What Is A Crypto ICO?

Learn What An ICO Is, And How To Make Money Investing In An Early Crypto-focused Project!

What Is An ICO?

A crypto ICO (Initial Coin Offering) is a powerful fundraising tool used by startups and projects in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. During an ICO, investors are issued new digital tokens or coins in exchange for capital, usually in the form of established cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum.

This capital helps to fund the project, enabling it to fuel its growth and development.

Investing in an ICO can provide investors with the opportunity to become part of a potentially lucrative and game-changing venture.

ICOs have become increasingly popular in recent years, especially during the 2017-2018 cryptocurrency boom.

As an alternative to traditional fundraising methods such as venture capital or IPOs, ICOs offer companies the opportunity to raise funds quickly and effectively.

The process typically involves the following steps:

1. The Whitepaper

A project team’s whitepaper is a vital resource for any potential investor or stakeholder.

This document details the project’s goals, technical aspects, tokenomics (token distribution and allocation), roadmap, and the intended use of the funds raised.

It serves as an informational guide for those interested in participating in the project and provides a comprehensive overview of the project’s vision.

Additionally, the whitepaper should include a detailed list of the team members and their associated roles and responsibilities.

By reading the whitepaper, potential investors can gain a better understanding of the project and the potential risks and rewards that come with investing in it.

2. Marketing And Promotion

The marketing and promotion team is leveraging various channels, such as social media, industry events, and online forums, to attract potential investors and promote the project.

Through these channels, the team is engaging potential investors by providing them with key information about the project, such as updates, new features, and other relevant news.

This comprehensive approach to marketing and promotion helps ensure that investors understand the project and its potential, increasing the chances of a successful investment.

3. The Token Sale

Investors can take advantage of the upcoming token sale and participate in the ICO by sending their preferred cryptocurrencies (such as Bitcoin or Ethereum) to the project’s designated wallet address.

In exchange, investors will receive the project’s new tokens, which may represent a utility within the project’s ecosystem or have the potential for significant speculative value.

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to invest in the future of the project and acquire tokens with the potential to increase in value!

4. CEX And DEX Exchange Listings

After the ICO, the new tokens will be listed on major cryptocurrency exchanges, enabling investors to trade them on the open market.

This will open up new opportunities for liquidity, allowing investors to buy, sell, and trade the tokens in a secure and transparent manner.

Furthermore, listing on multiple exchanges will ensure that investors get the best prices and have access to the most reliable trading platforms.

How Much Can An ICO Investor Make?

According to CoinDesk, projects raised about $5.5 billion through 2017 and $6.8 million in the first quarter of 2018.

Below Are Two Of The Most Popular And Successful Past ICO’s:


NEO (NEO) is a Chinese open-source blockchain project that has gone by several different names in its short history. NEO gained this distinction by utilizing smart contract applications and decentralized commerce.”

“The company had a massive ICO thanks in no small part to support from the Chinese government, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), and other major companies. From an initial token price of just over 3 cents to an all-time high price of roughly $180, NEO investors who timed their investments right stood to make an incredible amount of money.” Source: Investopedia.


Ethereum remains the second-largest digital currency by market cap as of September 2021.
While Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, Ethereum is both a digital currency and the foundation for decentralized applications that make use of smart contracts.”

Ether tokens sold for $0.31 each, and the token reached an all time high of $4,700 each during 2021, providing a hefty return on investment (ROI) for those lucky investors who bought in during the ICO. Source: Investopedia.

What Are The Potential Pitfalls Of Investing In ICO’s?

ICOs have undeniably enabled some projects to raise funds and launch groundbreaking products.

However, they have also been linked to fraud, scams, and increased regulatory scrutiny.

Unfortunately, many of these projects failed to live up to their promises or saw their token values sharply decline, resulting in substantial losses for investors.

As a result, it is essential for investors to conduct thorough research before investing in ICOs.

ICO Trading Tips

Our guide to investing in ICO’s!

It is important that you learn how to evaluate an ICO before investing in one. This way, you learn how to spot a good project and avoid investing in a bad one.

Evaluating an ICO project requires careful consideration of various aspects to determine its potential for success and legitimacy.

Here Are Some Key Factors To Look Out For When Evaluating An ICO:

  • Whitepaper: A well-prepared whitepaper should clearly explain the project’s goals, the problem it aims to solve, the proposed solution, and the technology behind it. It should also provide information about tokenomics, the project’s roadmap, and how the funds raised will be allocated.
    Whitepaper Investing Tips

    If the whitepaper is not detailed and leaves you wondering what you are investing in, this is a red flag.

