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At this time, the digital currency exchange market is filled with a wide variety of choices, therefore choosing the right exchange or trading platform can be quite a headache for both novice and veteran cryptocurrency users.
Binance is a popular cryptocurrency exchange which was started in China but recently moved their headquarters to the crypto-friendly Island of Malta in the EU. Binance is popular for its crypto to crypto exchange services. While the company is still fairly new on the market ( it launched last year ), it has managed to gain a lot of popularity thanks to its impressive number of Initial Coin Offering listings, professional attitude and friendly CEO and also due to its low trading fees.
In our review, we will attempt to outline everything that you must know about Binance, including how it works, the crypto pairs that you can exchange, trading fees/limits, security aspects, and customer support.
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How the Exchange Works Contents [Show]
Those who visit Binance for the first time will quickly notice that the platform offers two options for digital currency trading- basic and advanced. Neither the basic, nor the advanced versions are bound to be easy to use for complete beginners. However, anyone with a background in digital currencies and with a bit of knowledge into how exchanges work should be able to use the platform and its different services.
The main difference between the basic and the advanced version is that the advanced one offers more-in-depth technical analysis of digital currency value over time. At this time, the dashboard for the basic version offers several graphs and charts for the pairs that you’re trading, order books, and trade history.
3Commas This is what the basic view looks like :
Binance Trading View
The Basic view is nicely designed and well laid out, all the information you need is clearly presented with prices on the left, graphs in the center along with the buy and sell boxes and the trade history is presented on the right so you can quickly see what the latest trade prices were.
And this is what the advanced view looks like:
The advanced view uses a dark theme and makes the trading charts larger and the latest trade prices are displayed on the right with the buy sell boxes underneath.
Which you choose is a matter of preference really, I like the lighter colored basic view and find the layout a little easier to use.
Binance Signup & Login To use the exchange, users will first have to create an account. The process behind this is fairly simple and straight-forward and you don’t have to verify your account for level 1 which is a 2BTC daily withdrawal limit. For level 2 which allows up to 100BTC per day, you need to upload a photo ID and wait till you are approved. There are higher limits still, but you will need to contact them directly to arrange that.
Time for verification can vary depending on how busy the site support staff are, so make sure to plan ahead if you wish to withdraw larger amounts and make sure this step is complete before depositing and trading large sums on the exchange.
Now, that this is out of the way, users can go ahead and fund their Binance account. While you can choose from a multitude of digital currencies, it is recommended that you stick with either BTC or ETH.
To fund your account visit the “Funds” > “Deposits / Withdrawals” link at the top of the site and find the currency you wish to send, then click the “Deposit” button next to it which will then you give you the wallet address. You can then send your funds to this address to begin trading on the platform, depending on which currency you deposit it will take different times to show up as this is reliant on that currencies blockchain. Some currencies like Ethereum are faster than Bitcoin which can take a while.
Now that your account is funded, you can simply start trading, exchanging and investing in various digital currency pairs. Binance offers plenty of choices, as they support all major digital currencies, but also numerous ICO listings and their respective tokens.
At this time, the platform can only be used to generate limit and market orders. This has been considered a disadvantage by some, as many expected trading options that would be more advanced. Following the placement of your order, simply wait for it to be fulfilled according to the terms that have been set.
How to Trade on Binance Trading on Binance is fairly straight-forward if you have used any other cryptocurrency exchange before. To get started, make sure you have deposited some funds – there are options for trading pairs in BTC, ETH, BNB and USDT. Once you have your funds, at the top right menu, select “Exchange” > “Basic” or “Advanced” to load the trading screen. We will be using the Basic view.
Binance Trading View
On the right hand side, of the screen select a tab from BTC, ETH, BNB or USDT this is what you will be trading in. Then choose your desired currency from the list. You can also search here and you can create a favorites list by clicking the star next to any currencies.
Choose currency to buy
Once your desired currency has loaded, take note of the left-hand column which shows prices that people are willing to sell at in the top half in red and prices people are willing to buy at in green in the bottom half. The number in the middle shows the last sale price.
Buy and Sell Prices
Now to place a buy order, use the center box underneath the graphs and you will see the buy box is in green on the right. You can manually enter a price you wish to purchase at, but a better way is to click a number on the left-hand column. You can then enter the amount of the currency you wish to buy or click the 25%, 50%, 75% or 100% buttons which will fill it with an amount based on how much of the buying currency you have ( in this case BTC ).
Once your order is placed it will be show underneath in the “Open Orders” section until it is filled. At that point your new currency will be available under the “Deposits / Withdrawals” menu where you can withdraw it to the wallet of your choice.
Supported Crypto Currencies Binance has often been praised for its wide variety of support coins. Traders can use the platform for multiple digital currencies, including, but not limited to Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, EOS, Dash, LiteCoin, NEO, GAS, Zcash, Dash, Ripple and more. As mentioned before, Binance also supports numerous tokens, as part of ICO listings. With this in mind, traders can use the platform to trade these tokens for a profit as well.
Binance is currently very quick to add new coins and tokens after their ICO which usually means you can purchase them cheaply which allows for greater profit down the road.
They currently offer trading pairs in BTC, BNB, ETH and USDT.
Binance ICO & BNB Coin Another thing to note is the Binance Coin, which was issued during their own ICO. The Binance coin can be used to pay fees and it will also feature in their future plans to create a Decentralized Exchange where it will form one of the key base currencies. Purchasing the Binance coin itself looks like a good investment for the future as the exchange plans to use their profits to buy back a portion of the coins every quarter and destroy them: hence decreasing the supply and making them more valuable for holders.
Every quarter, we will use 20% of our profits to buy back BNB and destroy them, until we buy 50% of all the BNB (100MM) back. All buy-back transactions will be announced on the blockchain. We eventually will destroy 100MM BNB, leaving 100MM BNB remaining.
Binance BNB Coin
If you’d like to read more about the BNB Coin, check out our indepth guide.
Binance Fees & Limits At the time of writing, Binance charges an average fee of 0.1% on each trade that a user makes. Those who choose to pay via the Binance token can get a 50% discount on the trading fee, which is absolutely great news. These are surely some of the lowest fees available at this time.
