Your complete guide to making money on ICOs in 2018

So, If you have found yourself to this article, it probably means that you are interested in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. You also probably have an interest in ico’s, and want to invest in them. Or you have already invested maybe. But in this article, I will lay down the basics to investing in ico’s in 2018, and how to make any money doing it.

Before we start to get into things, and talk about icos there is a few things I have to state first. It’s really important that you understand what I am going to talk about next. I am not a financial advisor, and everything in here is my own opinion and all the knowledge I have accumulated during my time as a cryptocurrency trader and investor. You should not take this article as financial advice, there always exists a risk to lose money when dealing with cryptocurrencies. Secondly, I would like to state that I am not a professional writer. I don’t have much experience with writing articles which you will probably notice while you keep reading. But I promise I will try my hardest to write as clear and concise as possible. Okay, so with that said, let us dive into it!

Current Market State

Let’s first talk about the current state of the market. While the first cryptocurrency was created back in 2009 , there now exists 1592 as of today (Source: CoinMarketCap). Every day new “currencies” are issued, and blockchain technology has developed into much more than just as a means of payment. Today there are companies building their own blockchains specific to tackling different real world problems, and using a token is fundamental for their system to work. There are now blockchains that offer services such as smart contracts, A.I and machine learning, cloud computing, medical services, financial services, services improving government efficiency, restoring privacy, and many more other services in different applied areas.

And let’s talk a little bit about the market these past months. While we had a bullrun in the cryptocurrency market in the latter half of 2017 which saw Bitcoin shoot up to $20,000 and made the masses more familiar with cryptocurrencies, there was another craze within the blockchain world that did not make as big of a headline as the Bitcoin bullrun did. That was the ICO craze of 2017 (And 2018).

What is an ICO?

So what is an ICO? Most of you reading this probably know that, but for those who stumbled across this article and don’t know what it means, let me explain shortly what it is. Ico (Short for Initial Coin Offering) is the very first token sale offered to the public by a new cryptocurrency venture. The ico investor gets tokens in exchange for funds contributed to the project. This is the way the company raises funds to build and develop a blockchain-based product. Usually an already existing cryptocurrency is used as the means of payment for investing in an ico, most popular ones are Ethereum, Neo, and Bitcoin. In some rare cases even fiat money is accepted.

What about the ico craze?

Let’s talk a bit of the ico craze. What was it? This craze was the more profitable “crypto craze” of the two ones we had during 2017. (The other being BTCs and alt-coins bullrun). And why do I say “had”, and not “have”? Well, let’s take a closer look.

A lot of us reading this have heard of the crazy and absurd money some people have made on icos. It’s not unusual to hear about people making 10x, 100x, or even more than 1000x returns on an ico they have invested in. Those people either have had the luck or was smart to pick out the right icos to invest in to get those returns. Some people might now state that those golden opportunities are long gone and over with, some might state the opposite of that. But that’s not what I’m about to argue about here, that’s for another post to talk about. I want to talk about how the ico craze is slowing down and those crazy returns getting more rare. And I want to talk about how to fight that and still make the opportunity to get great returns.

So why is the ico craze slowing down? There is different causes and opinions on this. One big factor is the current unstable market. A highly volatile and bearish market has many people on their feet, scared to invest in icos. They would rather “hodl” their funds than to invest in icos. Another big factor is the sheer amount of people that wants to invest in them. The ico craze and the crazy returns has attracted a lot of people to the ico scene. Everyday more people start to invest in icos. This has made the ico scene saturated with a lot of companies and individuals wanting to hold an ico. Many of these are bad investment, many are scams. This have made a lot of people to lose their money, and you have to be extra careful and watch out for those icos. A lot of icos get slaughtered when they hit exchanges just after they distributed their tokens to all investors, many of them debuts on exchanges at a price lower than the ico price! So this means that people actually lost money while investing in icos, even if it was a legit and good ico.

Another problem with icos are that more and more of them are choosing to skip having a public sale, they can raise the funds they want just in the private sale. This is because of many reasons. When you have a public ico, you have to use KYC(Know Your Customer) to verify each investor. This is a legal and logistical nightmare for icos. By choosing a private sale only, they can skip a lot of KYCs. This makes it easier to keep regulators away, and keeps both cost down and save time.

