9 posts tagged

Start-ups

ICO start-up: Defining the marketing strategy

Since the last years, the Bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies advanced slightly to the moon. So did the new model of fundraising. Back in the days, IPO was the typical way to achieve money for your company or project, but the blockchain technology involvement in world’s processes had influenced and changed that.

Over the few years that caused a global increase to the technology itself as well as to innovative and revolutionary (well, as most of them humbly present themselves) Initial Coin Offering (ICO) projects in different fields. More and more cryptocurrency startups join the race every day, influencing almost every area of human activity as their aim had shifted from tech-only.

As of Summer 2018, the latest researches suggest that the market dynamic is definitely positive. The volume of funds attracted worldwide through the ICO for the first quarter of 2018 was $ 3.3 billion. For comparison, in 2017 with the help of ICOs, $ 6.1 billion was raised due to the ICORating provided data.

Moreover, most researches indicate the usual investment amount made per ICO project is about $1 million.

Anyway, to gather such substantial money one had to come up with the decent set-up. There can be no success without a serious plan with all the competitions present around. We are going to analyze and define the main points to look up when working on effective solutions and marketing strategy for and ICO project.

I. Get tracked on social media

Nowadays, any modern project is hard to imagine without some serious social media engagement. Of course, no need to go surfing through the whole network, but you have to get to of the major resources like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, which are crucial to promote the business idea and convince potential investors.

Moreover, you need to establish communication and partnerships with social media networks as well. These, however, should be the resources which know how to attracts your target audience. Apparently, the bound between your social media communication and influencers’ word of mouth marketing should be enough to get you more new and fresh leads and create decent publicity.

However, work with the social media marketing is a time-consuming business itself. One can rarely perform such a job in constant 24/7-mode, and in that way hiring a marketing agency for blockchain social media may help for this purpose, which will let your hands-free and let you focus on the things that really matter for your project.

II. Make the Whitepaper right

No doubt, that the Whitepaper is the core element for any startup aiming at ICO. This document will be examined both by the tech professionals with the background in blockchain industry as well as many newcomers who are willing to invest in your perspective idea.

First of all, you need to be transparent and let potential investors know more about the payment methods and the potential return as well as the investment protection mechanism and the commercial policy of an ICO.

Besides, people who invest in a project expect to gain a profit need the explanation of the existing market potential. That way, the investors will get the idea about the approximate investments return in a specified period of time and the token value.
The perfect balance is required here, so you need to work out the documentation which will satisfy both sides. Describe how your product works and what kind of problem it can solve. This is the part where you really need to impress expert investors.

There are some vital elements to look for when preparing the Whitepaper, however:
*The business model explained and detailed
*Working MVP (minimum value prototype) model
*Decent team credentials with bio and links to social network accounts
*Roadmap with actual and real dates
*The overall idea popularity and demand within the market

The post-production Whitepaper audit may also be required to make everything look perfect, and no tricky questions may be asked later. A high cost should not stop you in order to gain the positive feedback afterwards.

III. Build a strong community

Today the army of ICO followers are very keen on engaging in the new projects as they see new opportunities for themselves to get rich by investing, participate in bounty & airdrop programs and so on. You should take advantage of this fact and build a group of digital supporters for your startup. Online forums and social networks are the places where the work should be provided.

That approach may help in getting to know the public opinion, small or significant improvements, or you just will a get hints about the idea how to do your project, or it’s performance better. Interactive threads including chatting with the community may also help.

By production of live blog videos speaking about the campaign details, the developers may add points to their score as many users won’t miss an opportunity to engage in discussions.

IV. Keep up the website updates

After seeing the commercials all around, the official website is the first place where enthusiasts and investors will go, so that needs to be continuously updated and fresh content is required. Don’t hesitate to publish valuable information about the campaign and follow the development through blog posts.

Besides that, you need a special FAQ page to answer the most common inquiries. That goes from the primary explanations for those who invest for the first time, going to more complex and technical-related stuff as well as legislative regulations questions.

V.Target Audience analysis

No matter what project type you are working on at the moment, the target audience had to be analyzed before you begin to work with it, and that goes double for blockchain startups as well.

At first, the marketing strategy should be adapted to the blockchain industry. You need to try to align your strategy with the latest trends in this field and match the taste of key opinion leaders.

Besides that, you should know that blockchain technology is still a new thing, which means that many people don’t do anything about it. Yes, they heard of it before but can’t explain how it works or understand the mechanism behind startups.

In that regard, you need to promote the project in a way that is equally logical both to cryptocurrency experts and amateurs who would like to try their luck in this field. This is crucial because you will hardly ever accumulate enough funds without the participation of both sides. Therefore, marketing communication should be two-fold and aim at these two target groups simultaneously.

VI. Get the Paid Advertising

Undoubtedly, the best way to increase the business revenue is through the native searches, but sometimes it’s impossible to achieve it without paid advertising. You shouldn’t save money on this activity because it will probably bring you a bunch of fresh investors in the early stages of the project.

You can research to find the most popular industry-related forums, web pages, and online communities. This is where serious investors spend much time, and they will probably notice your banners or floating ads.

However, even if you don’t find too many interesting niche-related pages to promote the startup, you can always turn to sites specialized in cryptocurrency topics. There are dozens of high-quality options in that regard, but we strongly recommend checking out pages like Coindesk or Cointelegraph and so on.

VII. Reveal your Team and Advisors

Nowadays, most clients tend not to trust “innovative ideas” that had already brought many people to bankruptcy and only some – to million dollars in their bank accounts. They, however, tend to believe the authoritative people standing behind those ideas. It would be smart to reveal the names and resumes of professionals who develop your startup as the part of your marketing strategy in. These steps can certainly adds credibility to the project and reassure the investors.

Nothing questionable about it: if you are an baker and you don’t know anything about this group of individuals and their key developers, how can you trust them? The people from the business industry will always conduct thorough research prior to making any moves.

In that regard, you need post resumes of all team members on the landing page. Include their academic background, work experience, and previous results in the blockchain industry.

Another way to strengthen the reliability of your staff is to add links to their social media profiles preferably LinkedIn – so that everyone can send them a message to learn more about this startup. Of course, you should not forget other partners like official sponsors or expert advisors.

VIII. E-mailing actually matters

A lot of new entrepreneurs forget that email campaigns still represent a decent marketing tool. You should generate emails from your website and send segmented messages for different types of potential investors. Segmentation is critical – as we explained already, some people know more than others about ICO campaigns, so you need to adapt emails to match their knowledge and interests.

When it comes to the first-time investors, try to emphasize commercial aspects of the story because that’s what they know and want to explore even more. On the other hand, blockchain professionals require expert approach, and you need to provide them with technical explanations. Keep them informed about each phase of the project development, and they’ll be ready to start or keep supporting your project further on.

Considering the given tips one should perform well well launching the project idea. Make sure to follow these or other steps – the main things that matter is the general plan, and its decent execution. Working step-by-step on the project you will be sure that everything is smooth. Knowing how to attract the investor to your project properly you increase the chances of your project’s success greatly. Do not hesitate to fail, but keep in mind the things that matter.

2018   Blockchain   ICO   Marketing   Start-ups   Tips

Most known ICO Advisor mistakes

ICO model of fundraising still rates high as the new startup appear on the market and there seem to be no end of ideas fueling the numerous blockchain based-start ups. However, the cryptocurrency market is far from its former heights, and the overall cap state is not astronomically high.