Withdrawal fees tend to vary for each digital currency. For instance, 0.0005 is charged for Bitcoin withdrawals, and 0.005 is charged for ETH withdrawals. Here are some examples to give you an idea of the fees you will be paying for withdrawals:
COIN CODE Fee Unit Binance Coin BNB 1 BNB Bitcoin BTC 0.001 BTC Ethereum ETH 0.01 ETH Litcoin LTC 0.01 LTC Neo NEO Free NEO Qtum QTUM 0.01 QTUM Status SNT 10 SNT Bancor BNT 1.2 BNT Eos EOS 0.7 EOS Bitcoin Cash BCC 0.0005 BCC Gas GAS Free GAS USDT USDT 50 USDT When it comes down to transfer limits, there is no limit on the number of coins that you can deposit. However, without getting verified, users are limited in terms of how much they can withdraw. Verification will establish you as a level two users, thus lifting these limits and providing a lot more freedom when using the platform. The verification process requires users to provide Binance with their full name, country, gender, a photo of passport/government-issued ID, and even a selfie with the passport.
Binance Competitions A unique feature of Binance you will notice is that they regularly hold competitions with some amazing prizes. Some examples of competitions in the past include Waves and Tron. The waves competition gave away 20,000 Waves to Traders based on how many trades they have made of this currency.
The other competition for Tron (TRX) gave participants the chance to win a Maserati car, Mercedes Benz car, a Macbook Pro or a iPhone X. Again, the winners were the people with the highest trading volume of this currency.
The current rankings show that the person in first place had over 358 BTC volume in trades so you will need to be a whale to be in with a chance of winning first prize. There are other regular competitions though, so keep an eye on the site for your chance to enter.
Is Binance Safe? While Binance is one of the newest cryptocurrency exchanges available on the market, it has quickly managed to attain a high level of trust from its users and the digital currency community. However, the exchange fails to provide users with enough information on how the funds are being secured, yet we like to believe that security is taken seriously. Two-factor authentication is available and is always a nice sight. It is however known that the platform offers a multi-tier and multi-tier system architecture.
Update: In March 2018 Binance suffered a hacking attempt.
The hackers tried to pull off an audacious move which was luckily caught by the automated systems in place at the exchange. For months the hackers had been accumulating people’s logins via a phishing website and secretly installing API access on the affected accounts. They then struck, converting all the victims altcoins to BTC and purchasing Viacoin, pumping the coin to a huge price and then selling their own supply of Viacoin at the high point, before trying to withdraw the BTC to their own wallets. Luckily no one lost funds as the hack was caught and the only people to lose out were the hackers, whose funds will be donated to charity.
As this hack was made possible by people entering their site logins and 2FA details into a fake website, you should always make sure you are on the correct Binance url before logging in. We recommend you bookmark the site and only use that to access it, never click links from emails, Twitter, Telegram etc.
This event has done a lot to instill confidence around Binance, not only did their automated processes catch the attempted hack before anyone lost any funds, they have since offered a $250,000 bounty to anyone who can help catch the hackers. Throughout this event, Binance acted exemplary and have been praised for their swift action in resolving this.
Binance Customer Support For an exchange to be successful, it requires a great customer support team, capable of answering all user questions and requests in a timely manner. While the support area on Binance could use a little work, the team is responsive and capable of offering professional aid to traders in need. Support tickets are submitted via an online form featured on the website, and responses are made via email. There is currently no live chat support, nor a phone number where customers can get in touch with the support team.
Binance Customer Support
Other than the CS team, Binance offers a couple of FAQs and articles meant to help users get accustomed to the exchange and the way it works.
It should be noted that customer support on Binance has been known to be slow to respond to customer requests. This is a familiar phenomenon with most of large exchanges and is due simply to the volume of users and amount of support staff. The exchanges have grown at an explosive rate this past year and the companies simply haven’t been able to keep up with demand. Binance grew fast especially, going from launch to the largest exchange on the planet in a few short months. Support staff for exchanges have to be carefully vetted and trained due to the technicalities and security requirements involved – unlike other traditional companies where staff can be trained quicker.
Some things to bare in mind are double-checking wallet addresses, make sure you are sending the correct cryptocurrency to it’s corresponding address on the site. Mixups with wallets are one of the biggest mistakes people make when using exchanges. Other things to note are, try a smaller test payment first if you plan to transfer large sums – it may cost you a little more in fees but will be worth it for peace of mind.
If you do need to contact support, make sure you provide them with enough information to be able to help you first time. Include wallet addresses, times of transactions and any other information you think they might need to help speed up the process.
The Move to Malta In March 2018, Japanese Newspaper Nikkei reported that Binance was trading in Japan and not following their official regulations. This caused some turbulence in the markets until Binance made an official announcement that they were going to be moving operations to the crypto-friendly island of Malta in Europe, stating :
After reviewing several different locations, the company decided to invest in the European nation due to its existing pro-blockchain legislation and the stability that it offers financial technology companies through its regulatory framework.
This is good news for the company and they even received a warm welcome from the Prime Minister of Malta on Twitter. Binance also announced that they were in talks with Maltese banks with the goal of providing Fiat transactions, meaning they can offer an on-ramp for fiat to crypto transactions in future along with fiat trading pairs on the exchange.
More good news for Binance, it seems as their profile and reputation within the industry continues to grow.
Launching a Decentralized Exchange More recent news for Binance and what seems like good news BNB holders is the fact that they are planning to launch their own Decentralized Exchange ( DEX ):
“After extensively researching decentralized exchange frameworks and analyzing existing implementations, we believe significant improvements can be made in providing Binance users with a level of trading experience to which they are already accustomed. Centralized and Decentralized exchanges will co-exist in the near future, complementing each other, while also having interdependence.”
The BNB digital asset, now an ERC-20 token, will migrate as the native token of that network and be used for paying the trading fees on the new exchange.
Launching a Decentralized Stock Exchange More good news recently for Binance is that they are partnering with Neufund to build the world’s first Decentralized Stock Exchange. Alongside the Malta Stock Exchange, they are aiming to create a regulated and decentralized, global stock exchange for listing and trading tokenized securities alongside crypto-assets.
According to CapLinked, the market cap of equity tokens alone is projected to reach $1 trillion by 2020 and thanks to the partnership with MSX, a subsidiary of the Malta Stock Exchange and Binance, Neufund will become the first end-to-end primary issuance platform for security tokens, in particular, equity tokens. It will secure ways for secondary trading of equity tokens and enable companies around the world to fundraise on Blockchain in a legal way while offering much-needed liquidity.
This is more positive news for Binance as they aim to consolidate their position as the world’s number one Crypto Exchange.
