How to Pick the Right ICO Investments: The Essential Guide

Initial coin offerings have become the norm when companies want to raise money to fund their projects. For investors, it’s an opportunity to get tokens that can then be sold later on at a profit. With hundreds of ICOs coming up every other year, it is critical that an investor knows what to do once they decide to invest.

How to Read a Whitepaper?

If you are intending to invest in an ICO then you know one of the first things to do is read the project’s whitepaper. Knowing that there is a whitepaper isn’t enough for an investor; knowing what to look for or how to read it is what matters. This article will guide you on how to do it.

So, what’s a whitepaper?

A whitepaper is a document prepared by a company or project team whose content explain to the readers how the company intends to handle a given project that appears complex. The main reason is to assist readers to understand the project, get the solutions or make decisions.

Take note of the words “to understand the project” and “make decisions”- this is the core business of reading the whitepaper.

The ICO whitepaper will give you all the information concerning:

  • The project and why it is necessary
  • Issues or problems the project seeks to address
  • Current solutions and how the ICO seeks to improve them.
  • Project description and roadmap
  • Technical details of the project.
  • The project team and their expertise
  • The ICO funding (token sale)

Now, how do you read the whitepaper so as to get the best out of it for the purpose of making investment decisions?

Examine the introduction – it will tell you about the project and why it is necessary. Read this carefully to get the context of the ICO ideas. The introduction will put forward the problem and its background in general. Do not skip this part, as it is here that the project’s appeal is established and credibility defined.

The product – to understand an ICO means you need to understand their product. When reading an ICOs whitepaper, find out the following:

  • Product Definition
  • Current solutions and how the ICO seeks to improve them
  • Project description details
  • Technical details of the project

I will tell you how to do it, but generally, knowing the product entails getting the above four key areas.

The project team and their expertise – this essentially means you need to know who is behind the project. Research them and establish whether they have the expertise necessary for the project.

The ICO funding (token sale) – this section should be where you get information on the ICOs funding details. I’ll talk about this later on in this article, but essentially, you are looking at how much is required and how it should be raised.

The whitepaper will conclude by giving a roadmap and may include a call to action message. If you read the whitepaper well, this call should not be difficult to make.

The Team

When looking to invest in an Ico, getting to know the team should involve more than you knowing their names and checking out their LinkedIn or Facebook accounts.

It is important to undertake a thorough research on each of the team members to find out more that could shed light on their capability to deliver what the project promises.

Before you go on to invest in that ICO, ask these questions about the team.

  • Who is on the management team and can they lead the rest f the team to successful project implementation?

We acknowledge that the team works together with a goal of delivering the project. However, a team that lacks great leadership personalities often ends up failing.

So, when researching the team, take time to find out a little more about this group. Get to know what experience they have as project leaders (they usually have links to Linkedin profiles). Did the project on which the individual took a leadership role succeed?

Are they known for their accountability? Or did any of them face questions about fraudulent activities? Suspicious pasts are clear red flags for you. Finding more about this part of the team will give you the confidence to get going with the investment or not.

  • Do the team members exhibit expertise in the ICOs business niche?

An ICO project whose team members have the experience required to see the project off is better that one whose members do not have any experience. Look at the portfolio of each member to see whether their expertise relates to the ICOs intended niche. If not, it’s a signal the team may not deliver.

  • Is the team list complete with all the necessary experts?

Once you have checked out and researched the people indicated as the ICO team, it’s time you asked yourself whether what is presented is all there is to be for the team. The team could be missing some very vital members. Find out whether the ICO leadership has plans to fill such roles. Go to the ICO project’s career/jobs page and find out if the advertised posts relate to the missing roles. What you should be interested in are key roles like those of project developers, engineers, designers, and marketers.

  • Who are the advisors?

Although this may not ultimately tell you about how/whether the ICO will succeed, it is always good to know who makes up the advisory team. Find out how the advisors relate to the project team. Look out for interviews they give, social media posts and how they generally view the ICO. Such advisors can have a positive impact on the project’s token value at the ICO or later when the token starts trading.

What is the product?

This is one of the main considerations to make. You should strive to understand the product being offered by the ICO.

Well, here is what you need to know about the product before you decide to put your bucks on it.

Product Definition – a simple definition of the product is the first thing. This is where the company explains the issues or problems the project seeks to address. Take note of what the project refers to as issues or problems they wish to solve. Can you picture the issue and relate them to the current market? Try to find out business-related issues that can be addressed in the future. Also, examine how the project’s technology is explained in relation to the issues pointed out. An example in mind here is the Crypterium that is in the Fintech niche. The ICO defines its project as a mobile crypto bank that will have a credit sub-token.

