If you’re new to ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings), you might be wondering what all the hype is about. ICOs are events in where creators of a particular token offer a partial supply to investors in order to further the development of the coin. In turn, this will give the ICO team enough money to fund more future developments and increase the value of the new coin. This, in turn, will create more interest with potential investors and increase the coins value even more.
By investing in an ICO within its early stages of development, you can get a much better investment price (think early bird special), which will lead to a much better return on investment if the coin eventually increases in value through further developments. ICO companies have been doing a great job in getting people to participate in these “pre-released cryptocurrencies” through solid marketing exposure, well thought out whitepapers (layout of future plans for the crypto coin), as well as a reputable development team.
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Now that you have a better understanding of what an ICO is and how lucrative they can potentially be, you might be tempted to invest in the next one that crosses your path. At first glance, any particular token might seem like a great investment. However, it’s been proven time and time again that investing in less reputable ICO’s can be very dangerous to your overall investment capital. In fact, there are many ICOs that are flat out scams.
For example, the Mycelium ICO failed because the creators were using the development funds primarily for travel. Another example would be CoinDash, in which the entire network was hacked right before one of their events. This only proved that CoinDash’s security could not handle such a large event. Potential investors for that ICO would have had their money stolen. So now you might be asking yourself, how exactly do I know which ICO to invest in?
I’ve created a nice checklist of factors that you want to run down the next time you start shopping for potential investments in an ICO. Print this out and have it closed by once you start to shop around.
10 Tips to Investigate Before Investing in ICOs
1. The Team Behind the Cryptocurrency
Behind every successful ICO is a team of highly dedicated developers creating and managing the coin. Without a great team, the ICO is just another random coin to add to the 100+ piles of useless shitcoins out there. If you want to invest in a new coin, you first need to know who the people are behind it.
Some of the developers are well known in the tech world. Have they had contributions in other cryptocurrencies before? The key here is to know who the developers are so that you’ll know whether a coin is worth investing in or not. Acquire a list of developers and Google them.
It’s pretty easy to do, simply run a few background checks on high profile individuals. This will allow you to check how credible or trustworthy your potential investment is. If the team of developers are comprised of a group of noteworthy people, then the coin has a higher chance of success.
2. Feedback on Bitcointalk.org
What is Bitcointalk.org, you ask? Why, it’s only the largest cryptocurrency forum on the net. If you want to get feedback on a particular ICO, then this is the place to go. You can see what other investors have to say about a particular ICO. You may also leave some of your own feedback for them to view. It’s basically a huge discussion board for people who are interested in talking about any particular cryptocurrency. It is also one of the best places for you to do your initial research.
3. Progress of the Development
Other than reading feedback on what other investors have to say about an ICO, it’s also good to do your own research (DYOR) on the ICO’s development stages (AKA Whitepaper). Investigate to see what information is already available to the public. The whitepaper is a crucial part of the research process as it contains all the key information about the coin. It contains all past, present, and future plans of the company.
However, you have to look beyond the whitepaper and see what else they have to offer. Do they offer prototypes for testing? Does it contain other useful information that is essential to investors? How far have they gone in developing the coin? Obviously, the more information that they release to the public, the more credible they are. This means that there’s a high chance of success for the company and high probability of profit for investors like you.
4. The ICO Community
You can tell how much confidence is placed in a coin by looking at the size of the community. The value of a coin is dependent mostly on the supply and demand. Every cryptocurrency has a certain supply of coins that will slowly be released to the public.
While the supply is maintained by the developers, the demand has to come from the community. If the size of the community is really large, then you can easily determine that there is most likely a high demand for it as well.
It also helps if there are more prominent or reputable names investing in the coin. If the demand is high for standard investors as well as high profile ones, you know that the coin is most likely worth investing in.
5. The Purpose of the ICO
When you invest in a security or investment medium, you want to place your money in something that has value. With regard to cryptocurrency, the value lies in the purpose of the coin or what it’s used for (you can find this in the whitepaper).
For example, the purpose of Bitcoin is to enable people the ability to transfer money without any involvement of third-party entities such as payment facilities. Ethereum, on the other hand, was used for smart contract functionality.
As you can see, each coin has its own purpose. You have to find out whether the purpose of the coin you want to invest in actually makes sense or not. If you think it’s something that people can really use and get behind, then it’s investment potential increases. However, if you and others within the crypto community deem the coin useless, it’s most likely not a great investment opportunity.
6. Distribution of the Coin
||Another thing to take note of is the distribution volume of the coin. If it happens to be more than 50% during the ICO, then you may want to think twice about investing. A credible ICO will only have a certain volume of distribution as to not over-saturate the market. The key here is to find an ICO that doesn’t release all of its coins at once and instead releases the coins slowly into the market.
7. The Cap of the ICO
The cap refers to how many funds are allowed to be accumulated by the developers. If an ICO allows a lot of these funds to be stored, then a lot more coins will be supplied to its investors. This, in turn, may lessen the demand because demand goes up whenever the supply is down. You have to take note of the cap of the ICO to get an idea of the supply and demand figures.
8. ICO Code Quality
This step is more applicable to those who have more knowledge of computer programming. In order to know whether a certain ICO is junk or not, a lot of tech specialists actually examine the code that powers it. If the code is messy (especially during its final stages), then it might not be a very safe investment. Remember that the code is the core of the token. If the core itself is a mess, then you can assume that the rest of the company is too.
Just to give you an idea, a cryptocurrency that has function codes of more than 50 lines is a red flag for most programmers. If you’re really interested in investing a great deal of money into a particular ICO, you may want to take the time and hire a developer to look over the code for you.
9. The Number of Commits
Each cryptocurrency is powered by an open source code, which means that the public can view the improvements or the progress of the token. There will be logs that are also known as “commit logs” in the coding. A commit is a word that developers use to promote a code to the Github coding sector.
The number of commits in the log can tell you the progress and improvements of your cryptocurrency. It’s great to invest in a coin that has a high number of commits because it shows that the coin is developing quickly.
10. The General Activity of Developers
Aside from viewing progress of the code, another way to check progress of an ICO is to look into the Insights page of a particular ICO’s website. By clicking on the Insights page, you’ll see a chart of the daily commits of the cryptocurrency. Moreover, you can view the specific activity that each developer has completed for the token on a daily basis. You can check whether the developers of the coin are actually doing their job and making progress.
With the rising popularity of cryptocurrency, more and more ICOs will pop up on a monthly basis. In fact, ICOs have become one of the main methods of raising money for the development of new cryptocurrencies. As time passes, it will become even easier for people to have access to ICOs due to their rising popularity. Of course, this also means that people will have a harder time knowing which ICOs are worthy of funding and which ones are scams.
The key here is to do your homework on any particular ICO before investing. The checklist outline for you above should help you avoid any careless investment mistakes. The coins that don’t have much public information aren’t recommended.
A few resources I always check before investing into an ICO is…
Here you can view a comprehensive list of top ICOs along with ratings, rankings, and comprehensive analysis that will help you form a better buying decision.
||Don’t invest in a token unless you have full knowledge about the coin that you’re planning to invest in. If you take the time to do your due diligence, and have investigated every facet of the ICO, then regardless of what happens to it, you’ll know you did everything in your power to prevent losing your investment captial…..and that my friend is something to be proud of.