Binance Jersey Launch – Now Supports Fiat to Crypto As of 16th January 2019, Binance has announced the launch of a new Fiat to Crypto exchange named “Binance Jersey“. The trading platform is live and active and allows you to trade in fiat currencies such as euros and pound sterling, with Europe being their target market.
We have now carried out a full review of Binance Jersey, so take a look for more indepth details about the new platform.
Visit Binance Jersey »
At the time of writing they are only offering four trading pairs with more to follow soon:
BTC / EUR BTC / GBP ETH / EUR ETH / GBP Supported Jurisdictions: Argentina Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) Latvia Romania Armenia Finland Liechtenstein Singapore Australia France Lithuania Slovakia Austria Germany Luxembourg Slovenia Azerbaijan Gibraltar Macau South Africa Belgium Greece Malta South Korea Brazil Hong Kong Mauritius Spain Bulgaria Hungary Mexico Sweden Canada Iceland Monaco Switzerland Chile Ireland Netherlands Turkey Croatia Israel New Zealand United Arab Emirates (UAE) Cyprus Italy Norway United Kingdom (UK) Czech Republic Jamaica Peru Uruguay Denmark Japan Poland Estonia Jersey Portugal Customers who wish to trade in the support fiat currencies will need to carry our KYC procedures by uploading their ID documents such as passport and driving license.
Wei Zhou, Binance’s CFO released this statement about the launch :
“Expanding the cryptocurrency exchange markets with fiat currencies in the European region is opening new economic opportunities for Europeans as well as freedom from looming Brexit uncertainty where the pound and euro are also in concern. Through Binance Jersey, we want to help bridge the crypto-fiat channel for Europe and the U.K. as part of our global expansion to support broader cryptocurrency adoption”.
If you are familiar with trading on Binance, then you will feel at home on their new exchange – it uses the same engine and the trading screen is laid out in the same fashion with the option to choose between Basic and Advanced views:
Binance Jersey Trading Screen
To fund your account in fiat, you will first need to complete the KYC process, once that is done you can then deposit funds directly from your bank account by linking it from the Deposits screen. You can also fund your account with BTC or Ethereum. Once you have your account setup and bank account linked, you can also withdraw funds in fiat currency – this is great news as Binance is now able to offer a way for investors to cash out their cryptocurrencies.
We have upgraded our review scores below and we feel this is a huge improvement to Binance’s Exchange offering, if they manage to roll this out to even more countries ( USA is currently excluded) it could be a game changer as people now have an extra, regulated fiat on and off ramp for their holdings.
Buying Bitcoin with Australian Dollars On March 20, 2019, Binance announced the launch of Binance Lite Australia, the continent’s first fiat gateway to the world of cryptocurrencies which provides a secure, reliable, and easy to use way to buy Bitcoin with cash in Australia.
The cash-to-Bitcoin brokerage service operates via a network of over 1,000 newsagents across Australia, and currently allows anyone to buy Bitcoin using Australian Dollars (AUD), and there are plans to include additional digital currencies and fiat purchasing options in the future.
Users must first undergo account verification on Binance Lite, and after being successfully verified, users can place online orders and deposit cash at their nearest newsagent, in order to receive their pre-ordered Bitcoin.
The Binance Lite brokerage service is operated by InvestbyBit, an independently operated subsidiary of the Binance.com cryptocurrency exchange. The service aims to simplify the process of purchasing cryptocurrencies and make digital assets such as Bitcoin readily accessible across Australia.
Fees A 2.5% transaction fee (50% discount applied) plus GST on the transaction fee for each purchase is currently being charged as an introductory rate. Therefore, for a $50 order, the transaction fee will be $1.22 and the GST will be 10% of the transaction fee, which is $0.12. Limits The system is currently in its Beta phase, and the minimum purchase amount has been lowered to $30 with the maximum purchase amount capped at $1000. These limits may change over time and only multiples of $10 are being accepted, such as orders for $50, $60, $70 etc. Verification First time customers are required to go through a one-time Know Your Customer (KYC) document verification. When using the service, it’s necessary to follow the instruction prompts after the order page and go through the verification.
In order to complete the verification process, it’s necessary to submit 1 or 2 forms of government issued ID documents as a Passport, Driver’s Licence, or Medicare card, in addition to your residential address. Any returning customers, who have already completed KYC verification, will be sent to the order summary page directly after opening a new order.
Each account is linked to a mobile number, and users should ensure to use the mobile number provided when first completing the verification process. Anyone choosing to use a new mobile number will be required to complete the ID verification process once again.
Paying by Debit and Credit Card Binance allows users to make debit and credit card payments for cryptocurrencies via a partnership with Simplex. It’s possible to purchase Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and XRP tokens by Visa and MasterCard and the benefits of using a debit or credit card on Binance include:
Swift Transfers: Average 10-30 mins for cryptocurrency to reach your wallet Low Fees: only 3.5% per transaction or 10 USD, whichever is higher Convenient: Visa and MasterCard accepted In order to purchase the supported cryptocurrencies with a debit or credit card, users can first go through the official instructions page and then visit: https://www.binance.com/en/creditcard
Binance Launchpad and Initial Coin Offerings (IEOs) Binance Launchpad is the exchange’s token launch platform that aims to connect blockchain projects with the greater cryptocurrency community and enable projects to raise funds while interacting with Binance’s significant user base. In December 2017, the BREAD and GIFTO projects were able to hold successful token sales on Binance Launchpad and projects such as BitTorrent and Fetch.AI have also held successful launches in 2019. The platform makes use of the exchange’s native BNB token and rewards users for holding the token as well as allowing it to be used to participate in token sales.
Read: What is an IEO?
How Token Offerings Work on Binance Launchpad The ability to part in token offerings continues to attract a significant amount of users to Binance and it’s necessary to go through a number of steps in order to get used to the Launchpad platform. Anyone interested in a project should first go to the Binance Launchpad website and click on the project page and thoroughly research any of the projects on offer. If not already done, it’s also necessary to complete your Binance account verification, as token sales are carried out in compliance with the regulatory requirements in supported user jurisdictions.
The Lottery System Binance Launchpad operates a lottery system which sees that the number of lottery tickets you can claim being dependant on the amount of BNB tokens you hold in your Binance account over a 20-day period leading up to the day of the lottery, with a maximum of up to 5 tickets per eligible account.