Certain prominent industry hype-trainers like John McAfee claims that the BTC price will touch $500,000 by 2020 and even the ICOBENCH report is optimistic with the prediction of the overall market recovery in early Autumn 2018.

ICO advisor is a person responsible fro project development vector, the one that can help in overall idea development and director, concept creation and expert in a specific industry field. All these qualities make him essential as a team member.

Being a famous industry person or a highly-valued professional increase a chance that a team will use advisor as one of their trumps card and investor’s hook.
Problem is, a lot of start-ups creator did overuse that practice, having attract prominent names just to be listed in the project and without having a direct impact on the development process.

One of other problems is the lack of understanding. The hired professional can be the best marketers, analysts or economists, but when it comes to understanding decentralization, and based on these singular utterances their understanding could be quite limited.

Moreover, right now there is another quite popular rumor on the market – as  nobody is interested in ICO investing anymore and there are days of this idea left to be profitable.

No wonder that over the years of million profits going to the scam projects, the regulation around ICOs has finally tightened and many countries had already made their points clear and issues the policies on so-called ‘utility tokens.’

Nowadays, the tax-havens are tricky topics as continually changing regulations make companies change their location quite often. What seemed to be easy to handle a year or a month ago today represents a stricts laws so what will the next day bring is always a question.

Things is, despite all the fraud, exchange hacks, and increasing legislative bodies regulation attempts, the amount of money in this industry gets higher and higher every year.

Due to the latest statistics, the market dynamic is definitely positive. The volume of funds attracted worldwide through the ICO for the first quarter of 2018 was $ 3.3 billion. For comparison, in 2017 with the help of ICOs, $ 6.1 billion was raised. The well-known rating agency ICORating provided the data.

As for geography – most of the ICOs were conducted under the United States jurisdiction – 59 projects totaled about $ 583.8 million; in Singapore – 34 projects raised about $ 468.1 million, and in the UK 26 projects raised $ 99.7 million. In Russia, 13 projects raised about $ 20.8 million.

During this year, the overall number of non-accredited investors investing is expected to reach the same number as the number of non-accredited investors in equities and other capital market products.

We sold the decentralization protocols to them as the silver bullet that would usher us into the era of equitable wealth distribution. This turned out to be a lie.

Another deal-breaker for the small investor is the terrifyingly frequent pumping & dumping of the market’s unworthy altcoins. Due to many advisor and consultants, specific points should be outlined of what documents should be issued before meeting investors, private or otherwise. If neglecting them, there is a slight chance that not even the best ICO Advisor could help to raise funds.

1) Decent project tokenomics.  While working on this part, specific rules should be followed as well as specific criteria to derive the token price, utility, and the total number of tokens mined.

2) Tokenization plan —  in case of utility token route, one must find out the best fit for tokenization. Most ICOs these days tokenize the access to the platform badly.

3) Working MVP — Most conservative investors whom I reached out to, “I wanna see how much skin do you have in the game.” What I learned from that conversation was that if the ICO had not invested at least 30% of the planned ICO money from their own pocket, investors are not going to like it.

4) A scalable business model —which is strong money attracting plan. However, it is not about appreciation of token utility and burning of unsold tokens. Explain why will people come to your platform and how will you monetize their interest.

5) Investor pitch deck  — An investor pitch deck must definitely have an elucidation of the business model, existing user base, and team credentials. Additionally, it must have an explanation of your product’s features and scalability potential.

6)  Elevator pitch is the thing that most often. It is useful for pitching an idea to the potential investors that you might meet at meetings and seminars etc. It is better to have an elevator pitch and save yourself from explaining the white paper to someone at a dinner party.

7) Team with decent credentials — a great idea and smart contracts are not always enough to present the successful product. Most people look for those team members who have legitimate experience in that particular space. Having a cryptocurrency advisor whose only claim to fame is that they became ‘Experts’ on ICObench does not cut ice with investors anymore. In case with ARK ICO. They have a team that has been in the business of managing seafood logistics of over 50 years combined.

8) Social media traction — if the product is so revolutionary, it must reflect on social media. While a part of your social media outreach can be seeded inorganically, you must refrain from letting it go beyond 20%. There are tools to find out the engagement on social channels such as Telegram, and it will reflect poorly if these reports come out adverse.

9) Practical market strategy —  as investors and buyers have an uncanny ability to fish out the rotten eggs and reject them.

As of Q3 2018, the ICO could not be regarded as a scheme to get easy and fast benefits from as we need to provide much more than the usual white paper to attract funds. One may also have to fork out equity to the private investor if you are really strapped for funds.

For now, there are no magic recipes to win in ICO market ultimately. One has slight chances of failing even with the decent team. If your marketing, product development, and the team credentials are great, you will raise funds.

However, there is no point in going pessimistic with your perspective ICO idea – the history had shown that even in times of hardships and calamity, man has invested, for profit or for fun.

2018   Blockchain   Crypto industry   Digital investmens   ICO   Start-ups

Music Industry Blockchained

The “blockchainization” marches victoriously throughout the world, and there seems to be no shortage of industries that the blockchain can disrupt or improve. Modern music companies are sure to hate the streaming services. Those, in turn, do not like the data storages, and the artists and content creators dislike nearly everyone for making huge profits on their work and not giving them a fair cut.

The blockchain is right the long-term awaited tool that can make the difference. With so many past and present conflicts of interest, it seemed that no service or business model would be able to organize everything correctly so that everyone will be satisfied.

The recent advanced in blockchain technology development and implementation had shown the right direction for the investors and tech specialists from different areas to go hand in hand with the demand of the musical industry.

As it is known, the blockchain technology is backed by the distributed ledger which can check up and verify transaction without having to authorize any central node.
To make a long story short – the registry has no owner – it is distributed among all the nodes making up the network, and is accessible to everyone.

Information that is stored in the registry passes through a so-called cryptographic hashing algorithm, which makes it virtually irreversible and protects against unauthorized access. This means that users can exchange data, money, and anything valuable in any amount safely and secretly.

How exactly can the blockchain be applied to the music industry?

With the help of the blockchain, one could transform the processes of publication, monetization, and the relationship of artists with the fan communities.
Like in many other fields of work and industries, the advantage of blockchain usage is the ability to simplify the relationship between creators and consumers.
First of all, music could be published in the registry with a unique identifier and timestamp so that it will make the further changes impossible. This will help to solve a long-standing problem of digital content – downloading, copying and arbitrary modification. Each audio recording can store metadata about the owner and copyrights so that everyone can see it and check it. Thus, the fee for the use of content will be received by its creator only.

Moreover, this technology can bring about a revolution in the field of music monetization. At the heart of the infrastructure are the smart-contracts – programs that can be launched through the block system along with the payment procedure. Crypto-cash loans, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, support micropayments, which is not feasible in traditional payment services because of the cost of transferring money. This way a new kind of music services can appear on demand. Users will be able to select songs and immediately transfer money to copyright holders while listening.

Finally, another advantage of the register in the blockchain is the ability to simplify the relationship between creators and consumers. Composers and artists will no longer need to purchase platforms and attract brokers, who often take a large part of their earnings. Musicians will be able to receive compensation directly from each listening song. This is especially useful to amateur musicians who do not have the support of major record labels.

ke any other solution to the problems of the music industry, the blockchain has its weak sides.

