It’s said that savvy entrepreneurs see opportunity where no one else does. Then, why do so few of them pay attention to a new form of investment that is taking the world by storm? A better question would be: why do so few of them know that startups have raised more than $220 million in the past three years through a new financial instrument that has nothing to do with the traditional venture capital method.
A lot of you struggle to make ends meet, working long hours and building side hustles that will eventually earn you money. But, what if I told you that we are living in one of the best times to make money right now?
In this overly competitive economy, I hear you cry. I don’t think so, you say, raising your brows in disbelief.
You better believe it and take action soon because we’re going through the biggest and fastest transfer of wealth in human history and it would be a shame not to take advantage of this new golden age.
It’s a bold claim, I know, but let’s take a step back and see the big picture.
Do you remember the late ‘90s when the word “dot-com” was on the tip of everybody’s tongue? Those who were savvy enough to invest at the beginning of the dot-com boom became millionaires and billionaires over the years. Think about companies such as Google, Amazon, eBay, and Cisco who rode the dot-com wave and made a fortune. The early employees and investors in those same companies also made a fortune.
Well, there’s a new boom happening and, unlike the dot-com era, it’s largely flying under the radar. I’m talking about Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), a way to raise funds for Blockchain projects, one of the most disruptive innovations in technology since the invention of the internet itself.
No, you don’t need a Ph.D. in this to understand it or make money from it! In this guide, I’m going to teach you everything you need to know to understand how ICOs work and what you need to start making money.
What Are Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)?
Initial Coin Offerings are similar to a crowdfund. Blockchain startups offer investors the opportunity to invest in their projects by purchasing a part of their cryptocurrency in advance. In exchange for financing the project, investors receive digital tokens (cryptocurrency) at a very low purchase price. The investors expect the value of the received tokens to rise over time, with the option to sell the tokens on online exchanges like Bittrex or Poloniex at a higher price than the initial purchase price.
ICOs usually take place in the early phases of a project. The entrepreneurs use the funds to continue developing their products and launch it.
Nearly all funds come in the form of Bitcoin, although Ethereum, Bitcoin’s main competitor, is starting to get a considerable size of the ICO market.
Here’s how Initial Coin Offerings typically work. Let’s imagine that a Blockchain startup creates a new product (application) on the Ethereum Blockchain. The Blockchain startup determines the value of the product, based on what they think the product is worth, and how much money they need to raise to build and scale their idea (proof-of-concept / MVP). This value, however, doesn’t remain fixed and changes according to the dynamics of the market. In other words, the market supply and demand set the price instead of a central authority or government.
To get a better understanding of how ICOs works, imagine that I propose creating a competitor to Netflix called Webflix. It does everything Netflix does, except it’s open source and decentralized, meaning no company or central authority controls it, data is peer-to-peer, similar to BitTorrent. At Webflix, membership can only be purchased using tokens I create called Flix Coins. To fund my Netflix competitor, I pre-sell these tokens to the public. People buy them because if they jump on the bandwagon early, they can either resell the tokens for a higher value or trade them for membership at Webflix for pennies on the dollar. That’s if my Netflix competitor takes off. If it doesn’t, they end up with a bunch of worthless tokens.
So, in a way, ICOs took the best from both Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) and Crowd Funding and created a decentralized system that has no single point of failure or middle man being in control.
Is that a good thing?
To answer this question, let’s try to understand how IPOs and Crowd Funding work.
What Are Initial Public Offerings (IPOs)?
As the name suggests, an Initial Public Offering, or IPO, is the process by which a company goes from private to public by selling stocks to the general public.
One of the main reasons companies go public is to raise funds and have more liquidity on hand. They can reinvest the capital in the business’ infrastructure or expand the company. Another added benefit of an IPO is that you can increase your chances of attracting top management candidates by offering them perks such as stock option plans. Not to mention that being listed in major stock exchange markets like Nasdaq or NYSE gives credibility.
Once the company goes public, the stocks the investors bought are no longer “paper money.” They now can sell or liquidate their stock in exchange for real money.
Let’s take Snapchat as an example since they went public recently, and managed to raise $3.4 billion at a valuation of $24 billion. They priced their IPO at $17, meaning that anyone in the world can now go to an online brokerage site, such as TD Ameritrade or ETrade and buy shares in Snapchat under the trading symbol SNAP.