The 20 days leading up to the lottery draw date is represented by X below, and by example, 100 ≤ X < 200 means that your BNB balance over the entire 20-day period is kept at 100 BNB or more, but does not exceed or reach 200 BNB.
A snapshot at 0:00 AM (UTC) each day records each user’s BNB balance, and should your BNB balance drop below the minimum balance required on any given day during the 20-day period, they will be put into the lower threshold. For example, if User A holds 301 BNB for 19 of the 20 days but their balance drops to 299 BNB on one day. They will move to the lower threshold and only be eligible to claim 2 lottery tickets.
Before the actual lottery date, users are given a 24 hour period to select how many lottery tickets they wish to enter, with the maximum number based upon their BNB holdings over the previous 20 days. Here, if a user submits an entry of 5 tickets and 2 tickets end up winning, they are committed to pay for 2 ticket allocations (in BNB) for the tokens.
Each lottery ticket has a unique number with multiple lottery ticket holders, obtaining tickets with consecutive numbers. For example, when claiming 5 tickets, the tickets may be numbered 100010, 100011, 100012, 100013 and 100014.
Once the 24 hour period ends and all tickets have been fully issued, Binance begins to randomly select multi-digit numbers. These are matched against the tail digits of all issued tickets in order to determine the list of winners. The selection process continues until the maximum number of winners are matched, and the respective BNB is deducted from each winning user’s balance, as soon as they are deemed a winner.
Binance announces the maximum number of potential lottery ticket winners, and the allocation amount corresponding to each winning ticket in advance.
Conclusion Currently, the matching engine of the exchange is capable of processing approximately 1.4 million orders each second, hence making it one of the fastest exchanges available on the market. Additionally, the exchange works on all forms of devices, including web, Android, WeChat, and HTML5. Non-English speakers will be happy to know that Binance offers multiple-language support in Chinese, English, Korean and Japanese.
Based on everything that has been outlined so far, Binance is undoubtedly the leading Cryptocurrency Exchange and offers great fees and awesome digital currency support. As it reportedly has access to abundant resources and partners, chances are that Binance will continue to evolve and offer great digital currency exchange services to its clients. We are happy to recommend Binance and have added it to our list of the Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges.
Update, April 2019: We have continued to update this review since Binance was first launched ( we were one of the first to offer a review of the platform at the time ). And as time has progressed, time and time again Binance have proven to be one of the very best, if not the best, exchanges available. Their CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ for short) has been part of the cryptocurrency community and shown high standards of integrity. Binance the exchange has continued to innovate, bringing new products to market and new options for purchasing and trading cryptocurrencies to all corners of the globe. Read w/ Proper Formatting & Illustrations
My name is Kristina Semenova, I am the Head of Investors Relation Department at Platinum, the world’s number one business facilitator.
Our team knows how to start ICO/STO in 2019!
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But what is the difference between ico and sto? What is the cornerstone of ICO marketing strategy? You will know this after finishing the UBAI courses!
Here’s just a quick preview of our Short Course lesson.
Real World Examples
Multinational accounting firm Ernst and Young found that $400 million of the $3.7 billion USD raised from ICOs (as of January 22, 2018) had been stolen. That is, up to 10% of all ICO funding is virtually being stolen from investors. Though ICO scams are the most common method of theft in the crypto world, some projects will actually operate for a period of time before disappearing with the money. Like in a Ponzi scheme, an exit scam may be planned for later, sometime after a manipulated pump; or some other time the team believes is most opportune to take the money and run. Giza: Giza marketed itself as a platform within which different cryptocurrencies could be stored securely. But after raising $2.4 million in one month, the team deleted the website and stopped replying to emails. Investors were duped by a very convincing whitepaper, and actors had been hired to appear in photographs promoting the project. No investor funds have ever been recovered. Centra: The SEC put an end to fundraising for the Centra ICO and charged the founders Robert Farkas and Sohrab Sharma with orchestrating a fraudulent ICO after they raised $32 million USD. They were promoting the ability to develop financial products backed by VISA and Mastercard, though it was later found that neither partnership was real. One of the major red flags in the Centra project was the use of celebrity endorsements for publicity, reportedly paying champion boxer Floyd Mayweather a significant sum to promote their project. Who wants to leave their Blockchain investment decisions up to Floyd Mayweather, regardless of his unbelievable skill as a boxer and regardless of his own financial success? He should still not influence where you invest your money!
Ponzi Schemes: Bitconnect: This is the most infamous Ponzi scheme in the history of cryptocurrency, and certainly the most damaging. Bitconnect was a Bitcoin-based project that rose to an all-time high of $463 per token on the back of a fictitious trading bot. The Bitconnect scam operated by paying dividends to users, proportional to the number of tokens they held and the number of referrals they made. The BCC tokens were exchanged for the users’ Bitcoin, and the highly sophisticated and wildly successful trading bot would trade BTC for them and distribute profits as dividends. The value of the dividends offered was approximately 1% of the initial investment per day. In other words, that is approximately 3,780% per year in cumulative gain! The referral system was capitalized upon most heavily by many of the biggest crypto YouTube channels, including CryptoNick and Trevon James, both of whom are now under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Shortly after the Bitconnect Token reached its all-time high, they received cease and desist orders from the security regulators of Texas and North Carolina, which caused the owners of the Bitconnect exchange to shut down operations, and the price to plummet.
Davorcoin: Davorcoin was a lending platform very similar to Bitconnect. And Davorcoin was farcically promoted by the same Trevon James crypto Youtuber who promoted Bitconnect, and is currently under investigation by the FBI for promoting Ponzi schemes. The Texas State Securities Board, in likening Davor to Bitconnect, stated that “DavorCoin is telling investors they can earn lucrative profits by investing in a lending program based on a new cryptocurrency known as davorcoin. Investors allegedly purchase davorcoin and then lend it to DavorCoin”. Davorcoin promptly plunged from an all-time high of $180 to very close to zero after a cease and desist order was made against them on the 2nd of February 2018. Useless Ethereum Token: Despite brazenly stating in the name of the project that the token has no use, the UET managed to raise $340,000 in its crowdsale, and saw a significant pump of over 300% on the HitBTC exchange in February of 2018. The scam was an obvious case of pump and dump, with the total trading volume for UET crashing back down to as low as $3 per day, after reaching as high as $350,000 per day during the pump.
