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A whitepaper is arguably the most important document for any crypto ICO. However, the style and contents of whitepapers can vary drastically. We reached out to several crypto industry leaders to find out what they look for when reviewing a whitepaper. Read their quotes and gain valuable insight regarding what aspects of a whitepaper are considered to be the most important, and what some red flags might be. This post is updated monthly, so be sure to check back to see who else has been added and what their suggestions are for reviewing a whitepaper.

 

  1. Ami Ben David, Co-founder and managing partner of SPiCE VC: “We specialize in tokenization, so my initial focus is first to see if the project is suitable for our specific investment criteria – in our case, I’m checking if it is delivering a key building block of the blockchain / tokenization ecosystem that we know is missing, or has room for more players and massive growth, or is it a new revolutionary protocol with some following, or a tokenized business which has a unique edge in the market because of the use of the blockchain or the smart use of a token economy. If the basics are not there, its a quick No for us. But if the story does meet our focus criteria, we look at the team (which we need to talk to anyway to form an opinion), what is their story and the way they choose to tell it, and I try to compare the big vision and big words with how much they actually achieved in terms of execution in the time they had to spend on the project so far. If it all makes sense, I schedule a call.”
  2. Ofir Beigel, Owner of 99Bitcoins.com: “I make the same suggestions to crypto investors and blockchain startups alike. Look at the team, the tech, and the market. Additionally in the white paper look for an alignment of interest. What are the long and short team motivations for all stake holders? Are the interests of the founders and advisers in parallel with the large investors and are they in line with the users of the platform, protocol or service? Even before the blockchain the old adage of “follow the money” provided an enormous amount of insight. For example: Are the issuers offering discounts or bonuses? Are they transparent about this and are they putting in vesting or lockout periods? Some founders check the box saying “yes we have a vesting period so investors cannot flip the token.” But when that vesting period is only three months and the first deliverable is four months out, that is pretty much worthless.”
  3. Lou Kerner, Partner, CryptoOracle: “While we take a holistic view of projects, for CryptoOracle, the team is the most important aspect of the Whitepaper. We actually use machine learning/AI to help us evaluate teams.  We are also very focused on the problem being solved and the role the tokens play in that solution, starting with, does the solution really require a token (and blockchain)? Then we look at token economics to ensure the token economics align the different players in the ecosystem. Governance is critical for decentralized projects. We also look for realistic roadmaps. For the most part, poorly written Whitepapers are more hurtful to projects than well written Whitepapers are helpful.
  4. Motti Peer, Co-CEO of Blonde 2.0: “We receive hundreds of whitepapers, and as most investors with little time, I review many of them. With this being said, if the whitepaper does not immediately state the company’s purpose and process, chances of continuing to read them are slim to none. With so many white papers, it’s crucial to remain relevant by stating and emphasizing the clear message of the company and its product. This is the difference that can make or break successful projects.”
  5. Yaniv Feldman, Co-founder & Chairman, Cointelligence: “Today’s whitepapers are different from what they used to be in the past. Satoshi’s whitepaper was nine pages and was almost entirely technical. Today’s whitepapers are 30-80 pages long and are full of marketing info, roadmap, team and investor offering. While Bitcoin is very different from today’s ICOs, I still try to focus on what matters. I try to understand if the company is solving a real problem, for a real, big-enough, relevant market, instead of just building a “decentralized” solution to the same problem other have solved centrally without any relevant additions (besides so-called decentralization) or a made-up problem that doesn’t really have a real-life, big enough use case to sustain the existence of such a project. Most project fail at this level. If a project passes the first stage, I take a brief look at the team and try to understand if their token economics structuring makes sense (how many tokens, inflation rate, built-in incentives to stakeholders, consensus mechanism, etc).”