For example, last year, the singer and songwriter Imogen Hip began work on a new music system called Mycelia. A platform that works on the basis of a blockchain will support direct payments to artists and will allow them to control better how their songs get to listeners and other musicians. The singer describes her idea as “an attempt to transfer power from the top down and allow artists to manage their future independently.”

So, is it possible to solve all problems with the help of a blockchain tech?

Like any other solution to the problems of the music industry, the blockade is not without its shortcomings. However, he can, at least, equalize the rules of the game for all parties. It will bring the most benefit to artists, authors, performers, and musicians – the real trendsetters in the industry – because now they will finally be able to own their own works and receive for their work on merit.

At the same time, such changes will not appeal to those who benefit from a lack of transparency in the music industry, as well as significant technology companies that prefer to create monopolies of market openness. If the idea of ​​using a detachment really does develop, then conflicts are unlikely to be avoided.

2018   Blockchain   Crowdfunding   ICO   Music Industry   Start-ups

What are the top cryptoworld blogs, channels and persons to look up for ICO tips?

Nowadays crypto enthusiasts and businesspeople look for market analytics info, latest trends, hottest cryptocurrencies and new ICO or blockchain projects to invest in a lot of various sources.

The importance and popularity of the “traditional” media sources at large and its forecasts are not so high as it used to be. Many people and investors do, however, pay significant attention to opinions of independent researchers, which operate on such highly popular platforms as Youtube, Twitter, and personal blogs.

The widespread of the professional tips and forecasts cannot be exaggerated in the digital economy sector, which often suffers from high volatility. The tips regarding ICO conduction, crypto consulting and blockchain projects at large from independent analytics and respected figures in the blockchain industry are always in high demand.

Speaking about the Youtube, its presentation format allows making useful, short and easy-to-understand video guides, market analytics and crypto news settlers to give a more bright, transparent and understandable way to deliver information to users. Other means of providing insights, sharing opinions, crypto market & ICO guidance are Twitter and blogs.

Today we have outlined the most popular, hot and exciting channels & blogs, where everyone, from enthusiast to professional crypto trader or investor, can find useful tips, crypto news, professional ICO guides, different projects previews/reviews, and forecasts.

We start with Youtube channels first:

Altcoin Buzz

http://altcoinbuzz.io/

(https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGyqEtcGQQtXyUwvcy7Gmyg/search?query=ICO)

The Altcoin Buzz is one of the largest channels for the decent crypto investors. Its popularity grows quite fast as the total number of subscribers had now risen to the number of 200,000. Also, the total number of video content hits is now estimated at more than 13,5 million.

The top discussed subjects on this channel are altcoins investments and ICO projects. Right now, the channel is rapidly gaining popularity due to the considerable number of high-quality and regular content. Right here, one can find relevant content on such topics as “ICO investments guide,” “Safety measures during the ICO campaigns,” and so on.

Moreover, the previews on the upcoming ICO projects are often published here – such as “Telegram,” “Safe Haven,” “Remme,” “Play2Live” and even more. One of the most popular videos at the moment, “What it Will Take For Ethereum Price To Rise to $10,000 Per Coin” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNAC6xbEM7Q), scored more than 195,000 views and 350 comments at the moment.

The man and creator of this channel and the website is Jeff. He is known to be an economist, crypto and altcoins enthusiast, and an active ICO investor, willing to share his opinions and predictions with broad user audience. The platform is also run by two market analytics, Steve, and Shashwat, and Shailen works on the project’s marketing part. The channel has been created only a bit more than a year ago, but its community is developing rapidly.

Ian Balina

(https://www.youtube.com/user/Diaryofamademan)

http://ianbalina.com/blog/

This channel is named by the creator’s name – Ian Balina is one of the most popular crypto bloggers on Youtube nowadays and an influential blockchain and cryptocurrency investor as well.

Moreover, he is often seen as an advisor of some significant crypto projects and the blockchain Evangelist. His works in analytics, cryptocurrencies, and entrepreneurship had led him to an appearance in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Huffington Post, The Street, INC and Entrepreneur Magazine. Balina is a former Analytics Evangelist at IBM; he has brought a data-driven, “Moneyball” approach to investing in cryptocurrency token sales (ICOs), called “Token Metrics.”

Ian Balina leads a global cryptocurrency investor syndicate that invests up to $3 million in promising blockchain startup’s token sales. The main topics of the channel are previews and reviews of different projects, ICO campaign developers, and founders of companies, live-streams from meetups and conferences, investments guides.

At the moment, his video channel has more than 115,300 subscribers, and the total number of video content hits is likely 3,3 million. The most popular video is an hour-long “How to make millions with Initial Coin Offerings” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkzeJrdKDJk&t=1s), which has already scored more than 330,000 views and more than thousand comments. Beside this channel, Ian has an official blog – http://ianbalina.com/blog/.

Ivan on Tech

http://ivanontech.com

(https://www.youtube.com/user/LiljeqvistIvan )

Ivan Liljeqvist is the creator behind another favorite Youtube channel named Ivan On Tech. He is a software developer from Sweden. This channel had been created back in 2013 and now has nearly 150,000 subscribers and more than 6,000,000 views of video content. Author’s primary vision is creating content that covers the cryptocurrencies news and implementation of the blockchain technology applications in the financial sector.

The extreme popularity of the channel is no wonder because its founder is a professional programmer with project development experience and participation in ICO projects. Ivan could also be seen as the speaker of many crypto conferences, often participating in different meetups, publishes exclusive video interviews with the developers and the ICO investors.

One of the most exciting and relevant recent Ivan’s videos is the one regarding the ICO and is an analytical “Bitcoin and Crypto ICO Ban Bloodbath – Programmer explains” with more than 30,000 views.
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6Ak2ulc9QY). Ivan also hosts the website http://ivanontech.com and is active in several in social networks.

Crush Crypto

(https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu1-oBOM-DzJ89o02Bx3XYw/search?query=ICO)

The Crush Crypto channel is one of the engaging and most underrated channels in this segment. It is being hosted by an independent research group focused on blockchain technology and digital currencies analysis. The team’s behind the project goal is to provide high quality and objective fundamental analysis in cryptocurrency investment sector and ICOs.

The creators assure its viewers that they are not paid or mandated to do any reviews and that the content is based on private research, analysis and personal opinions only. Victoria Wong is the face and part of the Crush Crypto team, who has experience in financial analysis, investment research, investing and C++, JavaScript, and PHP-programming. Victoria has extensive professional experience in corporate finance, economic analysis, and modeling, investment research. She was previously Vice President at Morgan Stanley where she had spent more than six years as an equity analyst looking at companies in Asia and the US with coverage across the transportation, industrials, infrastructure and logistics sectors.

Project CEO is Victor Lai, who has an extensive background in finance and previously worked in investment banking at Investec and various hedge funds in Asia and North America. He is specialized in the fundamental analysis and investing. The market researchers of the projects are John Coburn, Richard Wang, and Kieren O’Day.

Crypto Daily

(https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC67AEEecqFEc92nVvcqKdhA)

This British news channel is covering financial sector aimed at cryptocurrency investors. This channel was created by the digital economy enthusiast nearly three years ago and during that time has gained over 100,000 subscribers and more than 5 million views of his content. The main feature of the channel is high-quality and regularly provided content, mostly related to the topics of ICO, innovations in the cryptocurrencies market, blockchain technologies, platforms and media persons of the industry.

Also, the most popular video at the moment is “Top 5 Undervalued Crypto-Currencies!” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwFJp9MEfCo –
with more than 220,000 hits and almost 700 comments.