It is currently an unfortunate consequence of the decentralized nature of cryptocurrency, but there is a distinct lack of recourse for scammed investors. It is wise to become as well-acquainted with the various indicators of good and bad ICOs as you possibly can. In weighing the factors that will allow you to avoid expensive mistakes, ask yourself in whose favor are the terms of the ICO slanted, yours or the teams? To what extent are you actually likely to profit from this investment? Cryptocurrency is inherently a grey area, whether you are investing in it or not. Investing is another inherently grey area, no matter what the area or object of investing might be. Laws and regulations are not always able to keep up. Trying to define and prove what was or was not a scam is not likely to be as simple as the scammed investor would want it to be. A project can be set up in certain ways to avoid being technically classified or provable as a scam, but the unprepared investor can still be burnt or scammed just as badly. Now we look at more individual indicators that can help you form a valid impression whether or not an ICO or even a fully-fledged exchange-listed coin is a scam or a bona fide investment opportunity.
Contrasting Scam & Legitimate Projects
Presale Bonus/Token Release If the ICO allots massive bonuses to team members, you may leave yourself open to getting dumped on by presale investors if you buy when the project tokens are listed on an exchange. Likewise, if the project has a short lock-up period for developers and founders, you run the risk of them selling as soon as the token is listed on a major exchange. The token release schedule for the founders of a worthwhile project should show long-term team commitment to that project. The Jibrel Network team tokens will be locked up for 5 years before release, and they had no early investor bonus in the main sale. Both of these factors instilled confidence in the JNT ICO investors, and the tokens were sold out weeks before the ICO was due to end. No Presale lock up If Presale investor tokens are not locked up at all for any period after listing, that could easily be a set up for an exit scam after the initial listing. No presale lockup for early investor tokens is a crystal clear warning, the project may be fatally rigged toward those in the inner circle, with little commitment to the long term health or success of that project.
Unsolicited Offers or Unasked for Additions to Groups Characters running scam projects will often add you to Telegram groups out of the blue or send you unsolicited emails with information about their project. Telegram is the most widely used messaging app in the cryptocurrency community and you should familiarize yourself with it to keep yourself in the loop for specific projects in which you invest as well as all kinds of other relevant crypto info. You can adjust the settings on the Telegram app to disallow anonymous additions to cryptocurrency projects if you find yourself bombarded with offers by scammers. Reputable projects at the ICO stage will spread by word of mouth, or by eloquent and meaningful articles posted on their Medium page. A project with serious potential does not need to actively seek participants for their ICO like that. They will often be able to fill their ICO hard cap in a matter of hours, or even just minutes!
Alarm bells, again, immediately, if the project has minimal online presence. The individual team members could be mere fabrications. The entire project could be a farce by utterly inexperienced characters. What if the project leaders are simply unaware of the importance of a strong social media profile? That in itself would be too strange to ignore. Top-level projects will have team members with experience in crypto and the LinkedIn accounts for those members will be easily accessible right there on the project website. You should be able to easily see and evaluate each individual’s experience in their field and ascertain what they bring to the project team. Bitconnect’s anonymous team should have been the only deterrent prospective investors needed to discourage them from putting money into that doomed project. Ethhorse, a current project with anonymous founders and operators should be steered clear of at all costs for the same reasons.
The subreddits or Telegram groups of scam projects will often feature moderators that do not allow any kind of criticism in the group chat. If, in the process of your due diligence, you encounter didactic admins that only wish to silence your questioning of certain aspects of the whitepaper or mechanism of the tokenomics
, you should be concerned. Similarly if you see a coherent critical reply attacked by many different users who refuse to engage the substance of the point being made, that may be a subreddit infested with bots. Projects that have nothing to hide will allow free debate in the chat. Ideally, they hope to develop a positive community that is itself an asset to the long-term success and overall strength of the project. Good projects do not need to automatically brand all criticism as Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD).
One common tactic of scammers is to produce a whitepaper that uses too many buzzwords, and deliberately obfuscates and overcomplicates the explanation of the problem and/or its solution. A good whitepaper clearly and concisely lays out the problem and answer, as well as provides compelling arguments why a Blockchain solution is preferable to the current solution. Another point of concern is a whitepaper that gives unrealistic time frames and goals. Bitconnect’s almost comically optimistic profit projections are a prime example of this, as are the 1,354% yearly gains promised by Plexcoin. Respectable projects will set out development timescales in terms of quarters or years, rather than offering immediate profit projections, which are simply a red flag.
Advisors/Connections in the Cryptoworld
The most prestigious projects will already have partnerships made before the ICO stage, and the worst ones, i.e. the scams, will not mention any such partnerships. Icon (ICX) for example was spawned from a South Korean project named The Loop, a collaboration between 3 Korean universities and the DAYLIFinancial Group. They boasted an advisory panel consisting of the legendary investor Don Tapscott, Jehan Chu and crowdfunding expert Jason Best. On top of a solid team of advisors, good projects will also be visible at major Blockchain events such as the Consensus, and the World Blockchain Forum, etc. Scam projects will be unable to inspire this same level in confidence. As an investor, you should sense a certain presence and expect a certain feeling of trust that should guide you in your investments. After all, it is actually a people-to-people thing you are doing.
Key Stress points upon the Timeline to Identify Scam Projects Post Whitepaper Release The period in the immediate aftermath of the release of the whitepaper can also be decisive in establishing the validity of a project. How a team copes with the roadmap that they have laid out for themselves is key. Valuable insight into the operational efficiency and commitment to the project can be gleaned from the quality of and amount of code committed to GitHub. If you have any experience in computer programming you can see how clean and orderly the code is, which gives insight into the skill of the developers, and in turn the quality of project leaders’ decision-making in hiring team members. Scam projects will have little or no code committed to GitHub, or at best it will be copied and pasted from other projects just to cover their tracks. Start of ICO Sometimes, a scam project, or other project in which you would be better off not investing, will change the terms of the ICO just before the ICO starts. The Key (TKY) ICO doubled the price of tokens on the day before the ICO was due to take place, because the price of NEO had risen so drastically. Currently, the TKY token price is still only half of its ICO price. Initial investors are faced with the prospect of a 50% loss on their investment.
Some particularly greedy scammers will create a scam project with the intent of selling tokens in the ICO for BTC and ETH, and then pumping and dumping their share of the tokens immediately after listing. The team of fraudsters behind Monero Gold used this method after the crowdfunding of their useless ERC-20 token. After listing on CoinExchange.io, the team dumped their tokens until the exchange finally ceased trading. Although it is not uncommon for ICO tokens to sold after listing (just like can happen with shares of stock after an IPO), if the price does not stabilize and massive sell walls are continually placed, a scam is likely taking place and the token is being dumped.
