My previous article (How I Made a Million Dollars in Just 3 Weeks over at my other site, AuthorityIncome.com) took me by surprise because it completely hijacked my other website, which was dedicated to internet marketing, and turned it into a sort of pseudo crypto blog.
Because of that article, I’m now inundated with all manner of questions about what hot cryptocurrency to pick, the best ICO, and how to make money with cryptocurrency, and a bunch of ‘how do I get rich from cryptocurrency’ type questions.
In an attempt to deflect the hoard of questions and provide some basic answer to some of the new visitors, I’ve spent the past few days writing a brand new guide to answer all the questions I’m getting.
Welcome to The Mega Ultimate Guide to Making Millions with Cryptocurrency ICO’s.
This is the very first article I have written myself for my new site CryptoIncome.io. There’s a number of articles on this site, all aimed at new investors and beginners to the cryptocurrency market. However, those were written by my staff, but not me. I figure I myself need to step in here and write a few core articles for you guys to get this site going and provide real value to the public from someone who knows what they are doing in this space. So if you are interested in my own articles here, make sure to check out all articles by Ben Krypto. If you have questions and want to discuss no bullshit, no shill cryptocurrency picks with other passionate investors, join the Crypto Income Telegram group.
I like to think this is by far the most comprehensive guide on the topic of making filthy amounts of money with ICO’s.
And yes, I can confirm it is indeed possible to make ludicrous money through ICO investing.
Why? Because I’ve made millions with ICO’s. So I can confirm it is indeed possible.
And I’m going to make millions more.
Now, I don’t want to bog this whole article down by showing proof. But if you feel you need to see I’m not bullshitting on my claims, simply check out the article I wrote on AuthorityIncome 6 months ago, where I wrote about how I made over a million dollars in just 3 weeks. And yes, I go to great length to show you proof that I’m not bullshitting.
Since then it’s been 6 months and the market has gone up 10x and a lot of craziness has happened.
So this article is written by someone who’s not just talking the talk but walking the walk.
This everything I reasonably know about how to make money with ICO’s.
My ICO handbook, as it were.
And I’m going to only charge you the fair price of $4,999 to become rich.
….actually not, I’m giving it away to you for FREE.
Because that’s what I like to do and because I’ve made so much fucking money in crypto that I don’t need any of yours.
So why would I do this when I can clearly take your money?
Because I can, that’s why. And I hate all the stupid youtube shills and self-made fakers out there trying to tell you guys what shitcoins to buy, right before they’ve loaded up on their coins to dump on their followers.
Anyways, enough of that.
Let’s talk how to make some fucking money.
To make money in the current crypto market, you just need to know one word.
It’s called ‘ICO’ (Initial Coin Offering).
Remember those words, because right now, that’s going to be your best friend.
Mr. ICO has been my very generous friend the past 7 months and has been gifting me with millions.
And he can be your friend too.
The ICO Game
ICO’s stand for ‘Initial Coin Offering‘ which is sort of like the cryptocurrency version of an IPO, minus the regulations (for now).
ICOs are, at least in current market conditions, are the best way to make money with cryptocurrencies, hands down, feet first.
I can’t say if the ICO gold rush will last for more than a few months and span the entire 2018 and beyond, but at least right now the market is red hot for ICO’s.
I expect this to change within the next 3 to 6 months, so this guide may not be so relevant when those changes occur, either due to market sentiment, a market correction, or the implementation of regulations ICO across the world
So how can you make ridiculous amounts of money with cryptocurrency? Two ways:
- Buy strong coins and hold them for months / years. OR.
My strategy has been the #2 option.
Why the ICO?
ICO’s can yield huge returns that make whatever returns traditional investments yield an absolute joke.
Happy with your 4% to 8% gains from the stock market?
Satisfied with that safe 2% you garner from a high-interest savings account?
What about seeing 3000%, 5000% or even 10000% returns in only a few months?
Welcome to the wonderful, beautiful, terrifying, intoxicating world of ICO’s, the very frontier lands of the wild west that is the crypto landscape.
ICOs are hugely risky but can be hugely rewarding.
Do understand that the market conditions change regularly and what coin may be a hot pick today or this week, may not be the case later.
The current market clearly has thrown the idea of coin fundamentals out of the window. People are dumping money into coins based solely on hype without understanding the basics of market cap, coin supply, and coin fundamentals.
It’s even worse with ICO’s where people will hand over their life savings to a dodgy, possibly anonymous team promising to deliver vast wealth with only a simple whitepaper and nothing else.
Because there are virtually no regulations for ICO’s right now, there’s a lot of scams and dodgy money grab ICO’s that can lose you all your investment. So it’s very important you do the research to limit the potential risk.
I want to make it clear. I am not a financial advisor and this is not financial advice. Do don’t go all into ICO’s lose all your money, then come back and blame me for your loses! ICOs are risky and there is no avoiding that. But I’ve done very well on ICO’s and many many others have become multi mega millionaires by investing in ICOs.
