You’re sitting at your computer, doing what you do best – managing risk, making excellent trades, and overall being a market ninja. You have a general interest in ICO’s, and notice over time that many ICO’s go unnoticed and are essentially stealthy crowdsales that only few are privy to. Then they get put on exchanges and go for 2, 3, 5, or even 10 times the price you could have bought at during ICO. What gives? Where can you find information on these kind of projects before everyone else does? How can you profit by front-running the competition? If you have any of these questions, then this guide is for you, dear reader. I will serve as your Virgil, taking you on this journey through the levels of ICO Inferno – but first, we have to start with the basics.
The Nitty Gritty
You may have already read my previous Alt Vetting guide, and if you haven’t I recommend checking it out – I discuss some ways to analyse the fundamentals of a project there.
Investing in ICO’s requires two main things: time and critical thinking. You need to put the effort into finding good projects while also having the mental fortitude to say “no” as often as you can before you settle on a good project. I myself run through anywhere from 1-3 ICO’s per day (30-90 per month) and say “NO!” to almost all of them. That’s because the ICO space is so big today, that it’s very easy to find the good projects from the bad. If you make and find even 3 good projects out of, say, 50, then you will be massively successful if your picks go on to make future moon missions. Which brings us to another point – managing risk.
Making 3x your portfolio amount is awesome. Getting it cut in half is, not so awesome. That’s why you need to manage your risk. Personally, I never put more than 10% of total equity (which already is too much if you ask me, but I have experience) into a single ICO. What if the ICO terms change? What if there is no hype on release? What if the markets are dumping and there is little action to be found in alts? What if it’s a total scam and we were bamboozled? We try to vet our picks by doing our due diligence and spending the majority of our time researching our investments, but mitigating the risk is all we can do. If you go all in on an ICO, only to have it flop a week later, well….
The ICO game is something that you should treat the same way you treat alt investing – only it carries even more risk. Ultimately, you can consider crypto investing as a large risk pyramid. At the bottom you have low risk investments such as Bitcoin (which, by the way, is still extremely risky). In the middle you have things like index funds and altcoins, which carry a lot more inherent risk (Dead devs, anyone?). Finally, you have the very top of the risk pyramid with things like ICO’s and leveraged trading. What does this mean? If you can’t trade alts and sleep at night with a position open, ICO’s aren’t for you. If you can’t stomach the idea of leverage trading and getting liquidated, ICO’s probably aren’t for you. If you don’t listen to random websites that give you advice on ICO investments then – well ICO’s, probably aren’t for you.
That being said, the gains are definitely commensurate to the risk, if not more so. While alts have, do, and will continue to create exponential price jumps in their own value, ICO’s are where the “surest” money multipliers lie. An ICO does have that chance to go to 0, but it also carries a lot of hype and market interaction that is realized all in a very short time span. True to this, the gains are impressive, and lure many investors to want to go in.
But wait! You ask. “How do we even get to find such great ICO’s? And why are you roleplaying the Divine Comedy?” Firstly, I applaud your critical thinking efforts – however, the answers you seek will be found further down the circles of ICO Inferno, dearest reader. Dare you venture? Then let us continue.
Now that we’ve covered a basic mentality with regards to ICO’s we need to arm you with the proper weapons for this undertaking. While it is against company policy to give away my sources of data research, I’m confident that the few readers of this web site will use this power responsibly and not give away all my secrets. Now then, which avenues are best to discover new and upcoming ICO’s? Let’s start with some simple ones.
ICO Calendar Sites
This is pretty simple, there are many web sites such as IcoAlert and IcoRating that offer simple, easy to understand lists of ICO’s that are upcoming. Your first job should be to take a look at calendar web sites that list ICO’s, as these will give you the most basic of information with regards to what the current pickings are. I did mention basic however, and the reason for this is that many ICO’s simply won’t be listed on these web sites. Either due to secrecy or a simple lack of time (even my own site here only lists 10 or so reviews a month), they will only provide a small section of new ICO’s. That being said, many gems are still posted on these and you should definitely keep your eyes peeled for new entries.
