ICO Trends

2017 was hands down the best year for cryptocurrencies so far. With many HODL'ers and traders coming in and many also exiting their long term positions. To make sure we stay sharp with our own trading skills, we took to the streets (virtually) and asked some of the brightest minds in the crypto & ICO space to give us their views on the upcoming year's trends.

The information provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be seen as investing advice. Our opinions on this site are only that, if you are considering an investment into cryptocurrency or anything we speak about on this site, please advise a trusted financial professional first, before doing so.

"What do you think the best performing ICOs will have in common for 2018?
& Do any existing projects have these qualities today?"

TOKEN UTILITY (19%)
COMMUNITY (17%)
Legitimization (14%)
SUSTAINABLE Business MODEL (8%)
Experienced TEAM (8%)
SMALLER HARD CAPS (8%)
WORKING PROTOTYPE (6%)
PARTNERSHIPS (6%)
SCALING SOLUTIONS (3%)
NEW BLOCKCHAINS (3%)
NEW PROTOCOLS (3%)
TRANSPARANCY (3%)
THOROUGH WHITEPAPER (3%)

I'd like to give fair warning that the results you see above might be considered bias. Simply because we had to bucket our panelists' answers according to what we thought they were speaking about. You might read their answers differently, so I encourage you to have a thorough read into their answers so you can decipher them yourself.

Here is some clarification on how we decided on these buckets:

Token Utility - When it comes to an ICO, the tokenomics are hard to compare but all of the participants that mentioned something along the lines of a "strong use case" for the token were grouped here. This included clear incentive structures, stablecoins, a strong bond between the coin and the dapp, plus a large user market. At the end of the day, a tokens utility needs to fit into a larger ecosystem in order to further its success. Cryptocurrencies are not an island.

Community - Originally, when we were putting this bucket together we had it labeled as decentralization. But more and more, we noticed the word community pop up in the same context. Although community and decentralization have similarities, I think to most people see it differently. Decentralization is how spread out your userbase is but a community is about how you treat/interact with that userbase now and into the future. Panelists mentioned wanting to see an egalitarian mindset and stronger support to provide longevity for a project.

Legitimization - This one could be misconstrued in many ways, but the overall bucket involves ICOs coming into the financing space and looking a lot like the crowdfunding and private sales we've seen in the past. This means more institutional money coming, experienced board members, greater emphasis on KYC/AML, proper filings and just overall regulation over the space. How far the government intends to go with their interjections aren't clear, but most people believe that it's going to come in one form or another.

Sustainable Business Model - A panelist had mentioned many ICOs trying to create a problem, rather than finding an existing one to solve. Now we're not saying that is true or not, but a sustainable business model in this context means that these ICOs are aimed towards tackling real-world issues and have the ability to produce profits after their initial funding. Although it's very common for venture-funded companies to seek multiple rounds, I think these participants are seeking businesses that don't have to rely on ICO financing for their survival.

Experienced Team - As the competition in the crypto fundraising space gets tougher. You'll start seeing better marketers vs better product creators. Some of our panelists are predicting that betters teams with more experience in their respective tech fields will cut above the noise.

Small Hardcaps - The Telegram ICO hardcap, at the date of this publishing, is rumoured to be moving higher and higher. It's not apparent from an outsider looking in to see why they need all that money but we know that their team is good. Which has led to a few of our ICO panalists' to come out and say that more ethical and realistic hardcaps are coming. In their eyes, too much money is concentrated into the hands of a few teams and also token holders.

Now that we've clarified our own buckets, let's get some more golden nuggets from these fine folks and see what projects their liking too. Make sure to see what you can read between the lines as well... Here we go!


Ivan S - @cryptogat

"The best performing ICOs in 2018 will all have raises under 5 million. ICOs are raising unnecessary money taking advantage of the market. The gems are the ones only raising the amount they need for development."

