*What is an ICO? Many has asked (and, quite conveniently, answered) this question in gigabytes of articles. But even those articles had passages that required articles (or asterisks) of their own.
There are many people, who are interested in investing, however they are far from the budding cryptocurrency market if not conventional stock market.
Many potential investors still bear scars of various Ponzi schemes: Rothstein, Payne, Pearlman — these guys had made piggy bank our go-to investment center year after year. These people (investors, not schemers, duh!) need a healthy dose of information before they feel safe to invest again.
One needs to give them a bit of cryptocurrency background. I will read you a sermon on ICO ELI5.* [url=https://postimages.org/][img]https://s19.postimg.org/oz2ihtc03/ICO.svg.png[/img][/url
This article is primarily targeted at the people who have some spare money, would like to put it somewhere, but don't want to approach banks. At the same time everybody wants to be “in”, as only squares invest in stock market. The current New Frontier is cryptocurrencies (bitcoin and altcoins), ICOs and ITOs. Last two terms are really close in their meaning and are both linked to blockchain. Of course blockchain is unthinkable without Internet, but, I guess, if you are reading this article you know how to get online!
Well, in the beginning there was blockchain. The significance of its invention analysts compare with the significance of the invention of Internet itself. Blockchain is literally a chain of blocks (crickey!). The chain basically worths ten times its weight in gold. If you put a pre SegWit Bitcoin on a floppy disk that is... I dunno why you would, but someone actually did it (one dude lost his HDD with bitcoins for real)! This information chain, or rather its blocks, is scattered across decentralized PCs all around the world. It handles transactions in cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is electronic money. “Crypto” means that they are heavily encrypted. Therefore, it is nigh impossible to forge or otherwise corrupt it for a regular user as well as a team of master hackers.
Cryptocurrency is not issued by any state or private bank. Cryptocurrency’s story began in 2008 with Bitcoin. Actually first blockchain was described in the early 1990s and became the basis for Bitcoin as the first (and the most valuable) cryptocurrency. One could describe block chains as a digital ledger — kept by all parties — in the pristine condition. It cannot be edited, changed or redacted by anyone as it is constantly verified by all other parts of the network. This organization of data storage makes the system nigh impossible to crack (it does not protect the person with wallet from some bruisers taking a crack at him IRL though).
Apart from Bitcoin there are more than 1,000 types of cryptocurrencies, however Bitcoin takes the lion share of market followed by smaller guys like Ethereum or Ripple.
Every day the market is redistributing the market shares between well-established cryptocurrencies and the newcomers. There is a chance of some new cryptocurrencies skyrocketing to the top of the coin chain, albeit a slight one.
The main advantages of cryptocurrencies: - Anonymity of the transaction’s participants is protected — only the wallet address is known, - Transaction takes seconds or minutes to transfer (depends on the miners / participants ratio or condition of the network), - Transfer fee is approximately 0.01%. - Decentralized network works without the middlemen, i.e. supported by participants themselves, - Cryptocurrencies show significant growth over fiat currencies.
However some pillars of our society (the banking system, the stock market, the state itself) are rather jealous and frown on anonymity, decentralization and high investment attractiveness as it is a rather tempting piece of investment versus the ones, provided by the state. So, it is high time to get some tokens… Token meant "sign" in Old English. In the world of E-currency it serves as a proof of transaction of money to some project. That is, the process of issuing shares, entering exchanges, distribution of shares among investors and even investing the money into the project has been considerably sped up and improved by the blockchain technology.
Also it has decreased or eliminated the significance of middlemen like stock exchanges and brokerage firms. Basically token is the equivalent of share, but unlike shareholders token holders do not become co-owners of the company.
As the term “coin” was traditionally used in the field of cryptocurrency the launch of a new coin has been called ICO (Initial Coin Offering) — similar to IPO (Initial Public Offering). There is also a separate concept of ITO (Initial Token Offering), as the tokens can act not only as virtual money, but also have other functions like provision of access to different platforms and services. But in practice, ICO and ITO are interchangeable, and if you so desire to specify, you can use other another abbreviation — TGE (Token Generation Event) — an event for the token generation. How can you make money with ICO?
The same way you would with old-fashioned stocks. During ICO tokens are sold at the starting price, which is way lower than what it would cost in case of successful implementation of the project. For that reason ICOs are sometimes called “token sale”. Companies, which issue tokens, typically redeem them up at a price significantly higher than the starting price. That is, you buy a thousand tokens for one dollar and a year after sell them for $5. You have just made 400% annually — not so bad, right?