  6. Eric Turner, Research Lead, Messari: “Whitepapers are still the best way to gauge how well a project will execute. I have learned it is best to skip to the end and see who is leading, advising, or investing in the project. With that in mind, start from the beginning and don’t skip the “fluff”. This is often dismissed as marketing speak but can give you a good idea of how realistic the project is. High hopes are to be expected, but if a project thinks they can overtake multiple existing markets or only want to offer a slight change to existing solutions, you should put on your skeptic hat. Be more skeptical if the team and advisors have limited experience in the space. Give the technical details a good read but realize that anything too technical is a distraction. A great whitepaper will address the “why” and the “how” of a project. Most projects today want to be the AWS, Uber, Airbnb, eBay, Facebook, etc., of the decentralized world. The “why” is how you will be better than these solutions. The “how” is even more important. The best whitepapers will give details on how their solutions will outpace competitors, gain a community, and incentivize developers. A detailed roadmap is something to look for. Even though whitepapers are early-stage ideas, having a defined timeline for development is important. If you really want to understand a project look at who is running it and map that against how feasible it is they can execute on their goals.”
  7. Melanie Mohr CEO and founder of YEAY, Creator of WOM: “When reviewing a whitepaper, I look for the following: simple, concise language that cuts to the point quickly – there’s absolutely no point filling up the word and page count for the sake of the thud factor. A well articulated and watertight vision – I need to see a clear and inspiring concept that I can get behind. Credibility and expertise – I need to feel faith in the team behind the idea. User experience – does it have a good UI/UX? Technical detail – what’s actually being built and what’s the go-to-market strategy. It’s easy to say “this is x, built on the blockchain, to disrupt y” but how will it actually do this?”
  8. Martin Wos, Co-Founder, Co-CEO and CVO of Block Stocks: “Firstly, the validity of the business model. The model should make economical sense. If an idea already exists, not important if off- or on-chain, a new idea have to be 10x better. Just because an idea is decentralized, does not attract clients. Think from a client’s perspective. Then, start looking at how the technical components (technical whitepaper) and the token sale structure. Under which conditions does the currency appreciate in value and why? What are the underlying drivers and do I fully profit from it or are there any constraining conditions? Also do research about existing business models. What are the differences, advantages and disadvantages of similar business models.”
  9. Evgeny Ponomarev – Co-founder and CEO of Fluence: First of all, you have to understand the difference between the Whitepaper and Primer. The first is a technical document while the latter is for pitching. Since the decentralized technology landscape is yet full of “terra incognita”, don’t expect the team to answer all the questions, but at least they must understand the challenges that exist and the obstacles they face. The best way to understand how a proper whitepaper looks is by reading ones made by great, successful projects: IPFS and Filecoin, Plasma, TrueBit, Polkadot — these served as an inspiration for our team.”
  10. Dr. Omri Ross, CEO of Firmo Network: “When reading a whitepaper, I always look for academic rigor. Is the paper describing an existing product or does the team have the skillset to execute on the vision depicted in the paper? Does the product cater to a relevant niche and is the business model and go-to-market-strategy carefully designed to suit the customers needs? If the product is distributed or decentralized, has appropriate measures been put in place to provide a feasible governance model?”
  11. Sharon Shineberg, In-House Blockchain Maximalist at Blonde 2.0: “When I first read Satoshi’s white paper, I could not sleep many nights. I was up restless and obsessive over bitcoin. In my experience, I can only compare this occurrence to the ‘rabbit hole effect’ from Alice in Wonderland. From afar, there’s a dark hole in which another world exists; once you’ve stepped foot in the hole, there is no turning back. Curiosity is contagious, and this is the exact effect I am looking for when reviewing white papers.”
  12. Dror Futter is a Partner at the Rimon, PC law firm: “Whitepapers should provide a description of the regulatory compliance of the token. At this point in time, any ICO claiming to be a “utility token” should be viewed very skeptically. Potential token buyers should be very leery of overinflated legal claims. For example, many ICO’s claim to be issuing “SEC compliant” tokens with little explanation of the basis of this claim. This is critical because at this time, there is not a single ICO that has received the express approval of the SEC. In other instances, whitepapers identify the prestigious law firms ICO’s have hired and leave it unclear what advice they received. Our firm was approached by an issuer three days before their ICO after their global law firm withdrew from the representation. Their whitepaper still said they had consulted with the firm – which, while technically true, was also misleading. Potential token buyers should also look for details about how the tokens will trade after issuance and what the issuer will do to ensure ongoing regulatory compliance. While ICO issuances have gotten all the press, the after-market trading poses as many regulatory issues.”
  13. Jonathan ben Shimon, CEO of Matchpool: “It is more important to look at the formation and the architecture to determine whether it is original or not. I care more about new architecture and existing technology than about those who are trying to force the economy on our business.”
