Bitcoin, Litecoin, Tether, TRON, BNB, Ethereum… If taken back to a few years ago, most people couldn’t figure out what these acronyms and names mean. Anyway, the number of crypto-initiated people having a command of investor and crypto enthusiast terminology, has been growing year by year.
Some keep in step with the times and invest in blockchain startups, buy digital assets, and speculate in currency rates. Others are still skeptical toward this field, anticipating a forthcoming collapse of the crypto market.
It’s a very tough task to believe that cryptocurrencies will be a payment method of the future that will render conventional, fiat money unnecessary. That said, one couldn’t disprove that this niche is worth existing and considering.
In the meantime, tons of siloed and conflicting information trigger myriads of questions and problems. We picked out the most popular ones and sent them to executives of the crypto market-leading companies.
Our experts were:
With over 10 years of experience in the tech and online marketing industry, I’m looking to bring my extensive knowledge of blockchain markets to this project and fundamentally change the way people interact with crypto and build trust.
Company website and country: https://sapienwallet.com, Ukraine
My career path has been tied with my education in Mining and Mineral Processing field. I got two Masters in this area. Most recent one from the University of Arizona which introduced me to the biggest copper mine in north America, sitting in Arizona, three hours away from my school. I worked there for a while as a metallurgist. It was where I learned, there should be a better way to sustain this planet. Now, it has been two and half years that I am working on the two most futuristic areas combined; space mining and blockchain, project called SpaceGold.
Company website and country: https://spacegold.online, USA
Young and ambitious person who is keen on crypto trading and blockchain operation principles. Attracted 2.5 million dollars for PointPay development from a private investor. Author of analytical articles about blockchain technologies and cryptocurrency trading. The author of the first master’s thesis in economics in Russia dedicated to use of blockchain technologies in the wholesale electricity and capacity market. Was one of the authors who prepared a package of proposals to change the fate of CFA bill (according to this bill crypto and blockchain are to be banned in Russia). CEO and President of PointPay. Believe that only a positive glance to live and business as well as an ability to find an individual approach to everyone can bring the success. I am not afraid to make mistakes.
Company website and country: https://pointpay.io, UK
I am a founder and CEO of EIY SYS and Director of RevInfotech with around 15 years of experience in Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, ICO, Digital Marketing, Fintech, and Growth Hacking. EIY SYS is a global IT service company in a joint venture with RevInfotech, where we provide enterprise solutions with unmatched expertise in cutting-edge technology dominating the world such as the Blockchain, IoT, Progressive Web App Platform, Enterprise Mobility, Custom Web Design, Search Engine Optimization, Cloud Apps and Security, Augmented Reality and Data Analytics.
I am an engineer by training and an entrepreneur by profession. Right now I am among the ICO Bench’s top Blockchain advisors/consultants.
My life revolves around Blockchain and hence all my hobbies and interests start and end on Blockchain and crypto only. I don’t like keeping my knowledge to myself, therefore, I write blogs and articles for various websites such as C# Corner and ICO Bench to share my ideas and thoughts on emerging technologies.
Company website and country: https://eiysys.com, India
I am an innovations-hunter who is enthusiastically looking for new ideas and solutions specifically in the crypto and stablecoin fields.
I believe everybody can be a winner of the current digital transformation, merely as a citizen of this globe, or as an active user.
Based on the knowledge gathered from my three degrees in economics, my 23+ year experience in banking, insurance and investment industry, I envision that the next digital breakthrough is round the corner in the financial sector.
I heard about Bitcoin first time in 2011 as a banker, but haven’t got on it, because the mining was complicated for a financial guy. Than in 2015 when I incubated and helped startups to get funding and go to Silicon Valley, I met a project who did a Bitcoin ATM business. They educated my about Bitcoin and crypto, and I fallen in love with the industry. I found my passion in Fintech, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency world, have left the banking industry; and I has been working since 2015 on revitalizing the future of finance. I wrote the Insider Investor’s handbook about technology startup investment.
As a Pioneer of cryptocurrencies, OpenFinance and stablecoins I obsessively focuses on the upcoming objectives to make the world a better place with appealing financial prospects. My main focus at the moment is helping mass crypto adoption and educating people how to invest and use cryptocurrencies for their benefit.