In reality, however, the IPO process isn’t very democratic, and it favors large institutional investors (venture capital, hedge funds, private equity and ultra-rich individuals known as angel investors).
We can illustrate this by going over the Snapchat price before the IPO.
If we look at data from Pitchbook, we can see that the Seed Round (Series A1) valuation for Snapchat was only $5.3 million. Compare this to the post-IPO valuation of $24 billion.
Looking at Snapchat’s cap table, we see that their pre-IPO price for Series A1 was $0.01, and $0.21 for Series A. Compare that versus the current post-IPO price of $17.00!!!! This is exactly how startup founders become billionaires, and how early investors become millionaires!
To put things in perspective, a Series A1 investor received a 169,900% (1,699x) return on their investment after five years, when Snapchat had an IPO. A Series A investor received a 7,900% (79x) return on their investment after five years.
If you had invested $100 in Snapchat’s Series A1 or A, your $100 would now be $169,900 (Series A1), and $7,900 (Series A).
If you had invested $1,000, your money would now be $1.7 million (Series A1), and $79,000 (Series A).
If you had invested $10,000, your money would now be $17 million (Series A1), and $790,000 (Series A).
This is what Angel Investors and Venture Capital funds do. Except instead of investing $10,000, the average Angel Investor invests a minimum of $25,000, and the average Venture capital fund invests $3 million.
When it comes to raising money using traditional investment methods, startups are incentivized to keep the number of investors as low as possible, resulting in only people with the most money being able to invest.
As a result, regular people who don’t have a minimum of $25,000, miss out on these opportunities of making money pre-IPO and have to wait until a private company goes public to buy its shares.
IPOs are not without risks, though. More often than not, there is little data on the company so it can be hard for investors, especially angel investors (rich individual investors), to predict how the stock will behave in its initial day of trading and the near future. Add to this the fact that most IPOs are for companies that are going through provisional growth periods and you’ll understand the uncertainty that lingers above their future value.
Maybe these are some of the reasons why the number of companies going public has declined in the first half of 2016. Or maybe it’s because change is upon us.
What Is Crowd Funding?
If you’ve ever run a small business, then you know the financial effort it requires to stay afloat. That’s where crowdfunding can give entrepreneurs a helping hand.
Simply put, crowdfunding is the practice of funding a business or cause by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people typically via the internet. By leveraging the power of social media and crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter, Go Fund Me, and Angel List entrepreneurs scan expand the pool of investors from which they raise capital beyond the traditional venture capitalists and angel investors.
So, for example, if you have an idea for a product, let’s say an app that scans the ingredients in your fridge and gives you recipe ideas, then you can go to a crowdfunding website and pitch your idea. Promote it and hope that people will be interested enough to invest and help you get the funds you need. You can promise investors free access to the app or other special deals.
IPOs vs. Crowdfunding
Let’s imagine that you have a $100 to $1,000 and would like to invest them. Should you invest in an IPO or invest in a crowdfunding deal? The answer isn’t that simple.
In the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) restricts investments in companies before an IPO to only Accredited or Sophisticated investors. The reason is understandable: most of these investments come with a risk, and people don’t have the necessary financial background to make educated decisions. So, only individuals making more than $200k a year for at least two years or having a net worth of a least $1 million can invest in companies before they go public.
Things have changed.
Back in 2012, President Obama signed the Jump-Start Our Business Start-Ups Act (or the JOBS Act) which allows small businesses to advertise shares for sale to anyone, regardless of their income. The Act was pretty straightforward, but it took the SEC more than four years to put it into practice. They were concerned about protecting people from scammers, bad investment ideas or their poor judgment.
The new rule allows people to invest between $2,000 and $100,000 a year in crowdfunding projects. So, if you’ve ever dreamt of playing real life “Shark” like in the hit show “Shark Tank,” you now have the opportunity to do it, but with some limitations.
How ICOs Are Disrupting Venture Capital and Crowd Funding
We’re at the beginning of a new golden era. The market capitalization of Blockchain-based tokens is growing at a fast pace, threatening to disrupt the venture capital industry.
The traditional way of raising money for a startup involves the creation of a business plan, angel investors, multiple rounds of funding and, hopefully, an exit strategy for the investors through an IPO.
But, the growth of cryptocurrencies led to the development of alternative financing methods, namely ICOs. The main benefits of ICOs are that they provide funding to the startup team to develop and launch their project while also incentivizing the community to invest. If the project succeeds and your tokens increase in value, you can sell them and make a profit.
