ICO: An investor perspective (21million, Humaniq and Storj)

There are currently significant discussions and news stories on the ICO market, of which I have been part of since the beginning. An ICO is an Initial Coin Offering – this is where a project raises an amount of cryptocurrency for a specific goal. You can think of these as the modern version of an IPO using the new digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The reason why ICO’s are in the news, is due to the fact they are completely unregulated and could be a complete scam. There are examples of scam ICO’s, but there are also many great examples of ICO’s which are funding great projects and adding value to our digital world.

I am not going to discuss the rights and wrongs of ICO’s, I would like to share my experience taking part in three ICO’s, so far.

I started researching cryptocurrency in early 2016 and invested in both Bitcoin and Ethereum during 2016 and into 2017. This investment, led me to being exposed to ICO’s, which are often built on the Ethereum network and often funded via Ethereum digital currency.

Once you start to invest in cryptocurrency, you learn each day more and more about the whole new world of digital currency and digital assets.

Here you can see the number of cryptocurrencies (9/9/17) showing 867 currencies and 237 assets – most of these are from ICO’s.

How do you invest in an ICO?

This is the easy part……well the concept is simple, but the application is actually complicated.

Once you know that there is an ICO, you will be able to read a whitepaper, which will tell you some details about the ICO. This could be a very complex and detailed document, or a very short detail-free document.

As with any investment, do you research – An ICO investment is no different. If you are going to invest your hard earned (digital) cash, make sure you do your research!

Once you have read the whitepaper, and completed lots of external research, you will then be able to invest in the ICO during a certain time period. This is normally over a few days and is the period when you send your bitcoin or ethereum to an account for the ICO.

The process of investing the Bitcoin or ethereum is normally complex and you do need to understand wallets and the process of sending digital currency online.

Once the ICO closes, you will then be issued with “coins”, which may then be listed on exchanges for you to trade, or maybe listed at later stages dependent on the details given during the ICO.

What ICO’s have I invested in?

I have invested in three ICO’s and will explain my thoughts and process – this is to give you examples of my thinking and risk management process for the investments. I am NOT giving investment advice

Humaniq (HMQ) – Humaniq is a simple and secure mobile app, delivering financial inclusion solutions to the 2.5 billion unbanked

This was my first ICO back in April 2017. I invested ETH in this project for a number of reasons:

  • I was excited to get into an ICO and try the process
  • I knew a few of the founders and advisers from my network
  • The project was well managed and professional
  • The reason of the project (To give access to the financial system for people without bank accounts, via facial recognition) is of great interest to me and something I find exciting to follow


The ICO then closed and Humaniq had raised over $4m for the projects

The company has continued to keep me informed and is doing well in the development of their plans

STORJ (STORJ) – Storj Labs provides decentralized cloud storage and gives users more control over their devices and data by providing an open-source cloud platform

STORJ was my second ICO in May 2017 for a number of reasons:

  • This is a real company that has already been trading and has a successful track record with decentralised storage
  • As a Digital expert, their plans and USP make total sense for the current and future digital world


STORJ closed the ICO raising a cool $30m for their further development and have continued to grow since the ICO


21million is my third ICO investment and for a number of reasons is very different to the first two:

  • The idea of being part of a Cryptocurrency TV Series is appealing
  • The fair deal that the people who make the TV series will benefit from it – no big company will take the majority of the income
  • The team are using Smart contracts on the Ethereum network to fairly and simply distribute the income
  • I knew the founder of this ICO
  • The background of the team was extremely well qualified


21 Million raised the funds they need to write, shoot and produce the pilot show.

This will be shown in Autumn 2017 and with the series following soon after

Key thoughts on ICO’s

  • Do your research – as you would with any investment
  • Talk to people in the community and within your networks
  • Believe in the project which is being funded
  • Learn how to use an ETH or BTC wallet
  • Enjoy the process – its great fun being part of these new projects and being part of the new digital world

@real21million @humaniq @storjproject

#cryptocurrency #ethereum #bitcoin #21million #humaniq #storj #ICO

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