Crypto is becoming the greatest wealth redistribution on the planet, maybe of all time. And unlike previous examples, it’s the common man who’s getting in first, not the institutions. This is, in opinion, a once in a lifetime opportunity.
A digital gold rush.
The dotcom rush (i.e. the blockcoms) of our generation.
Get in and make your money.
Or watch from the sidelines while the few early birds with an appetite for risk make it rich.
How Much Can You Make from an ICO?
You can make ridiculous ROI’s if you choose an ICO that goes parabolic.
A recent example for me (and some friends) was the ICON (ICX) ICO. The ICO price was around .10c per coin. As of the time of writing (3 weeks after ICO), ICX is worth about $11 dollars. I expect by the launch of the mainet Jan 24th, the coin will be worth $20 and after the end of January 2018, ICX may shoot up to $30 to $50. Certainly, ICON will be $100 or more by end of 2018.
Right now at $11, ICON has given a return in fiat of more than 100x.
That means if you put in $10,000 dollars into the ICO, you will now have about 1 million dollars.
This is not some sort of lotto ticket that you hear about but never witness yourself. I have many friends who invested around $10,000 and are now closing on over a million USD.
I myself made millions from ICX. And this is only one of half a dozen big ICO’s I’ve invested in over the past 7 months.
So ICO’s can and do make people rich.
One ICO that goes parabolic is all you need to retire.
ICO’s that go parabolic (i.e. explode in value many many times over) are not as rare as you think.
I’ve had previous ICO’s I’ve done that have gone parabolic such as BQX (ETHOS) which went about 30x about a month out of ICO and six months later are valued at over 200x in value.
There are some upcoming ICO’s I’ve done such as Wanchain, POA, Zilliqa that are due to hit the market in January that I’m expecting to go parabolic, going up 30x+ (and maybe 100-200x at least post-ICO over 2018).
How to Choose the Right ICO
Now with practically a few ICO’s being launched every single day and hundreds per month, how do you sift through the shit to find the gems?
There are many factors and variables to consider. But I’ll give you some basic guidelines that will help you choose the right ICO’s, or at least, help you avoid bad ones.
I want to state that I firmly believe in trying to invest for the long term (as much as this is possible with blockchain) and to choose projects that look like they have lasting value, not short-term pump and dump coins of which 95% of the crypto market is formed.
That means that I want to put money into a coin that I feel can actually deliver on their promise and bring something to market. I want to invest in projects that I feel will survive a market crash.
With that said, let’s go over how to choose the best ICO’s.
1. Choose Protocols & Platforms (over dApps)
The state of cryptocurrency is in flux with different blockchain platforms all vying for dominance.
BTC, the first cryptocurrency, itself is outdated.
It does not support smart contracts, it’s slow, it’s expensive, and there’s a vicious civil war between the core developers who task themselves with improving the BTC infrastructure and the large mining companies & businesses with a vested interested in making as much money as they can from it.
But the siren call of blockchain is strong.
Some of the smartest people are promising that blockchain can optimize (through decentralization) many inefficient systems present in banking, government, supply chain, insurance, and many other broad areas.
Infrastructure projects also tend to give the best returns. If dApps built on a platform succeed in what they promise and gain real use, the fundamental value of the platform the dApp is built on itself will increase.
For example, Microsoft Windows derives its value from the applications that have been developed on it.
With cryptocurrency, you can invest in the actual underlying platform and profit as that platform succeed.
Imagine investing in the railroad infrastructure during the 19th century and getting paid rent as those rails were used by the trains. Would you want a piece of that?
What about if you were paid when people used the ‘HTTP’ protocol.
You would be gaining dividends in the web protocol itself, earning more and more as the protocol gains use.
You would essentially be owning a piece of the web infrastructure.
What would that be worth now? Billions. Trillions?
Cryptocurrency platforms & protocols projects give you that option.
Many are calling Blockchain the Web 3.0. A safer, more secure layer on which the new internet can be built upon, one centred around the idea of decentralization.
That’s the longterm view anyways. But we still have ways to go — years likely — before this vision becomes a reality. At present, this web 3.0 is still in alpha and the best example of it is brought to its knees by a few thousand gamblers addicted to buying and selling digital cats.
But if you hold to the long-term vision that the blockchain will be the seed of a new web 3.0, then investing in its infrastructure is a good play.
dApps, beyond the speculative value they give now, will ultimately be tied (when the speculative frenzy has died down in the future) to the value of the company behind the application. Most dApps offer utility tokens which are, frankly, not at all needed as part of the core functionality.
What am I saying here?
Platforms and Protocols have delivered some of the biggest ROI.
And if the market turns bear, these are the projects that will likely retain real value in the future — not the dApps built on them.
So when evaluating potential ICO’s, give big preferential treatment to infrastructure projects over dAPPS. You’ll likely earn more over the long run. And they are safer bets over dapps.
Look at some of the top cryptocurrency by market cap:
Notice a trend? A significant portion of the top 20 list is filled with infrastructure cryptocurrencies, not dApps.