My mission is to help people to become a winner of the biggest wealth redistribution of history where the money becomes digital and programmable with cryptocurrencies. Then people can become more independent from the existing money system and become proactive for the future, based on the development of what is happening on this planet now, that cryptocurrencies become a new from of money and banking shifts to open finance on the blockchain.
With this mission we founded Corion Foundation in 2016 with the aim of helping the development and spread of stablecoins and reliable cryptocurrencies in the world. Our aim is to encourage world-wide adoption of stablecoins, DeFi, CBDCs and to help people to gain access to swift and a safe, cheap OpenFinance. We are supporting all projects that working on such developments and focusing on clients acquisition and infrastructure. The foundation supported several stablecoin experiment in the past.
Corion Foundation is here to create a common platform for such projects, as their mainstream adoption is our main target. We are determined to make this new digital and programmable money usage available for most e-wallets and finance, hence making them accessible for more and more regions.
The foundation vivificated the #MoneyInTheRightDirection Movement which is powered by CorionX.
I have been invited in several crypto and fintech companies to be an advisor and strategic consultant. I am a well-known crypto expert, speaker on blockchain & crypto events.
I empower businesses through Corion Foundation to join the future of money and enabling them to serve their customers better.
I have a high teachability index, admirable perseverance, and willingness to improve myself and my team. I am an innovator, an early adaptor with good communication and proven sales skills.
I love travel, and dogs. I enjoy Innovation, Investment, Entrepreneurship, Digital money, Discovering the power of the subconscious mind, Educating others, & Positive impact millions of people.
Company website and country: https://corion.io, Switzerland
Richard Kastelein is a well-connected explorer and innovation catalyst in the global blockchain industry and has worked remotely since 2010. As publisher of Blockchain News (BCN) since 2015, he has covered it from the inside and used that knowledge, network and market intelligence to provide 50+ blockchain companies with advisory services and speak at events around the globe. Writing over 2500 articles since 2015 at BCN has given him a bird’s eye view of the industry.
With Christian Seberino (PhD) at Blockchain Partners, Kastelein continues to teach 100s of Oracle staff members blockchain courses (remotely via Webex).
His work has been published in Wired, Harvard Business Review, Venturebeat and The Guardian and taken his from the Native Canadian Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean and Europe as well as translated into French, German, Dutch, Greek and Polish along with being cited over 50x at Google Scholar.
In 2018, Kastelein was awarded a PhD (ad honorem) at the Blockchain Faculty at the Jiangxi Vocational and Technical College of Information Application (江西信息应用职业技术学院) in Nanchang. His attended the opening of the new Blockchain university programme in 2017 during a speaking tour in China. in Blockchain at China’s Jiangxi Institute Software and Technology and attended Oxford University Said’s Automation 4.0.
Kastelein has spoken (keynotes and panels) on innovation at over 100 events in 50+ cities.
In his early 20’s, Kastelein put on a backpack, left Canada and ended up circumnavigating the planet, inspiring him to write a series of articles called,’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Seas’.
His career as a writer began. Kastelein was shaped by that experience.
From boating to building, marketing to media, politics to publishing, and technology to travel – his career has been diverse and unique.
On the cutting edge of media innovation, Kastelein’s been a publisher, writer, analyst, consultant, event organiser, business developer and judge for the EU Horizon 2020 and Innovate UK programmes.
He skippered and delivered yachts for Sunsail as a marketing director for multinational chandleries Budget Marine and Island Waterworld. The Caribbean was his home for almost a decade living the sailboat cruising lifestyle.
Moving to Europe in 2002, he transitioned into progressive political publishing (Free Press Group) followed by TV and film innovation (TV App Market and TV Hackfest). This sparked the Hackitarian Foundation in Amsterdam and he organised innovation events (hackathons) across the world with a focus on emerging technologies with fellow hackitarian Jurjen Sohne. Reed Midem then asked him to help develop MIPCube (part of MIPTV) in Cannes for the future of TV. Kastelein went on to organise the first crypto-economic event in Europe, Crypto Financing, in early 2017.
He now lives in a charming 13th-century village near Groningen, Netherlands, where he’s dropped his anchor to raise three daughters and continue his career.
