An initial coin offering (ICO) is equivalent to an initial public offering (IPO) but in the cryptocurrency industry. An ICO is launched when the company desires to raise funds via creating new coins, applications, or services.
Interested investors can purchase the product and obtain new cryptocurrency tokens issued by the company. The token may have some utility when using products or services provided by the company. Also, it may simply represent shares of the company or project.
When a crypto startup decides to get funding via an ICO, it creates a white paper. The white paper is an outline of the project itself, its content.
Tokens released via ICO are purchased by buyers and are like company stocks sold to investors during an IPO.
First, let us point out some key differences between the ICO and IPO.
Why should startup companies prefer ICOs?
The ICO concept is relatively new, and old IPOs may seem safer, but some of the benefits of ICOs are unparalleled:
- Retain control: You are not sharing your company with investors but selling future services, which is a huge difference. You will get funding but still, control your business.
- Globalization: Although some companies look for investors door-to-door, you can immediately raise funds from anyone in any country in the world through ICO.
- No supervision: This means that no bureaucracy may take months. The success of technology startups depends largely on entering the market first.
- Therefore, there are no fixed rules in the land of ICO, competition is fierce, time is an illusion, and the future value of tokens depends only on demand.
To help you get through this complicated system, we will introduce you to the comprehensive guide to help you successfully launch your own ICO.
Come up with an idea
First, you need to carefully consider and make sure that your project does require an ICO.
If you want your project to succeed, it must provide the solution that the market currently needs. The answer should objectively be better than what your competitors offer.
To do this, you need to thoroughly understand the market, understand your target audience, and most importantly, understand why they are willing to spend money for you.
If your project is funded through an ICO campaign, it will have its token.
There are currently more than 1,500 cryptocurrencies, meaning that competition is quite massive. If you want the token to survive the competition and gain its value, it needs very high demand.
To reach this goal, you must find a way to integrate cryptocurrency into your project as valuable and meaningful. You need to make your project an essential part of the product.
Know your competitors
Who are you competing with? One might think that this is any other project that provides similar services. However, this is not true.
You are competing for investor money, so the answer here is simple: you must compete with almost every ICO in the industry.
Research the legal aspects of ICO launching in your country
ICO is currently the most regulated aspect of cryptocurrency. This happens because many ICOs are shutting down and escaping with the raised funds or are just exposed as scams.
Nevertheless, in most countries/regions, ICOs are legal, regulated, or will be regulated in the future.
As for today’s data, §only China and South Korea have explicitly prohibited ICOs in their respective jurisdictions.
Create ICO token
First, you need to have a reliable distribution plan. This largely depends on the requirements and plans of a particular ICO.
Next, you need to outline how the tokens will be distributed clearly.
Additionally, you need to decide how many tokens will be issued or how many tokens will be distributed among your team members in advance. Also, choose how many tokens will be sold at each stage of the token sale.
Finally, decide under which specific circumstances you will issue additional tokens.
When it comes to blockchain platforms used to issue tokens for ICOs, the market is not that competitive. According to ICOWatchList data, most projects use the Ethereum platform, while only a few choose to develop their custom blockchain platform.
The creation of the token itself is a relatively simple process. The Ethereum website even lists the code you need to use.
However, customizing certain aspects of the crowdfunding sale logic for your tokens can be a bit difficult. So, if you are not fully tech-savvy, consider hiring a professional to do this for you.
Write a white paper
The white paper is mainly a technical document describing your entire project in detail.
Generally, it should include everything: market analysis, the vision for the project, its development strategy, structure and goals, information about tokens and their distribution, legal issues, your available resources, a description of your team, early-stage Investors and advisors, etc., etc., etc. everything.
Launch the website
The final step is to prepare the content and launch the website. People are interested in only three things: the team, the goals of the project, and the measures to ensure that the interests of investors are protected.
The “Team” section of the website should include names, high-quality photos, a brief biography (with particular attention to the skills of team members related to that specific project), links to social networks, and personalized tasks.
Overall, these were the essential steps you need to follow to launch your ICO successfully.
Nowadays, ICOs are the smartest and quickest ways to raise funds for the company. Proper target and content management and understanding of the system will help you develop your company quickly.