I don’t expect this to change until dApps actually start getting real-world use in the marketplace and disrupting industries. I figure we have anywhere from 2 to 5 years before this occurs.
2. Anticipate the Market Trends
Want to make millions. Here’s how.
Anticipate the direction the market will go.
Then invest in cryptocurrencies that promise those solutions.
Now, this does sound easy but does involve knowing quite a bit about market trends and the general state of blockchain tech. You only get this by following crypto news and looking at what cryptocurrencies are currently rising.
For example, I’m personally interested in cryptocurrency platforms & protocols that aim to solve the fundamental problems with current blockchain technology, the problems that must be overcome if blockchain is to be used to solve real problems and not just a speculative investment.
Some of these problems that MUST be solved are:
- scalability (increasing throughput of transactions speeds)
- interoperability (cross chain communication)
- stability (reducing the volatility to allow some crypto to be used as legit alternative currencies to fiat)
These three issues are some of the most pressing and must be tackled. My personal investment strategy is to select ICO’s and invest in cryptocurrencies that aim to provide real solutions to this.
I’ve placed some big bets on some of these investment themes over the months, anticipating the market would move towards these trends, and I have been very right so far.
There are other areas that show potential and may be lucrative investments
What are some potential big market trends to get ahead of?
- Alternatives / Rivals to Blockchain tech
- Currencies (better versions of Bitcoin, to be used for day to day spending)
- Money Remittance (optimizing money transfers by solving inefficiencies)
- Crypto Lending
- Supply Chain
- Dex (Decentralized Exchanges)
There are obviously many other areas that show a lot of promise for blockchain disruption, but these are the ones I feel are most relevant and likely to be the first.
Well what about all these disruptive Decentralized Apps (dApps) people keep talking about?
I’m not sold on dApps right now as viable. In general, I avoid most appy cryptocurrencies out of habit.
The reason being that most dApp-based currencies are money grabs and have no need of an actual token to function.
My reasoning is that when the market corrects and the value of blockchain tech is based on what the cryptocurrency has achieved in the marketplace (i.e. the business fundamentals of the company behind the app), most dApp tokens will collapse in price.
There is also the issue where blockchains are simply to slow to run most of the dApps being proposed today.
Ethereum was brought to its knees by cryptokitties last month. If one of the top blockchains can’t handle a few thousand users hammering the network, what do you think will happen if an application with a few hundred thousand users starts sending out transactions over the ethereum network?
Catastrophe, that’s what!
Even worse, scaling solutions for ethereum are years away.
The good news is that there are some solutions now such as the new working blockchain Zilliqa that have solved the scalability (Zilliqa supports 2500 transactions per second via sharding) which comes out January 25.
However, scalability will prevent dApps from being practical. At least for a few years. This is why I don’t invest into 99% of the dApp ICO’s or cryptocurrencies.
3. Marketcap Matters
Marketcap plays a significant role in your return on investment (ROI).
Simply put, the lower the marketcap, the more room your coin has to grow.
There are exceptions, however. The recent (as of the time of writing this article) pump of Ripple from .35c to $3 has brought the market cap of ripple to that of Bitcoin.
Prior to this, it was generally more profitable to go into LOW cap coins rather than high cap coins like Ripple because to see multiples (2x, 3x,4x, etc), the market cap of a coin had double, triple, quadruple, etc.
However, we’ve seen coins that were 20 billion jump to 100 billion in days. So marketcap in this wild bull market is less important than it was.
But you should still consider an ICO’s market cap very important. The lower the marketcap, the more likely you are to see huge returns.
For example, if an ICO has a marketcap of 10 million, it’s ‘easier’ to see a 10x gain to 100 million than an ICO that comes out at 100 million from ICO that must go to 1 billion.
Again, there are exceptions such as hype, market conditions and so on, but this rule of thumb is generally true.
So let me repeat: lower marketcap is always better than higher market cap when considering your ICO choice.
What’s a good marketcap?
‘A good market cap’ depends entirely on how much money is in the market.
January 2016, an ICO that tried to raise 5 million would have been absurdly high with crypto only being valued at a few billion. Fast forward nearly two years later and the market cap is getting close to 1 trillion.
So a reasonable market cap for ICO’s depend on the current state of the market and what the total market cap is. The higher the market cap for crypto, the higher a marketcap ICO’s will likely be right out of the gate.
Now, I feel it’s a very bad thing giving these ICO teams absurds amounts of money when most of them are little more than ideas with out a working product (and in many cases, without the means to actually achieve what they promise).
What I Consider Good Market Caps for ICO’s
As of January 2018, a smaller ICO market cap would be between $40 million to $60 million.
A big market cap ICO would be 60 to 90 million and a ‘big’ market cap ICO would be 90 million+.
Some ICO’s that were ‘big’ market cap ICO’s would be Tezos, Polkadot, and Status. Normally I do avoid big market cap ICO’s usually. But some of the best ICO’s that attempt big things with very stacked teams are often in the 100+ million market cap range (200 million even now). Given that the market cap of cryptocurrency is nearly 1 trillion now, a 200 million dollar ICO is no longer as ‘big’ as it was six months ago.