How much money can you raise through this new form of investment?
Just in 2017 alone, ICOs raised over $100 million in just 15 deals. And, the entrepreneurs didn’t have to go through rounds of negotiation and wait for months to raise the capital they need. One Blockchain startup raised $16.8 million in just 30 minutes.
More and more people are starting to see ICOs as a fruitful alternative to the traditional way of investing. The good news for you is that, in spite of its growth, ICOs are still a new phenomenon so you can still jump on the bandwagon before it gets too crowded.
ICOs Are Similar to Crowdfunding
In a way, ICOs are every similar to crowdfunding campaigns. Entrepreneurs pitch their ideas on a Blockchain platform application or digital currency, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, and people decide whether they want to invest or not.
Similar to crowdfunding campaigns, entrepreneurs don’t give up equity, but tokens (cryptocurrencies). Investors can then hold on to these tokens or sell them on cryptocurrency exchanges within days or weeks of the crowdfund ending.
There are a few noticeable differences, though.For starters, because the ICOs happen on blockchains, they benefit from the advantages of this digital ledger. As you probably know already, blockchain organizes data in batches called blocks instead of using a central administrator such as a bank or government. Likewise, ICOs are decentralized with no single point of failure or middle man being in control.
For starters, because the ICOs happen on blockchains, they benefit from the advantages of this digital ledger. As you probably know already, blockchain organizes data in batches called blocks instead of using a central administrator such as a bank or government. Likewise, ICO blockchain products are decentralized with no single point of failure or middle man being in control.
Another noticeable difference between ICOs and crowdfunding is the market value. When an entrepreneur pitches a product or idea on crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo, you usually know what to expect from that product. For example, when the game Star Citizen launched its crowdfunding campaign, investors were able to immediately tell how much the product is worth by comparing them with other games on the market.
When it comes to ICOs, however, things can get a bit tricky since there’s no real-world market value. That usually makes the product prone to over or undervaluation of the assets. An old-school VC might get turned off by these risks, but savvy investors might see this as an opportunity. They won’t have to wait for an IPO to recover their investment and make a profit. You can pull out whenever you wish. So, yes, the value tends to fluctuate a lot, but there are also more opportunities. You can cash out once the price increases or you can play the game and see where it takes you. Who knows, you might wake up a millionaire!
No Need to Give up Equity
If you’re a fan of the TV show “Shark Tank,” then you know that entrepreneurs usually have to give up equity to get the capital they need to start or expand their business. So, for example, someone would have to give up 10% of the company to an investor in exchange for $250K. Sure, when it comes to investors like Mark Cuban, Mr. Wonderful or Lori Greiner, most people would happily give 10% of their companies in exchange for their expertise. But, not everyone has this kind of luck, and most are forced to give up shares in the company just to see their business grow.
The beauty of ICOs is that they allow startups to raise money without giving up equity or stock in their business to shareholders. So, the same startup that would have to renounce 10% of their share on Shark Tank can raise the $250k on blockchain while giving up 0% ownership of the company.
This approach perfectly describes the philosophy behind ICOs. Why give equity to a few investors when you can let the people who are using the network and creating the value have stakes in your project? That way, anyone who bought cryptocurrency is motivated to increase the value of the project.
ICOs Are Currently Unregulated by Most Laws
I’m no stranger to investing and let me tell you right here, right now that you need the patience of a Buddhist monk to wait for an IPO. That’s because the government and companies heavily regulate IPOs and companies need to go through a lot of paperwork before they can become public.
Crowdfunding is no stranger to bureaucracy either. The final version of the JOBS Act has no less than 685 pages! Fail to comply with the rules, and you must suffer the consequences.
ICOs, on the other hand, are still rather new and, thus, untouched by government regulation. That’s mainly because the SEC has a difficult time understanding them. ICOs don’t account for donations because they give tokens to buyers and the right to vote on future decisions. On the other hand, ICOs can’t be seen as the cryptocurrency equivalent of stocks because blockchain-based startups don’t give up any shares in their companies.
The fact that ICOs don’t follow any regulations has created a liberal environment. So, a blockchain-based business can launch a product at any time and with little preparation and people can invest in this idea regardless of their income or country of residence.
