What does ICO Reports do?
At ICO Reports, we work hard to bring you a curated catalog of the most promising Initial Coin Offerings (ICO).
The gold rush for tokens has never been more intense. With it comes the need for a maintained, fresh list of the coins worth following. ICO Reports is a premier outlet for editorialized advice. We hope out site will be of great use to speculators in this exciting new market. If you’re a journalist, analysts and anyone spectating this market as a game of fantasy football, you’re certainly in our target audience. We’re interested in your feedback.
We aim to feature only offerings that make sense. As in any field it’s invest randomly in coin offerings. ICO whitepapers, which are technically advanced, can a risk of “The Emperor’s new Clothes” -style hype. Many people may overestimate their level of understanding of this very complex tech.
What’s an Initial coin offering (ICO) and why should I be skeptical?
First off, it’s important to remember that ICOs rarely, if ever, offer any kind of equity in the companies providing them.
ICOs lean on the good old term of IPO, Initial Public Offerings, for credibility. When an enthusiast takes on a coin offering, they receive virtual currency. The currency, also called tokens, functions within the emerging platform of the ICO startup.
Investors bet that the tokens will skyrocket in value, when the application platform grows.
Even ICOs brought forward in good faith operate in a completely unregulated market. Compare this to stock markets, which have been under the lens of regulators for centuries, following painful lessons learned under cycles of booms and busts.
So, anyone interested in ICOs would be served well by a healthy dose of skepticism. We also want to remind our readers that tech startups tend to be high-risk targets for investments as it is.
Stay informed or proceed at your own peril.
What’s the hype all about? Why should I be excited about ICOs?
Smart contracts are a subset of the interesting new things resourceful companies can build on blockchain technology. This type of mechanism is a potentially revolutionary step forward towards building decentralized, trustworthy information exchanges.
Keeping the high risks in mind, the ICOs that end up succeeding will yield high returns on investment. If approached with balance and caution, as any good financial advisor would, ICOs offer first class tickets to a Mars mission of sorts.
We encourage you to read on. If you understand the topics below, chances are you’ll come to share our excitement.
What’s a token sale?
Future networked applications and online commerce may be built on smart contracts, an offshoot of the blockchain concept.
This type of tech usually has the foundations of some kind of cryptocurrency, sometimes referred to as App Coins, or tokens. Tokens are used in exchanges, and traded for compute resources needed to offer different kinds of services.
The early days of the Bitcoin gold rush reminds us of why it might be worth jumping on ICOs. Early investors have much to win, as the value of the platform being bought into increases. With securities and stocks, investors own a small slice of a company. App Coins on the other hand are the nutrients, sunlight and atmosphere in which blockchain platforms operate.
ICO returns come from owning a slice of the tokens being exchanged in every transaction on the network.
Tokens are part of a machinery, which in simplified terms, can fund services and commerce in way that could uproot the current standard internet business models of “freemium”, which comes at the icky price of selling user information to the ad industry.
Digital currencies are not new per se, but cryptocurrencies are still a recent development. Cryptocurrencies implement advances cryptographic building blocks, like blockchains. They usually create proof of value by imposing computational expense. Blockchains also offer a trustworthy, network-wide transactional history, making it hard to manipulate the permanent record.
Cryptocurrencies got off to quite the start an anonymous programmer created Bitcoin in 2009, the first and most famous of its kind to date. Building on p2p networking, as known in the form of bittorrent, by adding high-end crypto. Participants can put computers to use for mining, performing advances calculations, proof of work, to create coin.
Bitcoin is a deflatory currency, with a limited amount of coin being intended to be mined. As the supply grows, calculations for generating coin increase in difficulty. The currency can be split in tiny parts as the value grows. The grandfather or all coins has offered nothing short of epic payback for early investors.
Naturally, everyone wants to hop on “the next Bitcoin”.
What is blockchain technology?
Mainstream media reporting would easily lead you believe that Bitcoin is all about hopping on a Tor Browser to shop for whatever naughty stuff the State tries to keep away from.