Nevertheless, the leading industry media figures and the favorite blogs related to crypto market and digital analytics should also be outlined:

Mike Butcher https://twitter.com/mikebutcher

now holds the position of an editor-at-large at TechCrunch Europe.

The new trend in the field of crypto technology advancement developments allows creating the so-called “startup incubators.” Mike Butcher analyzes how this rising idea will affect the formation of a new global community, services, and platforms.

Besides, he is involved in a project to bring European technology entrepreneurs and investors together in a club environment called TechHub in London. A long-time journalist, Mike has written for UK national newspapers and magazines including The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Telegraph and The New Statesman. He is a former editor of New Media Age magazine, the leading new media weekly in the UK, and the European edition of The Industry Standard magazine.

Since 1996 he has launched or re-launched numerous media websites, and in 2000 he was nominated as NetMedia’s European Internet Journalist of the Year. In 2004 he was voted ‘One of the 100 Innovators of the UK Internet Decade’ by GfK NOP, the fourth-largest custom research business in the world. In July 2008 he was put at No. 47 out of the Top 100 people in London’s creative industry by The Independent newspaper and The Hospital Club.

In August 2008 TechCrunch Europe was awarded the best “Web 2.0 and business blog” in the UK, by the readers of Computer Weekly magazine. Also, in 2009 he was named one of the Top 10 bloggers on Twitter in the UK. In October 2009 he was named one of the Top 50 most influential Britons in technology by The Daily Telegraph. In April 2010 he was named as one of Britain’s Top 100 “digital power-brokers” by Wired UK magazine.

Mike is a regular commentator on technology business at Tech Crunch, his articles relate to the ambitious development and the largest ICO-projects of the industry, crypto world latest trends and the cryptocurrency market at large.

His articles had also appeared on BBC News, Sky News, Channel 4 and Bloomberg. Mike’s personal blog http://mbites.com and the channel on Twitter has almost 150,000 readers.

Andreas M. Antonopoulos

https://antonopoulos.com/

Another well-known person on our list is Andreas M. Antonopoulos – a technologist and serial entrepreneur who has become one of the most famous and well-respected figures in Bitcoin industry. He is the author of two books: “Mastering Bitcoin,” published by O’Reilly Media and considered the best technical guide to bitcoin and “The Internet of Money,” a book about why Bitcoin matters.

As an engaging public speaker, teacher, and writer, Andreas makes complex subjects accessible and easy to understand. As an advisor, he helps startups recognize, evaluate, and navigate security and business risks. Andreas was also one of the first to use the phrase “The Internet of Money,” as early as 2013, to describe Bitcoin as a part of his speaking business.
Meanwhile, as a Bitcoin entrepreneur, Andreas had founded many bitcoin businesses and launched several community open-source projects. He is a widely published author of articles and blog posts on bitcoin, is a permanent host on the famous “Let’s Talk Bitcoin” podcast, and a frequent speaker at technology and security conferences worldwide.
Andreas offers strategic consulting to a small number of cryptocurrency companies that are aligned with his interests. He also provides expert witness testimony as an expert in the security, technical details and use of crypto-currencies, worldwide. A lot of analytics and tips can be found on his website and official blog, which has nearly 200,000 readers per month now.

Brian Armstrong

https://blog.coinbase.com/@barmstrong

Brian Armstrong is the co-founder and CEO of the famous digital assets exchange Coinbase. Armstrong had founded this company, which has now become one of the largest in the crypto space, back in June 2012.

Before founding Coinbase, Armstrong had worked as a Software Engineer at Airbnb in 2011-2012. Previously, he founded UniversityTutory.com and worked as a software engineer at CarWoo.com.

Coinbase, which received total funding of more than $107 million, perhaps, remains one the best-known startup in the bitcoin industry. Armstrong holds three degrees from Rice University: a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Bachelor’s Degree in Economics as well as a Master’s Degree in Computer Science.

Brian is known for his loud and brave statements, is an expert in the blockchain industry, takes an active part in various conferences devoted to the development of new projects and ICOs investment.

Armstrong’s blog is quite popular. He actively publishes articles on Medium as well – https://medium.com/@barmstrong.

John McAfee

http://www.whoismcafee.com/

McAfee is a famous American millionaire with Scottish roots, an eccentric media figure, a programmer, a real pioneer of many technological developments – he is one of the few people who first created antivirus software and developed a decent working virus scanner.

Talking a little bit about the biography of this extraordinary and famous person, it is worth mentioning that John worked at NASA from 1968 to 1970 in New York City. He then moved to work as a software developer and later worked in ‘Xerox’ as the architect of the operating system. In 1978 – joined Computer Sciences Corporation’ as a software consultant. Later, while working in ‘Lockheed’ 80-is, McAfee managed to obtain a copy of a computer virus ‘Pakistani Brain,’ and he began developing software to combat viruses.

In 1997 with the merger of ‘McAfee Associates’ and ‘Network General’ came to light the company ‘Network Associates,’ but later the company returned to its former name. ‘McAfee Associates,’ which over the last 20 years acquired and absorbed a huge number of American and European anti-virus developers, and today remains one of the largest global leaders in its industry. Another company founded by McAfee that has become the ‘Tribal Voice,’ developing a ‘PowWow,’ one of the first programs for instant messaging.

On December 21, 2017, a 72-old John McAfee, posted on Twitter that each day will assess any cryptocurrency. His position can be regarded as a kind of invitation. The businessmen, according to him, ready to share opinions about what cryptocurrencies are useless, and which deserve support.

It is worth mentioning that the most recent forecasts became successful – his data analytics about the Verge and DigiByte cryptocurrencies, made on December 13 and 23 respectively were entirely correct.

McAfee’s blog has an audience of more than 150,000 readers per month, and nearly 750,000 read his Twitter. Many people call an eccentric MacAfee the real incarnation of the favorite Marvel character – billionaire and tech genius Tony Stark.

Erik Voorhees

https://twitter.com/ErikVoorhees

http://moneyandstate.com/

Voorhees is a young, American-Panamanian founder of startups, currently living in Zug, Switzerland – like many well-known developers and project teams these days.

During his career, Erik has created projects such as BitInstant and Coinapult, he had founded and became CEO of the ShapeShift.io company and participated in the KryptoKit development.

Eric is a well-known supporter of Bitcoin, which is strongly emphasized in his speeches at various conferences and during interviews. He is actively involved in the creation of the regulator for cryptocurrency markets.

In his blogs, Voorhees explains not only the personal benefits of using the digital assets instead of traditional fiat money, the desire to improve the current financial systems, new ICOs and much more. Voorhees, also strongly supports the ideas and benefits of smart contracts. He has an official blog at http://moneyandstate.com/ and a Twitter account with more than 250,000 readers.

Top cryptomarket trends 2018

The dynamically growing cryptocurrency market environment had seen the real breakthrough at its ecosystem at large during the last year. A lot of industry experts and analytics are sure that 2018 will bring a lot of new and revolutionary technology features as well as the development of the previously known ones. We bring you the top significant trends that will be undoubtedly significant and during next following months. You should keep this in mind either you’re just an investor, an ICO-project developer or a boss of a major financial company:

1) Bitcoin goes mainstream – the dominance is under threat.

The top digital coin had been one of hottest topics last year, and we undoubtedly see the Bitcoin everywhere possible in 2018. In leading world countries it will gain more popularity as a mean of payment in stores, at events and so on.