Company website and country:
- https://www.the-blockchain.com, Netherlands
- https://www.blockchain-partners.com, Netherlands
- https://www.token.agency, Netherlands
- List the crypto projects that have passed the crowd sale stage (ICO, IEO, etc.), contribute heavily to the crypto community, and enjoy demand. Please compile your rating of the top 5 projects.
- Which crypto-related websites or apps do you use regularly? What goals do you pursue by visiting this website? Please name 5 best websites and applications, depending on how often you use them. Describe how they benefit you.
- List the most notorious scam projects that have emerged from 2017 to 2020 (if you know any).
- How do you expect TGEs (ICO, STO, IEO, ETO, DAICO) to develop in 2020-2021? Will these fundraising endeavors be popular and why?
- What do you think about Bitcoin? Do you think cryptocurrencies may be used ubiquitously across the globe or within specific countries?
- Please describe what mistakes crypto startups often make when pitching their projects to investors (provide a detailed answer).
- How to find out that a project is a scam, by reviewing its website and Whitepaper?
- Do you pay attention to analytical data on a crypto project? Website traffic, user activity on social media, mentions on major mass media, search engine rating, etc. If you do, what figures do you take notice of and why? Please feel free to suggest.
- What is the minimum amount required to launch a crowd sale campaign today? (ICO/STO/IEO/etc.).
- What kind of promotion is more effective in terms of investment raising?
List the crypto projects that have passed the crowd sale stage (ICO, IEO, etc.), contribute heavily to the crypto community, and enjoy demand. Please compile your rating of the top 5 projects.
- NDN Link
I think these projects are doing some fundamental works right now:
- WaykiChain WGRT
- NDN Link
2020 can be confidently called the year of DeFi start-ups which aim to create decentralized banking settlements through borrowing and lending. The best examples of such projects are Compound, Kyber, and Aave. The tokens of such projects increased in price by hundreds and hundreds percent, and helped to make good money to early investors. Nevertheless, DeFi ecosystem is still too complicated for common people who are not familiar with crypto, and it will definitely not bring mass-adoption (we solve this issue through PointPay Crypto School with beginner-medium-expert video tutorials).
People want to buy and sell crypto with their debit and credit cards in a few clicks, but still too few platforms offer these services. That’s why I would mark Swipe as a project which solves this issue. It has been recently overtaken by Binance. We at PointPay are solving the same issue through PointPay Payment System processing the whole world.
There are more than 2,000 cryptocurrencies in existence as of January 2020, and many of those tokens and coins enjoy immense popularity among a dedicated community of backers and investors. There are so many projects I have worked with.
If I talk about the projects that have contributed heavily to the crypto community and enjoy demand, I would say IOTA, Spectre, Ark, Stratis, NXT, etc. as a product as I have seen these exchanges grow from scratch. I am working as a CSO and co-partner of SynchroBit and I could not be more proud to be part of this exchange. The major reason for joining this project was, it is the first multi-purpose Hybrid Exchange Platform which was created with a mission to make the exchange process effortless for everyone.
I would like to share the reasons for me choosing to be the part of these projects.
- IOTA: Based on the term IoT, the name of the project is synecdoche. IOTA is one of the major cryptocurrencies that doesn’t use a full Blockchain to perform transactions. Instead, it runs on a system called The Tangle. The system requires its users to verify a transaction as the exact same as it is being conducted. This solves the scalability issue, which is one of the most pressing problems for a lot of cryptocurrency networks out there and allows for transactions without any fees.
- Spectre: Spectrecoin uses Tor network to prioritize privacy and anonymity above anything else. All the nodes communicate with each other exclusively through Tor, meaning that Spectrecoin transactions go through a series of “middlemen” before reaching their destination, thus becoming untraceable.
- Ark: The main goal of this project is to create an entire ecosystem of linked Blockchains, essentially bringing them together into one massive hub. The project seeks to integrate other cryptocurrencies into its Blockchain. Impressive enough, the project is collaborative and decentralized through and through: it has 17 core members hailing from 11 different countries.
- Stratis: Stratis is a project that offers end-to-end solutions for development, testing and deployment of Blockchain applications for businesses worldwide. The project’s main slogan is “We make Blockchain easy for you.”
