Education Research an ICO (Initial Coin Offering) Like a Pro – Insider Information Published 1 year ago on November 7, 2017 By Kent Hamilton I usually write about Altcoins investing and trading. Right now I wanted to spill the beans on how I research an ICO. If you are not familiar with an ICO, it is a coin offering an altcoin does to raise funds to build the product or to expand their company/reach. Instead of doing an IPO as most traditional companies do, a lot of companies are now going ICOs. Why? Many reasons but I would say the top 2 are the fact that millions of dollars are being raised in a short amount of time as investors are trying to be a part of the new altcoin launches in order get in on the ground floor. The second reason is that investors that take part in an ICO do not own actual equity in a company, they are essentially just giving the company money in order to launch their product. In traditional IPOs, investors would actually own a small or large percentage of a company when they invest possibly giving them voting rights as well as actual company ownership. Now I want to jump right into how I analyze and research an ICO. While some people start with the technology or the idea itself, I have to admit that I start with the ICO token metrics. First, calculate market cap to make sure they are not overvaluing themselves compared to other ICOs or existing altcoins. Determine the Market Cap of the ICO: Calculate the token price with this formula ETH Current Price/Num Tokens per ETH Now multiply Token Price * Number of Tokens in Circulation (tokens sold in crowdsale + presale) This is the company market cap roughly if the ICO sells all available tokens during the crowdsale. Take this market cap and compare it to the top 100 altcoins to see how the coin compares. If the market cap equals $30,000,000 then they would need to grow to $90,000,000 in order for you to make 3x your investment. Now go to Coinmarketcap.com and see what companies have the same market cap as this ICO. Ask yourself: Is this ICO as good as the existing altcoin and is it or should it be worth the market cap they are trying to achieve with the ICO launch. Now that you have determined that the market cap is good and that the altcoin has the potential to make you 3x – 5x your initial investment it is time to move on. Read the Whitepaper: Ask yourself these questions: Is the technology unique? Can this company survive/thrive without doing an ICO? What is the purpose of the token in the company ecosystem? Are they just creating a coin to profit in this ICO craze or does the coin serve an important purpose? How will the coin increase in value, is it based only on hype on exchanges or is it from it being used as a utility in the company? Does this company have competitors that may make this one irrelevant? Research the Team: First off, is the legitimate? Do they really exist on Linkedin, etc. You would be surprised how often the team members can be faked. Read the linkedin description to see if the team member is full-time with the ICO and if the ICO is even mentioned at all. Research the ICO Advisers: Are the advisers relevant to the ICO or are they just a shiny attention grabber? If you see the same adviser on multiple ICOs then their credibility/value to the ICO diminishes greatly. Determine Level of Hype: Don’t underestimate this step. An easy way to get a feel for hype and popularity is to google the name of the ICO. See how many mentions are in the google search results. Make sure you use exact matches such as quotes in the google search so that you don’t get results for the word ‘the’ or something generic. How many times are they mentioned on social media? The best way to do this is to go to buzzsumo.com and type in the name of the ICO. This will give you a results list showing content and mentions on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest and how many times the content pieces were shared. Go to the ICO website and search for the websites, social media and chat programs where they interact. Some of the most popular are Slack Channel, Telegram Chat, Twitter, Bitcointalk.org, Reddit.com. Check out their existing product and code: For this step you don’t have to know programming or anything like that. You will just want to go to their Github.com account as this is where they will store the code for their project. You can see how often they update their code and how active they are developing. Also, do some research on their past products if they are an existing business that is just expanding by offering an ICO. Research similar altcoins: Go to Coinmarketcap.com and CryptoCompare.com and study similar coin charts. Of course, every company is different but you just want to get a general feel for the potential. Right now ICO investors are leaning towards investing in Protocols and Platforms such as 0x, Kyber and Raiden. Ideas that are needed to propel blockchain and cryptocurrency forward. Good luck researching ICOs and may you see 3x – 100x returns. CryptoDayTrader, over and out… Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink. Rate this post: Important for improving the service. Please add a comment in the comment field below explaining what you rated and why you gave it that rate. Failed Trade Recommendations should not be rated as that is considered a failure either way. (3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)You need to be a registered member to rate this. Loading... Kent Hamilton 4.6 stars on average, based on 54 rated postsKent Hamilton - Co-Founder of CryptoDayTrader.io, where we are building Pro Crypto Tools Follow @HackedCom Feedback or Requests? Related