Unfortunately, scams in the ICO world are all too common. The prevalence of dishonest companies hoping to make a quick buck impacts the overall reputation of the industry. Although dishonest ICOs are relatively commonplace, there is still an abundance of companies putting forth real crypto-based solutions. Rather than merely shunning coin offerings altogether, look for these warning signs to distinguish honest ICOs from dishonest scams.
Too much fluff.
Dishonest ICOs know how to be elusive. They often use buzzy hype words and fluff content to mask the fact that their product is either not as developed as they say it is, or, nonexistent. By capitalizing on the fluff words dominating blockchain and crypto media, crypto scams have a better shot at distracting audiences and potential investors. For example, the word “revolution” has been used ad nauseam across blockchain-related media. A year ago, the printing of this word commanded attention, but now, people are already paying attention, and there’s no reason to print larger-than-life promises unless those promises are distraction tactics.
The solution doesn’t make much sense.
The range of crypto-solutions offered at the coin-offering stage is wide. From coins designed to help people retrieve health data, to coins used as loyalty points when traveling, there are no constraints regarding what a coin can or cannot do. However, some of the “solutions” put forth by these companies don’t feel like a solution to a real problem. When it comes to assessing whether or not an ICO is worth your time and money, you must first understand the purpose of the product.
AeroChain is an emerging crypto solution aiming to bring the aviation industry’s outdated and, mostly offline, data collection processes online and to the blockchain. The design and purpose of their cryptocurrency-fueled platform makes sense; by encrypting data and using the blockchain to move and access that data, the aviation industry can trust math and physics to secure sensitive business data. Coins are used for a few purposes: encrypt data, grant or revoke query access to data, and to compensate data owners when their data gets queried. The underlying data is never exposed because ZKsnarks and Zero Knowledge Proofs principles allow the entire aviation industry can connect to improve efficiency; this will enable Boeing to connect with American Airlines, who also connects with the Federal Aviation Administration; seamlessly being able to use valuable data without fraud or fear. Last year alone, the FAA spent $150 million to purchase data.
This platform is a solution to a real problem; the AeroChain team is not merely making up a coin to the ride the crypto wave. If you ever come across a coin whose purpose does not feel pertinent, you’d probably be better off walking away.
Missing Team Information
Most investors agree that the team behind the product is arguably more important than the product itself. If the website or ICO listing is missing team information, that’s a major red flag. Furthermore, if there is team information available, but the leadership lacks any real experience in either developing blockchain solutions or building a company from the ground up, you should probably think twice about financially backing the offering. When assessing the long-term viability of a crypto-project, it’s vital to look at the credentials of the individuals driving the progression of the project.
Aimedis is a smart contract supported medical ecosystem designed to improve the communication efforts between doctors, patients, and hospitals. By reviewing the details of their forthcoming ICO, it’s evident that the team behind Aimedis has the experience and industry insights to develop this project successfully. Three of the five individuals comprising their core team are MDs, and in addition to a strong founding group, Aimedis has also amassed 12 advisors. The credentials and diverse backgrounds of the Aimedis stakeholders adds to the legitimacy of the project.
A missing or incomplete roadmap
Many coin offerings come to the table without a fully-developed project. In fact, teams and products are not necessarily expected to be fully developed. However, investors expect robust roadmaps. Roadmaps offer both investors and potential users a glimpse at the overarching plans for the project; they provide potential investors with more insight into the utilization of their financial support throughout the development process.
No community building efforts or social footprint
If people are not talking about a project, it is a sign that the project may not be worth discussing in the first place. Social is a vital component of cryptocurrency growth; from Reddit forums to Telegram communities, the conversation (or lack thereof) surrounding an emerging crypto-solution not only speaks volumes about its viability but also influences on-the-fence investors. Before committing financial support to a new project, it is in any crypto investor’s best interest to survey every available social account; this will give the investor a better understanding of how people organically discuss this project and how the team sparks community engagement.
ICO scams may be prevalent at this point, but if potential investors can spot warning signs and steer clear from dishonest listings, the more these “projects” (ICO scams) will diminish from the landscape.