The type of tokens offered in a Security Token Offering (STO) is called a security token. Security tokens are essentially crypto tokens that pass the Howey Test.

Just as the name suggests, the security tokens are normally grouped as securities and are therefore subject to the federal securities regulations. This is why STOs are said to be the most regulated mode of raising funds for blockchain projects compared to other means like ICO and IEO.

Security tokens are normally developed in a special way because they require an additional layer in their smart contract that shall make them regulatory compliance. This layer helps in identifying who is allowed to purchase, trade and interact using the token. This is why Security tokens are not developed using common ERC-20 standards. The ERC-20 standards lack the crucial layer that makes security tokens comply with regulations.

Therefore, a number of companies and organizations have come up with different standards to help I creating security tokens. One of those companies is Polymath, which has gained lots of popularity since its launch a few years ago.

Polymath security token standard

Polymath designed a security token standard referred to as ST-20. Security tokens developed using the ST-20 standard defines a number of rules. For instance, ST-20 tokens define who can use the token and how the token should be used within the smart contract.

 Creating a Security Token for your blockchain project using Polymath

Below is a step by step guide on how you can develop a security token for your security token.

  1. Create a funded Metamask account

To create a Metamask account, you download the Metamask chrome extension and then fund the account using Ethereum (ETH).

Metamask is an API that allows you to access Ethereum enabled Dapps using your browser. It is simply an Ethereum wallet.

Then, open the Polymath website and click on the ‘Configure Your Security Token’ so that you can start creating your security token.

Note: You cannot proceed without first downloading the Metamask plugin on your browser. If you try clicking on the ‘Configure You Security Token’ button without first downloading the Metamask, you shall be directed to the page below. However, you don’t have to worry, just click on the Metamask link on the page to download and install the Metamask.

  1. Create a Polymath account

When you click the ‘Configure Your Security Token’ button, you will be directed to the registration page where you will be required to fill in your name and preferred email address.

When you click on ‘Create Account’, you shall be required to sign in with Metamask also. This is done so as to sign your email address with your Metamask wallet.

  1. Choose your Token name, symbol and register it

After completing the registration process in Polymath, the next step is registering your security token. You will have to choose a name and abbreviation (better referred to as token symbol).

When choosing the name of your security token, it is advisable to choose a name that is in line with the name of your blockchain project.

An example of a security token name can be ‘Transporty’ with a symbol ‘TRP’.

You have to ensure that the name and symbol that you choose is not used by any other blockchain/cryptocurrency project anywhere in the world.

Once you click on the ‘Reserve Token Symbol’ button, you are given a 15-days window where you can consult with your team members and advisors before submitting the symbol name and symbol for approval.

Once you submit the name and symbol, you get a confirmation email to contain the full information about your security token.

  1. Choosing your partners

The next step is usually selecting the people that you want to help you with your STO. Here you choose the KYC/AML providers, legal team, advisory team, and marketing team.

It is, however, important to note that the portal doesn’t directly contact the selected persons or organization. It only sends you an email containing a sample of the email you would send to them.

Once you are done with selecting all the four teams (Advisory, Legal, KY/AML and Marketing), you go on to create your token.

 

  1. Creating the Token

When creating the security token, you can add a link to a file containing any additional information on the token.

  1. Setting up the details of the STO offering

Here, you are supposed to choose the currency that you want the investors to use when purchasing your security tokens.

When you click on the ‘Select And Configure STO’ button, you proceed to configure all the important aspects like the start and end date, the hard cap, the amount to be raised, and etc. of the STO.

Once you complete the process an email address containing the details of the STO configuration is sent to your email address.

  1. Whitelisting investors

The last step is whitelisting your investors. This enables the investors to buy your security token in the future. Since STOs are highly regulated, it is important to know who holds the securities.

However, the whitelist can be changed during the STO. You can add new investors along the way as the STO continues to allow them to purchase the security tokens of your STO.

Due to the additional layer of standards required for the security tokens so that they can comply with security regulations, STO requires more advanced standards when it comes to their creation. STO security tokens are not created using the ERC-20 standards as most ICO and IEO are.