Fake Ethereum Twitter giveaway
You may have noticed Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin’s twitter handle has been changed to Vitalik “Not giving away Eth” Buterin in recent months. This is because a group of devious scammers had created fake accounts with almost exact replicas of his profile (deviating by only one character). The fake accounts promised to deposit 1 whole ETH for every 0.1 ETH the potential sucker deposited into the wallet address provided by the scammer. These fake account “Ether giveaway” scam tweets were set up to be sent in just a matter of seconds after the real person tweeted, and usually always appear immediately after the tweet of the real public figure. Fake bot profiles then came into play, thanking the fake Vitalik, or fake Elon Musk, for holding up their end of the bargain and depositing the ETH as promised. One scammer, or group of scammers, managed to fill a wallet up with almost $20 thousand worth of ETH, which they transferred out, never to be seen or heard from again.
Effect of Scam Customers, Upon the Affected Parties
Of course, this is no fun for the targeted public figure either. They need to take steps to avoid being targeted again. This will mean changing their handle, their username, or making their accounts private. However, the injured party with whom we are most concerned is the unfortunate scammed social media user, who has no chance whatsoever of getting his or her funds back, ever. It is a harsh lesson to learn. But it is a fact of crypto reality. Nearly every one that trades crypto will at least be exposed to frauds or scams in one way or another. In this case, we think it is better to learn about scams by studying them, rather than learn from your own unfortunate and expensive experience. In the case of Mr. Buterin, these incidents were awful public relations for the Ethereum project. It had only been a few years since cryptocurrency as a whole was primarily associated with criminality and seedy transactions on the Darkweb. Any connection with unscrupulous behavior is best avoided at all costs. Negative associations could have been particularly damaging for Ethereum’s brand because the vast majority of ICO fraud is committed using the ERC-20 token as the template for the scam tokens.
Any and all the scamming or fraudulent behavior in the cryptocurrency ecosystem is bound to have a negative impact on the speed at which mainstream uptake finally takes place. Cryptocurrencies, as an emerging asset class, will be painted in the worst possible light. Crypto is aiming to, and is in fact in the process of, causing great disruption in traditional centralized finance and business. Mainstream media organizations are also part of that traditional centralized economy. Press coverage will be damning. Something is happening here, but Mr. Jones doesn’t know what it is.
Legal Recourse for Scams
We clearly understand, there is a possibility of being scammed. We know the scams are happening. The SEC has made some arrests and actually charged people for operating fraudulent ICOs. But it is a struggle to deal with the flood of ICOs coming from anywhere at any time. The SEC filed charges against two founders of a purported financial services startup for orchestrating a fraudulent ICO that raised more than $32million from thousands of investors. As you know from the ICOs we have covered so far, the lack of regulation allows for direct contact and dealing between the entrepreneurs, business owners and potential investors. While we believe this is a blessing according to the founding principles of Bitcoin and other alternate Cryptocurrencies, because it frees us from traditional roadblocks, middle-men, and all kinds of time-consuming procedures; it also leaves investors in a place where there is often little to no hope of ever recovering funds lost in fraudulent schemes.
Actions after a Successful ICO
Good post-ICO practice is characterized by stringent security, well thought-out legal strategy and clear communication. Many projects have paid the price in damage to their reputation for failing to adequately guard customer information, leaving themselves open to phishing attacks by fraudsters. Investors in the Enigma project had half a million dollars stolen from them; and a whopping $8.4 million was defrauded from investors in Veritaseum via phishing attacks. After a successful token distribution, the team’s main focus is initially on switching the enterprise from one primarily focused on fundraising, to superficially at least, a fully-fledged, functioning business. This involves removing most of the token sale-related content from their main webpage, sending newsletters to all successful ICO participants, and sending refunds to those who may have missed the deadline or the hardcap. Then, with the stressful and complicated fundraising stage finally concluded, a portion of the funds raised can be assigned to fuel the growth of the project community. This can involve hiring community managers, forum admins, and social media managers to outsource the job of keeping investors in the loop. The founders can focus on growth strategy and product development. The cultivation of a thriving and energetic community is extremely important. The community will give you free marketing for your product and your business. Community members who believe in the project, and are engaged by professional moderators, can give you very effective promotion to other prospective investors. Communication with community members is a great way to test ideas and gauge sentiment related to various aspects of your project.
The project leads must set aside adequate funds for lawyers. The project will need to address potential future or imminent problems with regulators, at the very least. The transition from fundraising project to full-fledged business can be incredibly challenging, and even more stressful than the ICO itself. The main thing to remember is that your pre-sale and ICO investors are not just silent investors waiting for a return. They are the early adopters of your solution, of your product; they are the community and promoters of your project; and they are the individuals with a vested interest in the financial success of your venture. The ICO environment is not as heavily regulated, so quarterly and/or semi-annual reporting is not required the way it is in the traditional world. That means your own style of effective communication about the progress and key developments on your project matters even more. In the ICO world, you communicate with your press releases, social media, and Medium posts. You also communicate by the very nature of your relations with your exchange, and relationships with your cornerstone investors. Effective communication and good business relationships can play a prominent role in the success or failure of your venture (by token liquidity and valuation).
If your investors start to lose interest, and stop trading your token on the exchange, liquidity will dry up and cause increasingly volatile price swings. You need to keep certain things in mind, and follow effective practices to maintain a happy and motivated community.
Social Media & Medium
In addition to your website, your social media & Medium blog most likely formed a significant part of your ICO preparations. Your purpose pivots after the ICO from one of promotion to one of communication. Consistent, informative and material Medium blogs, also Facebook and Twitter updates, ensure that investors remain engaged and well-informed of what the company is up to. Frequent activity in this space makes investors feel much more comfortable. You can foster a kind of organic community expansion that is consistently advertising your project to potential new members.
