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What is an ICO? explains.

An ICO is an initial coin offering. It borrows the phrase from IPO (initial public offering), however, it functions quite differently. While IPOs are typically launched by companies with a significant history — the average age of a company going public was 11 years in 2014 — ICOs are most often fundraising efforts for new entities.

How Do ICOs Work?

Typically an ICO raises money for a new startup by giving early adopters the chance to buy in on something they perceive to have future worth. Investors buy new tokens, which are built on top of an existing blockchain networks such as Ethereum, with the hope those tokens will increase in value.

Have Past ICOs Been Successful?

In 2017, as interest in cryptocurrency reached new heights, there were more opportunities than ever to buy into ICOs. However, according to a Fortune report in February, 2018, these had a high rate of failure. Forty-six percent of 902 tracked ICOs from last year failed completely and an additional 13 percent essentially disappeared.

The magazine is quick to note that traditional startups backed by venture capital also have a significant failure rate, possibly as high as 75 percent. That statistic comes from an analysis of more than 2,000 Venture-backed companies between 2004 and 2010. Taken in context, the collapse of ICOs does not seem as bad. However, the rate is still striking, given the relatively new phenomenon of initial coin offerings. Although an ICO may offer strong returns, success depends largely on the strength of the individual endeavor.

Strong Alternatives

While ICOs are an exciting new venture, it’s important to recognize that they come with a high degree of risk. If you’re looking to invest in cryptocurrencies, consider the many different routes available.

One route is Bitcoin futures, which make it possible to trade on Bitcoin’s value without holding actual Bitcoin. Well-known investment houses such as CME Group and CBOE which recently offered products to invest in Bitcoin futures announced plans to expand to other cryptocurrencies.

If you’re interested in investing in cryptocurrency and looking to diversify your retirement portfolio, connects consumers to qualified custodians, digital wallets and cryptocurrency exchanges that allow individuals to purchase digital currencies. Funds are kept in BitGo cold storage wallets, the leader in multi-signature encryption technology.  In 2017 alone, customers saw a 172% return on investment.  To learn more, call us today at 877-936-7175.


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6 Reasons to Invest in Cryptocurrency in 2018

It’s a new year and a better time than ever to dive into financial planning. If you’re revisiting your IRA investment plan, here are six reasons why you should look into adding cryptocurrency to your portfolio.

Mainstream Adoption

With the launch of Bitcoin Futures across both the CBOE and CME markets, investors are approaching Bitcoin as a more viable investment opportunity, increasing the digital currency’s visibility and credibility at the mainstream level, and winning over some of its biggest skeptics.

Furthermore, regulated exchanges like LedgerX, (and tZero, which is expected to launch in early 2018), are reducing risk, boosting liquidity, and drawing more institutional investors to the cryptocurrency space.

Digital currencies have gained traction in the political realm, as well. Last September, the Cryptocurrency Tax Fairness Act was introduced as a way to create a taxing structure for purchases made with cryptocurrency and would allow customers to make purchases up to $600 without burdensome reporting requirements. “By cutting red tape and eliminating onerous reporting requirements, it will allow cryptocurrencies to further benefit customers and help create good jobs,” Colorado Representative Jared Polis said in support of the Act. Although it was not incorporated into the tax bill, it remains up for discussion and indicates a tremendous level of interest in streamlining processes surrounding digital currency.

Global Prominence

Bitcoin is being used all across the globe and it is more widely distributed today than it has ever before. Nothing has stopped the massive upward trajectory of cryptocurrency, not even China’s crackdown. Although the price briefly dropped following the news of China’s ban, Japan and South Korea picked up the slack and Bitcoin rose to another all-time high quickly thereafter.

All around the world, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as a whole are rising in global prominence. Japan currently accepts digital currency in over 260,000 retail stores. In Venezuela, amidst the hyperinflation of the Bolivar, Bitcoin is used to buy food, plane tickets, and pay employees, and is referred to as a lifesaving currency.

All signs point to the fact that digital currencies are not a passing trend and are here to stay. In a recent survey of different cryptocurrency investors around the world, 90 percent said they believed in the future of Bitcoin and are investing with a long-term perspective.

Diversification of Your Portfolio

Diversification is an investment technique to reduce risk by allocating investments among various financial instruments. Bitcoin and cryptocurrency is one of the best ways these days to diversify your IRA or 401k. Bitcoin’s growth potential is greater than that of any traditional asset class. As Bitcoin legitimizes and stabilizes it will pass traditional investments.

With analysts predicting Bitcoin’s price to hit in the tens of thousands in the near future, it is certainly a portfolio diversification opportunity that will add value to your account.