  14. Liron Langer, Chief Investment Officer at Nielsen Innovate: “Based on experience and involvement in subsequent projects, the most important factor is the team, and in particular, do they have true understanding in Blockchain technology and DLTs (Distributed Ledger Technologies), and fully comprehend the token usage, utility and value model and whether the cost of the challenge they address significantly lower than the benefits the adoption will provide. In addition, it’s important to look at what the team has achieved so far, the use of funds and how the economy will interact with the token once it hits the market. I am glad to see that the market evolves slowly but surely, towards addressing real challenges in a much more professional manner.”
  15. Jon Buck, President, B&B Content Management: “Think of a young person going on their first date. They spend hours making sure that they look their very best – picking outfits, fixing hair, agonizing over every detail. Why? They want to attract the person they are meeting. The same is true with a whitepaper. Investors who look at a whitepaper are ‘dating’ the company. To attract the best investors, the whitepaper has to look its best. Typographical errors, broken English, punctuation and grammar mistakes – these are like massive red flags to investors that the company is not mature enough to even clean up on a first date. If a whitepaper is clean, well written, properly edited, with excellent grammar, it shows a care and consistency that makes a company investment-worthy. Companies that don’t take the time to produce a professional whitepaper only prove that they are not professional, and generally, destined for failure.”
  16. Adi Karmon Scope, Founder of Fractal Boutique: “When I review a whitepaper, I’m most interested in the token economics section. The reason is that a company must justify the creation of a new token, if it would like to embark on the ICO route. If I’m convinced that a new token is indeed needed, then this means that the idea and eco-system are much larger and more valuable than the company itself which is conducting the ICO. Most of the whitepapers I read are vague about their economy and lack lots of details about how they’re planning on creating intrinsic value to their token. A healthy economy is about creating new value, which is captured via the token and not about only creating artificial scarcity.”
  17. Chad Pankewitz, CEO of Coinage: “Evaluating crypto and blockchain companies can be done in a similar way to how a venture capitalist would evaluate an investment. Here are a few things that we look for when reading a whitepaper: Will the company’s main product be useful? What problem will the company solve? Do they have a great vision for their company and for their products in the market? Is the product and the technology truly great? Do they have the team to execute the vision? Does the project have traction – in terms of product readiness, users, community, and revenue? Who are their competitors? To be able to do our own research, I want to be able to understand from their whitepaper where they fit in the market; such as, are they a cryptocurrency, blockchain platform, or a protocol? Furthermore, if they are a cryptocurrency, are they a privacy coin, a stable coin, to be used for fast payments or just a storage of value? The more drilled down the categorization is, the better we can understand the competition and evaluate accordingly. Last but not least, longevity is one of the factors that you want to be certain of after reading a white paper: Will the product and company have a good chance of succeeding over the long term in this space?”
  18. Adi Ben-Ari, Founder and CEO of Applied Blockchain: “There’s an old joke about the physicist, the chemist, and the economist stranded on a desert island with a single can of food. How are they to open it? The economist’s answer is, ‘Assume we have a can opener.’ The joke should be updated for the Cryptoeconomist. Check the technical and token economy assumptions made in the whitepaper, look out for bold assumptions about technology that doesn’t exist, or gaps in the token economy model. A few more important areas to consider are the idea and solution that they are proposing, is the company creating something new, or just building an existing technology?  Also, in regards to the token, whilst reading ask yourself, does this solution need a token? Is what they are proposing really a blockchain solution from the ground up, or simply a regular tech startup looking for funding by issuing a token? Most tokens are generally created as a utility token, so the question needs to be, does this serve as a true utility or has the token been added to the solution so they could raise capital through an ICO? And lastly, in terms of competition, is this solution part of a dozen others that are already successful, or is it different enough to add value to the blockchain ecosystem?”