Cornerstone Investors & Exchanges
As we mentioned, your relationship with investors in the ICO world is different from that of the traditional silent IPO minority equity partners. Consistent, Transparent & Honest communication is incredibly important here. Even if an ICO is struggling to overcome a problem or whatever issues are occurring, honest communication from the team is key to business survival. You should think of and treat your exchange like a business partner too, a very important one at that. Exchanges provide liquidity for you and your investors. That liquidity is like the blood for your business. Many top exchanges demand nothing less than absolute honesty and integrity, it is imperative to maintain strong and comfortable relationships with exchanges. Everything we have said so far, also applies to your Telegram channel and forums too. These give you another great opportunity to build a thriving community. Team members and investors can enjoy lively debates in their Telegram channels. This can be constructive discussion, or critical commentary too. But it is always valuable as a direct link between the team and the community. It is always good to know how people are feeling and what they expect from you and your project. You are able to use your Telegram channel and forums to consistently adapt your marketing and communication strategy. Keep your investors as happy and comfortable as possible, and you will be more likely to attract new investors and allocations. Other forums around the internet operate more or less in the same manner as Telegram.
After a successful funding round with the hardcap reached and time to spare, legal counsel has been secured, and the community is flourishing, the team will prepare for their first listing by paying the exchange fee and waiting for the announcement by the exchange. Unless they are willing to pay exorbitant fees for an immediate listing on Binance for example, teams will usually settle for an initial listing on a second-tier exchange. The fee charged by an exchange depends on many different factors that we will cover in more detail in the next section.
ICO Company actions after a Successful ICO
Real World Case Study
The Basic Attention Token (BAT) project, when used in conjunction with the Brave Browser, allows users to pay micro-fees in BAT to their most-used sites. The idea was conceived by Brendan Eich, the inventor of Javascipt and former CEO of Mozilla Firefox. Investors absolutely pounced on it at ICO and the project raised an amazing $35million in under 30 seconds. The BAT/Brave project has delivered on time on nearly all of its targets, helped in no small part by having a working product, the Brave Browser, for over a year before the token launch. The project secured a listing on the premier exchange, Binance, in November 2017.
A project can suffer through a disappointing funding phase and, for example, fail to reach 75% of its hardcap. The team will be only partially funded. Though they may be able to initiate the project, the value proposition of the token has been compromised, potentially forever. The market has spoken. There is limited faith in the team’s ability to complete or carry out their project. Failure to reach a hardcap is a serious obstacle on the project road map. This will mean massive revisions to the timescales for development and listing. Such a project may have to be content listing on decentralized exchanges for a period of time and they will lose any post-ICO hype that could have helped the project price to “moon” early on. There is less money to be allocated. Each section of the business will be underfunded compared to the original plan. There can be delays in code development, exchange listing, marketing and community development as well.
Calling the Tezos ICO a disappointment might seem strange considering they raised over $232million. But this open-source, smart contracts fintech platform became a victim of its own success post-ICO by devolving into multiple class-action lawsuits between the founders and its foundation chairman. They suffered from a distinct lack of clearly defined roles and expectations on key positions. There was infighting at the boardroom level. This all caused an as yet unresolved delay in listing and development. This is also one example why a capped ICO can be more desirable for investors than an uncapped ICO. If the team have a set amount of capital to work with, an amount that isn’t absolutely ridiculous, like in the case of Tezos, perhaps the resultant greed and discord is less likely. Although it may not be so easy for speculative investors to make a profit from an uncapped ICO with such a massive initial market cap, it is a very impressive feat of fundraising nonetheless. Tezos’s post ICO market cap of $232million is already 64th of all projects, and would have to perform brilliantly on listing to maintain this position.
Company actions after a Failed ICO
Failed ICOs can mean either fundraising initiatives that have failed to reach the softcap and will therefore not be economically viable, or fraudulent projects whose sole intention was to steal from investors and do an exit scam. We’ve already covered scams and fraud projects in detail, but what happens when an ICO just fails to raise the requisite funds? Projects that are legitimate, with honest founders and developers, refund the ETH or BTC deposited by investors as quickly as possible if the softcap is not reached. The same process that is followed by ICOs that are oversubscribed is employed by those that have failed to raise enough capital. The process of returning funds back to the sender ideally should take a period of days, but more likely will take a few weeks. The Sappy Network, advised by Dan Tapscott, failed to come anywhere near to their funding goals. They are currently in the process of sending all investor funds back to the wallets from which they came. The statement from the founders read as a textbook example of how you should react to failure with the founder stating “In the spirit of transparency and honesty, we are sharing with the community that we did not reach the soft cap, and thus we will be honoring our terms and conditions and returning the Ethers to all contributors”
A bottleneck developed in the ICO market after the explosion of crypto prices in 2017. There was a massive increase of ICO teams on all stages along the pathway from start-up to fully listed crypto asset. Certainly, a huge part of the value proposition for both the token and the project depends on securing a listing on an exchange. It is precisely the liquidity of the token as a valuable asset on a free market exchange, that determines or even defines its value. The liquidity is what makes tokens attractive to investors, but that liquidity simply does not exist without a platform for the exchange. Unfortunately for new projects, the balance of power is heavily weighted in favor of large centralized exchanges that can pick and choose which tokens to list, and the timescale within which listing will occur. Each large exchange has its own list of pros and cons as well as its own specific procedure for coin/token listing. They also have their own particular ethos regarding the type of projects they prefer to list. ERC-20 tokens will be available for trade immediately on decentralized exchanges (IDEX Forkdelta) but those platforms are generally quite low volume, and certainly not a long term solution. Projects must often pay huge fees to be listed on the larger centralized exchanges. At first those fees will be prohibitive. The usual route is to initially list on a more reasonably priced smaller exchange like Kucoin or Gate.io.
Major centralized exchanges have the power to list anything they want, and they also each have a unique structure that projects must adhere to if they wish to be listed. Each potential new listing will undergo a rigorous examination by the exchange operators to test the feasibility for listing the token. An exchange will likely have forms available on its website that you can fill out to give them all the necessary initial information. If a particular project and token qualify for listing, the team will invariably be put under a NDA, Non-Disclosure Agreement, to avoid any insider trading or other regulatory problem
s. In the case of larger exchanges like Binance, there is a period within which owners of a newly listed coin or token can transfer them to the exchange in preparation for trading. This is a fantastic opportunity for traders to make use of the likely pump that occurs after a new token is listed on a large exchange. It is common to see up to 100% increases on the first day of trading, and a subsequent dump of up to 50% or more can follow. This allows traders holding the coin already, to sell for a good profit, and maybe buy back in at a much lower price too, if they think that is a good idea.