This means even a 200 million dollar ICO can see big multiples if it reaches say 2 billion, 5 billion, 10 billion.
One recent example was ADA, which hit the market after an extended ICO lockup at about 400 million. Within 2 months, Ada hit the Top 5 list and is worth 28 billion. That’s a gain of about 70x.
I don’t expect this to be the last example either. I have my eye on a few upcoming big cap ICO’s that could do something similar.
Generally, though, you’ll want to look at ICO market caps that are below $90 million for good gains.
My sweet spot for quality of ICO and the team behind it is between $40 to 70 million.
If you find a quality ICO with a market cap between 20 to 40 million, that’s a good sign that you could reasonably see anywhere from 5x to 20x.
$10 to $20 million would be what I consider small market cap and excellent potential for the 10x+ returns.
$5 to 10 million would be very small market cap.
below $5 million, I would call a microcap. You can see some good returns here, but also your risk increases as here dwell many more scammy ICO’s.
There were some recent microcap ICO’s that did very well. Bounty0X (BTY) with the 1.5 million dollars hard cap is one. It’s up 10x so far.
Another would be VERIFY (CRED), which was a 2.5 million market cap and is about 22 million (9x or about 4x ETH).
Lowcap / microcap ICO’s are risky though. For every gem you find, there will be 20 shit ones.
4. How Strong is the Team Behind the ICO?
Before looking into an ICO, you need to carefully consider the team. This is one of the most important factors in predicting how a coin will do and if the project can succeed.
A team full of movers and shakers in the tech or crypto world is likely to garner significant hype for the ICO. This may cause a significant increase in the coin value when it hits the exchanges for the first time.
An all-star team is more likely to succeed in producing something (even more so if the team’s reputation is on the line).
Winners like to win. And you can bet that a serial winner is likely to win again. Or die trying at least.
You typically want to look for:
- team members who are well known in the blockchain space with the experience to pull off what the crypto promises
- team members who have run successful companies or worked for well-known companies
- team members who are well connected to any verticals relating to what the cryptocurrency is targetting (financial connections if the crypto is a banking/financial one, blockchain connections if the crypto is trying to be a platform or protocol)
If the team looks inexperienced, have not completed successful projects in the past, or have no history at all, be very careful! There are more than a few ICO’s are scams or cash grabs with fake teams.
You should also do some due diligence into the team members and look at:
- the team’s linked in profile to verify what they have done and their past work experience
- look at the advisors and make sure the advisors (if well known) verify they are actually advising the ICO
You want to make sure the team is who they say there are. And you want be sure the team has the skills and the connections to complete their project. Team members with experience in similar projects give confidence that the project will be successful.
You also want to really look at the CEO of the company. Does it look like the leader/s have the background and skill to lead the team and ensure the cryptocurrency achieves the promise?
If the ICO has any whiff of something scammy (team members lying about their experience, copied white papers, fake advisors), stay the fuck away from that ICO.
If the ICO promises something too good to be true, it’s too good to be true!
5. The Fundamentals Matter (even more so for long-term)
These people have no idea how to properly trade and no very little about the crypto market in general. Their working knowledge is what clickbaity articles they’ve read online or investing in a sure win coin pick given to them by the guy at the bar or in the gym.
These are the people, now, that are spurring the market to greater and greater highs.
The problems is that in their inexperience, these flocks of eager-to-get-rich investors don’t know anything about the coins they are investing in.
Nor do they understand the basics of market cap, circulating supply, total supply, and other coin fundamentals that impact both your risk and potential reward.
This has resulted in astronomical market caps for cryptocurrencies that, frankly, should not fucking be worth billions or hundreds of millions of dollars.
Why? Because many of these cryptos have no fundamental value. Or at least not anything matching the speculative value assigned to them.
The coins promise ideas or solutions that are years away from being practical, either due to technological or societal limitations. Or the token has no real purpose (Raiden, I’m looking at you) and is just a cash grab. Or the problem has no need of a decentralized (read Blockchain) solution and works just fine (or better) being centralized.
The list can go on and on. But what you want to take away here is that coins that don’t have strong fundamentals (and a real use outside of just being a money grab) will collapse when the crypto mania ends and people start evaluating cryptos based on real-world applications.
So if you invest in a coin, make sure there is a damn good reason for that cryptocurrency in the first place.
6. Check the Hype Meter
The more hype that an ICO accrues, the bigger the ROI may be, right out of the gate. The most hyped ICO’s can, in the right market, do many multiples (2x, 3x,5x,10x, etc).
So take a good look at the ICO and see what sort of hype it has accrued so far.