- NXT: NXT is one of the oldest Blockchain-related projects out there that was officially announced on BitcoinTalk in 2013. It is described as a descendant of Bitcoin, which is meant to improve some features of Bitcoin, resolve some of its issues, such as a bloated Blockchain, and switch to a proof-of-stake mining algorithm. Today, it provides its users with a modular toolset, which enables them to build their own Blockchain-related applications.
The main project that I have worked on is SynchroBit™ , which is very close to my heart as I have played a key role in their growth too.
SynchroBit: It is the world’s first multi-purpose hybrid P2P Digital Assets Trading Platform to transact all kinds of digital assets, including cryptocurrencies, oil, and precious metals, etc., with both fiat and major cryptocurrencies. SynchroBit™ offers innovative trading solutions for both rookies and professional traders, including binary trading options, margin trading, and numerous others. In addition to its native monetary system, SynchroBitcoin (SNB), an ERC-20 Token, it also operates on the latest generation of blockchain technology and robust security features.
- Binance Coin (BNB)
- Cardano (ADA)
- Matic Network (Matic)
- Elrond (ERD)
- Chainlink (LINK)
I have worked on over 50 Blockchain projects. Here are my top five.
- Decentralized Pictures (Francis Ford Coppola)
- Miners Inc (Bollywood)
- Xaya Gaming
Which crypto-related websites or apps do you use regularly? What goals do you pursue by visiting this website? Please name 5 best websites and applications, depending on how often you use them. Describe how they benefit you.
- Binance: One of the most reliable exchanges for buying or exchanging cryptocurrency.
- Keybase: End-to-end encrypted messenger.
I commonly visit CoinMarketCap as an informational aggregator with quotes. I read CoinTelegraph to track the current trends in the industry, and I often use blockchain explorers like Etherscan to track the status of transactions.
There are plenty of crypto sites in the market that can provide you with recent news. I mostly use CoinDesk, CoinTelegraph, CoinMarketCap, for all the crypto related news and information. These websites keep me updated about the recently launched cryptocurrencies, exchanges, benefits, scams, laws and regulations, and so on. Being a crypto professional, knowing about the recent happening in the blockchain and crypto world is always beneficial for me.
These websites are aimed to cover all the blockchain and crypto-related news that can keep the readers updated regarding the latest happening in the industry.
The blockchain industry is ever-evolving; you can expect advancements at a lightning-fast pace. When it comes to cryptocurrency, there is always something new that awaits the miners and the crypto enthusiasts. All this news must be covered thoroughly to provide authentic news to the world.
- CoinGecko & Blockfolio: price tracking of different coins (daily level, exchange rates & volumens)
- Coinmarketcap: price tracking of different coins (weekly level & exchanges rates & volumens)
- ICOBench: tracking of new IEOs; ICOs (monthly level)
- CryptoTotem: tracking of new IEOs; ICOs (monthly level)
- Blockfolio App: Daily use to check token markets
- Trastra App: Cryptocurrency Bank
- Cashaa App: Cryptocurrency Bank
- Blockchain News Website: I live here
- CoinMarketCap Website: Latest updates on exchanges and cryptocurrencies
List the most notorious scam projects that have emerged from 2017 to 2020 (if you know any).
Not one of the biggest ones but he most interesting one, to me, was the Crypto Ponzi Scheme in South Korea and the way Korean Police used artificial intelligence (AI) to arrest the scammers. I think that was a very clever work by the police.
The first what comes to my mind is financial pyramid PlusToken which collected thousands of bitcoins and other cryptos from naive people.
As far as I know in 2018, it was estimated that 81% of all ICOs are scams.
What I have observed is that most of the ICO scams fail during the first stages because people are very selective, and scammers have to be more inventive than ever to attract “investors.” Still, there have been some really big scams, which happened from 2017-2020. I would like to name five of them.
- Ifan and Pincoin. The largest ICO scam so far took place in April 2018 and was conducted by one company that launched two projects: Ifan and Pincoin. This company was a sheer marketing scam.
- Onecoin. The Onecoin scam investigation took more than 18 months. Five countries issued special reports warning investors about the Onecoin cryptocurrency.