    The whitepaper is incredibly important, and projects should have spent time making it good.

    If a whitepaper promises ridiculous returns, or is too ground breaking, you should immediately research the team to see if they are capable and experienced enough to complete what they are promising!

  • Project Team: Research the background, experience, and skills of the project’s team members. A strong team with relevant experience in blockchain, technology, or the industry they are targeting is a positive indicator. Also, consider any advisors or partners associated with the project.
  • Technology And Product: Evaluate the project’s technology and the stage of product development. Is the technology unique or innovative? Does the project have a working prototype or minimum viable product (MVP)? A project with a functional product or a clearly defined development timeline is more likely to succeed.
    Investing Tip

    If a project does not have a working model or product and instead has a nice promo video (cheap to make), you need to be much more conservative how much you invest.Do not be afraid to contact the CEO or team to ask questions. If the team is not confident or evade important questions about the project, this is a red flag!

  • Market Potential And Competition: Assess the market potential and demand for the project’s solution. Does the project address a real-world problem or need? Also, analyse the competitive landscape to determine if the project has a unique value proposition or competitive advantage.
  • Tokenomics And Token Utility: Understand the token’s role within the project ecosystem and its utility. Does the token have a clear use case, or is it simply a fundraising tool? Also, evaluate the token distribution and allocation to ensure it is fair and transparent.
    Token Investing Tip

    If the ICO project promises large returns, this is a red flag.You can also evaluate how much the token will increase by looking at other similar projects with a token, and see how much the market cap is.

    Also, look at any lock-up periods for tokens to see when they are released. New tokens released into the ecosystem can be sold and affect the existing token price.

    It is ideal to find a project that locks up early investors and the teams tokens for three to six months, as it means they have faith in the project.

    Over time you will learn how tokenomics work and what investors look for.

  • Community And Social Media Presence: A strong community and social media presence can indicate interest and support for the project. Review the project’s website, social media channels, and forums like Reddit or Telegram to gauge community engagement and sentiment.
  • Legal And Regulatory Compliance: Ensure the project complies with relevant laws and regulations. Some ICOs may be classified as securities offerings, requiring proper registration and disclosures. Be cautious of projects that do not address regulatory concerns.
  • Transparency And Communication: A legitimate project should be transparent about its progress, developments, and challenges. Regular updates and open communication channels with the team are positive signs.
  • Security And Smart Contract Audits: Check if the project’s smart contracts have been audited by reputable third-party firms. Audits help identify potential vulnerabilities and ensure the security of the contracts.
  • Post-ICO Plans And Exchange Listings: Assess the project’s plans for listing the token on reputable exchanges and the roadmap for post-ICO development. A clear strategy for post-ICO growth can increase the chances of success.

    ICO Investing Tip

    It’s essential to do your homework before investing in any ICO or project.Conducting thorough due diligence and research is a must to ensure you understand the risks and potential returns associated with your investment.

    Be mindful that investing in ICOs carries inherent risks, and there are no guarantees of success or returns.

    Always invest responsibly and within your risk tolerance.

Finally …..

Due to the high risks and stringent regulations associated with ICOs, alternative fundraising methods such as Security Token Offerings (STOs) and Initial Exchange Offerings (IEOs) have become increasingly popular.

These methods offer greater investor protection and regulatory compliance.

However, it is essential to do your due diligence before investing in any ICO, STO, IEO, or other fundraising method in the cryptocurrency space.

Make sure you understand the risks, have an in-depth knowledge of the project, and use reliable sources to research the team, technology, and roadmap.

We wish you the best of luck with your early investing!

We have created an ICO resource directory where you will find a list of the top ICO platforms which allow you to find ICO projects to invest in. Visit our ICO directory today!

If you are a verified angel (sophisticated) investor (usually you need a net worth of at least one million US dollars), we have created a list of angel investing platforms where you can invest at the stage before an ICO/STO and maximise your potential gains!

Visit our Angel investing resource directory here.

You can read more articles about NFTs in the blog section of our website.

You can also visit our NFT resource directory to find useful links to help you invest in NFT more effectively.

Visit us today at spendingcrypto.com

Jonathan Titley


(NFT industry magazine and project reviews)

We also offer NFT consulting for individuals and NFT projects. Contact us.


All information in this article is for educational purposes only.

Jonathan Titley
Author: Jonathan Titley