Some metrics to look for to help you gauge how much hype the ICO has:
- Looks at the size of the Telegram channel & Slack channel
- Check out the metrics for how many recent members are joining the Telegram
- Articles about the ICO on reputation websites (+1 if those articles are found on well-known news websites FORBS, HuffingtonPost, Wired, major news outlets, industry-related websites)
- The social buzz surrounding the ICO (tweets about the ICO from various influencers in the space, big Reddit discussions, the ICO being mentioned/shilled by Crypto Youtubers and various signal groups online, etc)
7. Unmet Demand Means Moon
Another tangible metric you want to look for is to gauge the level of unmet demand an ICO will have.
In this case, unmet demand means there are people who want to buy the ICO but are unable to for some reason.
This usually comes down to the ico having whitelists (special email lists you sign up with before the ICO begins that allow you to participate in the ICO)
Here are some metrics I look at to help gauge if an ICO has a lot of unmet demand. These are holistic metrics, but they often give you a good indication if an ICO will explode when hitting the market.
The key point to keep in mind is the harder it is for people to participate in the ICO, assuming there is a lot of demand for it and hype around the ICO, the price is likely to rise quickly post-ICO because those unable to participate will buy as soon as the ICO hits exchanges.
Here’s what I look at:
Positive Whitelist Metrics
- whitelists required to participate in ICO
- difficult to obtain whitelist
- a limited number of whitelist (few hundred or a few thousand) that fill quickly
- whitelists closed due to too many people
- Small-cap per whitelist (a few eth at most)
- Strict KYC
- Many Big countries unable to participate in ICO due to KYC regulations (China, USA, UK, Singapore, etc)
Positive Presale Metrics
- Presale sold out quickly
- No Bonuses or Small Bonuses are given in Presale
Looking at how the presale did is Limited or small bonuses in presale is important, especially if the market is bearish. If large bonuses were given out in the presale or private sale, it’s likely those investors will dump for profit at ICO price or below ICO price as soon as the coin hits the exchanges post-ICO.
Some of the best ICO’s with the biggest ROI result when there is no public ICO due to the ICO selling out during the presale completely. This results in a lot of unmet demand (basically, everyone not in the presale).
Some ICO examples of this:
- POA Network
So the rule of thumb here: find an ICO that has a lot of unmet buyer demand. If an ICO allows everyone who wants to participate to participate, there may not be a lot of demand to buy the coin when it hits the exchange.
8. Does the ICO Have a Prototype or Working Product
Many ICO reviewers weigh in a ‘prototype’ as one of the major factors for evaluating an ICO potential. The reasoning is that if the project has a prototype, they are close to delivering something tangible.
I feel this is important, though also not always necessary.
There are many many big-cap cryptocurrencies that have no working product or no prototype, yet are valued at billions.
- Cardano, for example, does not have a testnet (a beta test network for the cryptocurrency), mainnet (the live public network deployed for the cryptocurrency), or any working product yet.
- IOTA has nothing to show and won’t be usable for years
- EOS has no mainnet
- 99% of all the other altcoins have nothing to show
The list could go on.
So if you ignore ICO’s that don’t have a working product, you are limiting your choices and throwing away some huge wins.
Ensuring you only choose ICO’s with prototypes cuts down your risk, but may also limit your choice of ICOs…and you could miss some potential big wins.
If the market is bearish, using the ‘have a prototype’ as a filter is more important to minimize your risk of going into an ICO that flops. In a bull market (such as now, Jan 2018), this factor is less important and, while useful, optional.
If the ICO can’t show any working product or prototype, the next best thing is to look a the strength of the team behind the coin and evaluate if the team (the strength of their credentials and experience doing similar projects / other real world projects) can pull off what they promise. If the team strong, they likely can. In time.
9. Read the Damn Whitepaper
It’s important that you read the whitepaper. You know, that document thingy that describes just what the team behind the crypto will do and HOW they plan on accomplishing this.
Surprisingly, most investors in cryptospace — especially Noob money — don’t even look at the whitepaper.
Ideally, the whitepaper should be clear, explain everything in a thoughtful and precise way and it should give exact details on how the team plans to accomplish this. The more detail, the better.
Be VERY wary of whitepapers that gloss over the technical details and use ‘buzzwords’ like ‘blockchain’ and ‘decentralize’ to explain how they can solve the technical challenge of creating and implementing their proposed system. If the team is promising to create a complicated platform or protocol, you at least want to be assumed they know how to solve that problem themselves.
Two examples of past ICO’s proposing to solve technical challenges but give absolutely no details on how they intend to accomplish this were Substratum and Mercury. Both delivered an absolute joke of a whitepaper. In Substratum’s case, the team lacks the ability to accomplish what they promise.
Best Strategies To Become a Millionaire and Retire on ICO’s
Now I’ve given you some basic tips on how to evaluate ICO’s and how to estimate the returns. Now, look at some general tips to follow when entering the ICO market.
It’s not a comprehensive list by any means, but it’s a good rule of thumbs to follow and it’s a set of rules that I follow myself.
Here are some strategies that have made me a millionaire many times over. I can’t promise they will make you a million, but they may just.
Go Long, Not Short (i.e. HODL)
If you’ve invested in a coin you believe in, one that has some solid fundamentals to it, you MUST HOLD to extract the real returns.