Personally this used to be my bread and butter for finding new projects, but most OG’s at this point (who are worth their salt anyway) likely don’t post their investments until after sales are closed or at all. It makes more sense for them to do this so their investments don’t get diluted with too much noob money (so to speak) partaking in their profitable financial expeditions. You can still catch some glimpses of ICO talk here and there on Twitter, but as the platform has grown so big, many choose to keep their picks hidden in self interest. I don’t though, so go follow me.
As far as YouTube is concerned, however, crypto channels are much like Twitch babes, with new ICO’s being the metaphorical equivalent to new forms of skimpy clothing to wear for the viewers. There is a huge incentive to be the only one talking about a massively profitable investment on YouTube compared to places like Twitter, particularly for dem views. I can fiercely recommend channels such as CryptoBeak, CryptoBud, and Ian Balina – these are all great channels that have given solid advice on projects with due diligence being done on their part. It’s like an ICO drive-thru!
This is a pretty controversial pick, as more often than not 4chan tends to shill about as many successes as failures due to the anonymous nature of the board (as there is no rep to uphold, no accountability means you can advertise an absolutely awful project with 0 downside) but it has thus far been my most lucrative avenue for finding gems. Every once in a while, you’ll see a select few posts mentioning a relatively unknown project with no replies. Take those chances to look at those kind of ICO’s and you may be pleasantly surprised. It’s also where I started investing into crypto, so 4chan will always have that special place in my whale heart.
No, I’m not talking about Facebook groups, I’m talking about real ones – the IRC chats where you’re sitting late at night typing with strange on the Internet with nothing but you and a blinking cursor on the other side. Whale groups, research groups, and even general crypto groups are treasure troves of information, and you can leverage that to find great analysis and discussion on current pickings. What’s more, groups serve as a valuable area to find the “temperature” of the crypto market, and take opportunities based on the dynamics. Personally, I have never gone into a paid group, and so I can only say with experience that private free groups are where the action is happening. Groups are a small slice of the crypto community – take note and use that information to your advantage!
Rounding out the rear are these last few avenues of information gathering. I personally don’t use these as the users of Reddit/Steem tend to be rich white kids with no real perception of what makes a project good (remember, people lose a lot of money in ICO’s too) and hate to poison the well of my mind. Bitcointalk is another interesting avenue, but the signal to noise ratio on that one is also pretty low and I haven’t really used my BCT account for much – the website is also slow in general which further deters me. That being said, I wouldn’t count these out if you’re looking for some more information on your ICO of choice, and I regularly check BCT threads for an ongoing ICO after I do my due diligence as a final “check” of approval. Keep these tools in your belt!
“But wait!”- you say again. “How do you decide things like profit targets?” Don’t tarry, dear reader, as we’re almost there. I will explain the process now.
The Art of the Sell
Figuring out exactly where you want to sell is something you should absolutely do before your tokens even arrive in your blockchain mailbox. After all, you did so much great planning, research, and you’re sure that this project is the next moonshot. But “moon” isn’t a number, dear reader. You need to decide exactly the prices you’d like to exit at. Perhaps you like to take a more risk-averse strategy (to you, I say, why are you here?!) and sell half of your ICO investment at the 2x mark – that would, of course, absolve you of any emotional and financial investments you made initially.
Personally, however, I believe selling half at a 2x is one of the most ridiculous things you can do in crypto. Your coins will go up with time – my own strategy generally involves selling half of my investment at the 3-5x mark, with setting sell tiers all the way up to 100x of my investment. By the time a coin has reached a 100x, I will only have 5% of my initial investment left – however, that is part of my strategy. I will already have moved on to other opportunities. If you, however, like a more greedy approach, you can adjust your numbers as needed. You could even sell everything at a 4x and roll profits into the next project. The ball is in your court with this one, but I do urge you to have profit targets of some sort.
It’s a risky game, investing in ICO’s – with so many coming out every single day, it can be a monumental task to sift through all of the data and find actionable investments. That being said, it has also been one of the most rewarding experiences for me personally, and I absolutely love digging into the next potential 10x project. As an ICO investor, you take on the most risk possible in crypto, but the rewards are also a gleaming light in the vast space of the crypto market. Remember to keep your bearings while you’re in the Inferno, and, should you trust your instincts and stay smart, you’ll come out of the other side victorious and profitable.