What does ICO (Initial Coin Offering) stand for?


Whenever a new industry is created, people oppose it in the beginning but gradually start accepting the same and then it becomes a revolution. The same thing happened with the internet and now it is happening with cryptocurrency. One such new vertical is the Initial coin offering (ICO).

ICO is a new vertical and many people believe that it is a fraud scheme devised to scam people and deprive them of their hard earned money. But that is not definitely the case.


What is ICO?

Initial Coin offering (ICO) as the name stands for it is the initial investment needed for starting a new blockchain based venture. It is the unique way of accumulating funds from different investors for developing a new technology and platform.

The new start-ups who set up an ICO distribute their cryptocurrencies to investors in exchange of their investment. This primary investment is seed money for the project which is used in the development, marketing, promotion and maintenance of the POC (proof-of-concept) and the product.

How does the project work?

The projects are DApps or protocols which use a specific cryptocurrency (token).


  1. Announcing on Bitcoin Talk Forum (News)

The first step in the process is that the cryptocurrency announces itself and makes its presence felt. Vital information about the cryptocurrency like the website, whitepaper, work, development, experience, purpose are all displayed in this step. The main motive is to create hype about the cryptocurrency and making people aware of their proof of concept.


  1. Getting the ICO stared on the Bitcoin Forum

The next step is announcing the cryptocurrency on the Bitcoin forum and luring early investors in the project. This reflects information regarding the ICO like timelines, the supply of tokens, the proportion of tokens, the amount of tokens used for development, the currency for investors and other necessary information for the investors is shared in this stage.


  1. Starting the Project

Once the ICO is complete, the actual project starts blooming. The token gets listed in major cryptocurrency exchanges. The investors can trade their tokens and the value of the cryptocurrencies keep fluctuating from this stage onwards.


Top Websites Accepting Bitcoins


Today, cryptocurrencies markets have gained enormous attention and every second person is buying Bitcoins. But what is the basic and fundamental use of buying Bitcoins?

Here are some of the important ways in which you can use your Bitcoins to buy the things of your choice or services which you need in your daily life. Here are top websites which accept cryptocurrencies as a mode of payment.

  1. 1. Microsoft: The giant IT hub is accepting Bitcoins in exchange for Xbox and Windows Operating system.
  2. Expedia: Expedia is a famous and popular travel company which give you a total list of flight and hotel prices for its users on demand.
  3. NameCheap: This website accepts payments in the form of Bitcoins for web-hosting services and domains.

4.KFC Canada: KFC has started accepting Bitcoins for their delicious crunchy snacks which is a sign of mass acceptance of the cryptocurrencies.

  1. Subway: The fast food franchise chain selling sandwiches, subs, salads and snacks has also started accepting Bitcoins. As these food restaurants start accepting Bitcoins, then the popularity and acceptance of Bitcoins have increased.
  2. Overstock: Overstock is an online shopping store accepting Bitcoins where a user can sell virtually anything, anywhere in the world.
  3. 7. Newegg: This website sells electronic items including computer hardware and accepts BTC as payment.
  4. Bitcoin.Travel: A user can easily book flights, hotels, tickets, cars, rentals, tours and many more travel leisure activities in BTC from this website.
  5. eGifter: It is a gifting company which accepts LTC and BTC for gifting cards and presents to your loved ones.
  6. Intuit labs: This tax preparatory Software Company helps in marinating tax and accounts of companies and individuals and accepts BTC.


Acceptance of BTC as payment can also prove to be tricky as the price of BTC keeps fluctuating in the money market and you may not get your money’s worth.

Thus, to avoid such circumstances, one should always use Bitcoins payment gateway and processers to safeguard from the market volatility of the currency.

Bitcoins are the future of currency markets and if you own a business, you should start accepting Bitcoins as a form of payment.