You can make some money day trading or swing trading, but the biggest returns come from HOLDING.
Crypto is an ultra-fast world.
What happens in one week can be equivalent to years in the stock market. The past 3 weeks, for example, I made more returns with ICX than I would have to put the same amount into the Google IPO. And instead of 10 years, the process took 3 months.
This fast-paced world and quick riches that have people seemingly becoming millionaires in days have bred a distinct lack of impatience where people are unwilling to hold their coins for any length of time, opting to try and flip their coins into whatever coin is rising right now (and there are always a few).
But to see the true value of your investment reveal itself, you have to hold it through thick and thin.
Most of my investment mistakes have come down to one thing: selling too early!
I’ve lost millions of dollars doing this since July. One of the coins I have 700,000 of in the ICO (and sold for about $1 average) is now worth $7. Another coin I held for 4 months that I paid .50c for and sold for .45c about 1 month ago, is now $4 dollars.
Invest in an ICO and hold your coin for months (or even a year or more) and you can see 20x, 30x, 100x, 200x, or 1000x returns.
Sell your coin as soon as it hits the market for 5x or dump your coin when it hits 20x, and you lose out the greater gains that happen when you wait for the coin to develop.
Coin gain value as the development team achieved milestones and makes newsworthy partnerships. This takes time.
I know everyone wants to get rich in just a couple days, but the reality is that the wealth in crypto often happens over months and years, not days and weeks.
Time in the market is always better than timing the market, as the phrase goes.
Invest in Cryptocurrencies You Believe In
Don’t throw your investment into an ICO you know little about. To hold your investment when the price corrects or the market conditions change to bear and prices for all cryptos tumble, you have to have an almost religious-like faith in your coin.
You have to believe your coin WILL rise in value. This belief will keep you holding the coin and help you achieve huge ROI over time.
ICO’s That Don’t Reach Hard Cap May be Hidden Gems
Market cap is very important for estimating how easy you can see a big multiple ROI. The lower the market cap, the easier profit you can make (usually).
When ICO’s raise funds the amount raised is categorized as:
- Hard Cap == the maximum funds an ICO will raise in total
- Soft Cap == the minimum funds raised for an ICO to proceed (failure to meet a soft cap and an ICO is cancelled and funds returned)
Now usually hyped ICO’s of the highest tier (Tier 1 and 2) quickly fill their hard cap. However, there are some instances where a quality ICO does not reach the ICO hard cap, usually during a bear market or market correction.
And sometimes, an ICO goes way below their hard cap limit, just making their soft cap. Usually, these ICO’s have a lot of room to grow when the market improves. Because of this, there is some real opportunity here if you are willing to take the risk and invest.
You must be prepared to HOLD your coin for a few months though. If you are trying to flip for immediate profit, you probably won’t be able to.
You do have to be careful here as you could end up buying into an ICO that has little or no unmet demand and end up with a dud. But in some cases, these ‘failed’ ICO’s can be huge wins.
Some examples of this:
You are most likely to encounter and profit from quality ICO’s not reaching their hard cap (and thus ending up with a very small market cap post ICO) during a bear market
Snap Up Quality ICO’s During a Bear Market
It’s likely that during a market correction or bear market, ICO’s end up not meeting their hardcaps or have their ICO Hardcaps reduced by the team.
If you have some spare funds and are willing to HOLD for a few months, you can get some huge deals on ICO’s that could give big multiples once the market recovers.
One recent example was during the October 2017 bear market where most ICO’s coming out that month went 50% under ICO price. Two to three months later though, many of those same ICO’s ended up 3x-10x.
Some examples of ICO’s that went under ICO price but went on to go many multiples a few months later:
- Request Network (REQ) (ended up going 10x, but went -50% under ICO price)
- Ripio (RCN)
- Enigma (ENG)
- Cindicator (CND)
Always Take (Some) Profit
While it’s important to HOLD your coin, you also should not be afraid to take profit. One of the worst regrets you’ll have, second only to selling your coin too early and missing the moon train, is to NOT sell your coin at all before a market correction and lose out on gains you could realize.
One strategy that helps you find a balance is to take a percentage of profit when certain profit milestones have been achieved.
Make up a rule you always follow and stick to it.
It will protect you from yourself (selling too early, or getting too greedy where you don’t sell at all and watch your profits collapse during a market correction).
I give some strategies in the next section for this.
Never Sell Your Entire Stack
You will, at some point, sell some your crypto to realize your gains.
Never ever sell out of your stack entirely.
You can sell parts of your stack, but not all.
My rule is to take a percentage of profit when certain ROI multiples have been met. This ensures I do take profit (protecting me from a market downturn by locking in some of that profit) while also keeping some coin around to catch future profit (which could be substantial).
- 10x = sell 15% (recovers your initial + extra)
- 30x = sell 15%
- 100x =sell 20%
- 1000x = sell 20%
- 10000x = sell 10%
Some people like to take their initial investment back when a coin goes between 2x to 5x. One strategy is to sell 5% to 10% every time a coin goes 2x from the current value. This ensures you profit take but still hold significant portions of your coin stash as the value increases.