To cater for the additional regulatory layer, there are a number of companies and organizations that have come up with platforms where STO issuers can create their security tokens with ease.

Below are some of the best platforms for creating your STO’s security tokens:

  1. Polymath

Polymath allows security token issuers to create tokens using the ST-20 standards which were designed by Polymath.  It works similar to the Ethereum network and it has its own crypto token referred to as POLY.

It connects the smart contract developers, advisory experts, legal experts, KYC/AML providers, and token investors.

The process of creating security tokens is quite simple as one does not have to do any programming. You just have to follow through the steps and end up getting a fully functional security token and a configured STO.

  1. Swarm

Swarm uses the SRC20 protocol to create security tokens for real-world assets. In short, the platform allows users to create asset-backed security tokens. Therefore, users can create tokens backed by assets like real estate and so forth.

The Swarm platform also has its own crypto token that can be used for operations within the platform. The Swarm token has a symbol of ‘SWM’.

  1. Harbor

Harbor platform is a special security token creation platform since it allows traditional assets to transform into security tokens. It allows the creation of security tokens backed by real-world assets like real estate, fine arts, etc.

The platform uses a regulated system token referred to as the R-token. The R-token is a token on the Ethereum blockchain that allows the transfer of tokens once an On-chain Regulator Service is approved. The token basically gives permission for transfers.

  1. Securrency

This platform allows the creation of security tokens through a drag and drop process.

Furthermore, the platform allows users to perform Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money- Laundering (AML) verifications over 155 countries on both crypto and fiat transactions.

Users can use the InfinXChange™ APIs to select blockchains of their choice and also get an abstraction layer.

  1. Securitize

This platform manages the entire process of security token creation and issuance throughout the token’s lifetime. It manages the processing of the investors to the received capital.

Security Token Offering (STO) is considered one of the safest crowdfunding methods for blockchain and fintech companies. However, for it to be secure, there are quite a number of regulations that go along with it and anyone who chooses to use it have to adhere to all the regulations provided.

The entire scenario is complicated by the fact that there is no internationally recognized legal framework governing cryptocurrencies around the world. Therefore, individual countries are left to fetch for themselves as they race to feel the gap by establishing their own rules and regulations for cryptocurrencies together with anything else like STOs, ICOs and IEOs that goes along with them.

Generally, things have gradually changed with most governments accepting cryptocurrencies contrary to the past. For instance, when the first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was launched, it took some time for governments to accept it. At the time, governments were wary of digital currencies since criminals became too much fond of them since they could enable them to transact anonymously.

The adoption of cryptocurrencies around the globe can be attributed to the various legal frameworks put in place by the various governments together with regional regulatory authorities.

Today, blockchain projects can almost flourish within any part of the globe. Most countries have accepted cryptocurrencies, with some even laying foundation for the development of their own state-owned cryptocurrencies. However, since blockchain technology is evolving fast, governments are now caught up with yet another handle, the regulation of the crowdfunding of blockchain projects.

To begin with, Initial Coin Offering (ICO) and Security Token Offering (STO) were among the first crowdfunding methods that was invented by blockchain developers. However, due to the fact that it was not easily regulated, scammers could easily get their hands on it to swindle funds off investors. That led some countries like China and South Korea to ban the use of ICOs in funding blockchain projects.

The embattled ICOs led to the invention of Initial Exchange Offering (IEO), which is simply an ICO run through a crypto exchange, so as to ensure that it was easy to apply some regulations to the crowdfunding.

STOs, on the other hand, were well regulated from the word go. Just as the name suggests, STOs deal with securities and governments already had certain laws governing securities within their borders. Therefore, it was easy to draft regulations for the STOs. Interestingly, these laws and regulations have made it quite difficult for developers to use it. Some fear the long process while others fear the strict rules that they have to adhere to in order to be allowed to conduct an STO.

What is an STO?

Before indulging into cracking the nut on the regulations and rules governing STOs, it is quite important to clearly understand what these STOs are.

An STO is a funding method that involves the selling security cryptocurrency tokens to potential investors.

The next question then becomes, what are these security tokens?

