will be launched. How to launch an ICO… If you are creating an ICO and not investing in one, you need to understand how investors research ICOs. You need to understand that they need to see all the things we have mentioned — otherwise, they will not trust your ICO.

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You need to keep your community updated, treat them with respect and ensure that your project can do what it says it will do.

Always make sure you can deliver your project on time, and never tell lies. So, that’s my guide on ICOs — thanks for reading! Now that you know what is an ICO, what do you think about this new way to raise money for ideas? Do you want to invest in an ICO? Do you want to create an ICO? Let me know! Also, if you have any questions, I will gladly answer them!