For example, assuming the coin value in ICO is .10c, you might follow this profit-taking strategy:
- at .20c sell 10% (2x)
- at .40c sell 10% (4x
- at .80c sell 10% (8x)
- at 1.60 sell 10% (16x)
- at 3.20 sell 10% (32x)
- at 6.40 sell 10% (64x)
- at 12.80 sell 10% (128x)
- at 25.60 sell 10% (256x)
- hold the last 20% (until you want to cash out completely)
You can follow whatever profit-taking formula you are comfortable with, given your level of risk. The main thing to keep in mind is that you need to plan on taking some profit, if only to a) make it easy to hold your coins since you’ve taken your initial back and the rest is house money or b) you get some funds out from the market and lock in profit so you don’t regret if the value tanks due to a market correction later.
Go Big on the Best, Skip the Rest
Trying to throw a little bit into every single ICO may work, if the market is bull. In a bear market though, you will lose more often than you win, and when you win, you won’t win big.
I rate ICO’s into 5 tiers.
Tier 1 = Moon Tickets to Mars
These are the ground shaking ICO’s that are aiming to do big things in the crypto space and solve real-world problems.
These ICO’s usually have stacked development teams with well-known influencers in the space. Everyone in crypto is talking about these ICO’s, and there is wide consensus that these projects will do many multiples out of the gate and end up in the billions for market cap. Tier 1 are Top 20 potential, with the best reaching for the coveted top 10 Market Cap spots.
These projects are usually platforms and protocols, NOT dApps.
Tier 1’s have the ability to do 20x, 30x, 50x, 100x, and even 1000x. These are the golden tickets. When you find one, sell your house, your car, and possibly your wife, to buy in. These are your chances at real wealth.
Examples of (past and current) Tier 1 ICO’s:
Tier 2 = very promising.
These are ICO projects that have great potential. Sometimes these may be a bit under the radar, but they typically have strong teams with plenty of experience. They may not have the hype that Tier 1’s have, but they are very good bets. They are worth throwing down significant amounts.
Tier 3 = good
Not as hyped with better than average teams. The concept is unique and there is a strong use case. However, there may not be a lot of hype to the project. These are good for small buys, though they are riskier. Due to less hype, Tier 3’s may give very good returns in time. Tier 3 doesn’t mean failure, it just means the ICO may lack any hype at all and the team/project may not be strong right away. Some of these can be hidden gems. Many failures. These are the real gambles, but the ICO’s that most investors may have a chance of getting into.
Tier 4 = mediocre
The vast majority of ICO’s fall into this category. Quick cash grabs by hastily assembled teams trying to take your money for a lifetime vegas trip. I would class most dApps into this category. Most of the coins that are Tier 4 have no real use (utility tokens that are not actually needed) or the ICO is trying to solve a problem that does not need to be decentralized.
Many of the ICO’s shilled by YouTubers, in Facebook groups, and regular slacks fall into this category. You may still make good money with these ICO’s but they lack the hype and the fundamentals that Tier 1-2 ICO’s have.
I avoid these.
Tier 5 = scammy shit coins
These are the scam coins, the shit coins, and ICO’s that are obviously shady as fuck. Invest in these and be prepared to lose your shirt. Unfortunately, many of the ICO’s popping up these days are Tier 5’s.
Why Go Big on the Best?
It’s better to go big on ICO’s you think can be huge wins. What would you rather have? putting $1000 into ten ICO’s that yield, on average 3x or to put $10,000 into an ICO that goes 50x?
In the first example, you make $30,000 from your $10,000. In the second example, you make $500,000.
Now finding the ICO that goes BIG is a challenge. If we all knew which ICO would do 50x, we would all be filthy rich. But that’s the challenge: sorting through the ICO’s and finding the winners.
If you find an ICO that looks like it may be a huge win, my recommendation is to go big rather than small. Certainly go bigger on a few quality ICO’s rather than small on many ICO’s.
Presales are the new ICO
There is a dirty secret in the ICO world.
By the time a coin hits ICO stage, you’ve already missed the biggest gains.
You see, there is a definite if ‘secrete’ hierarchy in crypto when it comes to ICOs.
Private Sale (i.e. strategic investors) > Presale > Public Sale (ICO) > Exchanges
The higher up the food chain you get, the more profit you make.
Presales = Cheaper Prices
By the time you participate from an ICO, you will already be competing against investors who have more coins at a cheaper price than you have.
The reason? Most ICO’s now offer presales to big investors (or whales as they are called).
Many of those presales come with big bonuses that are not offered during the ICO.
Those bonuses can range from 5% to a whopping 300%, depending on how much the presale buy is.
What does this mean?
You can get significantly more coins if you buy during a presale vs the ICO for the same price. 20%, 30%, even 50% more. In some cases 100% more coins (this is rare though).
