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A Short Guide to Investing in ICOs

Initial Coin Offerings, or ICOs, are a hot new area of investing. Trading on major cryptocurrency exchanges has gathered a lot of attention and brought nearly $70 billion since late April. This growth has a lot to do with new coins emerging to the market and with the launch of the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) era.

An ICO is a form of crowdfunding by issuing a cryptocurrency token. Projects will issue coins before the secondary market in order to raise capital for research and development and team members. The most popular way to purchase these new issued coins is through Ethereum or Bitcoin. While there is a lot of money to be made by investing in great projects, one must be wary when entering the new ICO market.

There are a few important factors to consider before investing:


Understanding the people behind a project is vital as it helps determine the legitimacy of the ICO.

  1. Look at the company’s website as they  should have a “Contact Us” or “Team” tab.  
  2. If the company has one of these tabs, research the project leader.
  3. Use online searches on Google and LinkedIn to understand the leader’s blockchain background and previous projects worked on.
  4. How long has the company been around?
  5. Does the company have a physical office space? If not, why not?


Review the company’s vision for the coin and ask yourself “does it solve a problem?” Do not fall into the trap of thinking how cool, amazing, and awesome the idea is. Always come back to the question, “Does this actually solve a problem?”

Social Media:  

Analyze the company’s social media pages with the following questions. Do their posts include current events, monthly newsletters, retweets of content, and include opinions? How long have they had a social media presence? This type of consistent activity is another indicator for credibility.


A company that has been around for a long time with a strong team, social media presence, and vision, is more credible than a new company with otherwise the same qualities. Review the history of the company from the previous three components: team, vision, and social media.


To sum up what we learned:

Do not fall into the ICO hype and throw your Bitcoin or Ethereum at every ICO you come across. Make sure to conduct research on the following components:

  1. Review the team.
  2. Ask: Does the vision or mission of the project solve a real problem?
  3. Study the social media pages for team members and the company itself.
  4. Always keep in mind the history of the company.


In this new era of investing, it is important to research the new ICOs emerging. Use the tips from this guide to avoid potential scams and/or loss in money. You can view all ICOs on https://www.smithandcrown.com/icos/