Security Tokens

A cryptocurrency token can only be classified as a security token if it passes the Howey Test and is consequently subject to the federal regulations. Different countries have different regulations for STOs.

Holders of security tokens become part of the company behind the security tokens and are therefore entitles to some dividends out of the overall profit that the company makes.

There are four types of security tokens that a company could choose to use. These include:

  1. Equity tokens

These tokens are basically used to state the ownership of an asset like stock or debt for a certain company.

  1. Debt tokens

These are just like short-term loans to a company where there is an interest rate on the loaned amount.

  1. Utility tokens

These are the most common security tokens and they give users the ability to access the products or services of the project once the project becomes operational.

  1. Asset-backed tokens

These are tokens whose value is tied to a tangible or nontangible asset. For instance a company could have a security token whose value is tied to the value of real estate assets.

Reasons why security tokens stand out

  1. It provides an improved way of accessing real-world assets that have been digitized. Companies can digitize almost anything from debt, real estate assets to the parking fee.
  2. It provides investors with some degree of ownership and they are entitled to dividends out of the total amount of profit made by the company.
  3. Security tokens also provide increased liquidity.
  4. In comparison to traditional tokens, security tokens ensure that the founders or board members do not have to surrender board seats in Venture Capital deals.
  5. The regulations set in place ensure that there are no loopholes for scammers.

Steps of developing an STO

  1. Come up with a viable idea that entails solving a certain problem within the society/community.
  2. Carry out research on the probable solutions to the problem(s) that you intend to solve.
  3. Carry out research on other companies or projects offering solutions to the identified problem and identify key areas of improvement.
  4. Recruit a competent team for the development of the project and the STO. At this stage, you should also look for a competent legal advisor or a consultancy firm like Gravitas International to guide you through the regulatory handles. The regulatory mainly depends on your geographical location and you should ensure that you clearly understand what STO regulations are in place for your location.
  5. Identify the exact security within your project that you wish to tokenize. This tokenized security is what you shall offer in the STO.
  6. Choose the security platform where you shall launch your STO. Examples of such platforms are Polymath and Harbor.
  7. Create a compelling website that clearly outlines your project goals and asset tokenization.
  8. Develop the security token with the help of your development team, and legal advisors.
  9. Market your STO in accordance with the set rules within your location.
  10. Launch your STO and offer the security tokens for sale to accredited investors in accordance with the set regulation within your location.
  11. Look for a good partner Security Token Exchanges where you shall list your security token.

Security token development

This is normally one of the hardest phases of STOs that make developers crack their heads. However, it is not as hard as people may think. All that is needed is the right team and legal advisor.

With STOs, you have to be careful to ensure that you stick to all the set regulations within your location from the word go. Normally, you should go for a consultancy firm that will help in auditing both the financial and legal matters concerning your project. The legal team should run jurisdiction checks on the security titles like credit ratings among others that you may specify for use.

STO becomes an exception when it comes to the type of tokens. Contrary to other crowdfunding methods that easily depend on Ethereum ERC-20 tokens, STOs do not use ERC-20 tokens due to the gas prices, protocol changes and network congestion that is associated with the ERC-20 tokens.

You could be wondering if Ethereum is not used, then what other platform is there for token creation.

Well, experts had to come up with platforms that could solve the issues with the ERC-20. Organizers and companies came up with new standards that enabled whitelisting and locking, which could enable tokens to comply with the required security regulations.  These standards include ST-20, R-Token, ERC-1404, and ERC-1400. The standards still use Ethereum smart contracts, but they are improved versions compared to the ERC-20 standards.

To make the process of creating security tokens, there are platforms dedicated to the creation of security tokens. Examples of these platforms are the Polymath, and Harbor platforms. These platforms provide an easy way of creating your security tokens.

The selected security token issuance platform should ensure that the value of the token is well scrutinized and in line with all the required regulations. It also takes you through all the remaining steps from setting the STO start or end date/time and payment acceptance.

The most important thing with STOs is that the required regulations have to be embedded within the smart contracts used for the STO.