Gold 2.0

Bitcoin and gold have many similarities. Both have a limited supply, involve mining, and are not controlled by the government. Anti Danilevski, CEO of KICKICO, a Russian blockchain platform for initial coin offerings, explained how Bitcoin patterns parallel those of gold in financially problematic times. “During the last year S&P 500 index was decreased, gold increased by 14.4%, whereas Bitcoin increased by 74.9%, during the last five years, S&P 500 increased by 68.8%, gold decreased by 26.5%, whilst Bitcoin grew by an impressive 24.9%,” Danilevski said.

In the volatile political climate we currently live in, investors are flocking to gold and Bitcoin as safe haven assets. And while cryptocurrencies are a younger asset class than gold, they have already demonstrated enormous growth and a continuous upward trajectory.

Blockchain Innovation

The growing influence of the blockchain and its technology is transforming the way people are doing business. It is increasingly transforming peer-to-peer interactions in the digital world, disrupting traditional processes.

The implications of this technology go beyond finance. Although finance was the first industry to embrace encrypted, distributed ledgers, other industries are adopting the technology as well. Recruitment and human resources departments are using blockchain CVs to verify qualifications of applicants, and intellectual property law, which involves tracking transfer of ownership, is also employing the technology.

Much more than a digital currency, Bitcoin can be thought of as the basis for a groundbreaking technology that many consider the greatest innovation since the internet.

Beyond Bitcoin: The Rise of Ethereum and Other Currencies

Bitcoin is not the only digital currency with a massive upward trajectory. In fact, many experts are now wondering if Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency, may surpass Bitcoin.

There is a community of enterprises, academics, and Ethereum subject matters who comprise the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, an organization dedicated to learning about, and building upon, Ethereum’s capabilities. Ethereum’s technology is built upon smart contracts. A computer protocol dedicated to digitally facilitating, verifying, and enforcing the negotiation or performance of a contract, smart contracts are the building blocks for decentralized applications. By presenting a new way of processing agreement that removes the verification of a middleman, Ethereum is disrupting the way business is run, and all signs show indicate that this won’t be letting up anytime soon.

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Here are the biggest ICOs of 2017 (Updated: October 2017)

It has been one initial coin offering (ICO) breaking a record after another. Author and investor William Mougayar estimates that in June, early stage internet related start-ups raised $601 million capital from ICOs. That is $51 million more than what traditional venture capital provided in the same month.

Mougayar has become some kind of expert in ICO especially after he organized the 2017 New York Token summit in May. The event dedicated to ICOs attracted a large turnout from entrepreneurs, developers and investors. Several start-ups that have benefited from token crowdsales exhibited their projects.

ICO Funding

The trend of record setting in ICO crowdsales will only accelerate in July with the largest ICO ever witnessed in the month. The following is a list of the five largest ICOs of 2017 so far starting with the highest.

  1. Filecoin – $250 Million (and counting)
    Filecoin is blockchain data storage network that launched on August 10, 2017. Filecoin will use peer-to-peer InterPlanetary File System, or IPFS, to store and secure data, which will allow users to earn by donating their free hard drive storage space. Its only competition will be MaidSafe, another decentralized storage project. Filecoin raised $200 million from accredited investors and another $52 from venture capital firms. As of August 21, over $250 million in funds had been raised.
  2. Tezos – $232 Million
    Tezos is a new a blockchain that fixes the governance issues that blockchains like bitcoin face. Instead of relying on off-chain debates, compromises and consensus to improve, scale or change the core software, Tezos has self-governance mechanism built into the protocol.The Tezos ICO launched on July 1. At the end of the 14-days sale period, the project had raised about $222 million in bitcoin and ether. That became the new ICO record.
  3. EOS – $183 Million (and rising) is a start-up building a blockchain that meets the specific needs of the businesses and companies in the corporate world. It plans to provide blockchain solutions that offer efficiency, security and data integrity. The start-up carried out its ICO in June to support the project development. Its EOS tokens raised $183 million. That held the record until Tezos overtook it three weeks later.
  4. Bancor – $153 Million
    As more cryptocurrencies and tokens get into the crypto market, the need to transact and move value from one to another is growing. While current cryptocurrency and token exchanges facilitate the process, their centralized nature expose users to insecurity and don’t support all the tokens out there. Bancor seeks to build a decentralized exchange ecosystem that will enable holders of digital assets to trade peer-to-peer with ease and with little risk to the security of their assets. It will also support any token that is issued regardless of the number of users. Its June ICO raised $153 million.
  5. Status – $108 Million
    Status is a browser, wallet and a messenger app. It is also a gateway to decentralized applications that are built on top of Ethereum. The Status app will be available for mobile to enable on-the-go use. The team behind Status held an ICO on June 20th and raise $95 million. With more start-ups choosing ICO and the public’s interest growing, at least some of the ICOs in this list might end up not being in the top five of the biggest ICOs in 2017. Even companies that have had little to do with blockchain until recently are now interested in ICO. For instance, the messaging App Kik has released a whitepaper explaining its plan to hold an ICO.