On the other hand, with cryptocurrency becoming more mainstream each day, the overall Bitcoin mempool is only going to grow bigger each day, driving up the transaction fee even higher and generating new record profits for the miners.
During 2017, Bitcoin’s market cap as a percentage of the total value of all cryptocurrencies dropped from over 90% at the beginning of 2018 up to 43% now.
Among the main reasons is the proliferation of different blockchain apps, and this trend is sure to continue as projects with superior technology/features gain more popularity.Bitcoin’s development, particularly in relation to the scaling issues, is too conservative due to political reasons and infighting.

As many people are anticipating Lightning Network implementation to help alleviate the transaction fees, it is very risky to relay the future of Bitcoin entirely on in – the project that started in 2015 still doesn’t have a definite timeframe for publicly launching on Bitcoin.

If the scalability of Bitcoin does not improve in 2018, it has a real risk of being overtaken by another coin. The cryptocurrency community and investors all over the world had already seen the ether price surge against the ETH/BTC ratio in the first days of 2018, and this might be only the start of what’s coming next.

2) The DApps upcoming revolution

The blockchain based game “CryptoKitties” made some explosive noise during late 2017 as it managed to clog up the Ethereum network offering a rampant purchase of fluffy digital cats tied to the blockchain tech. And this particular example was an undeniable proof that DApp’s can be mainstream popular, but it also put a highlight on how far the Ethereum network has to go if one viral game can clog up the entire Ethereum main net.

2018 will witness an explosion of the number of “decentralized apps” built on Ethereum as well as other platforms heavily trying to capitalize on the hype train that “Crypto Kitties” had engaged – right now there are thousands of different decentralized applications being developed. According to State of the dApps current data, there are more than 900 dApps built on Ethereum alone already. Even if only a small fraction of the upcoming projects will rocket, we will still see many very popular dApps. Some of them aimed at tokenization of assets, payments & lending, insurance, gambling, and so on. With more and more functioning dApps that investors can choose to put their money in, we believe the market will have a higher bar for ICO projects in 2018. Investors will have a choice to back up the projects at more advanced stages, so the ICO projects will need to show further progress to compete for funding.

3) Scalability development issues

With the significant popularity growth of cryptocurrencies in 2017, the number of transactions made on the blockchain had grown exponentially. As a result, there are congestion issues with the more popular blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Of course, Ethereum has already shown that it can handle upwards of 1 million transactions per day, but this is not going to be nearly enough when the flood of dApps begin to launch next year. Different blockchain protocols are aiming to solve the scalability issue. The ones that can resolve the problem while maintaining decentralization and security will be able to gain substantial network value. For example, the SegWit2x was a proposed hard fork of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. The implementation of Segregated Witness in August 2017 was only the first half of the so-called “New York Agreement” by which those who wanted to increase effective block size by SegWit compromised with those who wanted to increase block size by a hard fork to larger block size.

3) Governments are getting involved, and cryptocurrency regulation is getting tight

The cryptocurrencies are taking over the world by storm, and the governments all around the world had to do something to control things – like they always do.
However, the entire point of the new system all along was to eliminate the government from the equation at all, permitting anonymous and secure trades, exchanges, and payments. While the governments cannot control the cryptocurrency owners through intrusive means, they’ll sure contribute to the shifting and modeling of individual currencies in the nearest future.

It is unfortunate, but in 2017 the crypto world already saw a taste of how governmental regulations can be incredibly impactful: the Chinese government’s move to ban Bitcoin exchanges in the autumn made the space temporarily reel and the regulatory ambiguity that’s been fomenting in South Korea in the first days of 2018 has all cryptocurrency investors scrambling.

Cryptocurrencies will rise for sure in the nearest future, but more regulatory turmoil is undoubtedly coming as well for the ride.

4) More Hardforks to come

One could say that 2017 had been the “Year of the Fork” – and he would be right. The world has seen a total of 8 forks during the last 12 months – in particular: the Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, Super Bitcoin, Bitcoin Platinum, Bitcoin Silver, Bitcoin Uranium, Bitcoin God, & Bitcoin Diamond.

However, the hugely successful Bitcoin forks like Bitcoin Cash do encourage many more attempts at forking coins or “IFO’s” in 2018. These had proved the investors that forks could generate a large amount of value quickly and “Initial Fork Offerings” will become more popular than ever in 2018.

5) Advertising tech reaches new levels

We have already seen some interesting twists on traditional advertising models that step outside of the Google Adsense box and into crypto in the last months. In particular, the use of “in-browser” mining of cryptocurrencies while a visitor is on a specific website.

However, while it had mostly been done without the user’s knowledge, it may become more popular but more legally – like with the website asking “permission” first to initialize the process.

Moreover, the new advertising platforms trends like the BAT to take the lead in new and creative ways for content generators to get paid while users don’t have to be flooded with ads. This Basic Attention Token is based on the Ethereum blockchain. It’s a decentralized, transparent digital ad exchange that relies on two core parts: the Basic Attention Token (BAT) and the Brave Browser. The BAT, meanwhile, is a unit of transfer between publishers, advertisers, and users. The token is derived from – or denominated by – a user’s attention. Attention, as mentioned above, can be defined as “focused mental engagement”.

In this case, users are focusing on an advertisement. This leads to a transparent and efficient digital advertising market based on the blockchain. Everyone benefits from it: publishers receive more revenue because intermediaries and fraud are reduced. Users who opt in receive fewer ads, but better-targeted ads, that are less prone to malware. And advertisers get better information about their spending.

6) ICO projects will spread Beyond the ETH platform

One of the factors that led to an explosion of interest in Ethereum this year was how the Initial Coin Offering craze took off in the first half of 2017. This fundraising model fueled by Ethereum had led to ICO mania, as investors poured money into anything and everything that was launching a new coin or token. Anyway, ICOs are slowly, but steadily begin to branch out beyond Ethereum. NEO is starting to launch ICOs now, Stratis is also a major competitor, and more is up to rise in the nearest future.
For example, the NEO platform advantages are certain – it works towards developing a product for the future. NEO objective all along, while ultimately utilizing many of the same technologies as Ethereum, is to be the platform for a new smart economy. NEO uses a Byzantine Fault consensus mechanism which is an improved version of proof-of-stake. It can process 10,000 operations per second, while Ethereum can handle only 15 transactions per second.

Anyway, it is obvious that the Ethereum status of the first mover is going to be challenged further and further.

7) Crypto exchanges issues and development innovations

Modern crypto market exchanges face a certain number of severe problems at the moment. One of the main drawbacks for decentralized exchanges is the lack of liquidity compared to the more popular centralized exchanges. Moreover, a crackdown on cryptocurrency exchange platforms via stricter rules had been agreed by the European Union states and legislators in December 2017.

Another issue is the complexity of using the assets – multiple applications are usually required for an effective work, which is undoubtedly time-consuming and confusing for users. The existing traditional exchanges tend to have huge commission fees which don’t incentivize the user. They also implement the new rules such as additional ID-verification and double-checking.

All these factors lead users to search for an alternative concept that will make the trading more efficient and straightforward to implement, as well as easy for new upcoming investors.

8) The rise of Atomic Swaps

The revolutionary atomic swaps bear the promise of being the future of decentralized cryptocurrency trading for many public blockchains. Some notable breakthroughs were made regarding atomic swaps in 2017, and it would be expectable if further considerable breakthroughs happen in 2018.

