How to participate in an Initial Coin Offering (ICO)?
If you’re a newbie to the ICO market and want to start investing today, here’s a step-by-step process to guide you in your purchase.
Bit of a disclaimer first; there’s no standard or formal structure for how an ICO is carried out. The main idea, however, is to have investors send their money to the company’s wallet or smart contract in exchange for their tokens. Each ICO does this differently and no two ICOs will be the same.
I encourage you to check different ICOs here on our website. We have a comprehensive list of upcoming and ongoing ICOs with necessary information.
Note: Before everything else, make sure to perform due diligence on the ICO that you’re planning to purchase tokens from. You may be overwhelmed by technical information presented on their websites. Don’t be carried away by this. There have been plenty of ICOs that have scammed investors for millions of dollars.
Here’s the 6-Step ICO Participation Process:
Step 1: Make a cryptocurrency wallet.
A wallet allows you to store cryptocurrency that will be used in your contribution to an ICO. In addition, your public wallet address will usually be needed by the ICO itself for whitelisting so that they know where to send tokens to once you have contributed.
ICOs typically don’t accept USD or other traditional currencies during the ICO process. You need to use cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or ETH to participate in the ICO which brings us to step 2.
Step 2: Obtain Bitcoin, ETH or other cryptocurrency.
With your USD or other fiat currency, you can purchase cryptocurrency from exchanges or from services like Changelly which offer credit card to crypto purchases. Other options are buying cryptocurrency in person thru Localbitcoins for Bitcoin or LocalEtherium for ETH.
Once you have acquired your cryptocurrency, send it to the wallet you will use to participate in the ICO.
Step 3: Transfer the coins to your own online wallet where you control the private keys.
In order for the ICO to receive cryptocurrency, send tokens back and for you to access and manipulate tokens, you must participate using a wallet where you control the private keys.
Note: Do not send coins from an exchange wallet directly to an ICO smart contract address or you won’t receive your tokens. Exchange addresses do not support the ICO tokens and you will lose them.
Step 4: Get whitelisted!
Most ICOs nowadays require some form of whitelisting and submission of KYC before you can participate. Whitelisting ensures a more orderly ICO process and promotes more even distribution of tokens amongst all interested contributors and KYC ensures that no unsavory or criminal contributors get to participate in the ICO.
KYC usually requires ICO contributor to submit information that helps verify their identity, some of the information that may be asked from you are ID, address, telephone number etc.
Step 5: Contribute to the ICO
Read the guidelines on how to purchase or contribute to get tokens in the ICO. As stated, there are no standard rules for ICOs and everything can change in the blink of an eye. So make the most out of the information available not just from the official website and whitepaper but from social media channels as well.
Most ICOs finalize details of the tokensale on their blog, medium or telegram, so stay tuned to those social media channels to ensure that you don't miss the tokensale or fall victim to scammers.
Note: Beware of scam artists, there are lots of people posing as admins on social media or telegram telling you to send tokens to a specific address. Always double check to ensure that the address you are contributing to is the official smart contract address and be wary of any contract addresses posted on social media or directly messaged to you.
Step 6: Receive the ICO tokens.
Depending on the arrangement set by the ICO, your tokens may be received right after you contribute, sometime after the ICO or at a later date after some auditing is done.
You can then hold the tokens in your wallet or send them to an exchange (once the exchange supports the ICOs tokens) like Gdax, Binance or Bittrex for trading.
The ico-check team hopes this ICO contribution guide has been helpful and can serve as a guide in your ICO participation.