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A beginner’s guide to ICO investing. This guide is an introduction to ICO investing and the steps to look out for when investing in an ICO.
Up till July of 2017, the total dollar amount raised in Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) was a staggering USD$1,252,676,352. That’s over a billion dollars raised within a span of 7 months. With a total market capitalization of over USD$100 billion, the cryptocurrency market has attracted the attention of many, from traders wanting to make a quick buck to experts that are concerned with its lack of transparency. (See also: Guide to Common Crypto Terms)
What is an ICO?
An initial coin offering (ICO) is a means of crowdfunding, through the release of a new cryptocurrency or token to fund project development.
There are currently more than 1,000 coins available on different exchanges, with hundreds more in the process of being listed on exchanges. It’s important to understand that not all cryptocurrencies have their own blockchain, as most are issued on top of another Blockchain. A good example is ERC-20 tokens, which represents a standard of interoperability within the Ethereum Blockchain. Ethereum is a general purpose blockchain where different tokens can be issued on top of its blockchain without creating their own infrastructure. For a more detailed understanding, have a look at Coins, Tokens & Altcoins: What’s the Difference?
Advantages of ICO
Democratization: Allow projects to circumvent the traditional method of asking Banks/Venture Capitalists that may take a lot of time and resources. Anyone can invest and can earn the possibly huge returns just like how the big boys are accustomed to. Of course, investing in ICO’s is a high-risk venture.
Immense Profit Potential: Many in the space want to invest in the “next Bitcoin”, potentially riding the wave of buying coins at pennies on the dollar and selling them later at an astronomical valuation. Most ICOs have only a conceptual white paper with little to no proof of concept, thereby validating a high payoff potential due to the extremely high-risk investors are taking. Just look at the returns if you were to invest in the ICOs