There are no definitive figures available to the public regarding fees that major exchanges charge new projects to list. Binance, Bitfinex, Kraken and Bittrex have all been quoted as saying that they do not charge any fee at all but this is almost definitely untrue. Knowledgeable industry insiders estimate between $500,000 and $1,000,000 USD for listing on a top-tier exchange. (There have been more rumors of 7 figure exchange listing fees since January 2018 too). This figure will vary greatly from project to project. Various factors can affect how an exchange determines the fee for a particular project. These are some of the most important ones: Market Maker Service Required Whether or not the client project requires liquidity services directly from the exchange, or can connect proprietary ones via API, will lead to a huge reduction in listing cost.
Type of Token (ERC-20 NEP-5 or DAG) Not all tokens are created equal in the listing process. ERC-20 tokens and BTC based tokens have code architecture that will almost certainly be preferred by the exchange. NEO based tokens (NEP-5) such as Ontology will be far most costly to integrate because separate new wallets have to be built to facilitate NEO transactions. The costs involved in integrating Direct Acyclic Graph projects such as Nano into the exchange structure are even worse. Expected Daily Volume Exchanges derive their profits largely from transaction fees and withdrawal fees. The trading volume a new token is likely to bring in will have a great influence on the computation of the exchange listing fee. Exchange Listing Procedures Evaluation Different exchanges have different rules for new listings. A new project must of course abide by specific rules for that exchange before they are allowed to list there. There are procedures that must generally be followed for the most noteworthy exchanges. You can get a good idea of the hurdles to be overcome before listing can take place.
Ongoing relationship with Exchanges
Exchanges, usually Huobi or Kucoin, will sometimes make it essential for newly listed tokens to engage in “trading competitions” after listing. Competitions can last between 2 weeks, or a month or more, aiming to increase the trading volume for that token, thereby increasing trading fees collected by the exchange, and giving the project extra publicity too. The whales may have made a nice profit already and be very happy about it; but the project token can still get stuck in a long period of stagnation and a loss of post-ICO hype. Once a coin or token has been successfully registered for trading on a particular exchange, the project must focus on maintaining regulatory compliance and paying things like annual maintenance fees too. Exchanges can investigate and delist coins or tokens to see if they have fallen below a certain standard set by the exchange. The exchange is concerned about such things as: an extended period with an extremely low volume; a team member connection to an exit scam; or other such immoral/illegal behavior.
Post ICO Company Evaluation
After a presumably successful ICO, the necessary funds have been obtained, and the real business, the real team challenge is now, to bring the project to life as a bona fide disruptive Blockchain endeavor! The core advantage of the ICO method of funding business startups is the lack of regulatory hurdles to navigate with regards to fundraising and fund allocation. The funds that have been raised have, in effect, been freely given to the project leads to do with what they will in a no-strings-attached transaction. Of course, there are still strings attached in that the team are tasked with making that money grow for the investors. But there is no regulatory oversight of the process. The regulatory freedom is a double edge sword. It gives a good team freedom to work however they want; and it also allows for unscrupulous thieves to use the ICO process to defraud investors of their ETH and BTC.
Advantages of being Post ICO From Investor Perspective
You should have little to fear in terms of fraud from a project in which you have invested, if you have done your due diligence correctly. You can expect the tokens to be distributed, and the exchange listing to take place as expected. And you know your project is totally legitimate. There are different ways to think about your ICO tokens after the crowd sale has concluded. If you are a speculative investor looking for a quick flip, you can gauge the correct moment and sell anytime you like, assuming the ICO has been well-received by the markets.
From Team Perspective
The post-ICO period is, from the point of view of the team, a period where stress and responsibility for the safety of investor funds is passed, in the form of ICO tokens, from the team to the investors themselves. This responsibility for tokens is replaced with the stress of building the actual company itself, and succeeding in the business as planned. A small portion of the responsibility for the project’s success is also passed on to the exchange that has listed the tokens. This is especially true if market makers have been employed by the team or the exchange to provide liquidity. After the ICO has concluded, all funds are released to the project team immediately, so they can start building their business brand, and tackling each step on the road map right away. The freedom with which startups can operate is one of the main reasons behind the explosion in Blockchain businesses in 2017. With the ICO funds safe, and money being put to work on various areas essential to the growth of the project, and the tokens already distributed to investors, the risk of fraud is greatly diminished. If KYC and Anti-money Laundering procedures have been followed correctly during the ICO phase, the risk of phishing attacks and theft will also be marginal now. At any rate, with tokens safely delivered to all participants, the responsibility has passed from the team to the investor.
From Team Perspective
The release of all funds and the freedom to allocate them with no supervision, as cited above, is certainly a tremendous advantage empowering the team to fulfil the entire breadth of their vision unimpeded. But it does have its drawbacks. If there is a mistake made in the allocation of funds, or an unforeseen problem arises, there is nowhere to turn to, and no means of generating further money via crowdfunding. The ICO is over; it is finished. The project simply has to work with what it has. Your community can sometimes turn against you when the market is going down. Times like that just add to the already intense pressure of presiding over a startup Blockchain business.
The DAICO, or Decentralized Autonomous Organization Initial Coin Offering, is a means to integrate a more specific, rigorous and regimented smart contract schedule into the ICO process. Doing so will eliminate fraudulent ICOs, exit scams, pump and dumps, and many of the other disadvantages listed above. The DAICO method, proposed by Ethereum creator, Vitalik Buterin, will merge the core concepts of both an ICO and a DAO to leverage the most relevant features of both, in order to solve the main problems in the ICO method. For example, to eliminate the risk of an exit scam, the release of funds will be spread out over a period of time, with the next allotment only being released when a certain set of parameters are met.
Buterin explains that the DAICO method will provide user protection in a manner not present in the current ICO model, ensuring funds are not misspent or used in any way contrary to the intention of investors. In simpler terms the DAICO will operate as follows: The DAICO will start with a smart contract by its executors that can set whether this is to be a capped or uncapped round of fundraising (amongst many other options) as well as including KYC requirements. After these settings have been configured, the DAICO is set into “contribution mode” and presented to the public. This stage will function identically to a normal ICO with ETH exchanged for project tokens. Once the funding period has elapsed, or the hardcap has been met, investors will have the ability to set the “tap” for the collected funds. This will set the amount per second, or amount per minute, that will be available to the executor to develop that specific portion of the project to which those funds have been assigned. If investors believe at any point that the team is misspending funds or otherwise wasting time, etc., the investors have significant options to take. Of course they could choose to release more funds to the team. But, they could also stop the tap altogether, and stop the entire ICO, by voting, and actually release all unused funds back to their own wallets from which the investment had first been made!
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