- Bitconnect. Many people have heard about Bitconnect. Bitconnect was a typical Ponzi scheme. The company had a landing page that promised investors an unbelievable ROI. It all sounded too good to be true from the start. But it didn’t work the way it was supposed to.
- Plexcoin. Plexcoin was even crazier. It promised 1,300% in monthly returns. This promise should have been a huge red flag for all investors and cause for them to stay away from that insanity, but many were still convinced to invest in this ICO.
- CentraTech. CentraTech was endorsed by superstars such as Floyd Mayweather and DJ Khaled, so the company was handed numerous ready-made audiences. However, these celebrities were also notorious for promoting partnerships with Visa and MasterCard, which ended up not being true.
- Craig Wright
- Fight To Fame
- Chainstarter and 21 Million
How do you expect TGEs (ICO, STO, IEO, ETO, DAICO) to develop in 2020-2021? Will these fundraising endeavors be popular and why?
It was interesting to know about ICTO – it might be the most safe model of token offering ever. By the way, we are doing an ETO – with tokens, we are selling the real equity.
I think when you have a new ecosystem you need to be patient to reach the perfection. Along the way, the system might get abused, people may get disappointed and lots of other ups and downs. That’s what we saw in 2019 in this new ecosystem. The truth is TGE is created because of a demand.
Other than high net worth individuals, other people want to enjoy the high returns of the startup companies as well and TGE is the way to do it. So, I think TGE will fix itself and comes back and we will see more secure projects and more educated investors.
There’s a feature of interest in the crypto space. All the trends appear instantly and disappear just as swiftly. The hype around IEOs is over, but I suppose only this way of crowd funding rather than STO, ETO, DAICO will be in any kind of demand among traders and investors, since it’s pretty comprehensive for a mass user. Another way to raise funds will be available through native token sale platforms which are connected to launched and operational products, where the tokens could be stored. Also the token is to have real business application model. The best example of such a platform is PointPay. Why the token sale is going successfully in 2020 with us? The fact is that the customers see the results of the work and see development process through live roadmap where all the tickets we work on are published. They can buy the tokens and instantly receive it to Wallet where they can keep it with no need to use other platforms like MEW or MetaMask. Moreover, when people buy PointPay tokens (PXP) they invest in the future of global crypto and blockchain education through PointPay Crypto School. As a reward for contribution to World Education, PointPay token (PXP) holders get the right to earn higher yields (15% annually) on a progressive scale on PointPay Blockchain-based Bank with Checking and Savings Accounts. PointPay token (PXP) holders also get an access to premium video tutorials with advanced trading strategies where we explain how to make money in the crypto market. Thus, the Product is the key thing to raise funds. In 2020-21 people will be evaluating the projects on the work done, not on promises written in the whitepaper.
No matter what, I believe ICO and IEO will always be the most popular fundraising endeavours for any crypto project. Although ICO may have been the stepping stone for other innovative models to follow, the development of IEO and STO aimed at fixing the issues that ICO posed.
Without a doubt, IEOs have managed to surpass the objective of being the paramount platform for token sales and fundraising via crowd sales. They have mitigated risks and dire consequences associated with ICOs, and therefore, have acquired genuine credibility in the cryptocurrency market. ICO has definitely seen better times, but these two are still strong competitors to each other. To simply name one the winner in the race will be to do a disservice to the complexity of the nature of various businesses themselves. The answer depends on the business itself. It’s up to the business to understand the pros and cons of each of these models before setting a direction. But in general, a project backed by IEO raises more funds than any other model.
The IEO platforms will be more popular, then ICOs due to transparency and better KYC/AML procedures. This is a continuously developing area, which can hold their popularity, but the exchanges should create unified requirements and strict KYC/AML procedures in case of investors and projects also.
Security tokens (tokenized equity crowdfunding) will continue to rise but raising funds via utility tokens is going to be rare in the future.
Most Exchanges ran terrible IEOs — with no transparency of previous IEO totals, lying about the success of previous IEOs and then had the audacity to charge startups through the nose. Plus IEOs limit potential buyers if it goes down in one place. Will we see the ‘old’ ICO come back? Yes, but with more detailed smart contracts that allow for funds released based on KPIs, and more detailed treasury and custodial integration. Investors want their equity still.