  19. Tai Kaish, CEO of Wemark: “Traditional investors get a chance to do their due diligence by meeting the founding team and asking in-depth questions. The whitepaper is often the only way for ICO investors to evaluate the company, its product, and future plans. When reviewing a whitepaper, investors should compare the associated risks of the project, to the potential gain. Projects will usually outline the market size and opportunity early on. Realizing the risks, however, is something each investor has to do on his own. Each key factor presented in the whitepaper (team, product, token economies, roadmap, competition, etc.) might hold potential risks and prevent the projects from reaching its goals. Following deep research, investors should support projects that demonstrate the lowest risk along with the biggest potential outcome. It’s great when teams get technical and explain how their protocol works with code samples and architecture flowcharts. It’s easy to get carried away in technical descriptions, but it’s crucial to understand why people will want to use it, not just how it works. For some projects – marketing, sales and UX are more important than expertise in smart contracts or blockchain development.”
  20. Johnny Kolasinki, Head of Media at XYO Network: “The first thing I look at when reading a whitepaper is the project’s purpose. Are they solving a real problem? Does a blockchain-based solution to this problem make sense? I’ve seen projects that had amazingly innovative implementations of blockchain technology or DLT; however, they were trying to replace existing platforms without actually addressing any flaws in the models that are already in place. If a project is going to compete with existing technology, it needs to clearly lay out how it will either augment or improve upon what’s already out there.”
  21. Mark Vermeeren, Global Marketing Manager of MobileBridge Momentum – “For us, one of the most important aspects of a whitepaper is that it correctly communicates the value of the service or product. No matter how well written, how awesome the design of the paper is, or how cool the graphics used look, the offer needs to be strong. Additionally, the reasons indicating “why blockchain” or “why an ICO” should provide an understanding of the product or service’s USP, and specify the way it changes the paradigm of its respective market. Naturally, investors and crypto enthusiasts will consider funding a project whose likelihood of success is high; so, in order to properly assess the value proposition, it is important to also detail the competitive advantages, and the specifics that relate the strengths of the solution to the market dynamics.”
  22. Darvin Kunaiwan, CEO of Crowdvilla: “The first thing that I would look for is the problem area that the project aims to solve. After that I’ll look at the detail surrounding their token economy: what does the token represent, how will the token retain value and how will the token be distributed initially. I’ll come up with my own conclusion on whether this type of token will be considered as securities or otherwise, which then allows me to see whether the project is being done in a legally responsible way. Next I’ll look at the team – not so much on finding hyped up factor (personally I don’t believe ex-big mnc matters much in this case) – but more towards seeing that there are indeed real people fronting the project, and that it is not an elaborate scam. Finally, if applicable, I’ll look at their basic approach from the technical point of view, on whether it makes any sense in achieving what they set out to do.”
  23. Avishai Shoushan CEO of Carats.io: “When you review a whitepaper there are several crucial issues that must be addressed. For us, the things that are most important for reviewing the project through it’s whitepaper is the order of the content, while looking for the known entity, team and partners who stand behind the project and the token. Another important criteria is the token usability, while asking if there is a real need and use for the token, except for fundraising. The last aspect is the technology and value standing behind. In which stage the company is in, regarding technology if it is deploying, alpha, or beta and what will the token bring considering it’s long term value, beyond of speculation.”
  24. Ran Avidan, Founder & CTO of Mobilechain: “The first thing I look at when reviewing a whitepaper is ‘The Team’ section. Do they have past experience building and creating a new business in the targeted industry? The Mobilechain team has a lot of experience in the mobile industry, so we try to focus on that in our whitepaper. The next thing I look at is the solution itself and if blockchain is really needed to solve the issue. There needs to also be business potential in the idea.  Like every investment, I expect to see a bit of market research and thought into how the solution will make an impact.”
  25. Barak Ben Ezer, CEO of Neema: “My advice for reading a whitepaper: I’m more interested in projects that solve the three underlying barriers to adoption: (1) interface, volatility and solving the legal status of crypto (what we are doing with SOV.Global), (2) looking for impressive team more so than impressive advisors, (3) explain to me what you’re doing in the first paragraph. The more concise and clear the better. Long convoluted is explanations and lots of fluff are a red flag. I’ve noticed that geniuses are typically people who can explain very complex issues in very clear terms. Satoshi’s bitcoin white papers from the 2009, was nine pages of pure gold. Less is more.”

