We are presenting you with a crucial guide that will assist you to understand the basic steps needed to run your own ICO project. We will walk you through the process of planning your project, creating your website, writing your whitepaper, and creating your Ethereum based token.
The popularity of cryptocurrency is getting increased day by day. Most of the giant sectors such as Banking, Finance, Healthcare have already started adopting this technology.
Everything is being made possible and a painless task with Blockchain. It includes creating your own cryptocurrency, Getting started with cryptocurrency business, Cryptocurrency Crowdfunding services like Initial Coin Offering, Security Token Offering, etc.
This Blog gives you the complete inception of launching the popular crowdfunding platform called ICO. You can learn every single step you need to do while making your own ICO. We have done drafted this guide in simple terms for Initial Coin Offering Explained completely.
What is an Initial Coin Offering?
Let me first explain to you what is an initial coin offering. To put it in simple words, an ICO is a fundraising strategy through which startups and other industries raise their funds for their projects by selling their ICO Tokens.
Does your business need an ICO Platform?
Okay, now the initial thing you should know before launching an Initial Coin Offering is to analyze the need of ICO for your business. Regardless of the type of sector, this strategy is applicable across various industries, startups, ICO Marketing companies, etc. It can be an online or an offline project, ICO supports everything.
Let me explain to you some live examples. The first industry which tops the list of raising a good amount of funds is Network/ Communication. According to ICO Watchlist, around $4,640,447,641 has raised for about 2.67% projects till the date.
Next comes the undeniable Blockchain platform. For 5.51% of projects, the total amount of money raised accounts for $1,688,474,628. In the future, these numbers would start uprising without any doubts. Thirdly, the Financial sector has raised around $428,055,006. Around 12.9% of ICO projects were being involved in this.
Not to miss, the Health sector has also adopted Initial Coin Offering in its early days. The Health domain adopted 3.77% of ICO projects which raised around $276,868,999 in the industry. Additionally, other industries such as Energy/Utility, Manufacturing sectors have also adopted ICO’s and have raised millions in seconds.
TOP ICOs BY INDUSTRY (SOURCE: MEDIUM)
Now, decide whether your business needs an ICO. If you are not sure of this, you can create a thread on the BitcoinTalk forum and look for suggestions. Make sure your project is valuable and imperative to do something with Initial Coin Offerings.
Else investors won’t be interested to buy your ICO tokens. A new cryptocurrency coin will be responsible that add value to your business. It would be feasible and reliable if your industry belongs to any of these categories. You can also be the person in the list to raise the funds for your project!
So, How does ICO work?
You would have probably heard of Initial Public Offering (IPO). This type of public offering is one where the shares of the company are sold to the investors. Therefore, the private company becomes public here. One popular example of IPOs is Facebook Initial Public Offering.
On 1st February 2010, Facebook filed IPO for an IPO with SEC. At that time, they had 845 million users with 2 million likes and comments every day.
Once the IPO got over, Mark retained 22% of ownership shares and 57% of voting shares. Before IPO, the motto was to raise $5 billion. But they managed to raise 4104 billion. This remains to be the most famous history with Initial Public Offerings.
On comparing IPO Vs ICO, 3 differences occur. Initially, ICOs are decentralized with no authority. Secondly, In IPOs, investors get a good amount of shares in return for the investment. Finally, ICOs are unregulated.
Okay, the working of ICO mainly depends on Blockchain Smart Contracts in the technical end. Regardless of Blockchain networks such as Ethereum, NXT, HyperLedger, or other, you can choose any platform. Let me explain to you in detail in the latter part of the article.
So, Smart contracts remain to be the fundamental basement to get started. The initial step is to create your own token or cryptocurrency. The upcoming steps will be Pre-ICO, followed by ICO.
While coming out of the technical end, the important steps to launch an ico include the following:
Right off the bat, the startups/enterprise will announce the need for developing the project in order to drive interest in the project from the investors. “First Impression is the Best Impression!” Quotes never go wrong
- These startups will now be responsible to write and release Whitepaper. This document is crucial since it contains the complete information of the project.
- The next step is to know how to create an ICO Token. These tokens will be sold in exchange for popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.
- Now it is time to advertise the built ICO in platforms such as Waves, ICONOMI, Token Market, etc.
- Finally, holding the developed ICO.
How to Create an ICO?
Research the market and gain a clear idea
The first step to know how to launch an ICO is to research completely. Now you would get to know the reason why Initial Coin Offering is needed for your business. Initially, you should do complete Market research of the ICO industry.
