Are you considering taking the plunge and choosing your first ICO to invest in? ICOs are, of course, how blockchain projects raise investment capital. Investors buy cryptocurrency tokens that will then be able
to be spent on the completed blockchain platform or exchanged for the platform’s eventual
cryptocurrency. If the platform proves popular and there is demand for its cryptocurrency, the ICO
tokens will rise significantly in value, providing the investor with their return on investment.
The developer of the blockchain platform uses the investment raised through the ICO to develop their
platform, market it and fund the company behind it until it becomes self-sufficient. Much the same way
as any start-up raising investment capital from angel investors or a crowdfunding site. However, an
advantage of investing through an ICO is that cryptocurrency tokens can be traded on an exchange and
are, therefore, much more liquid than having a small equity stake in a start-up that isn’t listed on a stock
There are blockchain platforms, and respective ICOs, being developed across a huge variety of sectors
from financial services to government administration applications such as land registries, supply chain
management and almost every other sector imaginable. A major World Economic Forum poll of more
than 800 information and communications executives and experts has forecast 10% of global GDP will
be held on blockchain by 2025. Credit Suisse, with the bank themselves expecting to integrate
blockchain technology into their processes over the next few years, have also more recently said they
believe blockchain to reach ‘maturity’ by 2025. The bank expects the years before that to see “certain
products go viral” and “new providers/models emerge”.
So while 2018 has been a tough year for cryptocurrencies, applications of their underlying blockchain
technology have been moving ahead. In fact, now is probably a much better time to choose an ICO to
invest in. Hype has died down so investment pricing more realistic and attractive. So if you are selecting
an ICO to invest in what are the key qualities you should be looking for?
1) Blockchain technology adds value. Many ICOs, particularly last year and early this year, were
riding the cryptocurrency wave. Blockchain platforms launched ICOs despite the fact there was
no obvious need for or added value from a blockchain solution. So only choose an ICO to invest
in where a blockchain solution adds clear value.
2) Strong team behind the ICO. Who is behind the ICO, what are their credentials and experience
in the industry they are building a blockchain platform for and do they have a strong track
record and seem trustworthy? ICO scams are usually run by individuals with no relevant history
or often without even offering details on who the management team is.
3) Realistic and reasonable business place. Finally, when selecting your first ICO to invest in
carefully examine the details of the business plan laid out by its white paper. How much money
is to be raised, what will it be spent on and does that make sense? Some ICO look to raise far
more money than they should realistically need for an early stage company. Invest in an ICO
with a realistic investment target and detailed plan around how it will be spent.