More Liquidity for Investors Than Venture Capital or Angel Investing
If until recently the venture capital industry has been treating Initial Coin Offerings like a fad, they are now starting to pay attention to this alternative funding model.
For starters, cryptocurrency investors have made huge returns in 2016, with some blockchain startups like NEM and Monero seeing up to 2,000% increases in their value. For example, Ether (the cryptocurrency used for the Ethereum blockchain) has doubled its value numerous times, within days or weeks. So, those who have bought Ether have more than doubled their investment in just a few days. You can’t see this kind of return with traditional investments.
Another reason VCs are becoming more interested in ICOs is that they offer more liquidity than a traditional investment. When a venture capitalist or angel investor buys equity in a company, their money is tied up in the investment. They cannot pull out or sell their share until the company has an exit, whether through an IPO or until another company buys them. And, that can take years.
That happens regardless of the size of the company. Early investors of companies like Google, Facebook or Tesla, weren’t able to cash out their shares until the companies went public.
In the case of ICOs, on the other hand, investors have more liquidity, so they can get a return on their investment more quickly or pull out when they want. All you need to do is to convert your cryptocurrency tokens into Bitcoin or Ether and then into fiat currency via online exchanges like Coinbase or Gemini.
That’s because blockchain companies can make their tokens or cryptocurrencies available on cryptocurrency markets in as little as one week after raising the capital they need. By comparison, it usually takes a startup between two and seven years to have an IPO or get bought by another company. For example, going back to the Snapchat example, the earliest angel investors invested in Snapchat in April 2012. They were not able to liquidate their investment until Snapchat’s IPO in 2017. That’s five years they had to wait to realize their investment.
The History of Initial Coin Offerings
The concept of Initial Coin Offerings is still new, but it has made enormous progress since its appearance in 2013, evolving from a mere idea to campaigns which raised millions of dollars in just a few minutes.
How did we get here and what will happen next?
Let’s take a look back and then try to predict the future of the market of ICOs.
A blockchain company that took the crypto world by storm was Mastercoin. J.R Willett, the creator behind Mastercoin, proposed that the existing Bitcoin network could be used as a protocol layer to empower higher protocol levels and enable new rules for contracts, thus leading to the creation of new currencies without changing Bitcoin itself or requiring the development of an alternate blockchain to handle the new regulations.
Willett’s idea addressed several crucial problems and promised to improve the stability of Bitcoin and add value to it through the creation of new currencies. So, when he began the fundraising campaign for Mastercoin, Blockchain users were happy to contribute to its development. Building on top of other blockchains is commonly referred to as Blockchain 2.0.
Mastercoin raised approximately $5 million in its initial sale to contributors in August 2013. In just a little over three months, Mastercoin grew more than 220x in value, reaching $132 million. That was one of the first signs that ICOs are not just an effective way to raise the capital you need to fund your business but also a profitable investment opportunity.
Ethereum, the biggest Bitcoin competitor, had, in fact, one of the most successful ICOs. Having raised $18 million, Ethereum currently has a market cap of well over $14 billion at this time of writing, providing a substantial 532x ROI for any ICOs investors in less than three years. That’s because the team behind Ethereum used the funds to produce state-of-the-art software application and a successful business that partnered with many reputable tech companies, through the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance.
Unfortunately, the history of Initial Coin Offerings is not all sunshine and rainbows. One tragic example of ICOs gone wrong is DAO (The Decentralized Autonomous Organization.) DAO, an Ethereum-based company, wanted to build a model for an entity that would efficiently allocate capital. The company was able to raise more than $180 million dollars in just a couple of months. But, due to a glitch in the software, hackers were able to drain more than $50 million, destroying the DAO project and putting Ethereum through a crisis.
Most people managed to recoup their investment, but many of them became wary of ICOs. Some even predicted the end of ICOs after this event. But, legitimate blockchain-based startups quickly realized that they need adequate preventive measures and self-imposed restrictions to prevent cyber-attacks and earn the trust of investors. People have become more vigilant. Today, a good idea backed by a superficial whitepaper isn’t enough anymore to secure an investment.
Right now, the number of ICOs launching increases by the week, bringing in more money than ever before. In the last 12 months alone, blockchain companies raised 2.4x more from ICOs than from VC investments.
Trying to predict the future is no simple task, especially in the case of a fast-growing and ever-evolving environment like the ICO. The most likely scenario is that we’ll continue to see rapid growth coupled with the emergence of self-regulation and the development of new tools for conducting campaigns.
