Novel ICO developments — Proof of Care as a viral marketing technique
Blockchain based crypto-currencies, tokens and assets are quickly gaining mainstream adoption and new participants, thanks to the growing popularity of crypto-tokens and asset based virtual crowd funding initiatives, often referred to as Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) or token sales.
Even with the recent shut down of Chinese crypto platforms and exchanges, there are still thousands of different tokens competing for our attention, wallet (crypto assets) and market share in the emerging (and wild) world of crypto token ICOs. Thus, differentiating one ICO from another can be very difficult, especially for the newly initiated, typical crypto enthusiast.
From an outside perspective, there appears to be very little that differentiates one team or project from another in the ICO space. Yet potential backers are forced to make important financial decisions about which project they should back.
This is often compounded by the rise of influencer marketing: a trend where popular internet celebrities, or social media influencers get paid (or are given a preferential token deal) for leveraging their exposure to market (or hype) ICO projects. For the average “investor” getting into this market, it can be difficult to compare apples with oranges, or genuinely evaluate or assess which projects are worthy to invest their hard earned crypto coins (like Bitcoin and Ethereum).
In this context, the recent announcement by the QuantStamp team of a Proof of Care approach to whitelisting (getting short listed for an ICO), provides a novel and effective direct referral model of generating referrals from genuine early adopters, without the need for external incentives (such as additional tokens, or competing interests through a bounty pool) that is commonly the model adopted for token sales campaigns.
The clever use of the whitelisting process as a vetting funnel to drive genuine engagement and referrals from the early audience may become a new model for future ICO marketing campaigns, as teams compete for the hearts and wallets of increasingly sophisticated crypto-investors. The 6000+ members of the Quantstamp Telegram channel (6200 as of 16 October 2017) indicates this has been a wildly successful campaign and I will be monitoring the ICO landscape to see who else adopts this model moving forward.
The Quantstamp value proposition, of providing a protocol to secure smart contracts, is itself an important technological development that, if realised, can help expedite the adoption of crypto-based smart contracts in businesses, governments and enterprises around the world.
DISCLAIMER: I do not work for, or have any affiliation with Quantstamp. While I intend to participate in their ICO, these are my personal opinions and you should read all relevant material before deciding to participate in their ICO. My opinions are my own and should not be taken as financial advice.