Website: http://cryptogat.com/


Alex Svanevik - @asvanevik

"Beyond solving problems that have a large addressable market, with a meaningful token utility, I believe the best ICOs will reward early supporters in an egalitarian manner.

Specifically this means closing whitelists before they explode, and giving people individual caps to make sure everyone can contribute.

The best ICOs will be those that realise that doing this is a long-term investment in their community.

Kyber Network is a great example of the above."

Website: http://icowhitelists.com/


Matthew Dibb - @picoloresearch

"We believe that some of the most profound growth will come from various segments that are focused on scalability, stability and regulation.

The first being new ICOs that are geared towards P2P decentralized exchange as a network will do particularly well. Recent ICOs that are a comparable for future growth in 2018 are
0x Protocol (ZRX) and Airswap (AST).

A second segment which is also a hot topic in the current market due to incoming regulation are platforms for securities tokenization (Polymath, BlockEx). We believe that these platforms that are in-line with regulatory change are becoming increasingly relevant to the longevity of the ecosystem.

Finally, due to volatility in the market and the recent criticism of
USDT (Tether), stablecoins remain a large segment to be disrupted. Makers' Dai (DAI) are an up-and-coming project that have only recently deployed their solution. Another stablecoin that we have our eyes on is Havven.io, a similar solution with a scheduled ICO in February 2018."

Website: https://picoloresearch.com/

9 QUICK WAYS TO EVALUATE ANY ICO

With dozens of ICOs coming out each week, we've put together an oversimplified 9 step framework on how we evaluate ICOs. Download it and start your ICO investing with a no-bullsh*t resource.



Noam Levenson

Noam Levenson - @noamlevenson

"I think 2018 will be the year of legitimization for the ICO market as a whole. I believe that ICOs will be a legitimate primary fundraising mechanism in the near future, beginning in 2018. As a result, we will witness a transition towards more institutional money and backing for the top ICOs.

This will come in the form of support by prominent venture capital and hedge funds. Partnerships with influential enterprises and businesses will also become more common. Therefore, I believe fundraising through private sales rather than through an ICO will be a more frequent occurrence.

These early stage DLT (distributed ledger technology) companies will want to encourage “smart money” - investors who support the project in more ways than just through financing. Thus, they will give priority to institutional money. HashGraph is a good example of a company receiving significant institutional support and forgoing the ICO route."

Website: https://www.edenblock.com/


"The best projects are those which have a very strong and clear incentive to hodl, but still qualify as a utility token (and definitively NOT a security). To my knowledge, only one upcoming project fulfills that: Sweetbridge."

Website: https://coincrunch.io/


Thomas Power - @thomaspower

"Experienced Board Members and yes some not many"

Website: http://www.9spokes.com


Warren Whitlock - @WarrenWhitlock

"Community support"

Website: http://toplinerevenues.com/


Kevin McSheehan - @123456

"Ethical hard caps, transparent presales, solid legal footing, KYC/AML and anti-terrorist financing compliance. I think clever ideas utilizing distributed ledgers and smart contracts with longevity in mind will prevail over flashy, marketable cash grabs based around terrible ideas.

With respect to the question of which existing projects are of significant quality, my answer would be EOS. I think EOS may prove to be the most brilliantly assembled project this space has seen since Bitcoin. I’m also a bit of a Minerva fan, but there may be some bias there."

Website: https://minerva.com/

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Jared Polites

Jared Polites - @jaredpolites

"Realistic funding goals, compliancy and proper securities filings, heavier focus on pre-sale and private sale raises (goes back to compliancy), more transparent marketing, *working products*; I like Atonomi, Origin Protocol, and HybridBlock"

Website: http://www.jaredpolites.io/


Derek Pankaew - ​Cryptostarship.ai (Podcast)

"The top performers will almost definitely be new blockchains. Blockchains have outperformed all other categories by orders of magnitude. Recently, these were ICON, EOS, Cardano, etc.