Gas wars is another problem with icos at the moment. Gas wars is when a lot of people are trying at the same time to buy into a ico, causing everyone to increase their gas price to extremely high amounts. Higher gas prices means it is a higher chance to get your funds prioritized and get it arrive first to the ico. This is a problem because not getting your funds sent in time before an ico reached its limit (Fund raising limits), means you will not be able to participate in the ico. This is a problem for people who wants to invest a smaller amount in an ico. It gets expensive for those people and makes it not worth it to invest in icos at all.

Solutions to the ICO problem

As a countermeasure to the ico problems, pools started to emerge and went mainstream during 2017. Pooling groups account for a big chuck of the funds collected by icos in the last year, and will continue to do so. Actually, the evidence show that pooling groups will account for more and more of the funds raised than they have done earlier. In short, pooling group will continue to be on the rise and grow. So, what’s a Pooling group?

Pooling groups are a thing where a community of investors pools their investments together to have the leveraging power of a large Venture Capital Group. This will allow the community to buy in to the private sales of an ico. That will have countless advantages over buying into public sales, and will overcome many of the current obstacles of icos that I discussed above in this post. Some advantages includes; Access to an private ico, better token price, skipping gas wars, skipping KYC, etc..

Pooling really went mainstream during 2017 and under 2018. I see more and more pools being started, and it is getting harder and harder to filter out the good groups from the bad groups. The better pooling groups are stepping up their game, becoming bigger and bigger. They are branching out to offer icos more than just funds. They are starting to offer marketing services, advisory services, and other services. The competition between pooling groups are getting tougher, and less and smaller groups are having a hard time getting an allocation from a ico to invest funds in them. Ico are being more selective than ever, making being in the right group more important than ever before. We will talk about that later down this post.

How does pooling work?

Most icos at the moment accepts funds in either Ethereum, Bitcoin, Neo, or fiat. Ethereum is by far the most usual one, that is because most ico blockchains are based on Ethereum’s technology. Those icos issue a standard Ethereum token, called ERC20.

A great tool exists to help pooling groups to invest in Ethereum-based icos. That tool is primablock (See https://www.primablock.com/). Primablock utilizes a Ethereum smart-contract for collecting Ether and distributing tokens back to investors. Primablocks Ethereum smart-contract makes sure that each investor gets back tokens that equals your contribution part. For example, if you contribute 1% of the funds sent to the ico, you get 1% of the tokens sent back to you. The Ethereum smart-contract is very safe, and it is impossible to somehow hack it or manipulate it. In other words, you can’t cheat the system, which means a fair distribution of tokens. Primablock takes out a 0.5% fee for this, and pooling groups usually adds a small % fee too. This is 100% transparent and you will always know the total fee before investing.

When pooling groups invest in icos that only accepts Neo, Bitcoin, or fiat, they have to do manual collection of funds, calculation, and distribution.

ICO Lab Syndicate

My search for an ico pooling group began this year in January. I wanted to find a honest and transparent group to invest my money with. I couldn’t just trust any group at all. I begun by joining all the groups I could. I started to lurk around and get a feel for the community. I compared the groups rigiousily, and after a while I had left most. Except for a few, I won’t mention which other than that ICO Lab Syndicate was one. I won’t mention the others, because I left them all. One after one, there was some kind of scandal or misuse of funds. I kept leaving the groups, until there was just a few ones left. And ICO Lab Syndicate had just finished their first ico pool, where the investors got the tokens in their wallet. I looked at that as a kind of confirmation that it was a trustworthy group. I left rest of the groups, I didn’t bother waiting and see if they’re legit, as I thought I had found one that was. I kept to ICO Lab Syndicate only, and I have successfully invested in their pools since, for almost 3 months now and counting.