Check for live prices and how they are performing. Moreover, there are around 1500 cryptocurrencies that are in existence. Additionally, you can refer popular Initial Coin Offering News sites such as CoinDesk, CoinTelegraph, etc to get a clear perception.
Also look for Initial Coin Offering Wiki, which also gives a relevant explanation. Make a strategy that would outperform and make your cryptocurrency to stand out from others. If your token survives these waves, your ICO could also be the most successful ICOs of all the time!
To do so, the next step is to figure out the target audience and where you have planned to launch your ico. This phase has plenty of things to do with regulations in the country. I have explained in brief about the regulations in the upcoming sections.
Once you have decided your target audience, the next thing is to identify your competitors. Remember, you are competing for Investor’s money. There can be dozens of ICOs which would have already footprinted.
Thus, make a clear roadmap of strategies and features you are going to use in your Initial Coin Offering to attract the investors.
In addition to this, you can figure out the success stories of Initial Coin Offering. To help you, let me just give you a short couple of ICO Success stories for you.
EOS has been the most successful Initial Coin Offering in the market since 2018. It has managed to raise around $4.1 billion which has contributed 0.2% of the total amount raised by the Initial Coin Offering process in 2018.
It is a Blockchain-based, decentralized cryptocurrency system which has the capability to handle 50,000 transactions per second.
This ICO was initially launched to build a multi-blockchain system with the motto of hosting a new generation of decentralized applications and virtual currencies. Added, it solves the general complexities such as scalability, speed, etc.
This is relatively for storage uses and automated transactions. It raised more than $1.7 billion for its Initial Coin Offering Development.
Along with these, there are many more lengthy stories available in the crypto industry. These stories not only bring you ideas, added it motivates you to be one as well! Go through them completely and figure out the ideas you need in Setting up Initial Coin Offering.
Figure out the Regulations of the country where you have planned to launch ICO
Initial Coin Offerings are the most regulated part of the cryptocurrency list. The reason is there is a huge volume of ICOs shutdown with the collected funds.
Thus, they are exposed to the world in terms of scams. Still, in most of the countries, ICOs are accepted to be friendly and favored. While on the other hand, China and South Korea have already banned ICOs.
While in the United States, citizens are required to disclose any income and wealth earned with Internal Revenue Services (IRS). Though the country hasn’t announced the legal phase of ICOs, the interpretation is based on the Howey Test.
On the other hand countries such as Switzerland, Malta has made everything legal with Initial Coin Offerings. The jurisdictions in both these countries are embracing Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies as well as ICO.
In Asian countries like India, they still haven’t accepted Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies as a part of their lives. Hence you should know the regulations of this country if you have planned to launch ICO in India.
Therefore, it is always best to do research with Regulations of Initial Coin Offering with various countries and has an eye on future regulations as well.
If you Hire expertise Lawyers who have knowledge of cryptocurrencies in the country, there are higher chances to know about regulations in the country you have planned to do an ICO.
Drafting the Whitepaper
To know how to start an ICO, the next crucial step is to write an Initial Coin Offering Whitepaper. A Whitepaper is a research guide that provides complete information about the project.
Around 76% of people utilize Whitepaper for their decision-making process. Here are a couple of major things involved in ICO Whitepaper:
Whitepapers act as a tool used by developers to lure and convince potential investors
A well-organized Whitepaper will help the developers with a clear roadmap and drive accordingly. Hence, to obtain the main objective, Whitepapers are expected to paint a good scenario for the watching audience.
They are the means of generating publicity for fund-raising
Once the Whitepaper is released for the public, there are chances of getting notified among your potential investors. Thus, it becomes general publicity for fund-raising easily.
An effective & best ICO Whitepaper will include details such as:
The vision of the project
The initial thing in an ICO Whitepaper is to know the motto behind the project. Draft the primary need for launching an ICO. The Vision and Mission should be clear such that it attracts the investors for your project.
Current ICO Market
As you have done a deep research of the ICO market and its trend in the first phase, draft them in a graphical or chart representation for clear perception.
However, an ample amount of research will also be done from the investor’s end. Make sure, you attract them with the presentation from your end
This is the most important part of this technical guide. As we have discussed earlier, regulations play a huge role in the Blockchain industry. List out the regulations of the country you have planned to start ICO cryptocurrency.
The Roadmap for development
In this ICO Whitepaper Checklist, the next thing is to add the Roadmap you have planned for creating an ICO. The ICO Roadmap should be clear such that your investor finds you reliable.
Phases of ICO Development
In this step, explain in detail about the development process you have planned to handle in ICO Development. This should include all the technical aspects required for bringing in a Top and best-in-class Initial Coin Offering.
