With the hundreds of cryptocurrencies launched on a daily basis and with the hype and anticipation often being centred on the initial coin offerings (ICOs) — which is the most trending crowdfunding method used by so many startups to launch new tokens, coins, and services, it will be wise that you watch closely on ICOs with bigger opportunity before you decide on investing on any of them. Interestingly, this will also afford you the opportunity to find out which of the ICOs will explode, crash, or generally die off. You will also get to know which are fraudulent and how to avoid them.
The Business Insider reported on March 8, 2018, that almost half of all ICOs have failed and that more are expected to simply die off. The question that should play on an investor’s mind is why do some ICOs fail and others are successful? The answer is not far-fetched.
The biggest factor that makes ICOs succeed has been zeroed down to a good utility. The coin should not just be all about been bought and sold on an exchange. Some other attributes that must also be considered are the goal of the project, the composition of the team, the availability of a supportive community, and whether it’s the same old song or if it’s coming from another angle altogether.
Many ICOs have been found to fail because they do not have good projects that set out to solve real-world problems. While a host of others fail due to technical issues such as security and scalability, however, the following 5 ICOs have been researched and finely scrutinized to find out why they are all-time successful and what we can learn from them.
NEO is a non-profit community-based blockchain project that utilizes blockchain technology and digital identity to digitize assets, to automate the management of digital assets using smart contracts and to realize a “smart economy” with a distributed network. NEO was founded in 2014 and was real-time open source on GitHub in June 2015.
Though the sudden ICO ban by the Chinese government caused a big downturn to the NEO project, the report by Reuters that Confirm, NEO, and QRC have teamed up to address the enduring insufficiency in blockchain regulation and that tackling this long-standing roadblock could open up the entire blockchain ecosystem to the mass market, and support the trend for ICOs, has suddenly given a new lease of life to NEO.
NEO is constructing a whole economy where assets can be held digitally – cars, condos, companies, commodities, collectable cards – and transacted within a transparent way secured by smart contracts and associated with compliant digital identities. Public and private business blockchains, an asset exchange, and interoperability solutions will all be linked together in a super economy.
NEO currently includes a compliant digital identity solution using PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) X.509 standard, this does not, however, mean that NEO won’t also work for countries with “clean slate” legislation. Though NEO was launched only in December 2016, it has steadily risen in price since July 2017, collecting DApps (Decentralized Applications) as startups flock to it to launch their ICOs. It just hosted a conference in San Francisco which featured a lineup of new projects.
The DApp is a contract locked into code which acquires a crypto-token to operate. It takes away the ability of people to cheat the contract. This is because when the contract is activated it’s permanent as the adjudicator is a computer. NEO currently has 27 DApps listed on its website offering services from WiFi sharing to courier services to bad weather insurance.
NEO can’t fork because of the way the system reaches consensus – by a process called ‘Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance’ or DBFT. This means that representative nodes are elected by token holders to validate the chain. They are also known as bookkeepers and they are the nodes that validate blocks on the chain. Bookkeepers in the NEO blockchain must reach 66 percent consensus in order to make a decision, which is an added advantage over other kinds of the blockchain.
NEO can handle 1,000 transactions per second (TPS), with a theoretical cap of 10,000 TPS. NEO has two tokens. The token NEO gives holders voting rights, while GAS, the second token is the name of the active currency, used to pay transaction fees. Gas is created and distributed automatically to NEO holders every time an asset is added to the system. NEO supports programming languages like Python, Go, Java, and .Net, meaning that it already covers about 90 percent of the developers’ community.
NEO is offering solutions for businesses needing privacy via its partnership with OnChain. OnChain was also founded by Da Hongfei and Erik Zhang who founded NEO. OnChain works with businesses and governments to create public and private blockchains that connect to the NEO ecosystem using OnChain’s Decentralized Network Architecture (DNA). OnChain is a member of Hyperledger and a partner with Microsoft China – particularly with Legal China – and recently airdropped its Ontology token to NEO holders.