What happens if your STO doesn’t meet all the requirements

  1. You will have problems getting your security token listed on security token exchanges. Normally, security token exchanges do not list STOs with legal issues. Worst, delisting from an exchange could greatly hamper your project brand.
  2. Failure to comply with the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know-Your-Customer (KYC) requirements makes future relationships with banks a problem. In case you already had funds deposited in the banks, the banks could seize the funds.
  • If you do not comply with all the regulations and laws set in place by the regulatory authorities within your location, the authorities could penalize you or even shut down the STO.

Security Token Offering (STO) is for sure one of the safest methods to conduct crowdfunding for your blockchain project. Nevertheless, if you decide to go for an STO, you have to be ready for the strict regulations that go along with it.

Security tokens are normally backed by real assets, therefore they have to comply with the US Securities and Exchange Commission regulations. Therefore, before marketing your STO, you have to ensure that you have fully complied with all the required rules to avoid being on the wrong side of the law.

Once you start marketing your STO, your project becomes known by many including the authorities. If the authorities get wind of your project and you have not complied with the set rules, you can be sure you will not like the repercussions.

Therefore, before marketing your STO, you have to adhere to a number of prerequisites generally referred to as general solicitation which allows any security issuers to solicit and advertise their offering widely. The conditions that must be met include:

  1. All the purchasers of the security tokens in the STO should be accredited.
  2. The token issuer must take all the required steps to confirm that the investors are accredited.
  3. For US issuers, all the conditions provided in Regulation D must be satisfied.

To understand what Regulation D entails and how it influences STO marketing, let us have a look at it.

Regulation D

Rule 506 (b) of Regulation D states that a company can be assured of exemption from Section 4 (a) (2) by complying with the following:

  • The company should refrain from general advertisement or solicitation in order to endorse the securities.
  • The company offering the securities can sell its securities to a limitless number of accredited and verified investors and up to 35 extra buyers.
  • The company should ensure that it gives the accredited and verified investors the correct information to avoid misleading information.

Therefore, for a company to solicit and market its security token offering, all the investors must be accredited and it must take all the necessary measures to confirm that the investors are accredited.

STO marketing depending on the STO development stages

  1. Initial Stage

These are normally the things that one should do to ensure that the general public is aware of the project and STO. The activities under this stage include:

  • Writing a whitepaper
  • Coming up with a one-pager
  • Creating a responsive website
  • Simplifying your project idea to interested investors
  • Blog writing about your project and Search Engine Optimization
  • Guest posting

When writing the whitepaper, you should ensure that you clearly explain your project and also lay out all the regal compliances for the STO. Furthermore, it should give a detailed technological, financial and commercial overview of a security token. Therefore, you ought to look for a professional writer who clearly understands about STO whitepapers.

The one-pager, on the other hand, is a one-paged document which is actually a summary of your project, giving clear reasons as to why investors should invest in the project.

For STOs, the websites created for the projects should be HTTPS sites to ensure that they are secure.

  1. Pre-STO stage

This is the stage just prior to the launch of the STO and the marketing team should ensure that word about the STO has reached as many people as possible. Some of the most commonly used marketing strategies used at this stage include:

  • Press Releases and Media outreach
  • Getting High Domain Authority backlinks
  • Getting the STO listed on STO listing websites
  • Creating profiles on professional websites like LinkedIn and CrunchBase
  • Social media marketing (using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Telegram and Steemit)
  • Running video campaigns depicting use cases

For the Press Release, you can pay for articles to be written and published on websites, especially those that you are sure that they receive a high amount of traffic. You can have some of those articles posted on High DA websites with backlinks to your website.

Listing your STO on popular STO listing websites like ListICO, InitialCoinList, and CoinIntelligence also go a long way in ensuring that investors looking for prospective STOs to invest in easily find you. When listing your STO on such a website, you should not forget to include the following:

  • A summary of the entire project and why investors should cash in
  • Link to the website of the projectLink to the project’s whitepaper
  • All the regulations that have been applied to the Security Token.
  • Know-Your-Customer and \Anti-Money Laundering Regulations
  • The specific STO Launch date
  • The Roadmap of the entire project
  1. STO running Stage

At this stage, the STO has already been launched and it is running meaning investors are flocking in to invest. Though not much awareness can be done in this phase, the marketing team should ensure that they are able to catch the attention of every investor that comes across the STO.