Current solutions and how the ICO seeks to improve them – as a prospective investor, once you understand current problems, you need to get to know of the current solutions in the market. Why are they ineffective and need to be improved? Look at what the ICO says about their competitors’ solutions and technological failures; here you are looking for reasons why what is there isn’t good enough and the ICO could have a better idea.

Project description details – in this section, your attention should be on exactly what the project is. You should be asking: What is this ICO? Take a keen interest in how the ICO proposes to be unique in what they will try to accomplish. You should understand all the key proposals and find out if they are feasible. Ask yourself if the solutions are unique and can be implemented.

Technical details of the project – After gaining insights into how the project plans to solve given issues, this section should actually make you literally see how everything works. Remember, this part of the whitepaper consists of several technical terms. You should, therefore, ensure you research terms and analogies that you do not understand. Ensure you note down information about the blockchain technology, toke type, and security. Be thorough.

The Blockchain Technology

Investing in an ICO should be more than just knowing the product or team behind it. You should know what blockchain technology the ICO project will use. Key questions you need to ask should be:

Is the blockchain technology behind the project just P2P money? Is it a kind of distributed ledger technology or like Ethereum’s “smart contracts”?

Find out whether the blockchain protocol open-source and based on the proof-of-work consensus mechanism or is it based on the proof-of-stake consensus algorithm? There is even the Proof-of-Importance method.

Knowing the kind of blockchain will help you have an idea how you could engage with the ICO project in the future and whether you are likely to gain any rewards other than the resale value of the coin.

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How does the Company plan to Raise Capital through ICO?

ICO startups usually use crowd sales as a means of raising capital for the project.

  • Find out if the tokens will be sold at an exchange site
  • Distributed to investors who make investment with the company

Moreover, it is good to find out if there any venture capitalists associated with the ICO.

 Find out about the total number of token coins the project has earmarked for sale. Do they have a hard cap and are the coins pre-mined?  Read about distribution strategies for the tokens.

What Tokens does the Company Launch?

Before you invest in that ICO you have identified, take time to find out about the type of coin token the project will launch. Find out whether it is purely a crypto coin i.e. currency or does the token have any other value attached to it?

It is important to understand the token type, because if you don’t, then it becomes hard for you to evaluate what potential that coin has as an investment. So you will need to find out whether the ICO token is in the category of stable coins, utility coins, security/equity coins or just an app coin.

Therefore, read about all the above tokens to determine which one you are about to invest in.

Read Reviews and other People Opinion towards the ICO

When looking to invest in an ICO it may pay to take time to read what other people think of the ICO. Although you will find a lot of information from the ICOs own marketing strategies, these are often one-sided.

Therefore, it is advisable to join cryptocurrency forums like BitcoinTalk, Reddit and other social media platforms to read or listen to what others have to say about the ICO. You will most likely gain valuable insights into the ICO and possibly, get one or two red flags you missed during your own research.

However, take caution against blindly following the advice given on social media or opinion reviews, you may be misled.

Bottom line!

Investing in ICOs is always risky business. Therefore, before you decide to undertake any cryptocurrency venture, it is advisable that you research to identify serious projects from hastily organized ones that may simply be out to get your money. However, the nature of cryptocurrency means there can never be a surety that a given project will succeed. Invest only that which you could afford to lose if things go wrong.

RepuX Ethereum Based Platform Can Solve SME’s Big Data Problem

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) having been facing a dark future, with falling margins stemming from rising borrowing and fixed costs and lengthier operating cycles being some of the issues that small and medium-sized companies have been facing of late. As the FED continues its path towards monetary policy normalization, the margins will only get tighter. Companies are in dire need of making efficiency gains elsewhere to offset the impact of narrowing margins.

RepuX is looking to address the issue faced by SME companies across the world. The blockchain platform will allow businesses to sell anonymised data for RepuX tokens and perhaps more importantly, provide a secure forum where SME’s are able to upload business statistics to enable developers to create necessary algorithms and introduce artificial intelligence systems that can provide the much-needed efficiency gains small to medium size companies need to be able to compete against the larger companies who have access to the necessary funding to keep such development capabilities in-house.

The basic concept is for SME’s, who are in need of technological upgrades, to upload their data safely, securely and anonymously on to the RepuX Ethereum-based data sharing platform.

Developers can then purchase the data from a particular company with RepuX tokens to develop the necessary customized programming and then sell the programming back to the SME.

