In a world driven by hype and FOMO [Fear Of Missing Out], it is becoming clearer every day that a diligent crypto enthusiast needs to have a litmus test for picking a token to support in a world where genuine viable projects are hard to find and good projects with long term prospects are even harder to distinguish from money grabbing 'shitcoins'.
With the recent developments where most new cryptos are hitting record lows, and new ICO Projects not living up to their hypes after the Crowdsale, it is now common for disappointed 'investors' to go around blaming the ICO promoters on Social Media, rather than blame themselves for not doing the proper due diligence to pick a most probable post-crowdsale winner before purchasing a token during its ICO.
From my extensive observation, it appeared that most crypto buyers simply bought coins during an ICO based on the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) created by the masters of the hype behind those coins. Many simply bought without understanding the post-ICO purpose of the coin, or what the token was supposed to do after the Crowdsale. When nothing happened after the ICO, as is often the case now for many ICOs, they would then jump on social media to scream bloody murder.
Recently, myself and my team just finished a tour of Africa and some parts of USA to promote the Nollycoin ICO. We organized and sponsored different conferences, did live AMA (Ask Me Anything) press meetings, and held lots one-on-one meetings with Crypto whales, little investors, and crypto millionaire wannabes of every color.
Through it all, one thing that amazed me beyond all else was that MOST token holders had NO CLUE about the underlying business or project behind the token sales they participated in.
Even stranger in my observation, was the Amazing fact that many could not tell you the value proposition of the project, its objectives or the plan of the company to disrupt the marketplace and grab a chunk of the buyers in their industry. They simply bought the ICO because several telegram or Facebook Pages they visited kept telling them to 'Buy. Hodl and buy more'. Most simply acted on herd instinct rather than objective deliberation.
Now, if most of the people I met were just teenagers or people without education, I would not have been so surprised at the level of ignorance of many of the crypto 'investors' I met. On the contrary, many of those I met were college graduates and people of some means. Yet less than 10% of them could readily articulate why they bought a coin in expectation that it would increase in value over time. Everywhere I went, very few in the crowd could tell me the name, experience and capability of the corporate managers of the company selling the coins.
The only thing most of them could point out was that the coins were recommended by 'respected' influencers when facts have proved that most of them were paid chills to create FOMO and respectability for otherwise useless shitcoins.
Beyond the so-called bogus influencers, all many crypto buyers knew was that the names of the team leaders were Russian, Chinese or Korean though they knew absolutely nothing about them. It was as if all you needed to have a successful ICO was to list names of people from Korea or China or Russia that no one could even verify with a simple Google search.
While I agree there are certainly many things to consider deciding whether the tokens of a project would increase in value over time, I think the acid test, and the most immediate evaluation criteria, should be the utility of the coin itself outside of what would happen in the crypto exchanges.
Though most crypto token owners I met didn't even know it, the reality is that if you bought a token from most ICOs, you were not really 'investing' in that company. You would not be buying shares of the company and you were not buying any security from the company.
And at best, what you were doing when you bought tokens during most ICOs was 'donating' to a project in exchange to being given a utility token or coin that legally had no real value beyond the business ecosystem controlled by the issuing company.
In order words, apart from your hope that the price of the tokens would 'moon' or rise to make you a millionaire, there is not much else you could do with the token other than enjoying the utility attached to it by the ICO company, if any.
Since no one could really predict for sure how a Crypto would perform on a crypto exchange when it finally got there, and most recent experience have shown that the prices of most tokens would most likely nose dive in the first few weeks of hitting an exchange (due to large sell offs by speculators ), it would make some sense for you to look at what other value or utility you could derive from your token, beyond the expected 'mooning' on the exchange.
As the crypto revolution continued to rev, morph and adapt to different developments in the market place, the only way to ensure your money is not being thrown into the gutter is to be sure that you could still use those tokens to get excellent value and benefits even if you could sell it for profits immediately on an exchange.
In making this determination you must ask yourself this primary question: What is value, product or service that the company selling the token with generate that will give me enough value for my cash to make this purchase worth my while?
In a world of crashing prices of tokens at different exchanges, the more opportunities you have to derive real life utilization with a token outside of the expected listing on the crypto exchange, the better the chances that you would not end up being frustrated or stranded with tokens that are useless to you.
So, you must ask over and over: IF this coin never traded on an exchange, would I still be happy that I supported the vision? If this token lost 70% of its value on an exchange, can I still use it and get value for my money elsewhere with it?
If you could not answer these questions positively after reviewing the WHITEPAPER and investing the claims of the company, then you should think twice before buying that coin.
A Recent Case-Study
Take a current ICO like Nollycoin which is the token powering a Blockchain enabled movie distribution ecosystem. The promoters of the coin have created different utility scenarios for buyers of the coin to ensure that no matter what happens to Nollycoin on the crypto exchange, their backers and token hodlers will keep smiling.
Some of the great utility attached to the Nollycoin token in the Nollytainment ecosystem include
• Ability to use Nollycoin tokens to watch exclusive movies at the cinemas and movie houses
• Ability to use the Nollycoin tokens to access 1,000s of movies on their Netflix-on-steroids blockchain Movie distribution.
• Ability to use Nollycoin tokens to purchase products and services at the NollyMall which is like an Amazon platform for entertainment-based products.
• Ability to use the Nollycoin tokens to pay for school fees at the NOLLY Academy platform and partner companies
As you can see, beyond the normal expectation that the tokens may be listed on a crypto exchange platform, you need to look beyond the hype of an ico the immediate and prospective utility of the token and viability of the underlying project behind it.