Of course it is not a fairytale... If we look back at the stock market state in its early years we will find peculiar similarities:
First stock market crash happened in England in 1720 and led to passing of Bubble Act — the name speaks for itself. As you know history repeats itself, but, in my opinion, first is farce... Second is tragedy... Stock market boom that took place two hundred years later in the United States led to the collapse of the entire US economy and plunge of the country into the Great Depression....
But let's look at the brighter side — some people make billions in stocks! One of the richest people in the world — Warren Buffett — made his fortune in stocks!
In the XXI century the money lie in cryptocurrencies and tokens! Let us visualize: If you had bought bitcoins in November 2016 for $740 then you would have sold them in November 2017 for $7400 (according to https://charts.bitcoin.com/chart/price
) netting 900% annually!!!
As for the tokens — there are those, which outdone Bitcoin growth, e.g. Stratis, whose ROI (Return on Investment — another lingo word you are likely to hear) was over twenty two thousand per cent! Apart from that Stratis tokens will yield dividends like proper stocks! Another additional successful ICO project — media blockchain GOLOS. If you still do not know what it is, you can peruse their site, which is a source of peculiar news from IT field: https://golos.blog
Its ROI has been 398%.
Also if potential investors feel that the project is profitable, its tokens will sell like hotbitcakes! Just imagine: an innovative browser Brave sold more than 35 million dollars in 30 seconds! Apparently the investors were hooked on the idea of receiving cryptocurrency for ad views! To me it looks like a pretty legit idea....
One would think right away: "Where can you get the latest news about ICO?" Special sites cater to those needs — they are called ICO trackers. These websites provide information about issues of new tokens, their stats and information....
Here is a list of ICO trackers: https://www.coinschedule.com https://www.coingecko.com/en https://www.numizmo.com https://icobazaar.com https://www.tokendata.io https://www.tokentops.com https://www.coin-list.com https://urbancrypto.com/ongoing-icos/ http://icochecker.com/ico-coming http://icodaily.net/
You can contact founders of projects, ask experts and gossip with other investors on a dedicated forum https://bitcointalk.org
All decent ICO projects have their YouTube channels, accounts and groups on Facebook, Twitter, Telegram and other social media... If the project is a real deal it will allocate enough resources on PR and ad campaign.
You should always be able to find White Paper and Road Map, which will guide you through all stages of the project and useful information for the investors. There should be photos of the project team and links to their social network profiles. From these photos should look people with Prudence and Integrity in their eyes, otherwise you might be in trouble...
Pay attention to sections, where it is described how you can reimburse your funds in case the project will turn pear-shaped; will they have unsold tokens burned — in this case tokens, remaining with investors, are going to grow in price.
It also looks reassuring if the project has some material base, that is — if it is connected to real economy. For example, Global Metrology Project has a Metrology Lab that is in such high demand that it plans to develop their own network of centers around the world.
In the process of choosing of a sound project for investment it is very important not to hit a snag, i.e. give money to scammers. Some ICO trackers actually warn about dishonest or straight away shady enterprises. Actually, it is a topic of a completely different article, and I might preach a sermon on it later.
How can you detect a shady enterprise — you can check the project for all the things I have been talking about in the last paragraph: Have the founders got a White Book? Is it a back of the napkin? Are all the conditions of investment stated? Do the rates even look real? All they talk about is "blockchain", but they have no connection to real economy? Shady!
Sometimes project with high hype turn out to be HYIP (High Yield Investment Program) — a kind of Ponzi scheme. Its organizers will promise you pie-in-the-sky dividends AND will actually pay them. At first... Then everything will follow the melody of Robbing Peter to pay Paul tune. One of the brand new Ponzi schemes of the XXI century is OneCoin — it has already gathered $250 M among the growing talks about its untrustworthiness and shadiness.
Certainly there are projects, which will return investment ten- or hundredfold. They are mostly connected with blockchain technology enhancement or application: starting from crypto stock markets, crypto banks and crypto casinos and all the way to tow truck, taxies and dating agencies.
So, as experts would suggest: “Thoushalt not fear to invest — Thou shalt fear shady ICOs!” Firstly, do not sell your kidney to buy some crypto money, Secondly, most experts advice to diversify: “Do not put all of your investment in one ICO.” Lastly: You have to spend time to earn money. Information equals money, so you would have to monitor zounds of sites and channels to increase your profit!
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