What Is an ICO in Cryptocurrency?

ICO is short for Initial Coin Offering. When launching a new cryptocurrency or crypto-token, the developers offer investors a limited number of units in exchange for other major crypto coins such as Bitcoin or Ethereum.

ICOs are amazing tools for quickly raining development funds to support new cryptocurrencies. The tokens offered during an ICO can be sold and traded on cryptocurrency exchanges, assuming there is sufficient demand for them.

The Ethereum ICO is one of the most notable successes and the popularity of Initial Coin Offerings is growing as we speak.

A brief history of ICOs

Ripple is likely the first cryptocurrency distributed via an ICO. At the start of 2013, Ripple Labs began to develop the Ripple payment system and generated approximately 100 billion XRP tokens. These were sold through an ICO to fund Ripple’s platform development.

Mastercoin is another cryptocurrency that has sold a few million tokens for Bitcoin during an ICO, also in 2013. Mastercoin aimed to tokenize Bitcoin transactions and execute smart contracts by creating a new layer on top of the existing Bitcoin code.

Of course, there are other cryptocurrencies that have been successfully funded through ICOs. Back in 2016, Lisk gathered approximately $5 million during their Initial Coin Offering.

Nevertheless, Ethereum’s ICO that took place in 2014 is probably the most prominent one so far. During their ICO, the Ethereum Foundation sold ETH for 0.0005 Bitcoin each, raising almost $20 million. With Ethereum harnessing the power of smart contracts, it paved the way for the next generation of Initial Coin Offerings.

Ethereum’s ICO, a recipe for success

Ethereum’s smart contracts system has implemented the ERC20 protocol standard that sets the core rules for creating other compliant tokens which can be transacted on Ethereum’s blockchain. This allowed others to create their own tokens, compliant with the ERC20 standard that can be traded for ETH directly on Ethereum’s network.

The DAO is a notable example of successfully using Ethereum’s smart contracts. The investment company raised $100 million worth of ETH and the investors received in exchange DAO tokens allowing them to participate in the governance of the platform. Sadly, the DAO failed after it was hacked.

Ethereum’s ICO and their ERC20 protocol have outlined the latest generation of crowdfunding blockchain-based projects via Initial Coin Offerings.

It also made it very easy to invest in other ERC20 tokens. You simply transfer ETH, paste the contract in your wallet and the new tokens will show up in your account so you can use them however you please.

Obviously, not all cryptocurrencies have ERC20 tokens living on Ethereum ‘s network but pretty much any new blockchain-based project can launch an Initial Coin Offering.

The legal state of ICOs

When it comes to the legality of ICOs, it’s a bit of a jungle out there. In theory, tokens are sold as digital goods, not financial assets. Most jurisdictions haven’t regulated ICOs yet so assuming the founders have a seasoned lawyer on their team, the whole process should be paperless.

Even so, some jurisdictions have become aware of ICOs and are already working on regulating them in a similar manner to sales of shares and securities.

Back in December 2017, the U.S. Securities And Exchange Commission (SEC) classified ICO tokens as securities. In other words, the SEC was preparing to halt ICOs they consider to be misleading investors.

There are some cases in which the token is just a utility token. This means the owner can simply use it to access a certain network or protocol in which case they may not be defined as a financial security. Nevertheless, equity tokens whose purpose is to appreciate in value are quite close to the concept of security. Truth be told, most token purchases are made specifically for investment purposes.

Despite the efforts of regulators, ICOs are still lingering in a grey legal area and until a clearer set of regulations is imposed entrepreneurs will attempt to benefit from Initial Coin Offerings.

It’s also worth mentioning that once regulations reach a final form, the cost and effort required to comply could make ICOs less attractive compared to conventional funding options.

Final words

For now, ICOs remain an amazing way to fund new crypto-related projects and there have been multiple successful ones with more to come.

However, keep in mind everyone is launching ICOs nowadays and many of these projects are scams or lack the solid foundation they need to thrive and make it worth the investment. For this reason, you should definitely do thorough research and investigate the team and background of whatever crypto project you might want to invest in. There are multiple websites out there that list ICOs, we recommend checking this ICO calendar if you’re interested to invest in a crypto project.

A New Car Break-In Technique

We live in a fast pace society and that includes technology development. Technology can be a great tool to make our lives much easier in many ways. However, with great technology comes great responsibility. It is easy for technology to consume your life. It is also easy to abuse and misuse the wonders of technology.

With this story, that is the case. Thieves caught on surveillance camera were recorded walking up to cars and yanking on the handles. Usually at this point you would see broken windows or pried open doors. In other words, there would usually be a lot of damage done. But, in this case the thieves seemed to use a compact device to electronically unlock the doors.