As ICOs continue to boom so does the market value of cryptocurrency. Bitcoin’s price is on the rise, along with other altcoins such as Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin. If you are ready to invest in crypto with your IRA, get started here.

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‘Apptrade’ is here to add technology to your portfolio, launches Crowdsale to attract investors

Bitcoin, Blockchain and cryptocurrencies have opened up a new realm of possibilities by accelerating and innovating traditional prospects. Amongst many prominent fields that was impacted by the internet’s analogue towards the first decade of the new millennium, trade finance and financial services are major beneficiaries. Cryptocurrencies made investing easy, hassle – free and low cost. This resulted in the advent of newer features like crowd funding and token sales that are now propelling businesses with new found innovation. One such case is ‘Apptrade’ where you can invest on the potentiality of applications. Let’s look into the details of Apptrade and the ongoing crowd funding:

What does ‘Apptrade’ do?


‘Apptrade’ is a platform which enables you to have apps in your portfolio and to trade in them like stockmarket. Hence it has been branded as the “Stockmarket of Apps” by Forbes. When linked, a portfolio of apps has the potential to become a competent asset whose value changes over time. By securing revenue streams, collaborative funding provides a financial innovation that facilitates access to value on a Decentralized Exchange. A value that can be bought and traded in the form of tokens that represent the growing value of the apps. Hence this leads to the creation of app portfolios backed by digital trust whose value increases once the app hits high levels of user base.

The infrastructure for holding digital portfolios:

Apptrade is powered by OpenLedger, as its parent company.  Apptrade LLC is a part of OpenLedger Decentralised Conglomerate (DC). It is the world’s first blockchain powered conglomerate that allows its platforms to share resources and benefit mutually from network-based cross promotion. Ronny Boesing, CEO of OpenLedger believes that Apptrade is a simple way to buy, sell or invest in apps. Each portfolio consisting of apps, is designed to ensure that regular updates are being factored and the quality is ensured.

The Crowdfunding and options:


The start-up will offer its own token for their ICO called ‘APPX’.  The token entitles investors to 20% of the net market value and revenue of the Apptrade portfolio ecosystem. The crowd sale was launched on February 28th 2017 and understanding the value of the platform, OpenLedger decided to invest $100,000 themselves so as to own to show their belief in the project and reap profits out of its impending success. The Crowdfunding is set to end on 30th of April and with the amount of potentiality the project has to offer, the ‘APPX’ tokens are getting sold out in quick time.

Internet of Coins: One hybrid asset to rule them all?

With the advent of multiple cryptocurrencies that offer their own set of fundamental, strategic and technical advantages over others, the cryptocurrency market is enjoying new found diversity and flexibility. To facilitate the transfer from one digital asset to other, crypto-exchanges have been launching user friendly multicurrency wallets in the recent times. As convenient as that might be, imagine if you owned a single token that can represent any cryptocurrency available and can be transacted on its blockchain system. Exactly this is what “Internet of Coins’” new initiative “Hybrid” is all about. Let’s dive into the modus operandi of the system and its slick advantages over your traditional cryptocurrencies:


What exactly is Internet of Coins and Hybridd:


The Internet of Coins developers are launching the construction of an inter-systemic and cross-blockchain token called a ‘hybrid asset’. This token allows for the transfer of value between ledger systems without the need to update or adapt existing cryptocurrency source code. Termed as an environment for ‘Personal Finance’ it is a decentralized platform which enables an optimally inclusive financial network, interlinking all digital forms of value. The platform allows you to trade digital assets and currencies peer to peer, with an easy to use interface and the opportunity to earn fees by participating as an allocator.

The best part about the platform is that you need not reconfigure your wallets to match the requirements of the autonomous decentralized network. The key idea is to integrate all the digital currencies into an interconnected and financially liquid web.

How IOC will achieve this:

The IOC team aims to attain the network dynamics through modularized interconnectivity of blockchain systems.  A node to node network connectivity platform, named ‘hybrid’ allows them to connect value systems and synchronize by a way of scalable data chain. This innovation is being termed as ‘weave chain’.  Their goal to let every cryptocurrency autonomously become part of a massive swarm of decentralized global financial interaction. They will be represented by hybrid tokens and the programming code for this would be open source. The network is ensured of highest security. Every non-proprietary blockchain or value system can be hooked into this evolving network. A unique allocation schema ensures that currencies with a small marketcap receive the needed liquidity to support one’s exchange and relevancy within a healthy cryptosphere.

The reason for such an initiative:

The existing cryptocurrency industry has become centralized to an extent and is being influenced by political factors. The main aim of the initiative is to keep the transfers decentralized and blockchain agnostic. By opening up inter-cryptocurrency transfers, it becomes very easy to form a web of financial transfers that have varied advantages basing on the cryptocurrency. It also becomes a viable option for investors to quickly shift assets in case of negative market conditions.

The crowd funding has started on 21st of March,2017 and 293654.03 hybrids have been assigned till date.