NEO also has it going that there is a great expectancy for China to wholeheartedly embrace it in a way it doesn’t do for foreign ones. It should also be on record that in its first ICO in October 2015 raised about $500,000 despite its newness on the block and raised a whopping $4.5 million in its second ICO in September 2016. The initial price token was $0.032, the all-time high price was $180 and ROI was 114,000 percent.
From the foregoing, NEO are already set to becoming China’s platform; as well as proving that tackling specific real-world problems combined with an advanced technology can be a recipe for success.
NXT was launched as early as November 2013 by an anonymous developer called BCNext, at a time when the blockchain space was still at a very early stage and largely unknown to the general public. The NXT project had its initial coin offering on the BitcoinTalk Forum that same year, where it managed to raise around $16,800 when the NXT coin was sold for $0.0000168.
By December 2017, however, the NXT coin was sold for $0.249 per coin, which translated to an ROI of over 1,477,000 percent, making it the most profitable ICO coin of all time at today’s market price. NXT is traded on major exchanges such as Bittrex, Poloniex, ShapeShift Changeelly, AEX, and many others.
NXT has been able to develop a voting mechanism that can transform voting systems all across the world so that we no longer need to deal with political corruption and inaccurate results. The decentralized status will provide a potential solution to common voting problems like double voting or people’s inability to make it to the polls on election day.
NXT blockchain technology gives the power to the masses as opposed to shareholders, C-level executives, politicians, or even the overworked volunteer counting your votes. NXT offers a paperless, immutable, immediate, and highly secure solution that companies or institutions can implement easily into their systems. The technology can be integrated with the mobile application.
The fact that it boasts of its own asset exchange, as well as its own messaging system and marketplace, makes it stand out from others. There are also experiments going on with the NXT technology to remove the restraints on the ability to send money or make a purchase from across the world, more so that the world boasts a global economy based on the fact that international transactions are bogged down by heavy fees and little to no transparency.
NXT proves that successful early-stage blockchain projects have high return potential and blockchain-as-a-service platforms have the potential to become the major player in global blockchain adoption, with its token having high returns potential. A dedicated developer community is always a good sign for potentially high returns.
Ethereum was launched in 2013 and has since grown into one of the largest blockchain projects in the market. The Ethereum project had its initial coin offering in the summer of 2014, where 11.9 million ether tokens were sold. Bloomberg reports that at the time of the launch, it was merely a grand idea in a white paper and the project was able to raise about $17 million, issuing ether as its currency. It has, however, catapulted to the top, serving as the backbone for many other crypto-backed projects.
The issue price at the time of the crowdsale to $0.311. Ether all-time high price was $1420, which it attained on November 29. 2017. The value of ether has skyrocketed from mere cents to about $472.50 which marks an over 152,000 percent in ROI.
The reason for the amazing growth as is obtained in Ethereum is not far-fetched. According to Forbes, Ethereum has a novel, intrinsic utility, its smart contracts enable simple payment agreements to be documented in and enforced by software, not under the control of a party. In furtherance, this utility was enabled by the token itself and not tied to the fortunes of any particular company or group of companies.
Ethereum smart contracts show a lot of potential, demand, and ecosystem growth which have been primarily fueled by the fact that Ethereum enables ICOs. Ethereum allows users to write their own smart contracts on top of its blockchain. Ethereum aims to build more globally accessible, freer and more trustworthy internet.
Ethereum is supposed to act independently of government in accordance with the dream of Satoshi Nakamoto. The whole point of the system is that it is decentralized and its creator Vitalik Buterin is an individual with a great interest in governance systems. Ethereum uses proof of work which makes it compulsory for all nodes of the system to agree on every decision made and that is the reason for it being only able to handle 15 transactions per second.
Ethereum, however, has plans to transit to proof of stake, where the power of nodes to validate the chain is proportional to how much of the native token each node holds and an equivalent increase in the number of transactions per second. The pressures incurred by the proof of work system will equally be alleviated.
