ICO Tips: how not to be a scam
ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) have become an extremely popular method of raising funds, especially for start-ups companies. However, in 2017, about half of the ICO projects failed or were terminated. To avoid mistakes and achieve success in ICO projects it is necessary to use the growing experience accumulated in the cryptocurrency community. The tips in this article represent some of the most important steps for developing a successful ICO project.
Describe the idea of your project
Firstly, a project should have a product or a service that will attract investors. To do this, you need to carefully study a market, identifying a product or a service to meet the demand. Hopes for the success of an ICO project should be based on serious arguments for investors, demonstrating why they should invest capital in the product.
Create a roadmap
The second most important step is creating a project roadmap, containing a sequence of important dates, and the necessary steps for completing the project, including any planned milestones for it. The roadmap ought to include highly detailed steps for at least three months.
Assemble a team of specialists
A carefully selected team is a key factor to a project's success. In high-tech areas, such as blockchain, it is crucial to focus on hiring impeccable professionals with good business reputations and successful experiences with previous projects on crypto-currencies. For successful projects, the quantity of team members is not so important as the correct structure and the quality of the team. Likewise, it is important to find the professionals in each area of your project's activities. As a rule, a team consists of the following levels:
- Founders and top-level managers— these specialists should have experience in successfully implementing business projects.
- Middle managers — programmers, software specialists, information security specialists, and advertising specialists, and lawyers.
- Occupational level—at this level it is possible to attract participants without experience, but their business acumen should not be in question.
- Lastly, it is valuable to assemble a team of advisers—advisors should consist of known individuals with good professional reputations in the crypto-currency community. Such an advisory board should be comprised of just 2-3 persons to help make key decisions on the project.
Ensure media presence
The more investors know positive information about your project and personality — the greater the chances your project will succeed. As such, it is necessary to have a presence on media platforms which will facilitate positive interactions with potential clients and community. However, not all media platforms are suitable for crypto-currency projects. Highlighted below are the main media platforms on which curating a presence either by news articles, interviews, marketing information or advertisements have proven effective in successful projects:
- Social Media Platforms—professional groups on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, YouTube;
- Communication channels—the project groups in Telegram,WeChat;
- Professional forums and discussion sites related to the ICO — Bitcointalk, Quora discussion, Top ICO List;
- Professional sites: for example, Medium (for posting educative articles about the project), GitHub (for placing the program code of the project);
- Project resources on the Internet—for example, the project's own site, for posting all project documents, information about the professional qualities and experience of key project participants, FAQs, access to the Help Center for the project and the project blockchain, marketing campaigns and so on.
Order cybersecurity services
ICO projects are under close scrutiny from hackers who, by taking advantage of vulnerabilities arising from errors, can stop work on the platform, disrupt other systems or steal investor funds, which could lead to the collapse of the entire project. To protect systems from hackers, before starting an ICO, it is necessary to conduct a code audit as well as to perform tests on the platform and other systems used in the ICO. Likewise, it is necessary to execute anti-phishing activities. The best approach to minimize risk for the project is to order cybersecurity services (smart contract audit, pen test, anti-phishing) from a specialized company, for example, Hacken.
Auditing and testing are crucial for creating investor confidence—auditor and tester reports are the best proof that a company is not using the ICO to perpetrate fraud. In addition, to secure the survival of a cryptocurrency created by projects like this, it must be placed on crypto exchanges for traders to access the coin. Indicating that a company has audited their currency’s code is a mandatory requirement when placing the coin on an exchange.
Finally, studying the history of past ICOs is necessary to understand the reasons for their successes and failures. Further information about ICOs is available at ICOBench, where you can find information on 2,253 ICOs. In addition, ICO Hot List investigates upcoming ICOs and adds information about them to their platform. By following the information in this guides, you can develop your project with precise outlines and details to better attract investors and clients.
It’s a community-driven business organization, consisting of the HackenHub, HackIT cybersecurity forum, HackenProof bug bounty platform, and Crypto Exchange Ranks.