RepuX will also have a rating mechanism in place to ensure that there are no reputational concerns for SMEs looking to take on a particular developer work.

There are certainly huge benefits to be made. It was more than a decade ago when Tesco supermarkets in the UK introduced a new vertical collaboration strategy to streamline the supply chain process using information technology. The introduction of Continuous Replenishment (“CR”) provided Tesco with the ability to submit stock orders intraday through a central batch processing unit that submitted the order at the moment an item was purchased in one of its stores. The CR program provided better inventory control and reduced stock holdings, not to mention the more efficient use of logistics and speedier sock replenishment. The technological advancements made a significant contribution to Tesco’s market share, rising from a lowly 13% to just below 30% since the introduction of the CR system and other advancements introduced to make efficiency gains to keep ahead of the competition.

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Such an enhancement for an SME would certainly be a game changer, with SME’s being offered access to IT resources through the RepuX Ethereum based platform that would normally only be available to large companies.

The access, use and redistribution of SME data through a secure platform will certainly provide support to SMEs, which are at the mercy of B2B, B2C and B2G verticals.

A shortening of the B2B invoice payment cycle alone will ease borrowing costs, not to mention enable SMEs to refocus on more technological strategies that will likely have a far greater impact on the bottom line, benefitting from the use of artificial intelligence and freeing up much-needed capital to fund marketing campaigns.

Tesco is certainly not an SME and did not benefit from the collaborative opportunities that RepuX provides. Such advancements can only be positive but will need to be embraced by both reputable developers and more prominent SMEs for the blockchain tech to be embraced.

For those interested in Repux and all that it has to offer, the Repux website has a wealth of information.

A Match: Blockchain Technology and the Gaming Industry

Since the broadband internet, basic online games evolved into digital gaming, which now accounts for the lion’s share of an industry estimated to have generated $116bn in 2017 alone. When including gaming hardware and PC gaming systems and accessories, that takes the industry to an estimated $149bn in revenue last year, which is reportedly as much as 3 times the size of the movie industry.

With digital gaming, the way forward, the next step in the life of the gaming industry is undoubtedly the adoption of blockchain technology, with the gaming industry amongst the top few industries likely to benefit the most from the evolution of blockchain technology into the mainstream.

JoyToken is looking to deliver the paradigm shift in the gaming industry, delivering smarter games to existing and new casino players giving innovative and creative games’ developers easy access to operators in a one-stop shop. Key to JoyToken’s strategy will be:

  • Game integration and hosting made simple with JoyToken’s game development system.
  • Payments go straight to developers in the form of JoyTokens.
  • JoyToken takes care of all regulatory and compliance matters.
  • Provides instant access to JoyToken’s online casino site; PlayCosmo Casino.

Joytoken’s cryptocurrency will allow developers to pay and to be paid for their games, with the platform enabling players to play Joy Gaming games on PlayCosmo and many other sites. The added benefit will be that the blockchain technology will provide anonymity and transparency, something that is lacking on current casino gaming platforms.

JoyToken is certainly taking things seriously and reflected in the fact that the CFO, Mr. Green is their advisor and that their team consists of senior executives from bet365 and Poker Stars. JoyToken will also have a live platform and their demo slot using blockchain available at the end of this month.

JoyToken ICO starts on 27th of February and is scheduled to end on 29th March 2018.

Gaming is not just down to the online casinos however and, with 2.2bn gamers, there is an array of blockchain based projects on the go at present that will change the face of the gaming industry in the same way as digital gaming did over a decade ago.

There‘s talk of continuous and parallel gaming universes, where a distributed ledger will allow gamers to use their characters and items from one game in multiple games, with the world of blockchain bringing the universes together.

It’s the tip of the iceberg from a gaming perspective, with artificial intelligence and algorithms likely to give gamers a significantly enhanced gaming experience.

We are also seeing the use of blockchain technology to convert items that result from gamers earning or creating virtual in-game items into tangible commodities. Such a platform would avail the virtual items to the wider market, with the transactions being carried out through smart contracts on the blockchain, allowing the transfer of ownership in exchange for tokens.

Cryptokitties recently hit the news wires. Gamers can collect, trade and breed virtual cats using smart contracts. Built on blockchain tech, gamers buy ether coins, which are accepted for payment of the first kitten, with only a finite number of kittens that can be created, a concept referred to as ‘Proof of Scarcity.’ The launch was so popular that joining fees had to be raised to dampen demand, with the top-selling Genesis Cat reportedly being traded for a whopping US$115,000.

