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A 2018 Guide to Investing in ICO’s

March 13th, 2018 at 10:43 am UTC · 4 min read

The recent phenomenon of ICO’s has transformed the way companies fund the development and operational costs of their business. It is sometimes difficult to comprehend that investors would part with their hard earned cash for something that has not been created as of yet. However this is exactly what is happening in the world of blockchain and cryptocurrency.

The main difference between the two, is that with an IPO you own part of the company as stock, while with an ICO, you own digital coins issued by the company. Usually, the currency is utilised within an eco-system between several types of users. The increasing demand raises the intrinsic value of the currency sometimes by thousands of percentage. To put this into perspective, the highest performing stock in the S&P 500 rose by 132% in 2017 whilst one of the top 20 best ICO performers rose by over 20,000%. The gains are never guaranteed of course, so how does one choose an ICO to invest in.

The most important factors are:

  1. Concept

The type of business and the problem the ICO is trying to solve is extremely important. It indicates the potential of the project in terms of market size and worth. Additionally, it will provide you with an indication of who the other players are and whether the ICO can steal some of the market share. An extremely niche product is unlikely to yield a good return on investment although entering into a very competitive sector can also be risky.

  1. Team

The initial check that should be carried out is whether the team actually exist, too many projects have attempted to mislead investors into having a star team. Most ICO websites will have a team page with a Linkedin profile. Carry out an in-depth review of their experience to ensure they have knowledge of their respective field of expertise. The advisory board should provide additional substance and fill any gaps in the skills and understanding of the team members.

  1. Whitepaper

The Whitepaper is a standard of every ICO and are quite usually a very detailed document consisting of:

  • Overview and Executive Summary
  • Market research and analysis
  • Product details and summarised architecture
  • Roadmap and Financial forecast
  • Structure of token offering

It is very important that the Whitepaper is read carefully and any particular questions are directed at the management team.

  1. Capital raised

Some projects will inherently cost more to develop than others however what is important is that the amounts requested makes sense. Having no hard cap raises serious questions as to the motive of the project. Having private funding illustrates investment appetite from the private funding sector and raises confidence in the project.

A good example of an ICO that meets all the necessary points is ImmVRse, the hybrid decentralised platform for VR content. Using the points above, we can carry out a brief analysis:

The fact that huge investments are being ploughed into VR hardware corroborates a project focused on creating content. In fact, what promotes the growth of VR content more than incentivised skilled producers who can showcase their talent and be rewarded financially? Market research from various sources, including Goldman Sachs and Gartner indicates that the industry will grow to between $80b to $110b which when put into perspective, is immense.

The team experience, skills and knowledge covers all aspect of a successful start-up. The founders are from an IT, Finance and Marketing background encapsulating the core requirement of business success. Legal, Blockchain and VR specialists come in the form of very well-known and respected advisors to support the already well rounded team.

The whitepaper is detailed and on-point, providing the reader with an informative view on what the project is, why it is required and how it plans to succeed. The token structure follows industry standards with carefully thought out allocation of funds, whilst the roadmap ensures alignment with.


Adrian Chan

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