7 Must-Have Tools for Researching ICOs
It is a challenge to research ICOs. Without a media presence such as the one found for commodities and the stock market, it is hard to get the right information in a timely manner. Even if you was to learn of a rumor or a bit of news that may be promising, there is no way to vet it; the crypto community does not have a CNBC or a Bloomberg News.
The serious investor needs to develop and maintain a suite of tools that can help him/her quickly weigh new opportunities in an efficient manner. Not only does the investor needs to know where to get needed information, but also where to vet research and keep track of developing trends.
This article will list the seven tools every ICO investor should have in his research portfolio.
It is rare to have consensus that a source is definitive, as everyone has different opinions on what makes something definitive, but CoinMarketCap is a clear candidate for this distinction. A no-nonsense site, CoinMarketCap does what it say it does: report on the market capitalization for all issued and traded cryptocurrencies and provide historical data regarding each coin’s market position.
A barebones tool, the site’s interface is straightforward. While a novice can easily utilize the site’s charting tools, social media feeds, blockchain explorer, and individual market performance gauge, more seasoned users can make use of the service’s API. The API allows for direct porting of site data into desktop applications and charting software, making CoinMarketCap a ready part of any research portfolio. In July, CoinMarketCap announced the launch of an iOS app and its own subReddit feed.
CoinMarketCap is donation-funded, with some online ads. CoinMarketCap, however, insists that it takes no money from coins or ICOs and report coin and token data in a timely and unbiased manner. With a commercial API, an Android mobile application, and an updated interface scheduled for future release, CoinMarketCap seeks to distinguish itself as being the trusted source for cryptocurrency data.
CoinMarketCap’s market dominance – it is the 44th most visited site, per Alexa – has many, however, double-guessing or doubting CoinMarketCap’s intentions. With January’s over-reporting of the drop in some coins’ valuation by CoinMarketCap leading to an actual dip in the market, it is advised not to overtly trust one tool and to use due diligence in your research.
It may seem weird to include YouTube on a list of best ICO tools, but the long and short of the matter is that YouTube as a learning tool is indispensable. As a low-cost, low-hurdle way to submit user-generated content, YouTube is a convenient way for subject matter experts, to share their thoughts, offer tutorials, and offer punditry on investing trends, news, gossip, or anything else that may tickle their fancy. With popular video makers receiving boosts to their brands and even financial compensation, there are a lot of reasons for know-it-alls to speak their mind on the Google video platform.
This is particularly true for cryptocurrency, where there is little in regards to investor-related video content available elsewhere. A quick search of “bitcoin,” for example, yielded 6,340,000 results, including CNBC coverage of an expert panel discussing why crypto may reach the $1,000,000 per coin mark, commentary on why the bitcoin bear market may be over, an explainer on how cryptocurrencies work, a tutorial on mining, a tutorial on bitcoin buying on Coinbase, and an explainer on why bitcoin’s price is in collapse. It is easy to see how a noob to cryptocurrency can quickly come up to speed on YouTube.
The problem with YouTube (besides the ads) is that the service itself does not vouch for the quality or truthfulness of the videos. This means that you could be digesting false information, propaganda, or outright lies with that tutorial you are streaming. Theoretically, the comment section and the up-vote/down-vote feature allow you to quickly see what others have thought of the video. As a rule, you should never make investing decisions based off of what you saw on YouTube, just as you should never take action on anything you first read about on social media. YouTube is a good place to get ideas and information, but it should be backed and supported by non-social media sources.
In recent years, Smith + Crown has moved away from being purely a cryptocurrency research desk. Smith + Crown now offers a full blog with analysis, explainers, and a reporting staff. As part of a format rehashing this year, the firm has taken on cryptocurrency advocacy as part of its mission.
“We believe in the industry and communities that we have chosen to participate in and believe that we have a responsibility and an opportunity to apply our knowledge, resources, and expertise to help them develop and to promote best practices,” Smith + Crown wrote on its About Page. “These activities can range from publishing on topics of public good such as self governance or regulation, to acting as the chief research advisor to the Chamber for Digital Commerce’s Token Alliance, to sitting on the advisory board of Social Alpha.”
Beyond all of this, Smith + Crown is first and primarily a research desk. Focusing primarily on token sales, ICOs, and crowdsales, Smith + Crown offers details on new offerings, provide links to first-party sources, research on token platforms, and data on the various crypto assets available. As one of the oldest research analysis firms focusing on crypto, the site has developed a long and distinguished reputation in the crypto community.
“Our north star as an organization is creation of high quality research and tools to expand its impact, application, and accessibility. This can range from reports, memos and databases to research processes, intelligence networks, tools, services and entire research platforms. The vast majority of our research is published free of charge on our site and eventually though our platform,” Smith + Crown continued.
Having a research firm at your fingertip is a tempting amount of power, but the reality is that one shouldn’t rely on a single point of information. However, as part of a robust research portfolio, Smith + Crown can clear up the question of where to look for answers and what questions you should be asking.