Make sure you include the Legal Disclaimers in while you write ICO Whitepaper. The terms and conditions mentioned in the whitepaper will play a huge role in creating an ICO.
The Cost Involved
The Budget plays an important role in the ICO launch platform. However, the price you charge, make sure you deliver a high and best product to the clientele.
The Team involved with expertise
It is time to introduce yourself. Initially, draft the enterprise’s high-level heads and managers. Then, showcase all your team right from design, development, to sales & marketing team.
About the Company
Write about your company from the very beginning. This can grab the attention of investors with your rich expertise. Additionally, you can unveil the client’s project you have worked so far and deliver them exceptionally.
Be ready to for Feasibility Study with ICOs
As the previous year wasn’t good for ICOs, investors would definitely look for Due Diligence in this manner. Since Initial Coin Offerings were experiencing scams and other fraudulent activities, there are chances that at least half of your investors would conduct Due Diligence in this case.
Jay Clayton, the chairman of the SEC has advised the investors to be aware of ICO startups and hence perform Due Diligence before getting started. Here is the list of the points he has suggested before one invest:
- Determining the founders of the project
- Identifying the need for the project
- Analyze how many tokens will be distributed
- Know how your funds will be used
In most of the conferences, events, podcasts, most of the experts have recorded their views with due diligence. Hence, remember before the act, you (You here is meaning that your ICO, your Company, your Team, everything) should know the pros and cons.
We at Icoclone, have helped with Due Diligence assistance reviews. Therefore, if you find any issues or a downfall with you, make sure you rectify it as soon as possible.
Forming the Expert set of Team
It is crucial to have a pool of rich expertise developers who can develop top-notch ICO solutions. To launch a successful ICO, it is important to have a killer team.
For instance, if you want to raise $14,000 for your project, you and your team should have an equal amount of capability and expertise. Moreover, raising $14,000 is not an easy task. You should remain perfect and produce an impeccable product to achieve this target.
Before you start hiring or creating the team, remember to grab the people where you have planned to do ICO. For example, if the target country is Malta, you can hire ICO Developers or team from Malta.
The ICO Team doesn’t just include Developers alone. Here is the set of people who should be available in your ICO Team:
Founder/Chief Executive Officer
The CEO/Founder is a major source of inspiration. They have a vision and act as a catalyst to get started with ICO Development. They would always have the best solution for “How to create an ICO” with their analytical skills.
Chief Operating Officer
To create your ICO, Chief Operating Officer has a great role to play in. This person is responsible to take care of every operation happening daily. All the employees of the agency submit their daily reports to COO. Thus, he/she should have good managerial skills.
Chief Technology Officer/ Co-Founder
CTO belongs to the next inception of the ICO launch services. Similar to COO, CTO should also have good experience in managing the team. Additionally, it would be perfect if the person has an ample amount of Technical experience. A background with a developer experience would add additional credits to the person.
Chief Financial Officer
Next comes the person who is responsible to manage the financial activities in the company. They act as the pillars of the firm. This position has a lot to do with. Hence a highly experienced financial person with domains such as Banks, Stocks, Portfolio Management can help you in launching successful Initial Coin Offering.
Blockchain & ICO Developers
Here come the most persons for creating your ICO. They are responsible to bring in futuristic ICO solutions with implementing advanced technologies. They are in charge of making your ideas into reality. They are also in charge of the quality of the product.
While coming to the ICO Developer position, one should have a good experience in programming. Knowledge of multiple and new languages would be a plus for this position. They too have equal powers similar to Chief officers. Remember without these people, there is no project, no company!
ICO Marketing Specialists
These people are responsible to introduce and drive your product to the respective target audience. They are one who writes legible and attracting content to grab the investor’s attention. They know how social media works and tactics to bring in a potential set of investors for your project idea.
These people aren’t directly associated with the organization. But they also contribute a huge amount of success in developing Initial Coin Offering. They act as a mentor to head you towards the right destination.
Creating a Cryptocurrency Token
To know how to create Initial Coin Offering, you should also know about the technical end. So it is time to move to the Technical side. You have your idea, you have a Whitepaper with a clear explanation of your project, you have a killer set of an expert team, now it is time to create your own cryptocurrency or token.
Technical Architecture plays a great role in developing a successful ICO. Different structures work for different ICOs. For instance, in the year 2013, NXT, the popular Blockchain Platform managed to raise $16,800 worth of Bitcoin just with Bitcoin Talk Forum alone.
Next, you need to know which Blockchain you are going to choose for your ICO. Here I have a few options for you:
Create your own Blockchain
Having your own Blockchain Application is well and good. In terms of complexity, it requires a huge set of money as well as an incredible amount of time. If in case you already have your own Blockchain Network, then it becomes a painless task indeed.