How ICOs Can Make You a Millionaire
Investing in an ICO might seem like too much of a risk. But if you think about it for a second, you’ll realize that unlike traditional ventures, ICOs give you the possibility to invest in a disruptive business during the early stages.
Going back to the Snapchat example, ICOs allow the average person who doesn’t have the minimum $25,000 to invest in Snapchat before it’s IPO, to invest in the next Snapchat Blockchain startup at pre-IPO type prices.
Let’s take Ethereum as an example, the second biggest cryptocurrency regarding market cap, behind Bitcoin. Ethereum had an ICO three years ago, in 2014 and managed to raise $18 million on a pre-sale of their cryptocurrency token called Ether. They issued Ether in exchange for Bitcoin, valued at thirty cents ($0.30.) Although still new and experimental, users saw value in it, and the demand increased. That led to a hike in the price. Today, Ether trades at $160.
Now, imagine you had taken a risk and bought $2,000 worth of Ether tokens in 2014 at thirty cents per Ether. Your $2,000 investment would now be worth $1 million after less than three years. Even if you didn’t have much money and only bought $10 worth of Ether, you would have gotten a pretty sizable return on your investment, and you would now have $3,000 in your pockets.
You might think that this explosive growth only happened because at that point cryptocurrencies were something new and people were eager to test their profitability. Now that the blockchain network has stabilized, you can’t expect to see such spectacular returns on your investment.
I beg to differ.
Let’s take Stratis as an example, a blockchain company created to provide solutions for businesses in the financial sector that want to reap the benefits of blockchain technology. Stratis launched last year in 2016 and valued their cryptocurrency tokens, named STRAT, at $0.017 per token. At this moment, one STRAT is trading at $2.81. That’s a 164x (16,400%) return on your initial investment in less than one year. If you would have bought $100 worth of STRAT last year, you would now be $16,400+ richer than you were a year ago. Imagine if you would have taken a bigger risk and invested $5,000 in STRAT. Nowadays, your investment would be worth $820,000+ in less than one year.
That’s the beauty of ICOs. Anyone, regardless of their income, country or education can become a millionaire, granted they do their homework and choose the ICO campaigns they want to invest into with great care.
Is It Safe to Invest in ICOs
ICOs can make you a lot of money very quickly, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are without flaw. Only two things are certain in life, and ICOs are not one of them. You can make a lot of money with ICOs, but you can also lose them fast if you are not careful.
As with any investment, it’s difficult to predict the success of a startup with absolute certainty. Similar to crowdfunding campaigns, companies might not complete the project or trick you into investing in their business without any intention of ever launching it. That is not unusual for an entirely new, mostly unregulated field. However, there are a few measures you can take to assess the credibility of a product and avoid getting scammed.
Avoid Anonymous Teams
Be wary if the developers of the project are either anonymous or unknown to anyone in the community. Sure, there might be instances when the developers are just new to the concept, but if they are not willing to put their reputation on the line, then it’s best to keep your money in your pocket.
Only Invest in ICOs with Escrow Wallets
One of the ways legitimate companies have managed to regulate ICOs is through the use of escrow. Therefore, if the developers don’t have an escrow wallet for investments, then nothing can stop them from running away with your money.
Be Skeptical of Lofty Goals
Another red flag you need to pay attention to is the goal of the project. If the developers have set unrealistic goals, it usually means that they don’t know what they’re doing. Or, worse, they don’t care and are just looking for a way to make a quick buck by scamming people.
Don’t Invest in Just White Papers
Legitimate businesses often show the status of their project, keeping investors in the loop. If the developers don’t release any proof of progress, such as beta code snippets, behind the scene documents and videos or beta/MVP versions, then most likely they don’t have anything to show.
ICOs investments, as with any investment, for what matters, aren’t risk-free. The fact that the government doesn’t regulate ICOs can add to the feeling of uncertainty. However, things have changed dramatically since the inception of ICOs. Nowadays, blockchain startups impose restrictions on themselves and can provide sufficient transparency to earn the trust of investors.
As already mentioned, contributions are stored in escrow wallets, and developers need several keys, including some from trusted third parties, to access the money. Moreover, companies need to provide comprehensive documentation to back up their projects, such as defined goals, recommendations from independent experts, and so on, to prove the legitimacy of their campaigns.