If you hang around the crypto community for too long, you will undoubtedly hear mention of Bitcointalk. Bitcointalk is the first stop for information on everything that is crypto – from ICO announcements to bounty campaigns and rumors from the crypto community.
Founded by bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto on November 22, 2009, the forum was created to provide technical details on the bitcoin software, assist with software distribution, and allow users to freely communicate with each other. The forum today now host sections on a wide range of topics, including ICOs. With a user base of over 450,000 members, Bitcointalk is as close to an home address for the crypto community as feasibly possible.
Bitcointalk is primarily a bitcoin forum and the majority of threads and features on the site relate to bitcoin: from the current version of the Bitcoin Core running, to discussions about Bitcoin Foundation operation and information and technical support. Additionally, there are threads regarding the politics and economics of the crypto community, foreign language threads for non-English speaking communities, and discussions on altcoins.
Bitcointalk has become such a definitive source of news on the crypto community that researchers have developed an algorithm that can predict the price of bitcoin based on the sentiment score of Bitcointalk posts. Researchers from the Steven Institute of Technology in New Jersey found that the price of bitcoin correlates more with the sentiment of Bitcointalk users than with Twitter users that tweet about cryptocurrency.
“Not all social media are created equal,” researcher Feng Mai said. “Content contributed by relatively inactive users has a larger effect than that from active users. Furthermore, at a daily frequency, forum sentiment offers a better indicator of future values than Twitter sentiment”.
The longer you use and research cryptocurrency, the more data you will have to keep track off. As with any commodity market, prices change regularly. There are trends to keep track of, wallets to coordinate, and ICOs to monitor. Eventually, you will need a good dashboard to help you out.
“At CryptoCompare we pride ourselves in showing the most accurate live prices, charting and market analysis from 65 of the top crypto exchanges globally,” CryptoCompare said on its About Page. “Our content editors keep the mining data, be it company, mining equipment or mining contracts up to date with the latest pricing and products available on the market. Our wallets section has a comprehensive list of wallets that will help you find the best wallet for your needs. We have over 5000 trading pairs and over 1000 crypto currencies or crypto assets in an easy to understand and intuitive format.”
With an easy-to-configure portfolio system, it is easy to keep track of all of your coin and token activity in real-time, read posts from the various crypto forums, receive news from the news aggregator, and research mining, wallets, exchange, and commercial options – all from a single window. Best of all, this service is free.
The London-based dashboard started in 2014 under the guise of cryptocomparison.com. The service has grown to the point that one can look at bitcoin, for example, and see what it is trading for in fiat currency in real time and actually see the trades as they happen. More, you can see how bitcoin is doing locally against different currencies. Such precise control can give you an edge only professional commodity traders enjoy.
“We believe it is important to bring rigor and easily accessible information for new users looking to use blockchain technology. As such we provide guides of varying depth, from an in depth look at the maths of elliptic curve cryptography to how hashing actually work or to a simple look at what is money. Our forums users can interact with each other discuss the market and give their experiences on third party products or services in the space. For example we give users the chance to review wallets, exchanges or mining solutions for the benefit of other users.”
For a deeper look at ICOs, one can go to TokenMarket, where a user can not only research an ICO, but launch one, too, if so inclined. Named “Best ICO Advisory Award” at Cryptocurrency World Expo 2018, TokenMarket is one of the more prestigious research desks currently available to the casual investor.
TokenMarket describes itself as “a platform for organising blockchain token or virtual currency sales. Its seasoned professionals combine market experience, resources and data assets to create a winning solution to execute ICO’s safely and securely. TokenMarket provide a fully end-to-end 360 service for token creation, presale and public sale. TokenMarket’s ICO advisory service has worked alongside some of the brightest startups in the blockchain industry pioneering brands such as Storj, Civic and Dent. Alongside its ICO advisory, TokenMarket has established itself as the leading platform for listing tokens on its ICO calendar.”
TokenMarket is responsible for the tokensale of Storj, AppCoins, Patientory, Ethos, and Populous, among others. TokenMarket also has an ICO calendar with customizable alerts, a token market capitalization tracker, a database of current and upcoming tokenslaes and coinsales, and research on upcoming crowdsales.
If TokenMarket and CryptoCompare are too much for you, don’t fret. Coin FYI is a simple, no thrills coin tracker. Just enter the coin you wish to track and the amount you personally have, and the tracker will not only show you the current value, but the gain you made for the day, your total gain since entering the coin, and your return-on-investment.
You can also add coins and tokens to your watchlist and set customizable alerts, monitor news relevant to your portfolio and watchlist, and view today’s top gainers and losers.
“We’re a small team of impassioned crypto enthusiasts, designers, and developers from all over the world, and we’re here to build streamlined, anonymous, and effective tools for long-term hodlers to optimize their crypto journeys,” Coin FYI said on its About Page. A hodler is a cryptocurrency investor that seeks to maintain a long-term position, regardless of current prices.