A dozen things I want to know about your ICO

ICOs are now a huge part of the crypto landscape. So many are appearing each day that it is impossible to keep up now.

My original article on how I find ICOs is almost antiquated even though it is less that 2 months old. While I still glance through lists it is hard to identify how I actually find them, perhaps I should keep a record (that is way too sensible).

When I do find a project I am interested in these are the questions I am looking for you to answer and in this order. Now, you might not answer them all, but someone will take a look and try to. I’m just going to give you brownie points if you don’t make me hunt it all down – that’s not to say I won’t cross check 😉

  1. What is the aim of your project?
  2. What benefits does the Blockchain bring to the project? Why is it the most appropriate solution?
  3. Why does it need it’s own token? Why can’t it just use Ethereum or another token for payment – or maybe just credit card would be best?
  4. Do you have a product/prototype/just a white paper?
  5. Who’s on the team?
  6. Who are your advisors? Why are they your advisors? Are they investing?
  7. How much have your team invested in time and money?
  8. How much is your token sale aiming to raise?
  9. What are you planning to spend it on and why is that reasonable for this stage of the project?
  10. How does your sale rank you with the other ICOs in the last, say, 6 months? (You might as well say as someone will do it anyway)
  11. What is your soft cap and hard cap? If there is a big difference, what are you going to do differently if you exceed the soft cap?
  12. What is the structure of your funding?
    • What is the total number of tokens being minted?
    • How much was raised in a private placing?
    • How much is offered in the pre-sale?
    • How long is the pre-sale?
    • How much is offered in the pre-sale?
    • Actually, why are you doing a pre-sale?
    • How much is offered in the ICO?
    • What happens to the tokens not sold in the pre-sale/ICO?

That’s your dozen (see what I did on Q12?) for starters!

There are a lot of questions, but there again you are looking at raising a lot of money.


When the (hard and soft) Cap fits

What should you set as your soft and hard cap for your token sale?

It’s a tricky question. If the soft cap is costed well and is the amount needed to get your project off the ground, then why isn’t that the hard cap with remaining tokens reserved for issuing in a secondary and tertiary coin offering tied to milestones? It is, after all, an Initial Coin Offering. The feeling that you only have one bite at the apple is the same as a token investor’s FOMO.

I often hear investors backing away from ICOs with what are considered high caps in general terms – “I only participate if the cap is below $25m” or the like is common. When you think about it even $25m is a considerable sum for most start ups. That said, this is a much too simplistic approach. For a start it is the overall token capitalisation that you need to look at. $25m for 20% of the issue is very different to $25m for 50% after all.

What is important is what amount is right for the project. Can you justify the need for raising the amount you are asking for. How much do you really need to get you to the next stage? How many stages is realistic to ask investors to cover? Do you need a pre-sale or even a pre-pre sale? (another blog coming there I think). What will you do with your stash before you need to spend them?

Some will buy tokens because they are interested in your product and see the benefit of future use most will be looking for a return on their investment -probably quickly. As they are not buying a stake in the business that return needs to come from an increase in the value of the tokens. In most cases this will be driven by the demand to use them (or in the short term the perceived future demand for them) to use your product.  In turn this will be affected by the number in circulation, which is why burning unissued tokens is popular amongst investors.

Both groups need convincing if your ICO is to be successful.

As I said earlier,  it is an ‘Initial’ coin offering, the implication being that you’ll be back for more – everyone seems to get that with IPOs, not so much ICOs – probably because you have to be a competent investor to take part in an IPO.

However, so many people are looking for the issued tokens to be finite and won’t want to see a flood of new tokens at a later date. Just my opinion but probably the best way is to announce the full amount that will ever be issued with only a percentage released in the ICO and keep the rest in the contract with the right to do further sales in tranches at certain dates or milestones.

How to “do” crypto – brotherly advice

My sister and nephew asked me about how to get hold of Bitcoin the other day, and this was followed by a few of my friends asking the same question so I thought I’d just publish the email I sent her here (spellings and grammar corrected) as others might find it useful. It’s surprising how hard it is to stop writing once you start!

If you want to buy some of this stuff you will need to open an account – but remember this is a really risky investment, it could go to the Moon or crash to the floor ( I obviously think the Moon ☺ ) so do NOT invest more than you are prepared to lose. It’s all highly exciting when it is climbing by 500% in a few months and as scary as hell when it falls 30% over a few days. You need a calm hand and probably best not look at the daily charts.

Now to get started. You will need to have something called a wallet. This doesn’t actually hold your Bitcoin, it’s more like a keyring that lets you prove the bitcoin are yours.

The easiest way is to open a CoinBase* account1. If you use this link then when you buy your first $100 (about £75) we both get a free $10 (about £7) worth of the currency. You can buy 3 types of coin here ( the main ones ) either by Credit Card or by Bank transfer (but that’s in € or $ not £ so it depends on how much your bank charges for that. Anyway, before you can buy you need to be approved and that can take a while. There are charges for by credit card so you have to weigh up that against the cost the bank will charge for transferring from £ to €. 

Once you have opened an account you have a wallet and you can start receiving Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and LiteCoin (LTC).

You can start getting some free! Well you have to put up with adverts, but can be a bit of fun. This is not going to make your rich as we are talking pennies, if that, but you will start to gather some – mind you it won’t take long to realise it isn’t worth the time. Look at it this way, the two below pay out when you get to 30,000 satoshi (that’s  0.0003 BTC) about $1.16 (£0.87)1 – and it is a lot of work to build up to that!

Roll the dice at FreeBitcoin* : this is a bit of fun where you click a button and a number is generated which determines how much you win. You can play once an hour. Top prize is $200 worth of BTC, but the odds on that are miniscule.

Or claim some BTC at MoonBitcoin*. Lots and lots of adverts here – don’t click on any of them as most are scams (even Moon used to warn about them) or ICOs (I’ll tell you about them later). It often opens secondary browser window (what, is this the 1990s?).

Actually, bookmark this site BadBitcoin and if you are ever tempted by a site promising the Earth, then that’s a good place to start a sanity check.

Also, you can use some of your computer power to mine some coins. MinerGate* is not the most efficient but is probably the easiest to set up. Alternatively you could pay someone else to mine for you such as Genesis Mining* – enter in the code fl4R29 to get a 3% discount. I’ll send you another email on mining later, it is not the route to untold riches it sounds like and sometimes it is cheaper just to buy!  

Anyway, have a play with these will get you some experience with working with your wallet as you will need to enter a wallet address to get started. This is getting a bit long now, so I’ll drop you another email with how to do that once you have set up.

* This is an affiliate link.
1 Conversion rate as at September 21 2017

The articles on this site are opinions and for information purposes only.  It is not intended to be investment advice.  Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.

© copyright 2017 Russell Weetch