ICO Private Sale and Presale 

 

FAQs on ICO Private Sale, Presale and CrowdSale

What are the phases for a tokensale?

ICOs have 3 parts for their tokensale – private sale, presale and crowd sale. 

 

What is ICO private sale?

It’s also called institutional round. It refers to sale of tokens to early institutional investors and is not open to the pubilc. ICOs have stricter requirements for participation for private sale and are picky about who participates in the sale. Usually, these companies or individuals would be offered higher discounts compared to participants at the presale or crowd sale stage.

What are the pros of participating in a private sale?

  • You get the highest discount compared to participants at the presale or crowd sale stage.
  • You can get quicker returns if you bought the tokens at a discount and sell them when the tokens are traded at exchanges.
  • For extremely popular ICOs, you are assured tokens even if ICO hits hardcap during private sale or presale stage.
  • You may be able to purchase more tokens compared to other participants at the presale or crowd sale stage.

What are the cons of participating in a private sale?

  • There may be a locking period for tokens or bonuses in private sale.
  • Higher risks as you won’t be able to tell how popular the sale would be at the presale or crowd sale stage.
  • There’s a high risk of volatility that wipes out or negates the bonuses when the token are traded at the exchange.
  • Higher minimum contribution compared to participants at the presale or crowd sale stage.
  • Higher risks since the team is at much earlier stage compared to the presale and crowd sale stage
  • Less liquidity – tokens might be locked up and released in stages
  • Strict KYC and background checks

 

What is ICO Presale?

Presale is the tokensale before the crowdsale. It is the middle ground for investors who wants a higher discount or bonus compared to crowdsale and don’t want the high risks associated with participating in the private sale stage.

What are the pros of participating in a presale?

  • You are assured token purchase as ICO may cancel crowdsale if they hit their hardcap after their private and presale
  • Get higher discounts compared to crowdsale
  • You may be able to purchase more tokens compared to participants at the crowd sale
  • You can get quicker returns if you bought the tokens at a discount and sell them when the tokens are traded at exchanges.

What are the cons of participating in a presale?

  • Higher minimum contribution compared to participants at the crowd sale stage.
  • Higher risks since the team is at an earlier stage compared to the crowd sale stage
  • There’s a high risk of volatility that wipes out or negates the bonuses when the token are traded at the exchange.
  • Less liquidity – tokens might be locked up and released in stages
  • Higher risks as you won’t be able to tell how popular the sale would be at the crowd sale stage.

What is ICO Crowd Sale?

The ICO Crowd Sale is the main token sale of an ICO. It may also be known as Token Generation Event (TGE) or Initial Token Offering (ITO). The crowdsale is usually the least risky though it offers the least bonuses compared to presale or crowd sale stage.

What are the pros of participating in a crowd sale?

  • Lower risk as the company is at a later or a more mature stage compared to the presale and private sale stage
  • Easier KYC
  • Lower minimum purchase compared to participants at private or presale stage.
  • More liquidity as there usually isn’t a lock-up of tokens. 

What are the cons of participating in a crowd sale?

  • You may be able to purchase less tokens compared to participants at the private and presale stage.
  • Lower discounts compared to participants at the private and presale stage.
  • You are not assured token purchase as ICO may cancel crowdsale if they hit their hardcap after their private and presale
  • Private sale and presale buyers who purchased tokens at a higher discount may dump tokens at the exchanges. 

 

What is an Initial Coin Offering or an ICO?

What is an Initial Coin Offering, or an ICO?

An ICO is a way for blockchain companies to raise funds using cryptocurrency.

 

How does an ICO work?

First, a blockchain company would create a new cryptocurrency.

Then, investors can buy these tokens or coins with other cryptocurrencies that are accepted by the company.

 

To participate in an ICO:

You need to own the relevant cryptocurrency that the company accepts.

Next, you need a compatible wallet that the companies can send the tokens to.