Shielding Yourself from Crypto Market Fluctuations


It is undeniable that the current market situation is causing some nervousness among investors in crypto. This has been mainly concentrated throughout the ranks of new investors, although even some of the more experienced have begun to express a degree of concern.

This leaves many on the outside who want to be involved, and many who are already involved in the sector, wondering how to best protect themselves in the current situation and be adequately prepared for future similar moments.

Know the Market Well

Before getting involved in any project regardless of whether it is crypto related or not, you will have performed due-diligence and at least know the basics of how to act in that market. A little akin to not studying for a school exam, failure to research is simply setting you up to fail.

There are a diverse range of resources available to collect information on the crypto and blockchain sectors. One of the best though is a new knowledge sharing platform launched on the EOS network called Trybe. This is a platform which literally incentivizes the sharing of knowledge in the crypto/blockchain fields. Besides the accumulation of knowledge, how better to learn about a market than within that exact market.

Take Calculated Risks Only

There is a time and a place for taking risks. These can pay off handsomely at times and are absolutely required in certain situations. A fluctuating market which is mostly downward trending though, is no such place to be taking risks. This is almost as true for hardened professional traders as it is for the average man in the street. You have to know when to be patient and just ride out the storm.

Be Willing to Take a Loss

Finally, it is easy to repeat something you will hear in every forum across the sector. Never invest more than you are willing to lose. This expression is still as true within the crypto market as it would have been at the very beginning of investment history.

Why an MVP is Vital to the Success of your ICO


Rome wasn’t built in a day. The same is true of your ICO project whatever it may be. Rome was built though. Every project starts out as a concept, an idea in one’s mind. The moment you plan to raise money or use the capital of others within your project, it has to be more than just an idea.

This issue has been plaguing new ICOs which have been coming on stream to raise capital, and it is what results in such a high failure rate at reaching investment targets. Investors want to see something real, something which is quantifiable for their investment. Unfortunately, many ICOs are running on concept alone which results in a plethora of problems.

Lack of Trust among Investors

This is huge. The lack of a prototype or MVP (minimum viable product) creates an environment of distrust among investors. This may be completely incorrect but many investors have a criteria they want to satisfy in order to invest in a project and a working model is right at the top of this list.

Lack of Respect in the Community

The crypto community is increasing in number and influence by the day thanks to platforms such as Telegram. Their positive feedback can prove key to unlocking the door for your ICO to achieve its investment targets. If you are operating on concept alone however, be prepared to have holes picked in your project. The issue with this is you have nothing to physically back up your claims to success besides more claims.

Motivation Moving Forward

For many projects, development of an MVP is a huge milestone. This signifies both to yourself and your target audience of investors that you are not only passionate and willing to devote time and energy to the project, but that you actually believe it can work. This ultimately means that even if you happened to fall short on your investment goals, you still have a core motivation to continue with the project.

In Summary, an MVP is becoming more and more necessary to differentiate your project and make it stand out from the crowd of others which are competing for the same investment capital.

Finding and Recruiting the Perfect ICO Team


One of the most important elements to launching your successful ICO is the existence of a successful core team. This team can be of any size so long as it performs all of the key required functions. Most people already know this, but the question comes up when starting a project. Where do you find and recruit a professional team you can trust to help you on your journey. Let’s identify a few key areas.

Deciding on Your Requirements

As with any team, you must decide on the skills you need to add in order to make the project a success. When it comes to ICOs, you will most likely need people with expertise in the areas of marketing, blockchain development, security, and legal compliance. Naturally, you should also consider which elements of these roles you can successfully fill too. Once you have done this, the search is on.

Where to Search

It may be tempting to get all of your friends on board to share in your potential success. Though this is a good strategy from a trust perspective, you should consider their professional experiences, reputations, and above all, what element of value can they provide ton investors. Forums such as BitcoinTalk and groups on Telegram can be good starting points. This is in addition to LinkedIn and employing some mechanisms to verify the quality of members.