Topics:initial coin offeringstoken sale Up Next Bitcoin IRA: How to Save for Retirement Using Cryptocurrency Don't Miss Make More Profit with Proof of Stake Altcoins – Ultimate Guide You may like ICO Analysis: Fieldcoin ICO Analysis: Dispatch ICO Analysis: Chia Network ICO Analysis: Mattereum ICO Analysis: IoTBlock ICO Analysis: OATH Protocol Click to comment You must be logged in to post a comment Login Leave a Reply Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment. Education How Do BTC Transactions Actually Work? Published 3 weeks ago on December 26, 2018 By VlaSem The advent of bitcoin has revolutionized the payment arena by removing centralized systems and the need for expensive and often convoluted intermediaries. To illustrate, let’s take a look at payments via traditional centralized systems and contrast them to bitcoin. Centralized Payments Payments via traditional finance channels are done though the help of intermediaries (financial institutions with certain roles and level of trust). What are the features of such a system? In short: reversible transactions intermediaries take a percentage, which increases the cost of transactions and sets their minimum price, making it impractical to carry out infrequent and small transactions the reversibility of transactions increases the cost of services whose services are irrevocable (the transaction was canceled. but we have already paid% of it) since the payment can be canceled, the seller is insured, requiring more information from the buyer than is necessary a certain percentage of fraud is inevitable But what if there would be a payment system that allows any two participants to transfer funds directly, without an intermediary? The computational cost of canceling transactions will make fraud unprofitable, and escrow mechanisms will protect customers. This is exactly what does Bitcoin based on the blockchain technology. How Does it Work? Information (block info, counter, and list of transactions) is recorded in blocks. When a block (its size is up to 1 MB) is full, a new block appears. The blocks are interconnected linearly, one after another in order, and each block contains information (hash) about the previous one. Therefore, if you wish, you can see the story down to the very first block. We define electronic coin as a sequence of digital signatures. Person A sends the coin to person B, signing the hash of the previous transaction and Person B’s public key, attaching this information to the coin. However, how does Person B determine how many times Person A spent this coin? He should know that none of the previous owners signed the transaction before the one that is in the chain of the coin sent to him. For this, a time stamp is written in the block hash. It shows that at the moment specific data existed and therefore fell into the block hash. It turns out that only the first transaction is valid, so you can not worry about late attempts at double spending, the information about the first transaction was already there and, since it is recorded for all system participants, the false (later) will be rejected. From the user’s side, the operation looks like this: Person A opens his wallet, enters the recipient’s address and the amount of 2.5 (for example) Bitcoin, executes the signature using the private key (the public key or bitcoin address is a unique personal address that is used in the chain, and everyone can see it, and the private key works as a password). Inside the system, a transaction will have three pieces of information: Input. Record with details about where Person A has bitcoins. Amount. The number of transferred coins. In this case, 2.5 BTC. Output. Person B bitcoin wallet address. Input and Output As you probably understand, Bitcoins exist only in the form of transaction records in the electronic repository. For example, Person A’s balance consists of 1 BTC from Person C, and 3 BTC from Person D. All these are different transactions that were carried out at different times. In Person A’s wallet, the records do not merge into a single file with 4 BTC but continue to be stored separately. For Person A to send Person B 2.5 BTC, the repository is trying to find a file with such a sum or combination of data to make 2.5 BTC. In our example, there is no operation with such amount, and they are not cumulative to get the required amount. Person A cannot break 3 BTC received from Person D (the sum of the input) since the system does not allow such division. Therefore, Person A has to send 3 BTC instead of 2.5 (output amount) for two transactions or two outputs: 2.5 BTC for Person B and 0.5 BTC back in the form of change. Of course, the user won’t see the difference and this is just a way of explaining how this works overall. Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink. Rate this post: Important for improving the service. Please add a comment in the comment field below explaining what you rated and why you gave it that rate. Failed Trade Recommendations should not be rated as that is considered a failure either way. (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)You need to be a registered member to rate this. Loading... VlaSem 4.9 stars on average, based on 41 rated postsVladislav Semjonov has a legal and financial background. He has been involved in crypto space since early 2017 in both ICO advising positions in several ICO consultancy firms, and as an ICO analyst for VC. He began contributing for Hacked.com in April 2017. Follow @HackedCom Feedback or Requests? Continue Reading Education What is a Smart Contract? Here are Practical Examples Published 3 weeks ago on December 23, 2018 By VlaSem Even