What do you think about Bitcoin? Do you think cryptocurrencies may be used ubiquitously across the globe or within specific countries?
Cryptocurrency industry experts are predicting the active distribution of a tokenized version of the first cryptocurrency on the Ethereum blockchain.
For several years now, Bitcoin developers have been trying to increase the effectiveness of Bitcoin as a means of payment. However, solutions such as the Lightning Network and Liquid Network do not attract the same number of supporters as the increasingly popular Ethereum chain-based protocols that use BTC. In projects such as WBTC and imBTC, the number of blocked bitcoins is already 70% higher than in Lightning or Liquid.
I think BTC a totally different wrap compared to what we saw two-three years ago, in terms of the security and stability. These two are the identity of a currency.
In terms of security, we see extreme advancements in the careers and specially in the portals which decreases the risk of holding on to a BTC. We see much more Identity check hits on the trade websites which decreases the fraudulent abuse of BTC as well which turn BTC into a cleaner currency.
And in terms of the stability, I think a great calculated halving is doing a good job controlling the Bitcoin’s price. Like you know, there where predictions that BTC price falls to $4k or raises up to $50k this year. Well, we didn’t see those numbers at least yet. This brings more credibility for BTC. You don’t want your currency work like a betting website and some people end up loosing their money or winning some just by holding on to their wallet. I meant at first you may do that (raise the value dramatically) to hook more people to your currency and that’s what BTC did but then want a stabilize it because the currency is meant to be for the trading and not for gaining benefit.
BTC had good start so far and there are more currencies with great potential that may even do better in the future. What is obvious, we cannot stay on gold-backed or oil-backed national fiat currencies for a long time. So, I think it’s soon to tell which cryptocurrency wins the game but definitely fiat won’t last long.
Bitcoin was the first application of peer-to-peer decentralized finance that can hardly be blocked by governments. It’s highly publicized asset, and even my granny heard about this. The fact is that the main function of bitcoin is to transfer value from one form to another one (e.g. as a payment method between employer and employee who reside in different countries). This way bitcoin fulfill its function but practice shows that it takes too much time to have the transaction confirmed in the blockchain. In this sense it’s uncompetitive in comparison with, say, Stellar. But, again, bitcoin is the most popular crypto asset. While it keeps its status, it will be alive. Another thing is that bitcoin is highly speculative asset with tremendous price fluctuations. This allows making money in great volumes (~30-85% annually) what doesn’t provide, for example, the conventional stock market. Personally, I don’t use bitcoin as a payment method (I prefer USDT or ETH), but I trade bitcoin to make some profit. This year I bought bitcoin at $5,500 and in two months sold it at $8,937. Isn’t it awesome?
At the beginning of 2020, I thought it might trade a bit higher during the winter & spring, my reason to believe is so purely technical as one year running contracting triangle appears to be done now.
The bitcoin price, which is up around 5% so far in 2020 after a rocky few weeks following the coronavirus crash, has swung wildly over the last year—down around 50% from its 2019 high.
Bitcoin halvings are scheduled to continue roughly once every four years until the maximum supply of 21 million bitcoins has been generated by the network—something that isn’t expected to happen until well into the next century. I think bitcoin could cement its status as a so-called safe-haven asset as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, with investors buying bitcoin in times of uncertainty alongside gold.
I’m huge fan of Bitcoin and believe, that it can be a digital safe haven, a scares asset ike Gold. Of course the main question, that will the industry able to handle the technology boom volatility and speculation. If it will be less volatile, then it can spread more widely than nowadays.
CBDCs will be used before any of the cryptocurrencies we see today.
Please describe what mistakes crypto startups often make when pitching their projects to investors (provide a detailed answer).
- Highlight the most interesting. This item follows from the previous one. To be understood, you need to speak concisely. To speak concisely, you need to select key phrases that will describe your project.
- Do not complicate. Even if you choose the right key elements to describe, you must speak in an accessible and understandable language.
- Focus on the facts. There is no need to conduct lengthy narratives about how wonderful the world will be if money is invested in your project. An investor is a serious person, he needs to quickly obtain and analyze data.
- Show what you have already done. No one will want to invest in a project that exists only in the creator’s head (however, if the main investor is your mother, this may work). The investor should see that this thing that you are showing is already working.