You can go a long way toward validating the credentials of your team members by checking out their LinkedIn pages and searching through some community forums and their past projects. It is vitally important that you do perform the necessary due diligence on your own team members because ultimately, if you fail to do so, your investors will not be so blasé.

Team Management

Once the team is together, you may think the hard work is done. That is certainly not the case. If you wish to keep the project on track, you will have to maintain a continuous check on the progress of the team. This should be merely supervisory in nature and just enough to ensure they are meeting the targets you have set in terms of performance.

How Much Should You Invest in Your Crypto Portfolio


The market may be going through a bit of a tough time, but that has not discouraged people from getting involved in starting their new crypto investments. The number one thought running through the minds of many first time investors….after the thought of potential gains, is, “how much should I invest initially when I buy cryptocurrency?” Here are a few key points to consider when making your decision.

Belief in the Project

Just like any traditional investment, you should consider how much your truly believe in the mission of the project. This will ultimately determine how much you will be willing to invest. This will also influence your management strategy when it comes to changes in the market. The more you believe in the project, the more resolute you will be in your decision making. Just be sure that your trust is well founded.

Market Conditions

As we mentioned, the market is currently at quite a low point. This can present somewhat of an opportunity for you to obtain value for money on your favored tokens if you have the bravery to do so. In the long-term, this can reap dividends for you. You need to just be as certain as possible that the market has reached the bottom or that you are willing to hold on and avoid panic selling in any situation.


The single most important factor when deciding whether or not to invest takes priority over all of the other points in this article and that is to make sure you can actually afford to invest the amount which you have decided. Too many people get into investments of all kinds outside of their budget. This is usually due to a fear of missing out. You cannot afford to be one of these people. Besides everything else, this quickly clouds your judgement and has a negative impact on your trading decisions.

Cryptocurrency- What to do in a Bear Market


The current market for crypto is seemingly a world away from the situation which we found at the back end of 2017. Gone are the free flowing profits that the market of the time provided all comers. Presented with the current bear market conditions, many will wonder what to do with their current holdings and whether it is correct to continue on the crypt investment journey. What then should we consider?

Position Size

A lot of your decision making will be influenced correctly by the size of your position. Many will be happy to keep a hold of smaller amounts and wait for an uptake. That being said, those with bigger positions which were hoping, or banking on a positive return, may be in a completely different situation. Nobody can tell you what your best course of action would be, just to consider the size of your position and whether you can afford to lose it.

HODL for Better Times

If you frequent many popular crypto forums or Reddit groups, you may see a lot of enthusiasm to HODL or Hold your investment and wait for more positive conditions. This is a strategy which, if you can afford it, has historically paid off. The situation is altogether different though if you were relying on a positive return which has now turned negative.

Buy More in the “Sale”

This is another piece of advice you may often hear from online communities. Those who have been around the sector for a long time may advise you to actually increase your position size, thus, taking advantage of the reduced values in the market. This can be well heeded if you truly believe in the project and are in the investment for the long haul.

Don’t Panic

The number one most important thing that you should not do in down times is panic. This can be true of all things in life, but in this case you investments. Panic selling is never recommended. Many who engage in doing so often rebuy again when they see the market starting to recover and repeating this trend only leads to big losses. Hold out if you can. Things will improve.

Japan Looking to Ban Zcash, Monero and Dash?


According to a report that was recently released by Forbes, Japan’s Financial Services Agency, the FSA is working diligently to ban three popular cryptocurrencies within the country due to their frequent use of pirates and hackers. Still, despite this threat looming over the world of cryptocurrency, market prices remain stable.


A Tool That Promotes Piracy

The cryptocurrency that the FSA is looking to ban are Zcash, Monero and Dash. According to Forbes, anonymous sources have reported that these cryptocurrencies are extremely difficult to track making it nearly impossible for the FSA to regulate the transactions made with these currencies. Furthermore, this makes them a popular tool that can be used to abet internet piracy.