though there are very few newcomers to the crypto market now, I will provide some useful information on smart contracts even for those who have been investing in digital assets for a long time. After all, we all have knowledge gaps, and many definitions are very vague – especially as it pertains to blockchain and smart contracts. What is a Smart Contract, Anyway? A smart contract is a program that starts the execution of a specified result only when pre-specified conditions are met. In other words: The parties have determined the conditions and the result of their execution. When requirements are met, the smart contract will be automatically executed. This can be either the transfer of assets from one side to the other or the launching of a chain of any operations sequence. The principle and most apparent advantages of this technology are the elimination of intermediaries and the resolution of the issue of trust which is an achievement of technological trust. The first and most straightforward application of such a contract is multi-signature contract (i.e., multisig, escrow). Those parties who do not trust one another can freeze a certain amount of assets in the blockchain in such a way that, in order to spend them, a contract would require signatures of more than 50% of stakeholders. Example 1 The contract execution mechanism is visible in the following example: Suppose there is a contract for saving money initiated by parents for their children to use when they reach adulthood. Contributions can be made to the account, where funds can be returned strictly after 18 years. This contract accepts transactions, transfers money from the parent’s account and checks the timeline for a specified date (like 18 years). If it does, it transfers money to the child’s account. Miners, seeing the code of this contract, will execute it. If you do not need to do anything, then the state of the account will not change, and no transactions need to be performed. However, as soon as 18 years have passed, the miner will execute the contract code and receive a transaction returning the money to the child’s account – and write it in the blockchain. To avoid contracts that take money from accounts or DoS clients in endless cycles, each instruction of the contract costs a bit of a different currency (i.e., gas), which has a price in the currency of the network. Therefore, the execution of a contract requires money that goes to those who execute them and close the blocks (i.e., to miners themselves). Example 2 The second example: Another type of contract could be one that accepts bets on the bitcoin price on a specific date and then transfers the money to the winning party based on the result. How does a contract know a bitcoin rate when the time comes? After all, can’t the data be changed and faked? Such problems can be solved with Oracles. An oracle is a conductor program that transfers information from external data sources to the blockchain, providing the necessary data to execute smart contracts. For example, an oracle can tracks stock quotes on the external web and transfer these data to the blockchain. Oracles in smart contracts are a full-fledged industry in which many startups try to offer their solutions. Hacked covered this industry in the following article: Are Oracles the Ticket to Ethereum’s Next Bull Market? Now smart contracts are widely used in the field of fundraising, such as in initial coin offerings (ICOs). As many investors know, ICOs have made their presence felt on many industries, such as financial markets (banking services, insurance, derivatives trading), supply chain management and logistics, accounting and auditing, registration of property rights, all sorts of voting, smart transport, digital identity identification and many, many others. Unconditional advantages of smart contract technology are, of course, savings (due to the absence of intermediaries); immutability (since the prescribed terms of the contract are stored in a distributed registry, and no one can change them) and speed (when conditions are met, the process starts instantly). The most apparent shortcomings are the susceptibility to bugs and the complexity of writing. Besides, the exchange of confidential data through transparent distributed registries is not suitable for many banks and large corporations. Also, problems of scaling and speed of transaction processing are still relevant. However, overall, a smart contract is a significant breakthrough and a foundation of broader applications of blockchain technology. Smart contracts have proliferated the market via ICOs but their applicability extends far beyond that. Only time will tell if smart contracts disrupt other core areas of the economy. Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading. Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink. Rate this post: Important for improving the service. Please add a comment in the comment field below explaining what you rated and why you gave it that rate. Failed Trade Recommendations should not be rated as that is considered a failure either way. (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)You need to be a registered member to rate this. Loading... VlaSem 4.9 stars on average, based on 41 rated postsVladislav Semjonov has a legal and financial background. He has been involved in crypto space since early 2017 in both ICO advising positions in several ICO consultancy firms, and as an ICO analyst for VC. He began contributing for Hacked.com in April 2017. Follow @HackedCom Feedback or Requests? Continue Reading Education Crypto Kingmakers: Evaluating Exchange Listings Published 2 months ago on November 