It is pretty easy to manipulate, according to tech experts, especially since most vehicles use a keyless method to unlock and lock their vehicles. It is easy to create something that manipulates the vehicle into thinking that the owner with the car remote is standing nearby, even when the are not.

This case took place in Sauk Village, IL, but it is not unheard of happening in other places. The victims losses included a jujitsu belt and some boxing gloves, estimated around $30. Fortunately, there was not anything extremely valuable to the victim in the vehicle. Again, the thieves left no evidence or damages besides the contents of the glove box being strewn across the passenger seat.

Although this new technique can be difficult to prevent, there are a few factors to keep in mind when trying to prevent theft. First, remember to avoid leaving anything valuable in your vehicle, especially when leaving it for the night. If you are running errands and must leave something in your vehicle, experts advise you leave it in the trunk or underneath a towel or blanket.

It also helps to install extra security systems and anti-theft devices in your car. It decrease your auto insurance cost and prevent the theft of any belongings. It also helps to add security systems around your home to expose criminals such as the surveillance footage did.

Another tip that may reduce the likelihood of a break in is parking your vehicle in a well-lit area. Most thieves will not target a vehicle that is in an area that has relatively bright lighting because it increases the likelihood of them getting caught.

It also helps to avoid parking in an otherwise empty area. This also makes your vehicle an easier target to thieves since less people will be around.

Remember, car break-ins are fairly common and now technology is making it even easier to unlock and get into vehicles. Always lock your vehicle when leaving it and again, never ever leave valuables such as money or electronics in your car.

Why Your Business Needs an Online Marketing Strategy

Whether you own a local brick and mortar business or an online company, you’ll want to use the Internet to promote your products and services. The online community is a vast goldmine of potential consumers who log in each day to search for every good and service you could imagine. If you have a product or service, there’s a market for it online. Tapping into that world-wide reservoir of customers is a must if you want your business to not only succeed, but thrive. While word of mouth and certain offline advertising can be great revenue generators for your business, it is important that you implement an online marketing strategy and get it working for you and your business.

Just like any other task involved in the promotion of a business, you’ll need to come up with a solid, effective online marketing strategy, to ensure the best possible outcome – in this case, boosting your customer base, and therefore your business revenue. This doesn’t need to be rocket science, you just need to outline the steps you are going to take to promote your business online.

Promoting Your Business

The most important goal in an online marketing strategy is getting consumers to view your webpage; they can’t buy what they can’t see. This isn’t something that can be left to chance, as there are literally millions of websites online for customers to browse. You’ll need to find a way to direct these consumers to your website, via any number of effective tactics, such as search engines, email marketing, pay per click advertising, social media etc. That way, any time an online consumer is looking for something you provide, you’ll have a that much more of a chance of being their primary choice. Whatever your product or service, you want your business to be known as the market leader. The main factor to ensure in promoting your business is that you’re targeting the right market; if you sell antiques, don’t target a dog training market. While that is an extreme example, the principal still applies.

Where to Promote Your Business

There are many places where you can implement your online marketing strategy; from social media to local business directories, you’ll find that the sky is the limit. All that’s needed is finding the right market and you’re set.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)-One of the most common ways to get your site on the first page of major search engine results is through SEO. Find keywords that people are typing in online and target your website around these. Search Engine Optimisation is a very profitable strategy and should be used by most business owners.

Social Media – Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ offer extensive opportunities for online marketing. These sites have millions of members who visit their pages daily; having your business listed on here would guarantee consumer traffic to your website. Just remember though, social media is about engaging and not selling, so make sure that you build up a relationship with your potential market when you start using social media.

Advertisements – Banners are viewed daily across the web; find websites in your particular niche and place your ads within these pages. This is an under utilised tactic that can be very profitable for your business if you engage with the right audience.

Blogging – Blogging on a website like blogger.com is an extremely effective means of marketing your business, especially within niche related blogs. For instance, if you’re a cake baker and you write a daily blog describing a new type of cake you baked, or about a design you created, and show pictures within that site, not only are you going to generate a following of people wanting to learn how to do this themselves, you’ll gain a steady base of customers dying to have their next big day celebrated with a cake from you. Blogging not only establishes your name in the world of cakes, it can also provide you a following as a leader in your market.

Why Your Business Needs an Online Marketing Strategy

The above are just a few examples of where you can promote your website and what you can base your online marketing strategy around.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in the same location for 50 years; if you’re looking to generate greater exposure, and thereby greater revenue for your business, there is no better place to do so than online. And if you’re looking to market online, you’ll need to find an effective online marketing strategy to ensure your online success.

Remember, this doesn’t need to be complicated. Find out where your market is, and look to tap into a couple of these avenues. You don’t need to do every aspect of online marketing. Set a strategy where you are going to get the quickest return on investment. Remember to revisit your strategy every 3-6 months and adapt as necessary.