The Proof of Scarcity protocol will certainly generate unprecedented value for the rarer virtual items that are created and there is no way that the blockchain can incorrectly identify the scarcer items available, while also ensuring that they are as securely stored as cryptocurrencies.

While bringing the gaming industry to a wider audience is likely to see gaming revenues jump, the very fact that millions of dollars are likely to be saved by shifting from the use of credit cards to the use of cryptocurrencies on decentralized payment platforms is enticing enough for the industry.

Interview with Andrew MacDonald, JoyToken CEO

  • How was the idea of JoyToken born?

It started whilst we were working on an online casino build, we were asking key questions about what makes an online casino product stand out and started to deconstruct some key issues with the industry. We noted that there had been some stagnation and complacency with no real innovation. There were a number of games providers, all generating similar content with no real commitment to building something new – mainly the same engine with a new skin wrapped around it. We also noted that there were key providers that generated the most desirable content, yet they too lack true innovation. From the view of the player, we felt that there was room to grow and that not only could we produce some great games, but we could add another USP using blockchain technology – true transparency. With this technology comes the opportunity to log every single transaction on a smart contract and for each individual player to audit their play should they wish to. This builds an environment where trust in a system isn’t necessary as we would have full disclosure with the player. Project JoyToken was a concept made reality from these observations; we believe that we have the power to shake things up and challenge the status quo.

  • Can you explain the common people about your product?

Simply speaking, we’re making it easier for games developers to create casino games and to bring them to market (the players). We then have a deal with the developers whereby they receive a revenue share from their games paid in JoyTokens. The developers are free to create something original and innovative or create a run of the mill type of game. We handle all the legal and compliance. The only catch is that they need to include our code to make sure that players can check the validity of their bet. All in all, it’s good for the people building the games and good for the players.

As the company is carrying out ICO, what has already been done and what are you going to create on the money collected by the ICO?

So far we’ve been working on the technology; making sure that we have a workable product. The API demo of this code is available on It’s been essential that we show the world that we can do what we promise as the ICO cash will be spent on developing the business in other areas. We’ll need to invest in outreach programmes to bring games developers on board, increase our number of developer staff to review code from all independent partners that wish to publish their games, expand our compliance team, as well as marketing the games on our platform to both content providers and players. Last but not least, we will be educating players about the benefits of playing with JoyToken. We want to do this quickly and the cash injection from the ICO should accommodate this.

  • How does JoyToken differ from similar services? How can your innovative service assist the gaming industry?

We’re bringing a totally new approach to the eGaming space. We’re passionate about games and our players, and as such we’re hoping our independent development community will create exciting and innovative content. We believe that the current obstacles that inhibit developers have strangled innovation as small players cannot bring their games to market without extreme costs and be having to do a lot of ‘leg work’ to get the game published by content providers. This is why most of the content on casinos looks similar and is created by a handful of large firms. In terms of the player, aside from great games content, we’re using the blockchain technology to ensure full transparency with the player. Every wager is logged in a smart contract and is fully auditable by any user should they wish to. This creates a robust system where trust and faith in the system and outcomes are completely unnecessary. Ultimately, we’re about empowerment, fun, and transparency.

  • How do you see the future of gaming industry? How can JoyToken be part of it?

Every so often industries has revolutions. Look at what’s going on with cars – for decades it’s all about the internal combustion engine, now the focus is on an electric future. Okay, so the online gaming space is comparatively new, but realistically the games and content are age-old and can be traced back to mid-20th-century ideas in land-based casinos – in any case, it’s all about reputation, faith, and trust in all transactions. Although we acknowledge that the existing system has served the industry well, we believe that it’s time for a change… time for our revolution. We’re bringing down barriers to allow innovation and we’re including an API to ensure all wagers are logged with full transparency. The gaming industry knows change is coming, but it’s reluctant to embrace the new and often the large firms have so much red-tape that they’ll take time to get up to date. JoyToken is nimble, dynamic and focussed on this change – we’re bringing tomorrow’s technology to the sector today. We believe that by the time other entities in the eGaming space catch up, we’ll have carved out a new sector in the market. We are already in discussions regarding partnerships for our content, so keep an eye on us – we’re coming!

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  • Why do you need Token Sale?

The token sale will be instrumental in allowing us to have more resource to ensure we get the product up and running as quick as possible. We don’t have the resources of the larger content providers and games vendors, but we do have the technology. We will be investing heavily in people required to grow this business at an exponential rate: Marketing, Sales, Developers, Legal to name only a few key areas that are essential for this growth.

  • What are your plans after ending of Token Sale?

