DISCLAIMER: This is a perpetual WORK-IN-PROGRESS and thus doesn’t claim to be comprehensive but rather to serve as a guide. We welcome any feedback, especially suggestions for improvement from companies who have done an (successful) ICO. Suggested approaches and numbers in the checklist are not carved in stone/truth but guidelines. Lastly, information (names of people, entities, numbers) not present in the checklist will be shared only based on explicit interests and requests on case by case basis. USE all the info below and in the checklist at your own risk and for your benefit and guidance.
Context and mania
The amount of money being raised through Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) has quintupled since May 2017. The four largest ICOs to date – Filecoin ($206M), Tezos ($232M), EOS ($180M), and Bancor ($154M) – have raised $772 million between them. We are experiencing a bubble, but not as crazy when compared to $8 trillion over market capitalisation during the dot.com era. With proliferation of ICOs and tokens, era of zombie tokens is also upon us. You can check new and ongoing ICOs rated here.
Coindesk: Over $3.5 billion dollars have been raised to date via ICOs
It was a hot summer with $462M raised in June 2017, $575M in July 2017, and the peak was reached in September 2017 with a whopping $663M of ICO funding.
ICO regulations are coming .. and the checklist
ICO mania started cooling after September 4, 2017 when the People’s Bank of China placed a temporary ban on ICOs.
In view of ICO and blockchain mania, SEC has issued guidelines and statements. SEC has already charged two ICOs with fraud. Tezos has been hit with two class action lawsuits. Singapore’s MAS and Malaysia’s SC have already highlighted risks and issued preliminary guidelines related to ICOs. Other regulators will also be tightening up compliance and regulatory guidelines further in next few months. Projects such as SAFT (Simple Agreement for Future Tokens) help navigate US laws.
OK, so there are six main aspects to an Initial Coin Offering:
- Business Model
- Marketing/Roadshow and Investor Relations
And most companies differentiate between pre-ICO, ICO and post-ICO stages of activities.
With the above points in mind, here is a draft ICO checklist. Use, benefit and be successful!
Note: This ICO checklist was created in collaboration with Nikita Akimov whose current platform has 1.2 million MAUs and is currently doing its ICO.
P.S. Based on type of business/product/platform, I might be able to share a list of crypto funds and investors.