Essentially, atomic swaps are a way for people to swap cryptocurrencies directly with one another without incurring any transaction fees, and without having to rely on a Bitcoin exchange or another third party to do so. Atomic swaps are very exciting in the cryptocurrency community because they make every cryptocurrency more liquid and useable. This can help to speed up adoption rates of cryptocurrency by the general public and enable transactions to be made more seamlessly and independently. All trading in the years to come may be decentralized, and the atomic swaps are one of the major technologies to power that reality.

9) National crypto projects go up

The rise of discussions surrounding national cryptocurrencies creation had also been around for some time – that means state-backed digital assets. For example, political debates surrounding the “crypt ruble” in Russia dominated headlines in the ecosystem in the latter half of 2017. And Russia wasn’t alone – nations like Estonia and Venezuela and some in between looked at the feasibility of creating their cryptocurrencies.

The central question is which nations are going to take the leap and start exploring cryptocurrency projects of their own first. Whether these projects will ever go anywhere is a whole different ballgame which we expect soon to see.

10) Banks will continue to lose investors money
The traditional financial institutions have seen massive amounts of money leaving the traditional investing world behind – to become cryptocurrencies and this had left some banks doing a scramble to catch up. As everyone now wants a piece of the action and in 2018 I think we will see more and more people leaving traditional banks behind for storing their wealth and entrusting it to the blockchain.

2018   2018   Blockchain   Crypto industry   ICO Regulations   Start-ups

How to ensure ICO security from Ddos attacks

The security problem is among the top issues of the entrepreneurs which have chosen the Initial Coin Offering model to fund their project.

As for Q2 2018, the total amount of funds attracted using the ICO model stands at more than $2 Billion which indicates a steady market growth – for example; this number had risen from $26 million in 2014 to $225 million in 2016 and to $5,4 Billion in 2017. That undoubtedly high number still doesn’t include some significant future projects as Telegram’s planned $1 Billion ICO, or Overstock’s ICO and less perspective ones, so this year will definitely show new record heights.

Bold statistics show a visible increase in specific segments of business – Internet of Things and People, Financial Markets, Investments, Banking & Payments and Cryptocurrency sectors are the most popular at the current state.

In total, there are 225 crypto funds across seven strategy types (hey there Salt’s credit fund) and see assets in the space being between $3.5 billion and $5 billion.

As the number of ICO projects are rising steadily, the percentage of cybercrimes growth become disturbingly high. In 2017, for example, more than 10% of all the investments in Ethereum had been stolen by hackers and fraudsters.

This market is still a Wild West territory, specific measures are to be taken in order to protect the project before and during the ICO.

Nowadays a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack is one of the most common, dangerous and hardest to prevent problems which gives a serious risk for any ICO. How does is basically work? During the DDoS attack, the project website is flooded with queries executed by a distributed network of malware-infected computers (botnet). Over time, eventually, the servers run out of resources and are down.

It is important to realize that the main reason behind the DDoS attacks which serves more as a smokescreen. While performing it, the hackers and internal attackers go for exploit the more serious security breaches and expose the most vital weak points. Usually, it refers to the access the control panel of the website either to mass mail spam of a link containing an attack vector to users and potential ICO token buyers.

Hackers go for complete control of the website and most likely change the purse addresses for the coin buyers. Next, fraudsters replace the content of the users’ page and use the original website address for the more effective phishing attack.

We outline the most typical and often attacks that take place:

1)Http flood attacks

This refers to the application level attacks, in case of which the main load is directed to the app server. In this case, the vital point is separating the real users from the bots. There are different ways to do it – installing cookies, JavaScript or flash flags.

2)Volume-based attacks

These kinds of network attacks are associated with the number of queries. When the number is too high, it can saturate the bandwidth of the targeted website and drain the network capacity.

3)Protocol attacks

The protocol attacks aimed at direct drain actual server resources, or the resources of firewalls and load balancers.

It’s also important to consider that:

-Be aware that the search engines to track the website activity as well as DDoS robots.

-JavaScript and cookies are not the ultimate solution for security as specific bots could be programmed to avoid these measures. To put it simply, they are implemented to basically increase the cost of attack for hackers.

-Important tip: the load from security measures should be lower compared to the case when the bot overcomes it.

Now, let’s consider the security measures that are to be taken in order to comply with the rising number of threats.

1) The main thing to do is to go for search and install the advanced anti-DDoS services. Particularly, such could be named as CloudFlare, Incapsula, Akamai, or DoS Arrest which are aimed at resolving issues with the volume-based attacks. Anyway, never forgot not to rely entirely on them as the third-party services are still may present a certain degree of danger. So, track their performance at times and look up for any unusual activity.

2) Web application firewall is a decent thing to use when it comes to security, so the impact of malicious payloads could be observed in real

time. In that case, a user should check up for any excessive rules not to be imposed.

3) Choose the reliable hosting with decent security features. Another major requirement for the hosting is the scalability options.

4) Check for any project code issues. The final quality control of the code and its scalability options is one of those things that should often be kept in mind at the last stages of development. Audits performed to double check the smart contracts and the website code would be of help as well.

5) The website. Nonetheless, it is essential to track your website always in order to notice even the slightest changes to the web pages, the size and content posted. The higher is the frequency of these check-ups from your side, the faster will the potential threat situation will be handled, and the control will be restored.

The final thing to keep in mind is your own ability to react to any rapidly emerging issues. No matter what measures are taken or implemented, that DDoS attack might still take place before or during your ICO. If a certain situation will happen despite all odds, a splash page must be used, to inform that the website is under attack, so the potential investors/visitors will be redirected to visit the social platforms and official chats to be appropriately informed.

2018   2018   Crypto industry   Digital investmens   ICO   ICO 2018   ICO Risks   Start-ups

ICO Market Progress – Q1

Despite the cryptocurrency market fluctuations, Initial Coin Offering market grows progressively as the number of specialists and enthusiasts involved in this industry only rises each month.

Due to the latest statistics, the market dynamic is definetly positive. The volume of funds attracted worldwide through the ICO for the first quarter of 2018 was $ 3.3 billion. For comparison, in 2017 with the help of ICOs, $ 6.1 billion was raised. The data was provided by the well-known rating agency ICORating.

However, as noted by the company’s specialists, the indicators take into account only the funds collected during the ICO. The statistics do not apply to the data of the unfinished sale rounds of funding, indicators of presale and round of the Telegram messenger private sale (the volume of funds attracted here is undoubtedly is the highest here).

In late 2017 and early 2018, many companies have entered the ICO work in the fields of financial services, exchanges, e-wallets, as well as in the blockchain infrastructure itself.

The average duration of all ICOs during the latest time varied from one to two months. At the same time, only half of the projects were able to attract more than $ 100,000 of capitalization.

As for geography – most of the ICOs were conducted under the United States jurisdiction – 59 projects totaled about $ 583.8 million; in Singapore – 34 projects raised about $ 468.1 million, and in the UK 26 projects raised $ 99.7 million. In Russia, 13 projects raised about $ 20.8 million.

Speaking about the stage of the product, analysts found out that 46.6% of the total number of ICO-projects did not have a finished product at the time of the token sales launch. This not obviously relates to the scam project nature (which reached the 90% level by the end of 2017), but for the funds required to develop a minimum viable product (MVP). According to ICORating, MVP was available only for 26.2% of projects, 15.5% created an alpha version of the product, 11.2% – a beta version, 0.5% of the projects had a primary code available only.

