As cryptocurrency mania grips the world and seeps into every aspect of our society, more and more eager individuals are taking the plunge and investing their dollars into new digital currencies.
You may have heard of something called an ICO, and this is a guide to the best ICOs to watch in 2018.
Firstly, let us take a moment to get a little idea of what they are.
An Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is a way of raising funds, or “crowdfunding” by using cryptocurrency which can then be used as a source of funding for start-up and fledgeling companies.
The ICO method means that a percentage of a designated amount of the new cryptocurrency is sold to customers or investors in exchange for fiat currencies or more established cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
ICOs are a little controversial and there are instances where well-meaning investors have been foiled or scammed due to investing in an ICO, only for it to disappear off the face of the planet, never to be seen again.
There are however lots of viable ICOs out there for you to investigate, and some could earn you a small fortune if you are shrewd enough.
How To Spot a Successful ICO
But how do you pick a good ICO? Apart from reading this article and heeding our advice, there are a couple of steps you can follow:
#1 Do your research on who is behind the ICO
You need to know the nature of the company and the teams behind it – put faces and names to it, and you can have a bit of assurance your money is less likely to disappear into the ether. Those people should also be active on popular cryptocurrency forums, such as BitcoinTalk or Reddit. The more visible they are and the more information they provide, the more reliable they are.
#2 Go for unusual or disruptive concepts
Don’t go for apparent ideas or ones that are replicated elsewhere, instead look for concepts that are out of the ordinary and that make you think “wow I wish I had thought of that”.
#3 Get to know the target market
It is all very well and good having a great idea, but if the target market is wrong, there is no target market, or the niche is too small then you can be sure you are heading for trouble.
#4 Analyse the tech
Look for ICOs that have run pilot case studies or at least proved their concept in practice. If the ICO cannot show any demand or proof that it works, steer well clear.
#5 Check out the white-paper
You need to go through this with a fine toothcomb – and don’t forget to be ruthless. It should be well written, clear, substantial, and coherent and should provide readers with compelling reasons why they should part with their cash. You need to be sure that the company behind the ICO have done their research, and remember, a whitepaper that is lacking in substance could be indicative of a front.
#6 Know what the coins are used for
Be aware that not every coin is as simplistic in its concept as another form of currency. Some are used as tokens that are exchanged for specific goods and services. In other words, don’t end up with a million invested in a sector or concept that is no benefit to you.
#7 Think logically about risk
With any ICO there is an element of risk, but it is up to you to conduct a risk assessment and work out how much you are prepared to lose, should things go wrong. Remember that many of these companies are in the start-up stage and there is every chance that things could go wrong. Be prepared to lose as much as you might pin your hopes on gaining.
Remember when Bitcoin was launched – if you had invested just $1 in it back in 2015, your investment would be worth over $10,000 today.
When it comes to cryptocurrencies, the fun is only just beginning with Bitcoin, so let’s read on to find out more!
The Best ICOs To Watch Out For in 2018
Created by a bunch of developers who learnt their trade at digital behemoths such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft – Cypherium will function on a new blockchain and it is designed to be incredibly scalable and also permissionless.
With its multi-level governance design, it indeed is one of a kind, and it has been designed and set up from the ground up. What makes Cypherium unique is the fact that governance is separated by the blockchain at the protocol and the application later.
What sets Cypherium apart is that it is unique. It seeks to eradicate issues with scalability, and it also gives blockchain the ability to cross over into mainstream usage, both of which are very good things for anyone looking to invest.
According to their website, Virt-U is “A distributed platform leveraging the security and trust of the blockchain to provide the economic backbone for the virtual world gaming revolution”.
Their aim is to unlock a world where anything that is created, earned, or learned in the virtual world, can become just as valuable in the real world.
It is the brainchild of a team of developers with decades of experience in gaming, channel revolutions, the creation and deployment of digital licensing platforms, blockchain, and AI.
There is no doubt that Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, eSports, AI, and Gaming are all growing and expanding at an astronomical rate. With over 2 billion regular game players globally, this growing market is worth over $120 billion.
Virt-U is backed by some seriously big names including CBE and OBE awarded individuals, meaning that this ICO comes with a big stamp of approval when it comes to reputability.
The idea is that the network that Virt-U runs on is an open protocol one that allows users to use tokens to power their transactions. By creating a virtual economy, users can create real-world benefits from their trades and the framework will enable developers to offer a range of in-game assets that can be bought and sold, as well as traded in online marketplaces.
If you are looking for a decentralised long-term rental platform, then Rentberry could be the ICO for you.
It has the power to automate every step of the otherwise frustrating rental process, including signing contracts and of course, making payments. This saves the tenant and the landlord precious time, money and frustration while also expediting the time taken to make and come to agreements.
The blockchain and smart contracts technology which Rentberry utilises also gives tenants the chance to save a fortune in rental deposits taken for security.