Third, you need to check the deposit address and send cryptocurrencies to that address.

Most ICOs would also need personal details from their investors as part of their KYC or Know Your Customer process.

 

Most ICOs have 3 parts to their token sale:

The Private Sale which is usually reserved for institutional investors

The Presale which usually targets the larger investors and has a higher minimum contribution compared to the Crowdsale.

Lastly, the Crowdsale which is usually the main tokensale and is open to retail investors and has low or no minimum contribution.

 

An ICO achieves its goals once its soft cap is reached.

The soft cap is the minimal amount of funds needed by the company to move forward with their project.

Most ICOs would also have a hard cap, which is the maximum amount that it would accept for its Crowdsale.

 

 

What’s the difference between an ICO and other fundraising methods?

Unlike other fundraising methods like an Initial Public Offering, or Venture Capital, the investors do not get any equity or own part of the company.

 

Instead, people invest in an ICO in the hope that the cryptocurrencies would appreciate in value, so they can make a profit, or they might be interested in the utility of these cryptocurrencies in a future product.

 

Investing in cryptocurrencies have become increasingly popular these days.

 

According to a report by Fabric Ventures and TokenData, $5.6 billion was raised in 2017.

 

And the ICO hype isn’t stopping just yet.

 

According to the statistics from Coinschedule, over $18 billion was raised from January to September 2018 with projects like EOS raising over $4 billion.

 

The current hype surrounding ICOs may sometimes blind investors to the risks involved in investing in an ICO.

 

Some of these risks include:

 

The price of the cryptocurrency could decrease rapidly in short periods of time.

This is because the cryptocurrency space is still in its infancy stage and the price of a token fluctuates based on popularity rather than any real underlying value.

 

Furthermore, there is also the risk of getting scammed. There are many scammers around taking advantage of unseasoned contributors and lack of regulation in the space.

 

Some of the more common scams include:

 

Exit scam

Which is the practice by persons who claim that they are raising funds for a blockchain project but vanishes with investors’ money during or after an ICO. Some of the infamous examples include the Vietnamese cryptocurrency company Modern Tech and Bitconnect.

 

Another common scam is phishing attack

Which is the practice of creating a fake website nearly identical to an ICO’s site but with a slightly different URL to trick users to send their funds or enter their private key.

 

So, always do your own research and be extremely careful when you invest in an ICO.

 

Here are some things you can do when researching an ICO:

 

First, read the whitepaper and understand the project, the issue the company is trying to solve, and business benefits of the project.

Next, look at the team members behind the project and their previous experiences.

Some projects also have their code uploaded on GitHub and have a prototype. So, be sure to look at their code and test out their prototype.

And always check the company’s website and the team members’ LinkedIn profiles to see if there are any red flags.

 

In summary, while ICOs are a great way for companies to fund some of the most innovative projects without the need for venture funding, and for investors to generate profits,

it is important to note that investing in ICOs is extremely risky. Yes, this means that even with thorough research, you can lose money in an ICO.

So, you should never invest what you are not willing to lose.

 

 

What are Smart Contracts?

Before we answer this question, let’s take a look where the term, ‘Smart Contract’ originated.

Back in 1996, Nick Szabo, a computer scientist, law scholar and cryptographer used the term, ‘smart contract’ in his paper, “Smart Contracts: Building Blocks for Digital Markets’. You can check out this paper in the link below.

Nick Szabo described a smart contract as ‘a set of promises, specified in digital form, including protocols within which the parties perform on these promises.’

 

To put it simply, smart contracts are just like the contracts in the real world, but they are written into lines of code and stored within a blockchain.
Smart contract has several properties.

Firstly, it is self-executory.

Smart contracts are lines of code and the code behind them contains specific terms that are executed when triggered by conditions agreed by parties in the contract.

Since smart contracts are designed and implemented within blockchains, they also inherit some of the blockchain’s properties:

For example, smart contracts are immutable, which means that they cannot be changed after it is created.

