Beginner’s Guide to ICO Investing | How to Participate in ICOs

Guide to ICO,Tech start ups are now turning to the blockchain to raise capital for their projects. They bring together teams of competent people from around the world, then market themselves to the public via social media tools. Investors like you, from anywhere in the world, can then invest using cryptocurrency – and there is no limit to how much you can invest.

What is an ICO?

An initial coin offering (ICO) is a means of crowdfunding, through the release of a new cryptocurrency or token to fund project development.

There are currently more than 1,000 coins available on different exchanges, with hundreds more in the process of being listed on exchanges. It’s important to understand that not all cryptocurrencies have their own blockchain, as most are issued on top of another Blockchain. A good example is ERC-20 tokens, which represents a standard of interoperability within the Ethereum Blockchain. Ethereum is a general purpose blockchain where different tokens can be issued on top of its blockchain without creating their own infrastructure.

Advantages of ICO


Allow projects to circumvent the traditional method of asking Banks/Venture Capitalists that may take a lot of time and resources. Anyone can invest and can earn the possibly huge returns just like how the big boys are accustomed to. Of course, investing in ICO’s is a high-risk venture.

Immense Profit Potential:

Many in the space want to invest in the “next Bitcoin”, potentially riding the wave of buying coins at pennies on the dollar and selling them later at an astronomical valuation. Most ICOs have only a conceptual white paper with little to no proof of concept, thereby validating a high payoff potential due to the extremely high-risk investors are taking. Just look at the returns if you were to invest in the ICOs below:

How Can I Participate?

Research on Upcoming ICOs

Look at resources or outlets that features the latest ICOs. Knowing which ICOs are coming up will enable you to plan ahead, especially for ICOs that has a whitelist. A whitelist ICO means that you have to register in advance to participate in the ICOs, which are usually hallmarks of popular ICOs that have a limited number of coins to offer. Here’s a list of various resources for ICOs:

Perform Your Due Diligence

You should perform your own research to ascertain that the ICO is a good project.

You can also look at reviews and analysis done by others to verify the potential of the ICO. Based on our evaluation, good ICO review resources include:

  1. Crush Crypto: A website dedicated to analyzing ICOs through detailed fundamental analysis
  2. Reddit: Certain channels feature ICO reviews done by community members, such as /r/Cryptocurrency, /r/icocrypto, /r/ethtrader

ICO Participation Process

Opening an Exchange Account

Assuming that you’re confident after performing your research and want to proceed with participating in the ICO, then you should open a fiat-accepting cryptocurrency exchange account to convert your domestic fiat currency into popular cryptocurrency of Bitcoin (BTC) or Ether (ETH).

Opening Your Own Wallets to Participate in ICO

It is absolutely essential that you have your own wallets. Your exchange account (e.g. Poloniex/Bittrex/Kraken) DOES NOT COUNT as your own wallets, as you do not control their private keys. Participating in an ICO requires you to send BTC or ETH from your personal, private wallets. If you send it from an exchange, you WILL NOT get the ICO tokens since the transfer originates from the wallet of the exchange and technically you do not own any wallets in an exchange.

We would recommend using Ether as the base cryptocurrency as many ICO coins are compliant with the Ethereum standard called ERC 20, and the most convenient wallet is MyEtherWallet (MEW). Alternatively, you can also open a free Bitcoin software wallet here.

Follow the ICO Instructions

More often than not, ICOs will provide a step-by-step guide to participating in their ICOs. You should join their official communication channels such as Slack or Telegram to receive the latest updates and ask questions directly to the developing team.

Exchanges to Trade ICO Coins

If you believe in the tech, then hold the coins for the medium to long-term, or until your price target is hit (e.g. 2x, 3x, 10x of capital). If you just want to flip it, then sell it once it reaches an exchange that usually lists an ICO. Alternatively, if you’ve missed out on the ICO, you can buy it at an exchange.

Ether Delta: A decentralized exchange that is usually the first exchange to list newly issued ICO coins. It can be extremely complicated for beginners to trade here, and it is not recommended to do so An exchange that often lists new ICO coins. There are close to 200 coins listed in Liqui.

Bittrex: The biggest cryptocurrency exchange by volume that only accepts coin deposits (Does not accept fiat money). This is the “big league” that every ICO wants to be listed on

Poloniex: The second biggest cryptocurrency exchange by volume that only accepts coin deposits. This is also one of the exchanges that all ICOs want to be listed on, but the criteria to be listed on Poloniex can be extremely tough as only a few coins are recently added.

Binance: A China-based exchange that has gained tremendous traction, being the 10th largest exchange by volume in just a span of 4 months! It also lists new coins based on consumer demands. Here’s a Guide to Binance Exchange: How to Open Binance Account and What You Should Know

Tip: Always verify your transactions when you send your coins from one location to another. Here’s a guide that can help: Guide to Verifying Cryptocurrency Transactions)

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