ICO’s (Initial Coin Offerings) make the crowdfunding process for startups easier and less complex by using the power of blockchain technology. They have pipped other alternative methods of fundraising like IPO’s, STO’s, and IEO’s. An ICO is used mostly by startups to raise funds for their different projects to bypass the rigorous norms imposed by banks, stock exchanges, and venture capitalists. The tokens will be sold to the early backers of the project in exchange for either fiat currencies or cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. The first ICO was launched in 2013 by Mastercoin.
The procedure to keep in mind before commencing ICO development
- Ensure that your business idea is technically and economically feasible to attract the interests of investors. You can get some valuable feedback by posting some details of your idea on the leading discussion forums like Reddit, Bitcointalk, and Quora.
- Study the existing practices of your competitors and try to differentiate yourself by offering something unique and creative to your target audience. This will help you in positioning your product better.
- Make sure your ICO stands for legal scrutiny. In countries like the USA, ICO’s are heavily regulated by the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission). Asian nations like China and South Korea have issued a blanket ban on ICO’s. Be highly transparent in how you handle your investors’ money to avoid unnecessary controversy or litigation.
- Create an economically valuable token for your ICO. Decide the distribution plan, the amount reserved for private sale, pre-sales, and marketing purposes.
- Choose the right platform for launching your ICO. It is mostly done on Ethereum, Waves, Hyperledger, and Stratis.
- Prepare a comprehensive whitepaper describing the ICO project, the development strategy, the technical architecture, and the tokenomics.
- Include information about your team members and their respective credentials.
- Create an interactive website that is SEO-friendly. The content published should fall in the line of your prospective investors. Include a roadmap with clearly defined timelines and have a link to your whitepaper, social media profiles, legal terms and conditions, and press coverage. It should be capable enough to handle a large volume of traffic.
- Undertake aggressive marketing campaigns across various communication channels by using digital tools (both free and paid). Target cryptocurrency forums, social media channels, and run bounty programs and airdrop campaigns to generate the maximum coverage for your ICO project.
- Launch your ICO at the most appropriate time and answer all the queries asked by investors promptly.
- Have security experts on standby to address any untoward issues that hamper the launch of your ICO.
- List your tokens on the leading crypto exchanges like Binance, Poloniex, Kraken, and Bitfinex in the market for your investors to easily trade it.
A few factors to take into account before launching an ICO development service
- Many ICO’s are outright exit scams. They fail to deliver on their promises. Hence, it is better to have a rock-solid business model and experience blockchain developers to stay ahead of the intense competition in the market. The five largest ICO scams have swindled more than $20 million.
- Your token can be subjected to pump and dump schemes and extreme volatility in the market. This will leave inexperienced investors at a huge disadvantage. Ensure that you prepare a plan that will preserve the value of the token even in testing times. You can control the value of your token through airdrops, token burning, and initiating token buybacks.
- Review other ICO’s existing in the market. You can check out failed projects to avoid repeating the mistakes they made.
The future expected for an ICO launch service
ICO’s are the newest method for seed funding. This will strengthen the entry of cryptocurrencies into the financial world. It helps new ventures to become part of an egalitarian fundraising model. If all the tokens are labelled as securities by the regulatory bodies, the future of ICO’s would be a huge tragedy.
The regulators should support innovative methods and not stifle it. A lot lies in the hands of entrepreneurs spearheading different token sale projects across the world. The market will no longer accept an ICO project with just a published whitepaper, they require firms to come up with a full-fledged MVP (Minimum Viable Product). If we come up with the escrow and put multiple checks in place, a better system can be created in the years to come. As the adoption of blockchain by corporate companies and government agencies increase, investors and regulators will stand on the same page.
Certain areas who are lax about following ICO standards may lead to a location-based surge in offerings shortly. Increased media attention has also popularized ICO’s as there has been huge support coming from influencers and celebrities helping startups to achieve their fundraising goals successfully. Starting an ICO development service can revolutionize not just currency creation but also the entire financial system in one shot. They could become the securities and shares of tomorrow.