“When choosing similar projects that have nothing but an idea or concept, investors cannot in any way check the network performance, its bandwidth or other characteristics. Therefore, users are faced with a choice when they can either blindly trust or look for another project,” the researchers noted.

It was also noted that only 21% of new tokens had been added to the exchanges – by comparison at the end of 2017, this figure was 33%. Such a significant fall can be explained by the fact that 83% of coins issued from January to April 2018 are now lower than during the pre-sale period.

Back in 2017, the finance sector had become the most popular segment for ICO. This is still actual for early 2018, though, in total, there are 225 crypto funds across seven strategy types.

How much costs the Initial Coin Offering Campaign?

Consider that your company seriously takes advantage of rising crypto market and decides to fund the project using the Initial Coin Offering model, instead of going through the long and tensioned IPO-process or a complicated search of traditional venture investors. The ICO campaign complexity and cost depends on many factors.
In order to have a full and transparent understanding of the possible future budget needed for a specific project let’s take a closer look and examine each of the items of expenditure of this complicated venture separately.

1)Hiring a team of professionals

When you have already come up with an idea as well as clear working concept, the next thing in line is to gather a team of specialists. It will be the core, the heart of your project. A lot of professionals in different fields would be required for hiring: from the frontend and backend-programmers to community, HR- and PR-managers. You will also need financial and blockchain analytics, smart-contracts developers and more. It is essential for members of your project team to know at least one foreign language, English preferably because ICO projects are aimed to the worldwide market, so the communication and understanding of specific professional moments would be more comfortable for the whole team.

The salary of each position varies depending on specific factors as the development duration, project complexity and country of project origin. It may be a wise idea to use the hired developers outsourced from other countries which have less high incomes to lower the overall budget.

Here is the data of annual income of the key team members in ICO project in the US market according to the information of early 2018:

Frontend developer income varies from $45,000 to $150,000; Backend developer:$25,000 - $80,000; Blockchain analyst:$40,000 - $165,000; Cryptoeconomist:$45,000 - $150,000; Public Relation Manager:$35,000 - $100,000.

For example, the highest salaries in European market industry (and in the world pretty much at all) right now is observed in Switzerland, where the top blockchain companies base. The monthly income for Frontend and Backend developers in this country is around $10,000 - $15,000 which makes the annual earnings up to $120,000 and $180,000. PR-Manager can get up to $45,000-$120,000 annually working in Switzerland while the Blockchain analyst earns around $50,000 - $150,000.

According to Glassdoor data, the salaries on Asian market are not that high of course, but the industry is growing, and the situation changes dynamically here as the number of major crypto exchanges rises. Heads of Department blockchain development in Japan and South Korea can obtain up to $7,000-$10,000 monthly, approximately $100-$120,000 per year. PR-managers, in turn, earn an average of $3,500 per month – from $30,000 to $55,000 per year.

Frontend developers have an income in a range from $3,000 to $5,000 per month, the annual salary of an experienced programmer usually is around $60,000.
In Russia and the CIS countries, wages are somewhat lower, Frontend and Backend developers earn about $2,000 -$3,000 per month, which makes about $25,000-$36,000 per year. Technical Director with professional experience earns an average of $5,000-$6,000 monthly and $50,000-$70,000 per year, respectively. PR Manager usually earns from up to $2,000 per month and up to $24,000 annually. Email marketing specialist income ranges from $1,500 to $2,000 per month, $18,000 -24,000 per year. Head of development earns about $2,000 - $4,000 per month and $24,000 and $48,000 per year, respectively.

It is essential to ensure the presence of the well-known and reputed advisors from different areas and technical experts  in your team – sometimes their opinion may slightly influence not only the investor’s viewpoint whether to invest or not but the further direction of the project development at large.
This whole part cost is considered the most voluminous and can absorb up to 50–60% of total funding.

2) The technical developments

The next relevant of importance topic should be split into individual parts for easier comprehension:

The Token

For a start, your team will need to create a tradable token that your investors will use to fund your project. Most exchanges require that you have an ERC20 compliant token that will allow the transfer of tokens from one address to another.

At this stage, you will have to hire an ERC20 token developer. Although finding a good Ethereum developer is hard - an experienced freelance developer could be hired to work with for approximately $10,000 per month/project in the U.S. This cost will be up to $5,000-$7,000 in other countries.
The program for smart contracts execution is required to deliver tokens to investors in exchange for Ethereum. This part of work will need the presence of developer or a group of them to create a decent Smart Crowd Sale Contract; the process can take up to 3–4 weeks and cost you on average $15,000-$20,000.

Smart Contract Audits

To guarantee and ensure your investors in the complete security of their investments, you will need to perform an audit of your smart contracts. Frankly, the significance of this stage cannot be overestimated as you will expose any vulnerabilities in the project code. The cost of this service done by a reputable company ranges from $10,000 to $30,000 depending on country and the company reputation. This figure is steadily increasing due to the growing number of ICOs on the market.

3) ICO campaign preparation stage

On this milestone, your team will need to work hard to complete all parts of project’s presentation materials and more - that means creating a convenient and easy to comprehend website, complete the SEO-optimization, create the promo materials and highly engage in the media field.

• Website and SEO-optimization

Another important and responsible step. You must choose a reliable hosting and website structure (now favorite and user-friendly one-pagers come into consideration) that has a functional design and be user-friendly, as well as protected from possible DDoS attacks. Your website must list specific promo materials including the video presentation about the project, a transparent and easy-to-understand Whitepaper, Roadmap with clear milestones, the project team with photos and links to their social networks and LinkedIn, a list of partners and advisers involved contacts and active social network channels. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) also has the significant importance to improve positions in Google search system and, simply put, allow investors faster access to your project.

• Whitepaper & Roadmap

The whitepaper is the primary document that serves as a presentation of the project to potential investors, explaining the vision, objectives, implementation and milestones in the project development. Visualizing your concept vision to potential investors is essential, so the infographics should illustrate the main financial indicators that the company plans to achieve in the first place. Also, any signs of market research are better perceived in this format. But do not forget about the information value - you can come up even with a 100-page text document, but investors will find it simply not interesting to read and hard to understand. This document must have a transparent structure, support the statements with facts, clearly explain the concepts and potential benefits from participation in your project. Not all the project teams are capable of writing this document themselves; therefore, often a professional help may be required. Of course, it is possible not to spend money on this stage at all by making it by yourself. The cost of creating a Whitepaper with third parties companies’ involvement estimates from $2,000 and may even reach $10,000 in the USA and European countries, and this cost is growing.

• Publicity and Advertisement

You will also need a marketing team to create a buzz online so that you can capture the attention of investors and enthusiasts before the start of the pre-ICO and ICO stage.

The team should promote the project in traditional media and social media advertising, write articles and news about the project, make publications on crucial web resources. Some of them may be free; others will require part in the premium services (for example, the popular web platforms like Cointelegraph listing cost is estimated at thousand dollars).

In the United States, banner ads with a so-called “Hot-rate” will cost nearly $10,000- $15,000 for two weeks at the central website position, and mailing to the whole database of investors for the same “burning” rate will cost around $6,000-8,000.
The total cost of marketing and promotion can be slightly different — you can spend $5,000- $10,000 or even more than $100,000 at this stage, depending on how much your company can invest in the project. It includes interviews with the company founders and member, advisors, promotion through social media channels and forums. Many teams are willing to pay huge money to specialized advertising companies for the traffic to achieve contact with the target audience of the project. Marketing cost typically eats up to 30% - 50% of total budget depending on the project complexity, time limit and orientation.