With over $500 billion tied up in rental deposits in the US, being able to unlock these funds could have incredible results for the economy as well as making it easier for landlords and tenants to not only find each other but to facilitate all aspects of the agreement.
Loci has been launched as a venture-based form of technology that is linked to its DIY patent research tool that is known as InnVenn.
They have also expanded their existing platform to create and post disclosure of new claims with regards to intellectual property and to post them onto the Ethereum blockchain.
The process of getting a patent can be complicated, costly and time-consuming but the technology around blockchain can help simplify it. This platform allows inventors to be inspired and to secure their ideas safely and cheaply quickly.
If you are looking for a decentralised travel reward based protocol, then Trippki is the one for you.
It works by aiming to establish links and the relationships between a hotel and it visitors. By utilising the power of the blockchain and its technology, Trippki allows individuals to benefit from more flexible and more versatile travel rewards.
You can use the platform for both spending and earning your points.
In an increasingly competitive field, consumers want more bang for their buck from their travel reward points and a platform like Trippki which not only creates, but enforces mutual relationships between the hotel, and the guest.
This is an ICO with a big dream as it aims to completely change the way that we connect and interact with each other.
Through the use of the blockchain, RightMesh allows networks to identify any secure Ethereum accounts and then encourage users to share their resources such as data, storage and internet.
It is an entirely decentralised network that is peer-to-peer and allows the individual to be in charge of their connectivity.
It is an entirely decentralised platform for consulting which brings together experts and facilitates their timely payment based on the time they spend on a call without the need for bringing a third party into the mix.
The expert or consultant sets their rate and then shares the details of their Experty profile on their marketing platforms.
When a client comes across the expert and wishes to engage them, after the work is complete, payment is made automatically using a blockchain smart contract.
The freelance market is huge and with the gig economy gaining more traction, a service such as Experty will be incredibly handy for those that conduct multiple transactions of this sort on a daily, or weekly basis.
Mobile phones are everywhere these days, and NAU takes advantage of this fact as well as the geolocation data produced by them to facilitate a connection between customers and clients via means of a digital coupon.
It allows local businesses and small businesses to disrupt the traditional manner of using expensive advertising models but letting the business get their referrals through an affiliate programme.
NAU is the perfect combination of mobile/social/local, and it brings an entirely new perspective to the concept of digital coupons.
Based on the smart contract and escrow system, Coinlancer is based on the Ethereum freelancing platform and seeks to surpass existing freelance marketplaces.
Current issues with existing marketplaces include expensive transaction fees and commissions and many risks around clients failing to pay on time, or at all. Coinlancer completely negates these problems through its peer-review system that focusses on mediation and also commands a much smaller fee of around 3% compared to 15-20% industry standard.
As the freelance economy is booming and more and more professionals take their services into the freelance sphere, it is expected to grow as much as $10billion in the next few years.
A system such as Coinlancer which can iron out many of the problems that freelancers face will become invaluable in times to come. The blockchain is one of the smartest ways to do this, and this is what makes CoinLancer an excellent bet for ICO investment in 2018.
A sports betting solution that is based on the blockchain, FansUnite is the first of its type that is designed to solve problems faced by punters.
A typical better will concern themselves with prices, liquidity, no limits, and increased security when they make their betting decisions, and these are all main focal points of FansUnite.
The key to the success of FansUnite is that it is filling a genuine gap in the market by solving problems that occur in an industry that is worth billions globally. For those that bet on sports on a regular basis, there is a considerable amount to be gained by transferring to FansUnite.
If you are a business owner and are looking for a way to efficiently tokenise your products, services, or gifts on offer, then Giftz is the ICO for you.
It works much in the same way that airlines sell air miles, and it gives a business the chance to sell their product as an incentive on an exchange type platform.
Airlines make a considerable chunk of their revenue from selling miles to other business for them to be used as buying incentives, and this is not only beneficial for the customer but obviously to the companies involved as well.
Should You Invest In ICO?
There isn’t one right answer to this question – it all depends on whether you all willing to wait for profits made from that investment.
The key to an ICO investment is picking the right one at the very early stage when the token price is still relatively low and waiting sometimes more than a year to see a profit.
The majority of ICOs will have a minimum amount of tokens that can be purchased at an early stage, and even though this amount might seem quite high, it will result in owning hundreds of tokens.
After making the initial investment, it’s a waiting game for the ICO to be finished, the tokens to be sold on exchanges and the price to go up.
This year alone, there were thousands of ICOs released on the market, however, with tighter regulations around the world, this might change soon. Many countries are looking into either regulating or entirely banning ICOs, hence before investing; you should check your countries regulations.
This is just a small list of ICOs to watch in 2018, but if you want to learn more about ICO and altcoin investment, check our free Guide to Successfully Invest In Altcoins and ICOs.