Some of the most effective methods used include:

  • Carrying out Airdrops of the security tokens
  • Building on the project’s credibility via networking
  • Deal marketing
  • Contributing to related forums

Nevertheless, these activities should be done in moderation to ensure that the main goal of raising funds for the project during the STO is maintained. For instance, when carrying out airdrops, you should refrain from giving away too many free tokens since it would compromise the amount of funds you shall receive during the STO.

As a blockchain or fin-tech investor, you have to keep up with the pace of the ever-changing market and investment opportunities. Two years ago, ICOs had dominated the fin-tech industry, especially the blockchain/cryptocurrency space. Blockchain startups easily raise funds through ICOs as long as the whitepaper is convincing enough to prove that the underlying project is viable. For the startups, they benefit by raising the required capital while investors benefit by making profits from the sale of the tokens at a later stage or using the tokens in paying for services connected to the project.

However, since mid-2018, ICOs have gradually become less attractive to investors, especially due to scammers taking advantage of the lack of proper regulations on the ICOs. Instead, investors are now going for IEOs and STOs since they have some degree of safety compared to the ICOs.

However, IEOs seems to be stealing the show. Though IEOs are newer than the STOs, STOs are yet to pick in the industry probably due to their strict requirements.

But how do you go about investing in IEOs to ensure that you make the most profits? How can you be sure that the IEO is profitable or not?

Below are the number of things that you should consider as an investor before commit yourself in an IEO:

  1. Carry out thorough research about the IEO

You may wonder why the research and the project have already been Okayed by the exchange platform that has better experts than you. But remember, the Exchange does not look too much at the end result of the project. The exchange is only concerned with whether the project is genuine and whether its users will be attracted to the IEO token sale. The exchange is in business and it has to find something that will be well received by its customers. Therefore, it is paramount that you do in-depth research about the project itself to find out if it is a viable investment opportunity.

As you do the research, you could try to find answers to the following questions:

  • Does the project seem to attract the interest of the general public?
  • Is the project a new concept or just a copy-paste?
  • Who are the people behind the project offering the IEO?
  • How experienced are the members of the development team?
  • Is the exchange listing the IEO reputable?
  • Is the exchange secure?
  • Has the exchange been involved in any malpractices?
  • What is the history of the exchange in line with IEOs?

Always remember that the exchange is also looking for profits from the IEO token sale. Therefore, don’t just rush to buy the tokens, do a background check on the project first.

  1. Find out about the work that the development team has done so far

You have to look at what the team behind the project has done so far. You can’t just invest your money into a project that is not yet started; it might end up not starting at all. The software should be completed. You should be able to look at the program to verify if it will indeed be applicable.

You should invest in a project that has already started and the team can show some commitment to the project. This shows that the team behind the project is serious about the entire project.

Things like a whitepaper, well-designed websites, and the development team must be there.

  1. Research about the exchange that offers the IEO

Once you are convinced that the project behind the IEO is viable and looks to be profitable, you have to consider the platform where the IEO is launched. For security reasons, you have to look at the reputation of the exchange platform.

In addition, you have to consider the onboarding processing that the platform requires for you to participate in the IEO. Remember, different exchanges have different requirements for you to become an investor in an IEO. But most importantly, you have to be a registered member with the exchange for you to participate. You have to go through the entire registration process, including the KYC/AML process.

Since it may take some time depending on the exchange that you choose, it is important to do this some days before the actual IEO.

The common exchanges with IEO Launchpads are Binance, Huobi Global and Gate.io.

  1. Find out how the payments for the IEO are to be made

This is a very important factor. You cannot participate or invest in an IEO unless it allows you to buy tokens through a means that is accessible to you. Again, you have to consider the asset that the development team together with the exchange sets as the accepted currencies to buy the project tokens. Some of the most used currencies include Bitcoin (BTC), US Dollar (USD), Great British Pound (GBP) Euro and Ethereum (ETH).

You should also look at the processing time. How long does the processing take after making a purchase?

