Whether you're an established entrepreneur with a batch of successful projects behind or are the beginner now brainstorming your very first business undertaking, token-based crowdfunding
is haunting you. It's just an easy and effective way to do what is used to be a headache.
Initial coin offering, however, demands a lot of a fairly specific knowledge, which you're unlikely to have simply because funding through digital currency is a wholly new thing in the business universe. Only three years have passed since Ethereum
ICO introduced the idea to a wide public.
An ICO platform, as a specialized, expensive and important for the campaign software doing something pretty obscure is likely to raise a major portion of questions from your side. The way the law looks at this method of raising funds appears to be the second most ambiguous aspect of the venture.
What we're going to do here is to find answers to both questions while sharing our own experience and analyzing how the two, the ICO platform and the ICO regulations relate to one another.
Let's start from… ICO Software and the Risks Associated With its Purchase
You know that there is such a thing, you have the understanding of its functions and you know that it's absolutely necessary for a successful ICO. But the technical aspects, the pricing logic and an array of other points remain unknown.
Moreover, if you're asked what is the ICO platform, chances are you'll struggle to give a definite answer. Not because you've been passive Googling the topic but because the ICO community itself doesn't know for sure. The search results for the given query are somewhat confusing. You can end up thinking that ICO platform is Ethereum, or a decentralized exchange or a that utterly unique and enormously beneficial thing that you've just read about - depends on the landing page you ultimately reach.
The definition of ICO platform is just not there. And that makes any sort of analysis potentially delusive. Without knowing for sure what this thing is or what it isn't, how can you explain how it works, recommend the best ICO platform, explain why it's the best or clarify how the price forms?
For that reason, we've decided to coin the definition of ICO platform.
The one we've come up with is based on what we ourselves offer as ICO platform
, what our competitors mean under it and how ICO masters most commonly use the phrase: ICO platform
- a set of digital and informational means engineered to supplement the crowdsale prior, at and after the launch of the campaign by creating the environment where investors and investees can interact conveniently and safely. ICO platform must include user-friendly investor's cabinet and investee's dashboard, as well as smart contract and exchange integration capabilities. It may but not necessarily includes cryptowallet, compatibility with marketing engines, white paper, technical support, development of a token and digital assets consulting.
In our e-book
, you can learn how much each of these things costs to get an idea of the ICO software's actual price. Overall though, all the afore-mentioned stuff can cost you from about $20,000 up to $500,000. And the difference often comes not from the quality, timeline or anything else of a reasonable nature but rather from the greediness of the ICO launch services stimulated by a poor customer awareness.
Knowledge is expensive. But its lack is pricier. Particularly, in the ICO field. The Legislative Standpoint
Now that we've found out what the ICO platform is, let's have a look at the other, the regulatory issue.
To start off, ICO is considered illegal in China and South Korea, where authorities are fed with the scum and money losses their tech-savvy and relatively wealthy citizens were experiencing in the course of 2017.
In Europe, ICOs are allowed for as long as they are conducted in adherence to the current AML/KYC policies, business regulations, and licenses. A similar situation in the United States and Australia. You can launch an ICO in these jurisdictions if you treat it like a conventional business and you have many chances to end up in a jail if you don't.
Considering the climates where ICO regulations are either absent or are very light, the regions such as Ukraine, the Middle East or the rest of Asia, AML/KYC is not a must.
But that doesn't mean you can pay no regard to it. Anti-money laundering -
a set of procedures, laws, and regulations targeting the income that appears as a result of illegal actions; know-your client
- is the demand for a business to verify the identity of its clients and assess the possible illegal intentions that the latter may have. AML is meant to uncover what the investees are up to, whereas the KYC is more about the investors and their goals.
What these two essentially are is the way to tie yourself with the law. And there is a good reason why you may need that even if the jurisdiction you choose doesn't oblige you to.
Those who invest in ICOs in 2018 are much better educated than were those doing it in 2017. The investors now tend to pay attention to how you behave yourself in a legal environment, which means that the ignorance of AML/KYC is unlikely to result in any success for your ICO. By establishing relations with the authorities, you're gaining the trust and setting yourself apart from the majority.
Something that you need for attracting the investors. How ICO Platform Helps With The Law
Nobody likes bureaucracy, but entrepreneurs hate it more than anybody else. Colloquially known as pain in the ass, bureaucratism consumes time and money that could otherwise be invested in something of a useful nature. Moreover, it may scare off some investors. While the AML is a good thing from the funders' perspective, the KYC may be repelling. Especially, if done a poorly organized, insecure and time-consuming way.
But the amount of ICO scum
is growing. And so does the number of countries implementing the solid regulatory basis. For that reason, anti-money laundering and know-your client practices should be considered necessary.
AML/KYC principles are all about the personal information. The one you share as a founder and the one your clients reveal as investors. This data is then handed over to the corresponding third parties for examination.
Both practices have two main phases:
1. Information collection
2. Information checking and verification
While the verification by definition requires the presence of the third party and causes no direct influence on your campaign, gathering of the data does have a direct impact on your ICO and is not necessarily performed by somebody consuming your money.
That's where a proper ICO platform comes in.
You don't use Google Forms for collecting this sort of data because the process has to be secure, convenient and very delicate - you don't want to lose investors only because of a poorly crafted application form or wrong questions stated there. Plus, you want processing of the data to be automatized to not waste time or effort.
With a proper ICO platform, you just get all of that without paying the extras and in a highly secure and reliable way. On average, KYC costs $3,000-$5,000 that you pay the firms like this
for implementing the correspondent application and taking the rest of the steps needed to ensure that you don't deal with terrorists.
Given that the verification itself costs next to nothing, the afore-written sums are the ones you save taking advantage of the ICO platform with in-built KYC capabilities. Plus, you save time and keep the circle of people accessing your ICO's code narrower hence reducing the risks. Conclusion
Overall, blockchain ICO is not as hard as it appears to be. There are not so many key points that you, as a coin creator, must know and understand. And you've just learned the two major of them. Keep gaining the useful knowledge and you will be able to launch your ICO a reasonable and productive way, saving money and giving your company a striking advantage over the industry leaders.
Blockchain technology has a massive potential. By thinking outside the box and taking interest in unconventional means of its application, you've already made a big step toward enjoying its advantages and using it for your own benefit and prosperity.