How to launch a successful ICO

27 feb 2018

written by: theodor spadeson

It all started with Bitcoin (BTC). As the time passed, numerous alternative cryptocurrencies appeared - some of them had a good start but then bit the dust, while the others slowly but steadily grew and stayed.

Today, literally anyone can launch his own crypto coin, find investors, and force the coin to masses.

The Initial Coin Offering is an unregulated means for raising funds purportedly to launch a new cryptocurrency. The ICO comes in handy for startups because it helps to bypass the severe and regulated fundraising process conventional for banks and venture capitalists - ICO is fundamentally different.

In this article, we, as a company with a vast experience in digital transformation and crypto activity, will make suggestions about a successful ICO launch and the vital moments for the further growth.

It is important to mention that the process of issuing an ICO and its steps are variable and dependent on such points like the platform used for the offering and the country where it will be made. If the well-known and proven framework like Ethereum is used, the preliminary tasks will be tremendously reduced. Talking of the country for the ICO, it is important to keep in mind the SEC Bulletin which can classify the ICO as a security, depending on the type of rights provided by the coin.

Essence of the ICO and stages.

Idea. The idea of the project is vital. Blockchain community consists of people ready to invest in a useful and prospective idea that will work efficiently in the real world environment. You have elaborated a great idea and your gut tells that its a billion dollar project. Great! The market is ready and hot for ICOs!

Team.Since every project needs a sophisticated team of professionals, ICO is not an exception. The effective start of your campaign requires a team consisting of people knowing the ropes in content creation, PR management, SMM, community management, design, and code development. Moreover, it is a great benefit if your team members are good at several languages.

Market intelligence. A wise man would always comb the market and study both successful and unsuccessful cases of ICO. With a purpose of issuing a successful offering, it is vital to know the pitfalls of the market. All projects are different, as well as the applied approaches, hence there is a reason to analyze them all.

White paper. Project documentation, the white paper, is the most important part of the ICO campaign. It describes the features and peculiarities of your project, determines the desired amount of funds, terms, frames, and the key dates. To admit, your prospective investors are to pay the most of their attention to the white paper. The more explicitly and comprehensively it is developed, the higher your chances to be funded. The tip. Use technical writers and designers to create an exhaustive textual description and interactive illustrated presentation of your white paper.

As to the suggested structure of the white paper, we see it as follows:

  • Background - how it all started, what inspired you and your team to introduce your project to the real world;
  • Introduction - description, and perception of the market and the applicability of the blockchain technology in its environment;
  • Analysis - competitors and growth potential;
  • Introduction of the product you offer - what is your product, what is it presupposed to pursue and fulfill - solutions it offers;
  • Product section - the main section of the white paper with an in-depth description of your product;
  • Use cases - how can your product be used and the scenarios of usage;
  • Development roadmap - what is already done, what is planned to be done, better to include milestones;
  • Financial projections - how much invested money will be spent and the purposes of the expenditures;
  • Team - the section dedicated to the team you involve into the product creation - key employees and their experience;
  • Numbers - the exact details about the number of coins, the value of each coin, the duration of the offering, and the platform to be used;
  • Conditions for funders - you should clearly outline the formal agreement between the funder and you - an issuer of the ICO, otherwise, your project can raise concerns among the community and investors;
  • Risks and rewards - outline both risks and rewards, investors love the part about the returns :);
  • Conclusion - the results and conclusions of your white paper.

Another important thing we would like to highlight is FAQ. Gather all possible questions, publish answers, and complement the FAQ section with the emerging new questions and answers. To admit, only a few projects offer their FAQ sections.


Promotion and marketing. Start your promotion with a website or a landing page. If your savings and budget are tight, then you can use a platform with ready-made solutions like WIX and similar. But keep in mind, that it is inappropriate to use the typical cliched design, this won’t earn trust and confidence. Colloquially, the usage of ready templates for your site/page will look amateurishly.

IT would come in really handy to create publications in such popular resources like Reddit, Quora, Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Medium, for Russian companies - VK + to the latter, ICO-specific resources like Icotracker, Tokendata, etc. It is plain to see the more you boost your product, the more people know and talk about it, the bigger the chance for your idea to involve and stick people. All these represented social channels help you and your product gain popularity and spread worldwide, hence, your tokens will be sold like hot cakes. In case you have an open code - share the link to GitHub.

Moreover, you should publish news constantly - starting with the daily news. Share your progress, demonstrate and report the changes and updates, earn the respect of the audience for the job you do and enforce it. Weekly news and overviews - sum up the results of the week, the completed tasks, and tasks to be accomplished, plans for the next week

Let us talk about the T&C - the stage of defining the terms and conditions for the funders. We strongly recommend starting your campaign with the pre-sale period and pre-ICO. Such approach will help you to find bugs through the users’ feedback and organize the work through the above mentioned social channels. To admit, Escrow-based funding is the ruler of the market of ICOs.

It means that the raised funds are available only to the deposit agents, providing additional protection. This, in its turn, means, that the ICO issuer cannot spend the investments independently. The basic flow of Escrow-based fund management looks as follows:

  • The company raises $ 10 mln.;
  • The project has 10 stages and 10 milestones;
  • The first amount of money company receives soon after the end of the fundraising campaign;
  • The deposit agent overviews how the issuer fulfills the conditions and meets deadlines;
  • The first stage is successful, the deadline is met, and the conditions are fulfilled;
  • The agent contributes the next amount of money.

Alternative flow:

  • The company raises $ 10 mln.;
  • The project has 10 stages and 10 milestones;
  • The first amount of money company receives soon after the end of the fundraising campaign;
  • The deposit agent overviews how the issuer fulfills the conditions and meets deadlines;
  • The company fails to fulfill the obligations;
  • The money is frozen or returned to the investors.

The terms of token sale should include the pricing and timing of the token sale. Though the brief info might be available on the landing page, it is sober to dedicate a separate division of your legal documentation to the detailed grounding of your token and policy.


Some useful tips from our professionals.

It is highly recommended to translate your content and documentation into different languages. Though it is counted that English is the worldwide business language, it would be beyond all compliments to offer your documents in the diverse translations - the most popular languages are Chinese, Japanese, Korean, German, French, English, and Russian. To admit, you can translate only the main parts, because only a few read the full volume.

The next thing, organize the 24-hour work of your team on the day of ICO: monitor funding, whet appetite through the social channels, make song and dance all around and create overall agiotage.

The final pieces of advice.

Be very cautious and pedantic when developing your documentation. Write the code fairly and clearly. Be honest with your audience, investors, and more - be a law-abiding team. Jurisdiction is not just a word.

The represented in the article points highlight the general and essential issues of the ICO campaign. At large, any ICO is individual and its launch may vary correspondingly. We’ve determined the most vital points, and are sure, that our article helped to gain some wisdom. Have any peculiar and non-standard questions? Do not hesitate to contact us for a quote.