How do you launch an ICO?

How do you launch an ICO?

How do you launch an ICO?

This question originally appeared on Quora, the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answers below are by Roee Oren and Carl Gunell

Roee Oren

Answered August 2nd, 2017
The Ethereum platform is public and open-source, and it also features smart contract functionality. So, when there is the need for online contractual agreements, you don’t need to look elsewhere. Here is a guide on how to launch an ICO via Ethereum.Even though Ethereum is the most popular, you need to know that there are other options. Here are some of the other platforms where you can launch your token:

#1: Waves Platform: The Waves platform is very known in the cryptocurrency space. After all, just last year, they were able to make it to the 7th place of the most successful crowdfunding campaign in the world, by raising about 30k BTC (more than $16 million).

In what concerns with Waves platform, it is often described as an Open Blockchain platform. Simply put, you’ll be able to have all the functionalities of the Bitcoin but they also include more. The idea is not to create a replacement for Bitcoin, but to be able to have all kinds of real-world commodities as well as assets, including the Bitcoin, being issued, transferred, and exchanged, in a completely decentralized way. One thing is for sure: decentralized exchanges and assets aren’t really something new. Besides, they aren’t very functional as well. However, Waves knew how to put things up and they were able to create a fully functional exchange that is just as fast as a centralized one. However, they managed to avoid the same security issues. In case you’re a more experienced user, you can also mine or forge. They allow you to host a full node to earn rewards from transaction fees.

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In July 2017, Primalbase, a project allowing its users to rent or sell the workspace as they wish and get access to all shared workspaces around the world, hit 3100 BTC in just 24h on Waves Platform, a record.

Here is the official Waves guide on how to launch a crowdsale in their platform.

#2: Nxt Platform: Next is another open source platform that includes many different features. Some of the NXT main features include the decentralized asset exchange, data storage, alias system, which allows a piece of text to be replaced by another one, voting system, and even a plugin support. And the only reason why they allow these external plugins to be developed by external people is to show that the Nxt platform allows you to do practically all that you want or need. As of the version 1.4.8, the Monetary System permits the creation of currencies in their blockchain, and which can be redeemed if necessary. In July 2017, Nxt launched the first scalable blockchain-base platform, named Ardor. Ardor (which is like the Nxt 2.0) is a blockchain-as-a-service platform that will allow people to utilize the blockchain technology of Nxt through the use of child chains. It allows organizations to create a blockchain without worrying about development or network security. The main goal is to prevent blockchain bloat through pruning, where transaction records on child chains are removed from the parent platform when the information is no longer relevant to interested parties. It is allow to avoid one of the essential problem of Bitcoin and many Altcoins: their too big size. This is a revolution in the blockchain world. Also, the Nxt team has partnered with Bitpanda, and Austrian-based platform, in the EU to enable anyone to buy the NXT currency with euros. This is the first time people outside the blockchain community will be able to invest in an easy and secure way.

#3: Bitshares Platform: The Bitshares platform, or simply Bitshares 2.0, is a decentralized platform where you can exchange cryptocurrencies in a fast way. Besides being a decentralized exchange, it is a smart contract platform. Some of the main features of the Bitshares platform include price-stable crypto-currencies. This means that their SmartCoins are pegged to another asset. It may be gold, or the US dollar, for example. This cryptocurrency is always guaranteed to worth, at least, the value of its face. Just like the Nxt, the Bitshares platform is also a decentralized asset exchange and is simply ultrasonic. Their network can, in fact, confirm transactions in just 3 seconds, on average. In what concerns with smart contracts, the Bitshares platform is the first one to include a built-in support for subscription payments and recurring payments. This will allow you to authorize third-party companies to withdraw funds from your account. Bitshares 2.0 uses the delegated proof of stake as their consensus model.

#4: NEM Platform: Launched in 2015, the NEM platform’s main goal is to introduce new advancements to the blockchain technology. So, in order to achieve this, the NEM platform already includes some modern features that aren’t used by any other platform. These include the proof-of-importance (POI) algorithm, encrypted messaging, multi-signature accounts, among others. Using the innovative system of Proof-of-Importance, NEM improves upon several characteristics above projects that use Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake. Mainly regarding efficiency and optimization of resources, POI makes NEM a much cheapersystem in terms of maintenance and much more respectful with regards to the environment. The NEM blockchain is currently being tested by private companies and financial institutions internationally and especially in Japan, and they are using it in a commercial blockchain named Mijin. As for reputation system, the NEM platform chose to use the Eigentrust++ which makes sure that all the nodes past behavior are monitored. This is also what allows this platform to be maintained and run more efficiently.

One of the features that clearly makes a distinction between the NEM platform and all the others is the fact that they use the Proof-of-Importance algorithm to timestamp all transactions. Hope you find my answer helpful. If you did, an upvote can show me I’m doing good 🙂 I’ll be happy to elaborate more if needed – you are welcome to comment your feedback.

For more information about ICOs, visit coins.best

Carl Gunell, CEO/ICO Consultant at Maximin Management (1993-present)

Answered Jul 6, 2017
If you have a project that can integrate the cryptocurrency, sold during a crowdsale, organically into your product you may want to consider an Initial Coin Offering. First you need back-end infrastructure to create your ICO and then manage the future transactions that may happen freely on the different exchanges. This involves creating and setting up the characteristics of your new coin (Ecr20) by creating a smart contract and then paying the registration fees into the blockchain each time a transaction happens. Like any startup it involves building a team, composting a white paper – essentially a business plan — that outlines the problem you’re addressing, your solution and roadmap, and design and the amount you are looking to raise and the number of coins or tokens that will be emitted. This is what will determine the initial price of your coins.

Part of the process includes presenting your project and code to the crypto community and they will review it. During this process you and your team will receive questions about your project. You also need to establish a proper legal framework, test your offer to make sure it passes the Howey Test and thus cannot be considered to be a security, and determine how you manage KYC (know your customer) requirements.

You then offer supporters of your project an opportunity to purchase your coin/token through an Initial Public Offering (IPO) where they exchange an existing crypto or fiat (USD or Euro) in exchange for your new coin. An ICO usually sets a minimum goal for the fundraise and a period of time to reach that goal — not unlike a Kickstarter. If you do not meet that goal the funds are returned to the investors. As you have guessed this requires a significant amount of marketing to create an awareness of your coin.

Depending on the blockchain you use, you may also need to establish an interest from miners.

Most of the costs will be linked to the marketing of your ICO to investors. Expect to spend at least $50k to a $100k on brand marketing, online marketing, PR, and communication. Most serious projects have some sort of pre-ICO funding to finance the marketing costs linked to the launch of an ICO.

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