Fork of famous Cryptocurrencies
There is a set of popular cryptocurrency list where you can just fork them and get started with customizing them and using them in accordance with your requirements.
Researches say, almost 82.46% of cryptocurrencies are in circulation based on Ethereum. There is a list of Initial Coin Offering tutorials available online to assist your developers in creating ERC20 Token based upon Ethereum.
NXT, Ripple, Waves Token
In addition to Ethereum, other Blockchain Networks too have advanced functionalities with Smart Contract Development. The Pros and Cons of them may vary. But choose the one which suits you the best.
Launch an ICO Website
If you are not sure of how to build an ICO website, here I have given a set of my opinions to help you with ICO Website Development. To grab your potential investors, it is a must to design an intuitive yet informative ICO website.
Here is the checklist of the things you have to consider while developing the ICO Website.
- The Team Section which contains names, HD photos, Biographies with Expertise, and links to social networks.
- On the other hand, having a website that lists the detailed information of the ICO Team with their designation can also be useful.
- The next step is to draft your template of the Roadmap on your website itself. The Roadmap represents the phases the Company has crossed until now. This can your success story to your investors.
- The further step is to provide rich information about your Initial Coin Offering. Let your investors know how many tokens or cryptocurrencies you are going to distribute.
- Finally, at the bottom line of the website provide links to your social media forums such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit, Twitter, YouTube
Once you publish this kind of template in your ICO Website, the next thing is the website layout. Most of the projects, go with a single-page structure. This is a very convenient and easily accessible manner.
While security remains to be the topmost concern in an ICO website. Once your ICO starts, the website should be well-planned and should carry the complexity & scalability. Your ICO website should withstand website crash if, in turn, it happens. Hacking and DDoS attacks are many common threats nowadays.
There have been many instances of websites being hacked and wallet’s address being replaced. If in case you are running PR campaigns, take necessary steps to get rid of phishing attacks. The ICO Website design should be user-friendly and intuitive that satisfies all the expectations of the investor.
In simple words, an ICO website should contain:
- Subscription Form
- Presentation Video
- A Complete Roadmap
- An informative description of ICO
- The Team
- The Whitepaper
- Use cases
- Contact Information
The next thing you should do is translating the web pages. Supporting Multilingual things on your website which be an added factor. This will be a user-friendly thing since the website translates into the mother tongue of your target audience. If you hire translators, this would do a perfect job.
So, you have done everything from an investor’s point of view. Additionally, it is important to have a user-friendly ICO Dashboard. A Dashboard where users can navigate easily across pages will be beneficial.
You can make use of ICO Script, in this case, to build an attractive yet simple ICO website as expected by the users. This Script & ICO Software is usually written in PHP language to provide robust and powerful ICO lending solutions.
Launching ICO Marketing Services and Solutions
So, you have done everything from your end. Let me explain to you the ICO Marketing Definition. This strategy is to introduce and promote your ICO through ICO affiliate Marketing services. This is the crucial step to make money for your Initial Coin Offering. You can make use of both Organic and Paid Ads to the fullest. Ads here refers to Google Ads, Forum Ads, Social Media Ads, etc.
The next thing you should know is to figure out the relevant time to launch an ICO. With the market’s hype, there are higher chances that investors get notified about your Initial Coin Offering and would buy it instantly!
Make sure your team constantly communicates with the investors, in all the stages of ICO Development. The more communication channels you use, the more is the chances of investors buying your ICOs. Top ICO Marketing Companies, make use of these below-mentioned strategies.
Other than Social media sites, you should also be a part of the Blockchain industry:
The most crucial part of the ICO Marketing Campaign. While speaking about Cryptocurrency Forums, Bitcoin Talk plays a major role. In personal, we have seen a lot of investors who get converted through Bitcoin Talk.
The community always remains active, particularly when on new announcements. Apart from this, Altcointalks, BitcoinGardens can also be in your choice lists to post.
To remain updated as well as to introduce your ICO product to the globe, you can release frequent Press Releases with your product. This increases the chances of engaging with your investors.
You can also track the upcoming ICOs in the market with popular ICO calendars such as CoinDesk, CoinTelegraph, etc.
This messenger is widely adopted across the world. You can set up the channel there which can be beneficial for your target audience. It will be an added advantage if you provide live chat as well! This is a hassle-free task for you as well as your investor.
From your side, you can get to know the investor’s information instantly. While from the investor’s end, they will find you reliable.
