ICO is a means of raising funds in unregulated means for different cryptocurrency ventures. It is something that startups use so as to bypass the regulated and rigorous capital raising process that banks and venture capitalists require. In such a campaign, a given percentage of the cryptocurrency is sold to the project backers very early for other cryptocurrencies or legal tender.
How it is done
When a firm wants to raise money using the initial coin offering, there needs to be a plan on white paper stating the details of the project. It should outline what the project is about, what the project needs, what it aims at fulfilling completion. It should also state the money that will be needed so as to undertake the whole venture and how much pioneers will get to keep.
The plan also has to mention the kind of currency accepted and how long it intends to run the campaign. During such a campaign, the supporters and enthusiasts of the initiative will buy the cryptocoins using virtual currency or fiat. The coins are called tokens and are very similar to company shares that are sold to investors during IPOs. If the minimum funds required are not reached, then the money is refunded and the whole ICO is then considered not successful. When requirements are met within a set timeframe, the cash can be used to initiate the scheme or even complete it if it was still progressing.
The investors who take part in the project early are mainly motivated to buy crypto coins hoping that the plan will be successful and after launching they will get more value from it. There have been very successful projects of this kind in different economies and that is one main thing that motivates investors.
ICOs can be compared to crowdfunding and IPOs. Just like the IPOs, a stake has to be sold by a startup company so as to come up with funds that will aid the operations of such a company. The only difference is the fact that IPOs deal with investors while ICOs work closely with supporters who are very keen about new projects just like the crowdfunding event.
However, ICOs are different from the crowdfund in the sense that the backers of ICOs are usually motivated by the fact that they may get a great return on the investment. The funds raised through crowdfunding are basically donations. It is for this reason that ICOS are referred to as crowd sales.
There have been many successful transactions so far. The ICOs are an innovative tool within our digital era. However, it is important for investors to take precaution since there are some campaigns that can turn fraudulent. This is due to the fact that they are highly unregulated. Financial authorities do not take part in this and if you lose funds through such initiatives, it is hard to follow up so as to get compensation.
To this effect, there are some regions that do not allow the use of ICOs at all. It is important to only buy such currency from trusted sources so as to be safe.