Ethereum proves that truly innovative new projects have the highest returns potential and also that a dedicated development community is always a good sign for potentially high returns.
Spectrecoin also known as XSPEC is the leading privacy-focused digital currency launched on October 20, 2016, by Heidi Kaulitz. It features an energy-efficient proof of stake algorithm. The Cryptocurrency blockchain utilizes a Tor+OBFS4 layer for network privacy and ring structures for transaction privacy. Spectrecoin provides private tools for both financial transactions and financial communications.
In the Spectrecoin blockchain, all nodes are not referred to by their IP addresses, instead of onion addresses which encode public keys are used for traffic encryption. The ICO took place between November 20, 2016, and January 8, 2017. A total of $16,000 was raised from the ICO. The last 4 months of 2017, however, saw an average upward trend of over 100 percent per month.
Market cap is BTC 6,594.90 and a total of 19,000 XSPEC tokens were sold at $0.001 per token. The current price of XSPEC is $5.1447 representing 514,470 percent in ROI. Spectrecoin will operate a mobile app which will feature a chat, a wallet, and a web of trust system to find good peers, all running over the Tor network to hide the user’s location. Spectrecoin can be purchased on Cryptoia, Novaexchange, Trade Satoshi, and Livecoin.
Michael Morton, Director General of Morton Bitcoin Management said about Spectrecoin ICO: “Anonymous transactions existed for years. Even more, there are a number of existing Cryptocurrency companies on the blockchain market that offer a non-tracing solution for sale transactions such as Montero, Zcash, or DASH but using startup solutions, oriented specifically on anonymous transactions like Spectrecoin is just much cheaper.”
The turnaround in the fortunes of Spectrecoin in August 2017, was as a result of a new development team that brought the second wave of Spectrecoin evolution, bringing the new price of XSPEC to the range of $100-$150 per coin.
Spectrecoin claims that it provides network privacy by running within the TOR network.
As the world is moving forward to a machine to machine interactions ecosystem, it’s in the definition of IOTA to be the crypto platform fueling these transactions. IOTA is rather different from other projects in that it combines elements from the IoT and blockchain technology. The method of operation has worked so well for the project to the extent of it achieving a 332,000 percent ROI.
IOTA is significantly different from all others since transactions are conducted by the use of a Tangle instead of using full blockchain. Tangles circumvent issues linked to transaction fees and scalability, that other digital currencies including Bitcoin have to grapple with.
Individuals that send funds are expected to follow a verification process while simultaneously sending funds. This makes the IOTA transaction ledger to be fully decentralized, thereby enabling a zero-fee system for transactions. Network participants do not receive fees to verify transactions.
There was a huge interest in the IOTA project from the onset and this enhanced the realization of over $400,000 dollars in the initial coin offering back then in late 2015, which was a handsome figure by any standard. 1 billion IOTA tokens (MIOTA) were sold out completely at a price of $0.001. The MIOTA started trading publicly on exchanges over one a half years later, on June 13, 2017, it traded for $0.63 and on June 10, 2018, IOTA broke below the critical support level of $1.63 and dropped to its next support level of $1.33 on the same day. Some buying was, however, conducted at the $1.63 levels.
IOTA is set to develop its own cryptography and is taking cryptocurrencies to the next level by allowing zero-free digital currency transactions without the need for an actual blockchain. The digital currency can, therefore, be used on a much larger scale.
The system of units are as follows: Peta iota (Pi), Tera iota (Ti), Giga iota (Gi), Mega iota (Mi), Kilo iota (Ki), and Iota (i). Truly innovative new projects have the highest return potential and providing an important service to a new growing market (such as financial transactions for IoT networks) can generate high returns.
In conclusion, it’s important to note that launching an ICO is not about luck, chance, or fate. One thing these 5 ICOs share in common is value. Every single one of them brings something new and valuable to the table or rather, innovates and improves on an existing model. To invest in an ICO, however, you need to look deeply at the coin’s value to see its real worth.