This is one of the ICO Marketing Platform where the majority of investors are available. One can create threads here since numerous Reddit users here are investors. Thus, as an ICO Marketing agency, it is your responsibility to monitor the platform continuously.
You can initiate your crypto discussions on the Quora community. This community has a huge set of questions and as an ICO firm, you can start replying to these threads and questions. I have seen a huge set of investors, who visit quora before starting to invest in ICO.
LinkedIn includes a professional set of groups with investors. This becomes an extremely useful tool for promotion and can hail confidence among them. There are already ICO Groups, ICO Launch Groups, available on LinkedIn. You can join them and promote your ICO
- Apart from this crypto community, you can make use of Social Media Channels. Initially, Facebook. You can run Paid Ads here in your target country. Recently, Facebook has approved crypto Ads. Therefore, you can promote it.
- Email Marketing is the next in the ICO Marketing checklist. You can keep them updated through Emails. Your Email can include various details such as the Launch date of your ICO, features of ICO, pros of getting your ICO, etc. But remember, don’t dump them with too many Emails. This could move your Emails to Spam lists.
- The next thing you can do is the bounty program for your ICO. These programs entail users with financial rewards.
To make your ICO Marketing successful, it is essential to advertise and promote your ICO through various channels, such that it reaches the target people you were searching for. However, you should be cautious about every post, reply, comments you do.
As the previous ICO markets were declared to be scams, there are chances that it could happen with you as well! Remember, to post every single thing carefully!
Pre ICO & ICO Crowdsale
So, finally, you have entered the pre-ICO launch stage. For starting a successful ICO, it is mandatory that you have a pre-ICO stage. At this stage, users will be interested in your project, if your ICO Marketing is good and successful. The cost of ICO in the pre-stages will always be lower to gain the audience and investors.
After your Pre ICO gets over, you can go with the ICO crowd sale stage. Now comes the best and the most awaited top stage everyone is expecting. This stage gives solutions to whether your project is alive, successful. The average duration of ICO Crowdsale could be around 2-4 weeks and could even extend up to 2 months as well.
Communication is the most important tool in this stage. Your specialists from all the domains of your ICO product should be available 24*7 to support your investors. This is the decisive period for your project since there will be people who want to seek answers for their immediate questions.
In addition to this having security specialists, will be great. If in case your ICO Website is imposed with some attacks, they can help you instantly!
What to do after ICO?
I have seen a huge number of people who perform Post ICO marketing. This is also a good step. Apart from this, you have to start distributing your tokens. If you have raised funds more than you have expected, you can spend money on your ICO Marketing or another enhancing basis.
Now know how to make & increase the revenue and capital for your company. Just imagine that your investors need your token in exchange for Bitcoin or other Altcoins.
In such a case, you can start listing your ICO Tokens in Cryptocurrency Exchanges. By doing so, you can gain popularity in a worry-free manner. A cryptocurrency ICO list is the catalyst responsible for your popularity.
So, How to take your ICO to exchange?
This is the final yet a drastic step that could even change your target funds to be raised. Remember, you can list on popular cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase, Binance, Localbitcoin, Poloniex to get an ample amount of investors to invest in Initial Coin Offering. To get your token listed in these exchanges, here are some basic attributes you have to satisfy:
Name of your Coin
Provide a unique name for your coin to stand out from the crowd. The name can be something related to your project.
Remember, a three-letter ticker will always represent your token forever. It can sometimes go up to five with no numbers in it.
Logo of your Coin
Design an intuitive yet memorable logo for your coin to stand out from the competition. Most of the cryptocurrency exchanges accept PNG images with a transparent background. Therefore, design accordingly!
Description of your token
Give an informative and the reason why you want your token to be listed on crypto exchanges. If investors are comfortable with the reason, there are higher chances to buy your coin.
Date of the Launch
The date of the launch here means the first day of your ICO Campaign.
As the current market has some ICO Scams, in addition to investors, cryptocurrency exchanges can also perform Due diligence. Since it is their responsibility to safeguard their traders from fraudulent activities. Therefore, these exchanges will charge a compliance fee to list your tokens!
Fundraising with ICOs will be the best crowdfunding strategy. We at Icoclone are available to assist you in launching your ICO. We have rich expertise in Initial Coin Offering as an ICO Software Development Company across the globe.
You can Hire us for getting instant and top-notch solutions in the term of ICO Script or an ICO Software for your unique requirements. In addition to these ICO Steps, if you have any queries in launching ICO, you can get in touch with us.
We are always available to help you in raising funds for your projects and ideas! I hope this blog helped with learning the basics right from whats an Initial Coin Offering to ICO Exchanges!
All the very best from my end to create your own ICO!