One level lower (in terms of performance) would be protocols, such as 0x. Protocols allow other applications to built on top of them, which drives its own usage. Protocols generally have a higher market cap than the sum of its applications - for example, Ethereum has 45bn in ERC20 tokens built on top of it, and is worth 92 billion. Check out Union Square Ventures’ “Fat Protocol” thesis for more information on this.

Aside from blockchains and protocols, fintech is always a strong sector. I am cautious of privacy coins this year - if Lightning Network gains real traction and has built-in privacy, it’s unclear how that would affect the market. I’m personally staying away from any coin whose primary selling point is speed, cheapness, privacy, or even scalability. So, no Litecoin, Doge, or Monero for me.

Finally, one level below protocols are dApps and apps. I would still invest in them, but only if tokens have short lockups and we’re getting our tokens at a significant presale discount. The risk with apps are substantially higher than protocols, so I’m very selective with apps."


Rafael Deramas - @rafaelderamas

"Any ICO, will succeed this year if it is backed by a solid team, a good purpose for its token, and an idea that will change the world as we know it."

Website: https://rafaelderamas.com


Fred Blauer CPA, CISA - @fblauer

"Solving real world business/economic problems and pain points. Working MVP for evaluation and testing will be required. Also a sustainable business model which extends beyond the initial ICO funding.

Current (2017) projects were more about scaling, securing and stabilising infrastructure, which is required for the next generation of applications (2018) to be built on top of."

Website: http://openaccounting.ca/

9 QUICK WAYS TO EVALUATE ANY ICO

With dozens of ICOs coming out each week, we've put together an oversimplified 9 step framework on how we evaluate ICOs. Download it and start your ICO investing with a no-bullsh*t resource.



Kelley Weaver - @cryptokelley

"As a communications firm specializing in blockchain, due diligence has become an essential aspect of Melrose PR’s business and the success of our clients. Some of the elements we take into account prior to signing on a new project are the experience of team (to judge if they have the capacity to be successful in their vision), a thorough white paper that explains utility of token, and a strong and active community across telegram, Reddit, and other social channels.

We need our clients to have a working prototype or an MVP, as well as key partnerships lined up and advisory members, which make for news announcements. Most importantly, we require that our projects solve a legitimate problem in their respective industries. Too many blockchain skeptics have criticized projects as “products seeking problems” instead of presenting solutions to existing problems."

Website: https://www.melrosepr.com/


Dr. Mihaly Kertesz - @etheal_com

"The best performing ICOs will be experienced teams backed by VCs/investors. It’s getting close to impossible to cut through the noise without initial funding.

Also on the best performance, I would mean long-term success with the blockchain based startup behind the ICO, not just the ICO itself.

There are more and more ICOs, who are very professional in the marketing of the ICO, but less experienced in building real products. I hope retail investors will focus on this aspect more."

Website: https://etheal.com/


Michael Gord - @mlgblockchain

"The token should have a clear use case in a Dapp as a means to incentivise development and to build the network. Good tokens have a clear use case and are required to participate in their network, rather than only as a way to fund a new business."

Website: http://mlgblockchain.com/


Final Thoughts

In mid-2017, ICOs successfully surpassed Angel and Seed funding for internet companies globally. That's right - globally... With that in mind, we've already seen a massive wave of entrepreneurs hop onto the train and fulfill their own dreams by utilizing this new fundraising tool.

This doesn't do away with the "bad actors" though. It only encourages more to show up. As a publisher and soon to be trading community, we'd like to see more transparency when it comes to projects. We have the lucky ability to reach out to projects and get a quick response because of the equity we've invested into building Cryptosis.io, but not everyone has this sort of leg-up so we think the entire crypto-space as a whole could benefit from transparency.

If you'd like to stay up-to-date and receive our in-depth ICO reviews, altcoin picks and take a peak into our portfolio - join the Cryptosis newsletter here.

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