How to Invest in ICOs
ICOs can be easy money for startups. They’ve raised hundreds of millions of dollars over the past three years, so there’s no wonder that more and more companies are trying to leverage the power ICOs hold.
As an investor, though, finding a successful ICO can be a bit challenging, especially if you are not very tech-savvy. That’s where this guide can come in handy.
First things first, if you want to invest in ICOs, you need to monitor Initial Coin Offerings calendar lists that show current and upcoming ICOs. Some of the best platforms that make the process of finding ICO campaigns simple include:
These markets work similarly to Kickstarter or Indiegogo, where companies present their ideas to the public, hoping to get enough support to fund the development of their projects.
Go to these websites and look through the list of active or upcoming ICOs. Some of the calendar sites, like ICO Ratings, even provide free detailed reports on ICOs, and whether they’re worth investing in. When you find something you’re interested in investing, go to the developer’s site and ensure they are a legitimate business. A good sign is if the developers link to their LinkedIn or Twitter accounts. Research their credentials and try to learn as much about their professional experience. Then, have a good look at their white paper and make sure it includes a description of the project, realistic goals, the costs, and a clear roadmap of how they plan to turn their idea into an actual product.
Next, go to BitcoinTalk.org, find the ANN thread about the cryptocurrency you’re interested in, and gauge community opinion on the ICO. Pay careful attention to the questions that the developers themselves answered. Did they address all of the users’ concerns or gave vague answers? Moreover, you can search the name of the ICO you’re interested in along with keywords like “scam,” “con,” or “MLM.” If you see any posts mentioning those keywords, then that’s a potential red flag, and it would be better to keep searching.
Once you’ve found an ICO campaign that you are confident is legit and think has enormous potential, send Bitcoins or Ether to the project’s Bitcoin or Ether address in exchange for tokens. Store these tokens in the ICO’s campaigns escrow wallet.
After a week or month or so (it usually depends on the project,) the tokens get listed on cryptocurrency exchange markets, such as Bittrex and Poloniex and became available for buying and selling to the general public.
You have a few options now: you can hold on to your cryptocurrency and hope it will further increase in value or you can sell it for Bitcoin or Ether and convert it to a fiat currency like dollars, euros or yen.
Just like with any other investment, don’t put all of your eggs in just one basket and hope the cryptocurrency will skyrocket in a few months. Find about five ICOs that you think might have potential, do your research, and then narrow the list to the top three. That way, if one fails, you won’t lose all of your investment.
I invest in numerous ICOs a month. I dedicate a part of my crypto portfolio to investing in ICOs. I started out putting in $100 in each ICO to first learn the ropes, and then after getting more comfortable, scaled it up to $500, and then $1,000 and so on.
If there’s an ICO you like, but are hesitant to invest in it, or you don’t meet the ICO investment requirements, you can always just wait for the tokens to get listed on an exchange and buy them then.
Whenever a groundbreaking new technology emerges, it creates both disruption and opportunities on a global level. It happened with automobiles, film studios, computers, and dot-coms. Now, the history repeats itself with blockchain.
This new technology is taking the VC landscape by storm, creating millionaires right before our eyes. Not only that ICOs give startups the possibility of funding their companies without having to take the traditional route of searching for angel investors and venture capital and having to go through endless rounds of financing, but regular people like you and I have the opportunity to invest in profitable businesses early in the process. Imagine if you had the possibility to be one of the first investors that invested in companies like Google or Amazon. You would be a millionaire right now! However, with the way the traditional financing model works right now, that scenario would be impossible for the average Joe or Jane. But, it becomes a reality with Initial Coin Offerings.
That’s not to say ICOs are perfect. They sit outside of any traditional legal framework, and there aren’t too many regulations to protect you from scammers. But, here’s the thing: ICOs wouldn’t work if contributors wouldn’t trust them. So, more and more startups are implementing self-imposed regulations that make it easier for people to spot fraudsters and avoid losing their money.
In the end, you still need to figure out if a project can generate real value and if it’s worth your money. And, that’s true for any investment, regardless if we’re talking about IPOs, crowdfunding or ICOs. What makes ICOs unique, though, is that it allows you to hack the VC ecosystem and become a millionaire fast.
Hopefully, this guide will provide you the tools to get you started or at least get you interested in learning more about ICOs.
But, you should hurry and reap the benefits of ICOs before everybody else learns about them.