The FSA has officially ruled that these three cryptocurrencies are a safe haven for internet hackers who can easily use them to finance illegal activities such as tax evasion and money laundering. As an example, one could state the recent criminal activities that took place in Japan earlier this year when Coincheck, a massive and very popular exchange platform suffered a cyber attack that saw hackers get away with roughly 500,000,000 NEM tokens.

Another interesting fact is that Coincheck was one of the exchange sites that made use of all three of these cryptocurrencies. Then, after the hacking, due to a request from the FSA, the platform simply walked away from using Dash, Zcash and Monero.

Furthermore, the Financial Services Agency also issued at formal warning to other platforms that are looking to use these three types of cryptocurrencies. While they may still be allowed to operate, the use of these cryptocurrencies could result in a much slower approval process.


The Other Suspects

Of course, while there is no solid evidence condemning these cryptocurrencies of doing anything wrong, there are other reasons that have raised warning flags within the FSA.

After the massive heist that took place on Coincheck, another platform known as MyEtherWallet was the victim of another cyber attack that saw losses of $150,000 in Ethereum. And, according to some speculation, this sum was then traded on the Binance platform and could have easily contained the 500,000,000 NEM tokens from the Coincheck hacking.

Therefore, the Japanese government has ordered Binance to cease and desist all operations within the country’s borders. The company was also issued a formal warning that they would face criminal charges if they did not comply with the order.




Low Trade Volume

Despite the complexity of the situation, it should be noted that Zcash, Monero and Dash are far from being the most popular cryptocurrencies on the blockchain. The trio average somewhere in between 5,000 and 10,000 total transactions daily, which is paltry compared to Ethereum which records an average of a million trades per day.

ING Direct Experiments with Blockchain Technology


Blockchain is the underlying technology that allows cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin to function in the way that they do. And, although many people are still skeptical about cryptocurrency, we have seen a steady growth in the number of people who are interested in blockchain technology.

In addition to the countless start-up companies that have been using the technology, now, ING Direct has decided to begin experimenting with blockchain and is investing more and more in terms of innovation.


ING Innovative Blockchain Project

At the end of last year, ING surprised the world by announcing the release of their Zero Knowledge Range Proof project. Aimed at improving confidentiality, as well as reducing operation costs, the project was designed for institutions that have been interested in using blockchain’s public registry but have been reluctant to reveal their information to their competition.

The ZKRP project is meant to allow transactions between parties without revealing any of their delicate information. For example, it would show a sum that is within a specified range but not show the exact amount of the transaction.

According the ING Direct’s blockchain manager, the ZKRP is an effective way to disguise a transaction names, while still providing enough information to validate that the sum is sufficient to settle a transaction.

Furthermore, ING has also made improvement to the blockchain and have introduced something known as a Zero Knowledge Set Membership. The entire Zero Knowledge concept had originally been intended for uses other than number, however, the protocol can be used for a variety of different applications. For example, it would be able to confirm things such as nation’s involvement in a project by revealing that they are part of the European Nation, while not disclosing which country they are.


Getting Involved with The Blockchain Community

The Zero Knowledge is an open source project and can, therefore, be viewed by anyone who wishes to do so. This makes it much easier to find flaws in the system and to be able to improve upon them. For example, recently two developers were able to find a security flaw in the ZKRPm which allowed ING to correct this and improve their system.

This type of open sourcing is great and allows the entire global community to contribute blockchain project. Furthermore, it represents an excellent way for university students and new developers to share their ideas and opinions with the world.




ING Direct: A Blockchain Expert

To date, the bank’s efforts with developing blockchain technology have been recognized on a global scale and have made them a prominent player in the industry. Moreover, ING was recently invited to join in a workshop, in which efforts are being made to standardize the Zero-Proof Knowledge system. This, along with the company’s other effort have made them a prominent figure in the world of blockchain technology.