That’s far from the truth. Bitcoin is revolutionary because blockchains offer a decentralized ledger of transactions. Every hour, every node on the bitcoin network grab a list of transactions from its peers. Transactions are verified by being wrapped in cryptographic signatures, making it extremely hard to mess with any piece of Bitcoin history.
This takes us from illicit goods to huge potential world-improving scenarios for blockchains. Human civilization needs permanent records and enforceable contracts as we leap forward into digitizing and automating everything with fallible, insecure computers.
What are smart contracts and why mix something like that into currencies?
The technological details of smart contracts can rightly be described as hard to grasp abstractions. The tech is actually extremely fascinating, regardless of the level on which you understand it.
With smart contracts, p2p networks can offer blockchains that perform computer programs. Smart contracts are programmable in the sense that transactions can check for conditions and trigger events, when everything lines up. It’s bitcoin plus apps!
Everything going on in the system becomes the business of everyone, to a degree, as all nodes on the network work to keep a cryptographically verified log of transactions.
Imagine spending cryptocurrency to parts of adult life way smoother, from getting loans for cars or real estate to just getting a smartphone with a data plan. Blockchain events become a shared interest, making it possible for credit records and similar to go through quickly, when conditions match up.
Sadder parts of life, such as dealing with last wills or dissolving marriages could also become simpler, as would change management, or things like mergers in corporate settings.
Ethereum (ETH) Explained
Ethereum is a complete computing platform built on blockchains. Built on decentralized networks, Ethereum can facilitate almost any kind of transaction, along with the required computation and verification, with great geographic distribution.
Imagine a blockchain for keeping track of all kinds of deals involving goods, services and records on individuals.
The system comes with its own currency, Ether. This compensates device owners who contribute computational resources and network bandwidth.
Altcoins in a nutshell
Just like an iPhone from 2009, Bitcoin is starting to show its age. Creative types have been working on all kinds of improvements of the original concept, or new cryptocurrencies. These are referred to as Altcoins by the larger scene of cryptocurrency forums and ICO lists.
So why exactly is everyone waiting for “the next Bitcoin”?
Well, Bitcoin is a first-generation technology, which constrains itself with its base around computationally expensive proof of work, and the whole deflationary aspect.
Also, despite what some people insist, Bitcoin is absolutely not anonymous. Coins are wired between wallets, in a way that goes on a public record. Certain Altcoins are trying to solve problems like these.
Bitcoin is also becoming slow, and the community shows little interest in improving the code. Verifying transactions is on the brink of being extremely taxing on hardware.
So, naturally, people are looking for options.
Definition of DAO (Distributed Autonomous Organization)
DAOs are an emerging set of experimental methods for building organisations around blockchains. Utilizing the concept of smart contracts, DAOs define agreements for communities working together, with rules and goals.
Automatic events ensure that DAO members and their activities are measured. If built into the agreements, individuals can vote on consensus and participate in decision making.
Decentralized applications, how do they work?
Since the turn of the millennium, internet behemoth companies have combined user content and effort to create the internet landscape we use and love.
Wikipedia, Yahoo Answers, Twitter, Cafepress and Airbnb are just some different examples or how user effort can be turned into world-transforming phenomena. But these applications, even Wikipedia are highly centralized.
Diverse interests may be part of these platforms and produce nice end results (well, except for Yahoo Answers). But the logistics of these services are heavy. From building web services that can withstand the interest of the entire internet, to owning servers, buing bandwidth and paying personnel, these are massive operations. And the only feasible way of making money off of any of this, are creepy tracking and ads.
What if the next Wikipedia or Uber could be built on open source software, where transactions are bounced around a p2p network to the extent of being unspoofable. Funding could be based on Bitcoin-style currencies, deriving value from proof of work or other methods.
What these ideas have in common is that they’re funded by visionary individuals who take the plunge and invest in Initial Coin Offerings. The payoff for owning “the air” breathed by a decentralized application could be mind boggling.
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