Waltonchain, a China-based blockchain company that’s set to provide the Internet of Things (IoT) a commercial ecosystem, recently ran a promotional campaign for Valentine’s Day, that allowed lucky users to win a part of a 565 WTC (roughly $10,700) prize pool just for following the project on social media. The company released a list of over 200 winners on Twitter. These, according to a blog post, will receive 2.14 WTC tokens, while another 5 lucky winners will receive an extra 21.4 tokens. Accidentally, a Waltonchain employee revealed he was among the 200 lucky winners, while still posting from the company’s official Twitter account. To explain what happened, Waltonchain revealed through a video on Instagram that the selection process wasn’t spoofed so an employee would win the tokens. The video suggests the script selects winners at random, and merely happened to select one of the company’s employees. Many have argued the footage does little to explain the actions of Waltonchain’s employees. On Ttwitter, the company issued an apology statement to its 46,000 followers. It reads that the situation will be dealt with in a “serious and responsible way,” and that the team member’s prize has been canceled.
The Marshall Islands is set to release its own cryptocurrency called the Sovereign after the Parliament voted to approve an official cryptocurrency as legal tender, a move that could end its reliance on the US Dollar as its official currency. The Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI), a chain of 1,156 volcanic islands and islets in the Pacific with a population of over 70,000, could see a cryptocurrency as legal tender as early as this year. Speaking to Bloomberg, senator and Speaker of Parliament Kenneth Kedi revealed members voted to pivot away from its current fiat currently – the US dollar, toward an official local cryptocurrency. The government will name the cryptocurrency as the ‘Sovereign’ and will arrange an initial coin offering to raise financing toward enriching local budgets. Further, cryptocurrency exchanges will be encouraged to apply to list and trade the Sovereign, revealed David Paul, minister-in-assistance to the islands’ President.
It has always been assumed that a large number of ICOs will fail, be it at the fundraising stage or when it comes to delivering the actual project. It’s hard to settle on a precise figure, however, as most dubious ICOs don’t exit scam: they slowly tiptoe away, like a sneak thief rather than a smash-and-grab robber. Given enough time, everything withers and dies, from the most robust institutions to the most popular crowdsales. No one expected all of 2017’s ICOs to last the course. The pace at which they’ve withered and died may come as a surprise though. Tokendata, one of the more comprehensive ICO trackers, lists 902 crowdsales which took place last year. Of these, 142 failed at the funding stage and a further 276 have since failed, either due to taking the money and running, or slowly fading into obscurity. This means that 46% of last year’s ICOs have already failed. The number of ICOs that are still a going concern is actually even lower. An additional 113 ICOs can be classified as “semi-failed”, either because their team has stopped communicating on social media, or because their community is so small as to mean the project has no chance of success. This means that 59% of last year’s crowdsales are either confirmed failures or failures-in-the-making.
1. Have a clear message
If you can’t explain your vision to a 5-year-old, you don’t have a clear message. About 95% of the companies I talk to have this problem. They are smart people, surrounded by like-minded individuals who use a similar vernacular to explain their solution. By contrast, the majority of ICO investors aren’t Blockchain “experts” and are looking for a concise summary without industry jargon. Similarly, the mainstream media often has a tenuous grasp on the Blockchain concept. It’s easier for them to demonize a project they don’t understand than to sift through a poorly worded whitepaper. FUD is a symptom of misunderstanding. Formulate a way to explain your vision in three sentences or less. Strive for as few words as possible.
2. Proactively engage skeptics and influencers
If you don’t get out in front of skeptics, their voices can eclipse your marketing efforts. Inaction is one of the biggest detriments to new ICO projects. Blockchain teams often focus on building their platform and forget to build and engage their communities. If you don’t address your public early on in your ICO process, outside voices will hijack the tone and sentiment surrounding your project. Create a steady flow of information and maintain active social channels that address the media, investors and project enthusiasts. Stay engaged through your entire ICO process and address any FUD with clear, calculated responses.
3. Show your value
You must move forward with more strength than your skeptics trying to pull you back.
Demonstrated success is the quickest way to curtail the FUD cycle. ICOs that benchmark successes and broadcast wins are ten times more likely to gain and retain support. Unfortunately, many ICOs either overhype “potential” success or fail to announce critical milestones. In the first example, companies run into trouble when they prematurely announce success or tease a partnership or milestone they have yet to secure. This can destroy community trust when a company fails to deliver. In the second instance, a company that doesn’t trumpet wins will appear stagnant and lose community interest. Under promise and over deliver. Raise eyebrows in the crypto community by consistently setting goals and then publicly achieving those goals. If you can show success every step of the way, you will have no problem quashing FUD and attracting new audiences to your ICO.
The increasing ability to pay for products and services using cryptocurrency debit cards is a physical representation of the rise in crypto popularity. However, they are still relatively rare and at times complex; with so many cryptocurrencies available in conjunction with market volatility, it can be difficult for traders to know how best to utilize the contents of their cryptowallets when making purchases. Amon is a financial cryptocurrency platform that looks to solve this issue using their unique payment card which utilises artificial intelligence (AI) to ensure that users get the best value from their cryptowallets with every purchase. Their whitepaper claims that they are the only platform which enables users to use their most valuable cryptocurrencies for purchases in real time. Amon also offers their own unique Amon tokens (AMN). Amon card holders will have three purchase methods to choose from. The simplest is to instruct the wallet to allows pay with a single currency (for example, someone who is only interested in Bitcoin). The second is to personally select which of your currencies to use after swiping the Amon card. The third brings into play the unique Amon Artificial Intelligence Aystem (AAIS) which will select the best currency to use in real-time on a per transaction basis. Amon’s whitepaper uses the scenario of buying a coffee using the Amon card as an example. The AAIS algorithm will analyze the user’s cryptowallet and decide the current best performing cryptocurrency, taking into account factors such as historical data and user risk profile. The algorithm displays to the user the crypto with the highest value to them at that point. The user can then decide to accept the suggestion or pick another currency to purchase the coffee with.