8, 2018 By Daniel Mitchell Cryptocurrency exchanges have long been considered potential ‘kingmakers’ for up and coming ICO projects both pre and post launch of crowd-funding rounds owing to reputation, trading volume and community value, as well as prior experience of shrewd coin selection. Cryptocurrency exchanges are (at a base level) responsible for fostering liquidity in the market whilst providing competitive choices for investment consumers in the market: both with regards to the exchanges themselves as well as the diversity of the coins they offer for trade. When a new token is announced for listing on popular platforms such as Coinbase or Binance for example: trends show an increase on interest as represented by value and investment potential. Whether this offsets the prohibitively high cost of entry incurred by such service providers however is yet to be proven. Separating the Kings from Pretenders 2018 has not been a fortuitous year for many start-ups and underdogs. Whilst data shows an overall increase in investment volume for new ventures, it also shows a significant failure ratio within these same figures. In fact, data published by tracking agency ‘ICORating’ suggests that a majority (55%) of these initial coin offerings have failed within just the second quarter of this current year. Potential reasons for this include a ‘bubble’ effect resulting from the artificial inflation of token prices which in actuality hold little to no real value, inability to acquire funding or meet expectations, and the difficulty of gaining attention and penetrating a highly competitive space. Considering the reported failure rate of ICOs at present, it would be reasonable to exercise caution when considering investment in any of the influx of new tokens on the market (no doubt exacerbated by recent decisions made by Coinbase). A Utilitarian Perspective This writer reccommends that you apply critical thinking, solicit the advice of experts and knowledgeable friends, do your own research and cross-reference it with those of pundits and your peers, and do not let anybody encourage you to make any premature decisions. This is all simple advice easily taken for granted, but timeless nonetheless. We host our own series ICO Analysis / review articles at Hacked.com: articles that break down each project into its fundamentals: such as the strength of the team, technical theory and existing products, and other factors. All of these fields can be incorporated into your own research and analyses. Additionally, I myself frequently publish interviews with a wide range of leaders and experts. If a coin has no real actionable purpose, inexperienced leadership, technical fallacies, poor communication, or any combination of the above plus more – then there is a good chance that said coin holds no real value, beyond they professed by its proponents. Looking at Trends We can’t predict the future, however there are some observable indicators and trends which could point towards the next coins to be chosen by top platforms. After the PR nightmare surrounding Tether of late, there has been something of a rush of new contenders attempting to become the next stable-coin (a fixed-value token used for off-setting bear markets, or to be used as an intermediary. One of the most talked about of these is the Winklevoss twins’ ‘Gemini Token’. Adjacent to the ‘Gemini Token’ is the unique investment orientated token from BitMart exchange entitled the ‘BMX Token’. Like a stable coin it can be used as an intermediary for exchanges with other forms of cryptocurrency, however it has the added benefits of affording token-holders discount on all on-platform transactions in addition to being able to stake these coins towards potential new coin listings in the future. I have also frequently borderline evangelised Terra Virtua on this site and beyond. As a disclaimer I have no holdings or stake in any of the above companies or tokens. Additionally, I possess a small and transient amount of Bitcoin. Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink. Rate this post: Important for improving the service. Please add a comment in the comment field below explaining what you rated and why you gave it that rate. Failed Trade Recommendations should not be rated as that is considered a failure either way. (0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5)You need to be a registered member to rate this. Loading... Daniel Mitchell 4.5 stars on average, based on 12 rated posts Follow @HackedCom Feedback or Requests? Continue Reading Augur Jumps 38% Overnight as REP/BTC Explodes on B... Top 3 Price Prediction Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum:... Crypto Update: Zilliqa a Good Buy on Dips Futures Update: Deeper Correction Looms for S&... U.S. Stocks Tumble on Weak China Data; Cryptocurre... 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We will always be neutral and we strive towards a fully unbiased view on all topics. Whenever an author has a conflicting interest, that should be clearly stated in the post itself with a disclaimer. If you suspect that one of our team members are biased, please notify me immediately at jonas.borchgrevink(at)hacked.com. Trending Altcoins1 week ago Will Ethereum Continue Rally Ahead Of Constantinople Hard Fork? Ethereum1 week ago Price Prediction: Ethereum Relaxes on Its Journey to Constantinople Cryptocurrencies1 week ago 2018 Crypto Crash: Here’s What Actually Caused It Blockchain1 week ago Your Guide to Precious Metals on the Blockchain Altcoins1 week ago XRP Price Analysis: XRP/USD Explosive Breakout a Matter of Days? 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