There have been some absurd cases where presale / early investors have 800% or more bonuses (WABI and SALT, I’m looking at you) where early investors paid pennies while you pay quarters.
Presales = Big Allocations
Presales also offer you the opportunity to buy large allocations of the coin.
Buying up large allocations of a hyped ICO’s are how you turn thousands into millions.
Getting into a presale allows you buying access.
You don’t want to find yourself limited to only very small allocations of a few eth that hyped ICO’s toss to their whitelisted investors.
And these days, any quality ICO (Tier 1 and 2) give out small allocations to whitelisted members.
Forget being able to throw down $5000, $10,000, $20,000 or more. You’ll get $1000 dollars if you are lucky.
So if you want to buy more than 1-3 eth (and not fight in gas wars to get that), you’ll have to do the presale.
How to Get into a Presale?
Now, most presales require a big upfront buy. Minimum buys are usually about 100 ETH (around 100,000 USD).
If you have the funds yourself, I recommend the presale option.
If you don’t, you’ll need to ‘pool’ with other people to come up with the presale amount.
The bigger your buy, the more of a discount you have.
So it’s in your interest to pool with many people to come up with the large buy. Typically if you spend 1 to 2 million, you reach the top tier discount during a presale, which may be 20% to 50% of a discount, depending.
Now the key to getting into the presale (for hyped ICO’s presales usually sell out right away, early), you need to troll for ICO’s very early on. This means you need to be one of the first ones inquiring about a presale — not the one showing up late to the party. Because late, in crypto, means you are too late.
Finding an ICO in early stages (one that will develop into a mega-hyped ICO later one) is a full-time job. You need to be looking at websites, reading slack groups, checking out telegram groups, and even in some cases, attending blockchain conferences trying to pick up some early buzz for secret ICO’s getting ready to hit the market.
Remember, the best ICO’s usually are known by industry insiders and big-time crypto investors/hedge funds. It’s hard to compete with these groups, but it’s still possible you can, if you reach out early enough, get into a potentially hyped ICO via a presale and secure your future.
If you do find a potential presale you are interested in, craft a well thought out an email explaining why you want to participate in the presale and HOW you can add value (how you intend to promote the coin and help it succeed). These days, there is such an outpouring of money being thrown at any good ICO that the team behind the ICO can pick and choose the best early investors.
And the best investors are not the ones who just give money, but who give money AND can help the team succeed. So think about how you can offer value beyond giving them money and present your case in an email. You may be able to squeeze yourself into a competitive presale.
And of course, industry networking is huge. If you live in places like Silicon Valley, you should and must play the networking game (attend all the conferences, show up at all the slack channels, try to develop personal relationships with members of the teams). This is the number one way how you can find out about upcoming ICO’s and to secure your allocation through personal relationships with people connected to the ICO.
There are a few good websites that help you track ICO’s and upcoming ICO’s. You can also see our ICO resources list, put together by my writing staff.
You may also want to look at some of the better ICO review websites to find out what some of the experts think. Many people pay attention to what these people write in their ICO reviews.
I personally like the following ICO review sites that are level headed and usually right on the mark in picking out quality ICOs:
- Crushcrypto.com (my favourite)
There are some quality general crypto youtube channels that you may want to follow:
- Cliff High (the guy is absolutely insane, but people believe he’s some sort of crypto prophet, and in this space, that can move markets)
- Box Mining (not about ICO’s, but the guy has a good perspective about crypto and a lot of influence)
- Crypto Bud (well thought out trading tips and crypto advice)
The final word here is to get into a presale for a favorite ICO to secure a bit allocation and a big discount.
The Final Word
I’ve given a very detailed guide on how to approach the ICO game with the right mindset and win big. However, understand that ICO’s are still a very risky investment and cryptocurrency is still speculation.
Cryptos are mostly unregulated and the very frontier of the wild west that is the crypto world.
You can very easily lose your entire investment if the ICO goes south, either due to the team running away with your money, the project collapsing, the market conditions turning bear, or some other outside factor that tanks the price.
I know from experience about ICO’s gone bad. A couple months ago, I lost over $100,000 USD by investing into an ICO called Confido (CFD) that turned out to be an exit scam. One day I had $120k USD worth of Confido, the next day I had less than $2,000 with the value dumping nearly 99% when the developer ran off, tanking the entire value of the coin.
This can happen.
And it will happen.
So I speak from experience. Be careful with ICO’s! This is why I recommend only investing into Tier 1 to 3 ICO’s and avoiding the wasteland that is the Tier 4 & 5 level ICO’s.
But with the greatest risk comes the greatest rewards. I’ve made millions and millions for ICO’s and there still is a (short) window of opportunity left here with ICO’s.
So play the ICO game, but be smart about it and don’t blindly invest without doing your research.
(note, please don’t ask me for my own ICO picks here. I’m not acting as your paid Oracle or your get-rich guru)
Do you like what you read? I’ve had people ask about how to support me. Frankly, I don’t really need your money at the moment, but if you do want to toss something, you can donate to my coffee fund by sending something to my ethereum address.
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