Blueprint for a Successful ICO

ICO News, Investing | August 13, 2018 By:

As a manager of a crypto hedge fund, I spend many hours researching ICOs and reading white papers to ensure that I am investing in the right project. After having conducted ample research, I have whittled down three of the most commons ties that all successful ICO projects have in common.

The most important aspect of a successful ICO is to garner support from known, influential people in the crypto space. With so many projects for investors to sift through, it’s imperative that your project stands out from the crowd. The best way to do this is to have a trusted crypto source vouch for the project. This means more than just listing someone as an advisor – he or she should be very vocal about demonstrating their support for a project. In other words, there support should be more than just a single tweet or shout-out. Mainframe is an ICO that was able to leverage the support of the Ethereum founders very early on in their campaign, and this undoubtedly contributed to Mainframe’s success.

Another key aspect to consider is the level of detail to get into when discussing the technology behind a project. Bitcoin’s core founders were developers, and as such, standard crypto conversation has historically been very technical nature. Crypto nowadays caters to a mainstream audience, and the average person doesn’t understand concepts like “smart contracts” and “consensus algorithms.” Since the goal of an ICO is to garner mass support for a project, it’s best to avoid getting into too much technical detail when promoting an ICO. The clearer the message, the better. Leave the programming talk to the programmers, and instead focus your ICO campaign on highlighting certain themes that everyday people can connect with. Decentralization – or the process of making key decisions by a consensus group of multiple individuals – is one of those themes. Rebelling against authority is another. These themes stem from Bitcoin’s founding as a private payment mechanism, and thus highlighting them ensures your project connects with the non-technical retail investor base.

In addition to having influential spokespeople and a clear white paper, the decision of where to market your ICO is another important choice that founders have to make. Some teams focus all their marketing in one region – such as California – and then try to build an organic following there. Other ICO’s choose to do a global roadshow that includes stops in multiple crypto hubs around the world. Which strategy is better? That question is made more difficult by the fact that the popular crypto hubs seem to change on a regular basis.

While the USA and Singapore remain the two biggest ICO funding hubs, Russia and Estonia have seen increases in ICO funding in recent months. Additionally, Korea, the Philippines, and the UK are each expected to see increases in ICO funding in the future. The bottom line is this: what might seem like an effective strategy now won’t necessarily be an effective strategy later. And a strategy that leaves out either the US or Asia will have a hard time hitting a homerun with their ICO, as those two regions are just too important to be left out of the equation completely. ICO teams need to plan efficiently and prioritize fundraising before anything else, because without funding, a marketing plan can’t be put into place to begin with.