- Tell about competitors. You must show that you know the market situation. You are aware of the strengths and weaknesses of competitors. And you know yours. Tell investors how you will work with it and why your project is better than the rest. On specific examples.
I would say, when you are working on a project you deal with lots of details day to day. When you meet an investor, you should manage to clear your mind from unnecessary information and focus on the bullet points. Read about your investors and get to know them before you meet them. Make sure you know their point of interest. And most important thing, ask the right question. And finally, don’t push!
These are the most basics and the most important points which sometimes, we forget them.
Nobody gives you money if you are pitching unconfidently. You are to be precise and clear. The investors should understand why you are the best person to invest in, and what the problem the project solves. The best recipe is to try again and again, not being afraid to make mistakes. Last week I was pitching online in front of 10 investors who were skeptic about PointPay. The main argument we don’t have enough funds. Well, Telegram had 1.7 billion USD but they didn’t survive and failed to deliver the product. Investors may also be wrong, and the task of the pitcher is to convince. From my personal experience, I would recommend to work with open-minded and positive people who can become your customers/investors and who believe in you. Do not work with sullen people who do not believe in you. Never. One more observation from my practice is that people build trust with you easier if you have a branded t-shirt. It really works, especially during COVID-19 pandemic when all the meetings are available online only.
I would answer this question in five points. Being an investor, I would list five mistakes that are generally done by crypto startups.
- Trying to explain the whole world. The secret to a great startup pitch deck is condensing that information into the basics and making it as clear as possible. The first introduction should always be crisp and to the point to gain the investor’s interest.
- One pitch for all occasions. Startups need to keep in mind that different audiences are interested in different aspects of your project, and even more importantly – you probably want different things from them as well.
- Giving a 50-page business plan to review. Investors don’t have the time to review a 50-page business plan up front to decide whether it’s worth taking a meeting or following up. Give them a 2-3 page executive summary and maybe a PowerPoint deck to help them make a decision ASAP.
- Not showing why the market opportunity is big. Most investors are looking for businesses that can scale and become meaningful. So make sure you address this issue right up front as to why your crypto project can really become big.
- Giving confusing or bad answers to questions. Startups need to be prepared to give crisp answers to questions. They have to anticipate the difficult questions they may get.
They overestimate the short term achievements and developments and underestimate the long term pivoting and scaling.
Most of them haven’t got any MVP or product, and sometimes they fail with the product development, because the market demand also changing fast.
- They don’t explain blockchain well enough
- Business models are very shaky as the technology is nascent
- The lack of experience is usually evident, as blockchain and crypto projects are very new
- Products are not realistic or too niche sometimes. Market studies are important
How to find out that a project is a scam, by reviewing its website and Whitepaper?
- Check it for plagiarism
- Technology is poorly described
- No hardcap
- Fake team members
- Weak community
You can usually find the company registration documents on the government website. This is a good way to start. But some countries don’t have a close eye on their registered companies. So, even a registered company is not a good proof of the legitimacy. Then you can google the contents and use plagiarism checker websites. Make sure about the origins of the idea and find your way to prove the legitimacy of the project through the online info.
I assume the best way is to talk to the team directly via video calls. The team is to be available for its customers 24/7. This is what I constantly doing talking to PointPay clients on their requests. They have a chance to talk to me, to find out what we do and what we are going to achieve in the future. Moreover, the customers have a chance to get updated personally from my end. This definitely helps to gain trust. If the team refuses to talk, it should make you wary.
You hardly get an idea about the reality of the project by its website and whitepaper because what most of the newly launched crypto companies do is decorate their website and whitepaper with all the good things which include the rewards and offers to flatter the people who are new to this community. So, what I do is a lot of research and I suggest all the people do the same. It saves all the rookies and professionals from scams which are so common in the crypto industry these days.
Perhaps the single most important success factor for any ICO or cryptocurrency is the developers and administrative team behind the project. Therefore, to know if a project is a scam or not, it is important to get to know the team. Also, watch the token sale over time to see how it is progressing. If a company makes it difficult for anyone to chart the progress of its ICO, this is a major red flag. Some scam ICOs will hide their token sale progress under the pretense of individual contribution addresses; this prevents potential investors from seeing exactly how much has been raised and how much time remains in the sale.