The sale is just the beginning. Following the sale, we see 2018 as an exciting year for us. We’ve got our API ready and we’re working on the user interfaces – this will be a key development as it’s player facing. We’ll be reaching out to independent developers and building our community to generate content for our platform. We will be launching our games in partnership with our sister company’s online casino and will be forging further partnerships with e-gaming providers and solutions to ensure a broad reach with our content.

4 Industries that are Set to Witness Massive Disruption From Blockchain in 2018

For what it’s worth, Bitcoin rewarded its backers with 1,420 % gains in 2017 and Ethereum delivered more than 8500% increase in value in the same period. The arrival of more than 1000 new crypto coins in the markets also provided opportunities to investors who missed the boat on Bitcoin to profit.

2018, however, is shaping up to be the year that Blockchain technology itself will become a global buzzword. Blockchain technology is the underlying technology that powers Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. However, Bitcoin is but one expression of the applications of blockchain technology. This piece looks at 4 industries that are set to experience disruption from blockchain technology this year.

  • Payments and Money Transfers

The traditional payment and money transfer industry have remained practically stagnant in the last century because traditional financial institutions are inherently averse to change. The processes and systems for money transfers across national borders paint the picture of a particularly complex process as seen in the flowchart below.

Money Transfer Process
Money Transfer Process

Blockchain can facilitate a peer-to-peer transfer of value without the need for a centralized authority, clearinghouse, or institutional third party. Ripple (XRP), a blockchain application that wants to replace the SWIFT baking protocol is a valid representation of the disruptive potential of blockchain on payments and money transfers. In late 2017, when Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptos started to suffer a correctional decline in price, Ripple was the only coin standing tall and booking gains because of its ability to address the systemic problems of traditional payment and money transfer solutions.

  • Academia

The fields of academia and education are one of the most conservative fields – there are centuries-old traditions and conventional that has remained in use to the detriment of new technology. Books are now available in electronic formats, but hundreds of thousands of books are still being printed and hundreds of millions of books are gathering dust in libraries all over the world. In addition, certificates are still issued in the paper even though everybody sends their resumes in electronic format.

Blockchain will disrupt how academic credentials are recognized and verified globally as 2018 gets underway. The current verification process for academic credentials is a manual process that follows a laborious case-by-case checking of paper documentation. Learning Machine is working with MIT Media Lab to build Blockcerts which makes it easy to store retrieve, and verify academic credentials on Blockchain.

blockchain academia

The flowchart above shows how blockchain can improve the process for verifying academic certificates. In the words of Philly Schmidt, “Using the blockchain and strong cryptography, it is now possible to create a certification infrastructure that puts us in control of the full record of our achievements and accomplishments.”

  • Forecasting in predictive markets

One of the industries that could witness the biggest changes powered by Blockchain technology is the forecasting and predictive markets industries. Predictive markets provide actionable information that people in the consulting, research, and analysis industries use to curate targeted insights for making educated decisions. The problem however with the current forecasting industry is that any self-styled expert could come out with predictions. Unfortunately, many of those predictions are gambles – a large number of which turn out to be false or evident truths.

Now, blockchain technology could make it easy to track analysts and their predictions over time in order to know if there’s any iota of legitimacy in their claims. BlitzPredict, for instance, is particularly interested in bringing the immutability of blockchain technology to disrupt the predictive markets for sports. The traditional sports prediction industry is currently under the control of centralized authorities in which analytics are fragmented, users tie down money as deposits, and payouts often take a long time to process.

BlitzPredict is trying to aggregate data from different sportsbooks and prediction markets, store them on the blockchain, in order to give users a chance of getting the best odds on any bet. In addition, BlitzPredict wants to incentive sports analytics expects to create reliable predictive models, stand by their predictions, and build a following that helps sports enthusiasts make informed decisions.

  • Real Estate

First-time homeowners and non-professional investors in the real estate market are often overwhelmed by the sheer size of the volume of paperwork involved in real estate transactions. In addition, you’ll have to deal with errors in public records, brick wall in terms of transparency before and after the transaction, and the possibility of fraud (intentional or unintentional) along the way.

Blockchain solutions could improve efficiency in real estate transactions by reducing paper documentation and immutable ownership records. Blockchain will also reduce the number of intermediaries and third parties; thereby lowering transaction costs for stakeholders.

Ubiquity, for instance, is a blockchain-as-a-service platform for mortgage, title, and finance companies. Ubiquity believes that uploading property records and title documents to the blockchain could make it easier to facilitate a peer-to-peer transfer of real estate assets. Blockchain could also facilitate the growth of services such as AirBnB where people can exchange real estate assets for monetary value over a short term.