ICO Lab Syndicate is made up by a very large group of cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiasts that invests in ico pools. It consists of over 1800(!) members as of this moment, while I am writing this post. That’s a lot of individuals compared to many of other pooling groups out there. This gives them a great advantage over other groups, as they can leverage the power of all those people. Many members means they have the ability to raise more funds for each pool, always giving them a higher bonus and discount on tokens. The number of members is not just an advantage for when collecting funds, this is applicable to when it comes to knowledge. ICO Lab Syndicates members actively have discussions and exchange of information of icos, blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. By joining this pooling group you can get to take part in a group that offers much more than just ico pools. You become a part of the community, that constantly helps each other out.

ICO Lab Syndicate operates completely on Discord. They have an well organized Discord server that is easy to navigate. They chose Discord over other social-media platforms because Discord offers a platform for which it makes it easy to manage large communities. Those of you who have experienced Discord earlier knows this very well. A link to their Discord channel will be found at the bottom of this post.

What can ICO Lab Syndicate offer you?

So let’s break down into parts what ICO Lab Syndicate offers and talk a little bit about each.

  • ICO Pools. We have already covered this part earlier. ICO Lab syndicate is pooling group that lets you collectively invest in icos. Duh, of course!
  • Masternode Pools. Yes, masternode pools. Yes, that’s a thing now. ICO LAB Syndicate have just done their first pool for that, and plans to do many more. By pooling your tokens with other people, you can reach a higher masternode level, which in return gives higher payouts.
  • Community. This is arguably the best part of the group. The community is what makes this pool so awesome to be in! Everyone here matters, every opinion is respected, and no one is more important than the next person. The community helps suggest and vote for which icos & masternodes to go for, they hold discussions regarding every aspect of the blockchain and cryptocurrency world.
  • Their network and reach. ICO Lab Syndicate have partnered with different ventures and strategic partners, reaching millions of people all over the world. This means ICO Lab Syndicate can offer icos more than just funds. They can offer them help to reach their highest potential!
  • Transparency. This is very important and unique for this pooling group. They try to be as transparent as possible to the community in everything they do. That means being transparent with funds collected, funds sent, and all that between. They have completed a lot of pools, where tokens has been sent to all the investors wallets. This is all in the open for the community to see, all the transactions can be shown by anyone in the group. They hide nothing.
  • AMAs. AMA (Ask Me Anything) is when a community gets to ask one person/entity any questions they like, and have them answered live. AMAs is held with people from the Blockchain world. That could be the CEO, CTO, or an advisor from an ICO (Or anyone else). ICO Lab Syndicate have held 2 AMAs so far, one with Safe Haven and one with Unibright. There is plans of holding many more in the future.
  • The ICO Lab Syndicate Team. ICO Lab Syndicate have a dedicated team working around the clock to make sure to get the community the best deals they can. They aim for maximizing the bonuses & discounts. They research many icos everyday, filter out the bad ones from the good ones. This is an essential and important part of this group, these guys are responsible to keep the community out of bad icos.

So what have ICO Lab Syndicate done so far?

In three months of time that the group have existed, they have completed 30+ pools with a total of 10,000 ETH invested across all the different pools. Countless hours of discussions have been held. Different opinions have clashed. Many articles have been shared. Thousands of votes have been cast. One masternode pool have been completed, 2 AMAs have been held. They have unofficially helped and advised many icos. The community have helped each other tremendously.

And all this in only 3 months. And this is just the beginning. 2018 will be a important year in blockchain and cryptocurrency world, and ICO Lab Syndicate plans to have a part in it.

Interested in joining?

ICO Lab Syndicate have opened up their group and just scrapped their 0.5 ETH join fee, for a limited time. This is to attract some new members to the group during this coming week.

If you would like to become a member of the community, you can come by and check them out. You can come and ask any questions you might have, they will be happy to answer any. No strings attached. You can leave whenever, it’s just a click away. If you don’t like what you see, it’s easy to just leave the group. If you like it however, you are more than welcome to stay.

So where and how do you join?

Here >>> https://discord.gg/XJcShyw !

That’s the link to their Discord group. You just have to join their Discord server, then you are a member of their community. Hope to see you over there!

Some last words

If you have made it all the way here, thank you for reading my post. And if you liked this post, consider following me on Medium. I will be doing ico reviews and other blockchain & cryptocurrency related posts.

Signed Spectre.