- Fake team members, with fake LinkedIn profile
- There is no whitepaper, and if they have that is not a whole detailed description
- There is no exact information about the token/coin distribution and available/circulation supply
- There are unrealistic goals
- There is no roadmap
- There are no clear warnings about the risks
- There are unrealistic promised gains
- There are no contact form on website & registered company behind the project
- There are no exact information about the technical details
- There is a big part of token distribution in the hand of team
- Do a reverse image search for the team
- Google several portions of the whitepaper to check for plagiarism
- Double-check the algorithms
- Check Linkedin and other social media platforms against the listed team
Do you pay attention to analytical data on a crypto project? Website traffic, user activity on social media, mentions on major mass media, search engine rating, etc. If you do, what figures do you take notice of and why? Please feel free to suggest.
So called experts do not give high quality analytics data. You should rely on your own analytical skills.
Twitter gives you a good idea about the trends. Then def reddit is a good one to see the reactions.
We surely pay attention to website traffic using Similar Web. Customer support also helps us understand the geography of our clients when the customer applies with a question/issue. We also keep an eye on Alexa ranking.
Yes, of course, I pay attention to the analytical data of a crypto project. I always take a look at the marketing tactics of a crypto project before investing or joining it as a team. Website traffic is an important part to consider as it tells a lot about the website. It gives you an idea if people like that website or not.
Secondly, I always check the frequency of social media postings. Social media activity should always be frequent for the growth of a project. Social media platforms are the only ways through which we can communicate with our community and our users. So, it is mandatory to have a good social media presence for a crypto project.
It can be a standpoint in case of investment, but this is not the most important factor. There are many project, who are very active in the social media, but there are no real results / developments and goals behind the project. And there are good project with weak social media activity.
Yes I pay close attention to SEO, Traffic, social media et al. as I own Blockchain News. I have 25,0000 followers/friends on average (more or less) on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. I have been publishing with open source software since 2002.
What is the minimum amount required to launch a crowd sale campaign today? (ICO/STO/IEO/etc.).
Depends on the goals that you want to achive. The price varies from 0 to $100 000
There is no solid number. Depends on the exchange it can cost you from couple of hundred dollar up to a million dollar.
It depends. If you create a welcome website where you will publish one-pager, whitepaper and pitchdeck for a few thousand dollars, do not expect that people will start buying your tokens. People want to see products. So I would say, not less than 100-300k USD.
It takes approximately $60,000 to launch such a campaign, but this number can vary depending on the project and its goals. Launching an ICO campaign is quite time-consuming. In most cases, the pre-public engagement phase, which includes all the processes prior to the first big announcement, takes roughly six months to one year.
The post-public engagement phase, which includes everything that happens between the first announcement and the actual sale of tokens, normally takes around three months. This timeframe is often considered long enough to gain the public’s attention and short enough for the public not to forget about the project.
Three months with a great team, six months for a smaller, less experienced operation.
What kind of promotion is more effective in terms of investment raising?
Bounty and airdrop campaign works best with good communication.
Targeted promotion for private investors (community-based).
I would recommend using mass media platforms with news coverage which can generate organic traffic of people who would be interested in your start-up. Offer some non-standard to make people interested in your project.
As you may know, the crypto market is already getting too crowded and in order to survive this world, your coin needs a unique and effective cryptocurrency marketing strategy.
It is important to have a detailed marketing plan that includes Exchange Platform Development, Cryptocurrency launch, ICO and IEO Campaigns, Email Marketing, Press Release and Media, Social Media Marketing, Community Marketing, and more.
Exchange marketing refers to the promotion of a Digital Exchange platform with the aim to increase its reach to more potential users and token owners (companies) and bring more leads to the platform. The growing popularity of cryptocurrency trading has led to a rise in the number of digital exchanges that allow digital currency holders to buy and/or sell their assets in an easy and profitable manner. For new exchanges, however, it can be frustrating to search and bring the users to their platform.
Social media campaigns, bounty campaigns, PR and media, product pilots, partnerships, cross promotions.
Roadshows, family offices, Reddit, Bitcointalk, events, sponsored articles, banner ads etc.