  1. Look at the tokenomics of the IEO

You have to closely examine how the tokens are distributed. You have to clearly understand the number of tokens available. You also have to see what percentage is assigned to what.

One of the things that you should carefully look at is the percentage of tokens given to the development team. If the development team is given the majority share of the tokens, then that is a red flag. Most of the tokens should go to the investors so as raise sufficient funds for the project.

You should also closely look at the distribution of the funds that are raised through the IEO. How does the development team intend to distribute the funds? The development team should not be the one taking the lion’s share of the funds. A good IEO distributes the majority of the funds to the project development.

Another giant is coming up in the cryptocurrency arena; by the name of Initial Exchange Offering (IEO). Following the unprecedented rise of fame of ICOs in 2017 and the subsequent turmoil surrounding their regulations and scamming incidences, developers seem to have found another better way of raising funds for their blockchain and cryptocurrency projects through Initial Exchange Offering (IEO).

What is IEO?

Initial Exchange Offering is an ICO that is run through a Cryptocurrency Exchange Launchpad. Therefore, the Launchpad act as the intermediary that conducts the token sale.

Compared to ICOs, IEOs have succeeded in raising staggering amounts of funds in very short time spans. For instance, BitTorrent was able to raise $7.2 million in just 18 minutes through an IEO conducted via Binance Launchpad. Fetch.AI also raised $6 million in just 22 seconds via Binance Launchpad.

From statistics like in the examples highlighted above, investors seem to be more confident buying tokens via exchange platforms like Binance because they are certain that the exchanges are regulated and any activity that the exchanges are involved in must be legal and well analyzed by experts.

But how does the Launchpads work?

Launchpads are basically platforms that cryptocurrency exchanges have fostered to enable blockchain projects to offer their tokens for sale directly to the exchanges’’ customers. In the process, the buyers (Investors) of the tokens end up buying tokens from projects they are sure they are not scams.

To be allowed to use the exchanges’ launchpads, the blockchain developers have to enter an agreement with the exchanges so that their tokens can be initially placed on the exchanges.

Then, before any token sale is done on an exchange, the exchange performs a thorough audit on the project to find out its viability and potential of the token. The exchanges also directly manage the token sale.

The main participants of IEOs are the project developers, Exchanges and investors.

Through the IEOs, the exchange platforms get revenue from a listing fee for the token placement and also attract more customers since people will join the exchanges to participate in the IEOs and eventually stick in the exchange for other trading activities.

For investors, they get a reliable investment opportunity. It is hard to get a scam token sale being conducted via an exchange platform. Therefore, the investors can rest assured that they are investing in a genuine project that is well vetted.

Benefits of investing in an IEO

For the project developers, they are assured of a more legitimized token sale since they get the backing of the crypto exchanges who investors are sure to have done their due diligence on the integrity of the project. On the same hand, projects have their tokens exposed to a larger customer base since exchanges already have a wide customer base. The large customer base makes it possible for the projects to raise very large sums of money within a short timeframe.

Investors, on the other hand, get an opportunity of investing in a token that has immediate liquidity. They can also pay for the token through a variety of methods that are already established in the exchange platform.

Conclusion

Despite the fact that IEOs are not scams, it is good to remember that the investors are the ones left with the short end of the stick. They are the once that face the most risk in IEO. They can only trust the exchanges to be good at what they do.

The IEO policies also differ from one exchange to the other and the problems faced in one exchange may not be similar to those faced on another exchange platform.

There are thousands if not tens of thousands of ICO projects out there. Blockchain developers have identified a simpler way of raising capital to implement their blockchain projects. And at the same time, investors have also gotten an opportunity to rip big from the blockchain projects through the ICOs.

However, not every ICO is worth investing in. ICOs are known to be poorly regulated and chances of landing into the hands of a scammer are very high. Actually, whenever you are investing in an ICO, you are only gambling on the value of the crypto token issued to you. You only have your fingers crossed that the project will gather momentum and attract customers in line with whatever solution that the blockchain project is trying to solve. Otherwise, if the project doesn’t pick, your money goes to waste and there is no way of claiming it back.

Nevertheless, despite the risks involved, there are still very great chances of ripping big from ICOs. If you correctly identify the best ICOs, then you shall earn yourself some good money when the project picks and the value of the issued crypto tokens rise.