4) Legal support and project security

This step includes ensuring the web security measures made to prevent project data and financial information leak and making hack risks as low as possible.
During the Initial Coin Offering campaign, a lot of investors make substantial financial donations to the project; this cannot go unnoticed by the fraudsters and government agencies of course. ICO regulations in most countries have not been appropriately developed on the legal stage yet, so the wise decision would be ensuring the assistance of lawyers to resolve contentious issues before they occur. Unregulated ICOs always stand at risk of being disavowed from legal inclusions. But just to be on the safe side, legal experts on the advisory board would still be a plus.
The cost of legal support varies depending on the level of experts involved — usually, the price ranges from $20,000 to $100,000 for the entire project (in the USA) and $10,000-$50,000 in other countries.

5) Logistics and live-conferences participation

Considering the magnitude of the ICO market and the growing number of specialized conferences with industry professionals throughout the world, many new and experienced developer teams often make journeys to other cities, countries and even continents with the aim of establishing business and professional contacts. The cost of participation in such events depends on a place, speakers level and prospective partners/investors. On average, the team may need $10,000-$20,000 during the project. Logistics costs can also assume the purchase or transportation of specialized equipment as required.

Conclusion:

Summing up the figures of crucial position salaries for 5–6 months of ICO-campaign project duration, approximately $100,000- $400,000 will be spent on the creation and ensuring of the team smooth workflow (depending on qualifications) in highly developed first world countries like USA, UK, Switzerland, etc.

In Asia, this number would be approximately $100,000-$250,000. In Russia and the CIS countries, cost of team hiring is nearly $50,000 - $150,000 respectively.
Moreover, software and tokens development, smart contracts, an audit performed by the professional company with a good reputation will cost your company up to $50,000-$80,000 in the U.S. market and $20,000-$50,000 in other countries. Functional website creation and proper SEO optimization, the Whitepaper done by the professional company will add the cost up to $20,000 mostly. Promotion in media varies greatly — on average, $50,000-$100,000 or eve more in the US market and $20,000-$50,000 for active work on the development of your platform in the Asian region or Russia/CIS countries.

Legal support of the project cost in the United States - $20,000 to $50,000 for the entire project timeline, $20,000-$50,000 in Asian countries and up to $10,000 in Russia or CIS countries.

Nearly 50–60% of a total budget will be spent on the salaries of the team and the project advisers as well as the technical development, and media promotion also gets a significant amount of the budget – to 20–30%, 15–20%  -  will also go for the for legal support of the project. It is possible to separately allocate 5% of this amount for logistics and worldwide conferences participation expenses.
Summarizing all these data, we get the estimated budget ranging from $300,000 to $700,000 and even reaching a $1 million (depending on PR-and media-coverage) needed for the successful launch of the ICO campaign in the United States. In Asia market, this number is estimated at $180,000 -$400,000, and in Russia/CIS countries, respectively, $70,000 to $250,000.

The total amount of costs is determined by the geographical area (country of origin) in which the project is planned to be launched and overall professionalism and competence of the team and project advisors.

You can also use the specialized services of companies to conduct the ICO. Typically, an infrastructure of Initial Coin Offering presented by the third party will cost the company about $40,000 to $100,000.

2018   2018   Crypto industry   Digital investmens   ICO   ICO launch   ICO price   Start-ups

World Blockchain Forum’18 Highlights

The popular annual conference in Dubai had finished just a week ago. The wide-known event took place on 16th and 17th of April, had again demonstrated another success of the industry market development and community interest growth. The two-days conference aimed at digital innovations sector had perfectly reflected the financial growth of Dubai as a crypto hub and its aiming to become the top blockchain oriented country of the world within the next few years.

As the year before, the latest major event had seen a lot of industry most important persons present, the big guns of the economy sector and top venture and crypto investors. Speaking in numbers, more than 40 of the most knowns and famous speakers were attracted, more than 350 of CEO’s took part aswell governmental officials and investors took part. This time, the hosting had been two days of non-stop, thought-provoking speeches about Blockchain and disruptive technologies, which had seen a lot of famous industry speakers.

All of it concentrates on the financial world which is getting fueled by disruptive technology. It offers an introduction to the impact which we will witness in the upcoming time by crypto-currencies on the global financial landscape.
The conference had been presented by the KeyNote, which had been engaged in the crypto-currency sector since 2014. The Forum is always highly focused making the top events in the financial world. Actually, the event was limited to only 750 attendees of investors and CEOs. The topics discussed on WBF will cover the vivid range of topics mingling from Blockchain, bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, investments, startups, disruption and much more.

The event had clearly displayed the strong network of blockchain industry. Moreover, it is noticeable everywhere that blockchain industry and bitcoin and the trendiest topic. Not just in the financial world but overall too ICOs are the quirky topics in the financial technology.
During the conference, each speaker will have a maximum of 20 minutes to present their ideas to the attending delegates. Besides the meeting, attendees will have a chance to tour the nearby expo where several exhibitors and sponsors will be selling their products and services.
The meeting’s venue was the “Madinat Jumeirah Mina A’ Salam”, a world-class restaurant located in Dubai along the shores of the Indian Ocean.
However, the latest conference had clearly presented a few trends that reflect minor changes in the conference relations and participators. Main highlights are certain:

• ICO market getting overcrowded

As the Initial Coin Offering market shows constant development, there is no shortage of new start-up project that wishes to take their piece of the crypto pie. As for Q2 2018, the total amount of funds attracted using the ICO model stands at more than $2 Billion which indicates a steady market growth – for example, this number had risen from $26 million in 2014 to $225 million in 2016 and $5,4 Billion in 2017. That undoubtedly big fund score still doesn’t include some significant future projects as Telegram’s planned $1 Billion ICO, or fewer less perspective ones, so this year will undoubtedly show new record heights.

In such a situation, more and more incoming digital start-ups create certain chaos, and the more teams engage in this industry, the harder it becomes to investor to choose the right project and make the final decision of whether to invest or not.

• Establishing personal relationships is vital

It also gets more complicated to get into the major investor’s sight, because of the problem stated previously. The importance of the relationship is essential as never before – the positive personal image is a thing to go for, as right now it is not so easy to become noticed by the industry fat-cats. In such circumstances, it is important to establish as many important connections within the community as possible, mainly – to become well-recognized in this sector.

• The speakers’ and pitches got less important

Pitching on the conferences had become of less significance since the key point is not creating the buzz over some project but establishing the investor connections to ensure the money flow to a certain ICO projects which emerge, literally, everywhere in the world nowadays. As a result, not much people willing to make pitches, as potential investors do value their time high and wish not to waste it to the potential scam projects or to listen to something that is of less importance. Industry well-known speakers are still at large though as the conference organizers are making buzz to attract the audience.

The ticket prices in such conferences are something that only grows every year while sometimes, this is a questionable step.

Overall, the World Blockchain Forum 2018 had clearly demonstrated the industry growth as well as people interest rising about the digital start-ups.Nowadays the blockchain wave has taken up a significant majority of the industries, transforming them in ways that were inconceivable not so long ago. To keep up with the evolving landscape, it is imperative to get involved as soon as possible.

2018   2018   Blockchain   Crypto conferences   Dubai   ICO   Start-ups   World Blockchain Forum