Smart contracts are distributed. This means that like every other transaction on a blockchain, the outcome of a smart contract is validated by everyone in the network. Distribution makes it impossible for any attacker cannot force a contract to to perform a certain outcome because others on the network will spot this attempt and mark it as invalid.

Because of these properties, smart contracts permit transactions and agreements to be carried out between parties without the need of a trusted third party.

Let’s look at how smart contracts could be used in the example of the sale of a house.

In the sale of a house, a trusted third party, like an escrow company, is employed.

The buyer and seller employ an escrow company because they do not trust each other.

The seller does not trust that the buyer would hand over the funds after he transfer him the ownership of the house.

While the buyer does not trust the seller to transfer his house after the buyer transfers the seller the funds.

Thus, for this transaction to work, they need to have a third party that they both trust, in this case, the escrow company.

The parties trust in the escrow company because of its reputation and branding.

So, after the parties agree to the terms of the sale and hire the escrow company, the buyer will send funds to the escrow company.

After the ownership of the house is transferred to the buyer, the escrow company would send the funds to the seller.

In this scenario, the escrow company acts as a source of trust and takes 1 to 2 percent cut from the sale for its role.

We can use a smart contract to perform the same transaction without the escrow company.

Here’s how it could work:

The parties can hire a programmer to program a smart contract to send the funds to the seller only after the seller transfers the house to the buyer.

After the seller transfers the house, the smart contract would be executed and transfer the funds to the seller.

In this example, the smart contract replaces the trusted third party, or the escrow company, and the parties can save a large sum of money that would otherwise be paid to the escrow company.

Other than replacing escrow companies in the sale of a house, there are many other use cases for smart contracts.

For example,

Insurance companies can use smart contract to streamline the compensation process.

In fact, some insurance companies like AXA are already using smart contracts.

Just recently, AXA rolled out a new flight-delayed insurance product that will store and process payouts via a smart contract.

This smart contract is connected to the global air traffic databases so when there is a delay of more than two hours, the smart contract would trigger an automatic compensation to its customers.

Smart contracts can also be used in other industries like healthcare to streamline processes for insurance trials or to increase access to cross-institutional data.

Or in banking, where payments and loans could be automated via smart contracts.

Right now, there are plenty of examples of how smart contracts are implemented within different blockchain networks and projects.

The most prominent one is Ethereum, Ethereum is a smart contract framework, designed specifically to support smart contracts. This framework, programmed in the Solidity language, is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts.

Bitcoin also has a programming language that allows for smart contract programming as well though it is not as programmable and extensive compared to Ethereum.

As illustrated from the previous examples, there are several benefits of smart contracts:

Firstly, it lowers costs for transactions. Smart contract eliminates intermediaries and allows businesses and customers to interact and transact directly and removes associated fees with hiring intermediaries.

Secondly, it builds trust between customers and businesses. Agreements are immutable, automatically executed and enforced so it eliminates any potential disputes between the customers and businesses.

Thirdly, it reduces fraud. As mentioned earlier, smart contracts are distributed, so their outcomes are validated by everyone in the network. This means that no one can force control of the contract to execute a certain outcome like releasing funds or data.

There are some disadvantages of smart contracts too.

For example, you cannot make changes in the code after the smart contract is created because of its immutability. Errors in code can be extremely costly. A notable example is the DAO hack, in which some hackers exploited errors in its code and stole around $50 million.

 

 

Based on a Medium Article by Nik Custodio

What is Bitcoin?

Before we answer this question, let’s take a look where the term, ‘Smart Contract’ originated.

Back in 1996, Nick Szabo, a computer scientist, law scholar and cryptographer used the term, ‘smart contract’ in his paper, “Smart Contracts: Building Blocks for Digital Markets’. You can check out this paper in the link below.

Nick Szabo described a smart contract as ‘a set of promises, specified in digital form, including protocols within which the parties perform on these promises.’