But how can you identify an ICO project that will give you good returns? What is the secret? We shall go through some factors that you should consider when choosing an ICO project to invest in.

Factors to consider when choosing an ICO

  1. Gather facts to prove that the ICO is not a scam

This can be very hard since no scammer will portray himself as one. Actually, scammers are very good at concealing themselves and using very attractive advertisement language that sweeps you off your feet very easily. But as a serious investor, always take your time before investing your hard earned money. You don’t want to lose that which you have labored hard to acquire to some person sited in an office waiting for you to give him the money and then vanish.

A genuine ICO will have a real website that isn’t duplicated anywhere else. Also, the contact and location of their head office are normally well indicated on their official website. Before launching an ICO, any serious developer knows that they should have a whitepaper to explain what they intend to do, what they have done so far so that they can convince the investor why they should give them money. Your main attention should be on the development team.

Go through the information on the development team very carefully looking to see if you can spot any misplaced information like if they went to school which cause they took and what role they are playing in the project to see if they match. Of cause, someone can’t do something they aren’t experienced in and you expect that project to be a success. The best ICOs are those where the development team has given links to their social media since you can be able to follow up on them.

  1. Look at the ICO community

You don’t want to be the only person interested in the ICO. If that is the case then there is a problem. A promising project attracts as many investors as possible. Actually, this is a way of gauging to see if the project has any prospects of picking or not.

You should also look for an open supporting community. There should be a social group like a telegram chat group or Facebook, Reddit or Twitter where you can interact with your fellow investors. That way, you will be able to identify any concerns raised by other investors.

You should also ensure that the ICO project does not have bounty threads or posts since they could be used to spread propaganda information which does not give the clear picture of the entire blockchain project.

A genuine ICO project will have the development team send out press releases and take interviews in the media houses to try and sensitive the people about the project and explain to them what they want to do so that the people can get interested in the project. There is no need for bounty threads or posts.

  1. Confirm the stage of the project

Any serious blockchain project should have a roadmap that clearly outlines the timelines for achieving the various milestones along the development stages.

Before asking for funds through the ICO, the developers should have done something. They don’t just ask for money to start everything. No! There has to be proof that the project is indeed a serious project and that it has already started and it has reached a certain stage.

If possible, find an ICO that is as close as possible to the launch of a fully functioning blockchain project.

You should never invest in a blockchain project that hasn’t written its source code. The code should be ready waiting for implementation.

  1. Look for Venture Capital (VC) Investments

VCs will never invest in a project that has the slightest signs of being a failure. Therefore, if you invest in an ICO project with an established VC, you are guaranteed that the project will pick.

And any blockchain that gets a venture capital investments will gladly display it for everyone to see since it gives other investors’ confidence. But also be careful to confirm if the VC is well established.

  1. Carefully read the white paper

The white paper will enable you to know exactly what you are investing in. by reading through the white paper, you shall know what the entire project is all about.

If you find the project viable, then why not invest? However, you should take your time and even do research into what the blockchain project claims they want to tackle. Is it something that will interest the community? Will it gain the attention of the intended audience?

A good white paper will outline the legal framework between investors and developers. It will also outline the team behind the project and their contact. You should also look for information on the token distribution. The token distribution should be in line with the roadmap. This is because a certain amount of funds will be required for every phase of the roadmap.

For security reasons, you should also ensure that the funds are stored in a cold wallet or in an escrow wallet.

  1. Analyze their source code

The source code should be open source code. If it is not open source code, then that is a red flag. A genuine ICO project will be careful to put everything in a transparent manner.

Go through the code or find an expert to go through it and identify if it is able to meet the challenges being addressed by the blockchain project.

Conclusion

After evaluating the ICO project based on the above factors, you should be good to go.

However, you should remember that ICOs are poorly regulated and it could be hard to ever get your money back in case the projects fails. Therefore, it is advisable to invest an amount that you are ready to part with. You should not have too much attachment to the money that you invest. If that is the case, you better not invest since if the project fails, then you will be very heartbroken and you could easily be depressed.