 

To put it simply, smart contracts are just like the contracts in the real world, but they are written into lines of code and stored within a blockchain.
Smart contract has several properties.

Firstly, it is self-executory.

Smart contracts are lines of code and the code behind them contains specific terms that are executed when triggered by conditions agreed by parties in the contract.

Since smart contracts are designed and implemented within blockchains, they also inherit some of the blockchain’s properties:

For example, smart contracts are immutable, which means that they cannot be changed after it is created.

Smart contracts are distributed. This means that like every other transaction on a blockchain, the outcome of a smart contract is validated by everyone in the network. Distribution makes it impossible for any attacker cannot force a contract to to perform a certain outcome because others on the network will spot this attempt and mark it as invalid.

Because of these properties, smart contracts permit transactions and agreements to be carried out between parties without the need of a trusted third party.

Let’s look at how smart contracts could be used in the example of the sale of a house.

In the sale of a house, a trusted third party, like an escrow company, is employed.

The buyer and seller employ an escrow company because they do not trust each other.

The seller does not trust that the buyer would hand over the funds after he transfer him the ownership of the house.

While the buyer does not trust the seller to transfer his house after the buyer transfers the seller the funds.

Thus, for this transaction to work, they need to have a third party that they both trust, in this case, the escrow company.

The parties trust in the escrow company because of its reputation and branding.

So, after the parties agree to the terms of the sale and hire the escrow company, the buyer will send funds to the escrow company.

After the ownership of the house is transferred to the buyer, the escrow company would send the funds to the seller.

In this scenario, the escrow company acts as a source of trust and takes 1 to 2 percent cut from the sale for its role.

We can use a smart contract to perform the same transaction without the escrow company.

Here’s how it could work:

The parties can hire a programmer to program a smart contract to send the funds to the seller only after the seller transfers the house to the buyer.

After the seller transfers the house, the smart contract would be executed and transfer the funds to the seller.

In this example, the smart contract replaces the trusted third party, or the escrow company, and the parties can save a large sum of money that would otherwise be paid to the escrow company.

Other than replacing escrow companies in the sale of a house, there are many other use cases for smart contracts.

For example,

Insurance companies can use smart contract to streamline the compensation process.

In fact, some insurance companies like AXA are already using smart contracts.

Just recently, AXA rolled out a new flight-delayed insurance product that will store and process payouts via a smart contract.

This smart contract is connected to the global air traffic databases so when there is a delay of more than two hours, the smart contract would trigger an automatic compensation to its customers.

Smart contracts can also be used in other industries like healthcare to streamline processes for insurance trials or to increase access to cross-institutional data.

Or in banking, where payments and loans could be automated via smart contracts.

Right now, there are plenty of examples of how smart contracts are implemented within different blockchain networks and projects.

The most prominent one is Ethereum, Ethereum is a smart contract framework, designed specifically to support smart contracts. This framework, programmed in the Solidity language, is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts.

Bitcoin also has a programming language that allows for smart contract programming as well though it is not as programmable and extensive compared to Ethereum.

As illustrated from the previous examples, there are several benefits of smart contracts:

Firstly, it lowers costs for transactions. Smart contract eliminates intermediaries and allows businesses and customers to interact and transact directly and removes associated fees with hiring intermediaries.

Secondly, it builds trust between customers and businesses. Agreements are immutable, automatically executed and enforced so it eliminates any potential disputes between the customers and businesses.

Thirdly, it reduces fraud. As mentioned earlier, smart contracts are distributed, so their outcomes are validated by everyone in the network. This means that no one can force control of the contract to execute a certain outcome like releasing funds or data.

There are some disadvantages of smart contracts too.

For example, you cannot make changes in the code after the smart contract is created because of its immutability. Errors in code can be extremely costly. A notable example is the DAO hack, in which some hackers exploited errors in its code and stole around $50 million.

 

 

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