 

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The Complete Guide to ICO Community Management

On YavinMay 2, 2018
vectopicta / Shutterstock

Successful ICOs require a multi-faceted approach to marketing. High profile advertising bans from Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and MailChimp are squeezing the ICO marketing channels available. However, what the bans mean is that other methods of marketing an ICO will need to get more attention. There are of course many conventional and non-conventional marketing channels that can be utilized, but one particular element is gaining a lot of traction and importance in ICO marketing strategies: the role of an ICO Community Manager.

What is an ICO Community Manager?

If there was just one platform in the world for people to exchange information about upcoming ICOs and cryptocurrency news, it would make marketers’ lives a breeze. However, that isn’t the case, and marketers’ lives are not a breeze. While there is no unanimously agreed upon definition of the cryptocurrency community, it can be loosely described as a vast and widespread group of people who connect via different mediums in cyberspace. It is the responsibility of the ICO community manager to engage and optimize the community through the mediums favored by the cryptocurrency community.

The channels that fall under the responsibility of the ICO Manager vary, dependent on the company size, its budget, its overall marketing strategy and the ICO manager itself. However, an ICO community manager should be looking to establish a presence and the transparency and trust needed for a successful ICO across as many channels as possible.

Crypto Community Channels to Manage

Channels vary in popularity from country to country, but the main channels favored by the crypto community are:

Telegram – Warmly embraced by the cryptocurrency community from its very outset. This platform, in the process of its own ICO, has a “secret chat” facility which allows conversations with end-to-end encryption and other security options. Telegram is an important part of a community manager’s strategy and it is much more direct than other channels and provides the opportunity to pinpoint key messages so that new users are always kept up-to-date.

Reddit – The Reddit crypto community is a hard to win over crowd making Reddit management one of the more challenging aspects of the Community Manager role. Generally, the Reddit community is a knowledgeable and unforgiving group, but gain their trust with transparency and regular engagement, and you have the ability to make an ICO.

Quora – This content-based channel requires the management of good quality content and keeping on top of updated threads. Again, a knowledgeable community and a community that should be catered to.

Facebook – Although ICO advertising was banned from Facebook in January, community building and maintenance through pages and groups are still allowed and popular. Posting and commentating in other crypto groups also gains exposure. Facebook has over 2.2 billion active users and is too big for a community manager to ignore.

Twitter – ICO advertising bans came into effect in March, but Twitter is very popular among the cryptocurrency community. By using hashtags and tweeting three times a day, it is possible to draw attention and convey your ICO message.

LinkedIn – Another of the social media platforms that implemented a ban on ICO advertising this year, but still popular within the crypto community. There are knowledgeable, professional people in crypto and blockchain groups that have tens of thousands of members, all of which can be accessed and engaged with for free.

Steemit – A Reddit style content sharing platform that is becoming more and more popular with the cryptocurrency community. An ICO manager will need to post quality content and engage with other users.

BitcoinTalk – Probably the biggest and most important of all the specialized crypto forums. A community manager will need to engage with the forums to promote their ICO project. Regularly updated, it is one of the more labour intensive community channels to optimize, but an excellent channel for coverage.

Medium – Similar to Quora in that it is used for publishing important content that conveys the information and message you want to get across.

The Difference Between an ICO Community Manager and a “Regular” Community Manager

There is some definite blurring in the roles of an ICO community manager. What’s the difference between what a social media manager does versus a community manager, and what’s the difference between an ICO community manager and a “regular” community manager? Well, a lot depends on ICO management strategy and its intended presence in particular channels, and a lot depends on the actual person.

When one thinks of a “regular” community manager, someone who posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn springs to mind. Community managers are generally more social media centric with some forum posting. Regular community management is about engagement and being able to convey and respond to messages.

ICO Community management, on the other hand, requires a much more hands-on approach to community management, and demonstrate a far higher level of expertise and knowledge than “regular” community management.

The elite community management required in ICO community management needs a willingness and an ability to engage across many platforms throughout the whole ICO process 24/7, across different time zones.

The ICO community manager has two very clear tasks which a regular community manager probably doesn’t have: Pre-ICO and Post-ICO. Pre-ICO, the ICO community manager has the responsibility of building trust, gaining exposure, and cementing brand identity. How the information is conveyed and how communities are engaged can make or break an ICO before its launch. Post-ICO is just as important for an ICO community manager, as they have the responsibility to maintain and moderate social media ICOs channels, follow up on the shares and comments, and answer all the questions or queries community members may have.

In the immediacy of an ICO crowdsale, too often a post-ICO strategy is put to one side. The ICO community manager is vital for keeping engagement levels up and keeping the community informed. Keeping the community engaged is crucial for any next phase of growth in the ICO campaign or blockchain-related project.

Qualities Needed for an ICO Community Manager

Now, no one is saying that ICO Community Managers need to have super-human powers, but there are certain qualities needed to be a successful ICO Community Manager.

Dedicated – Community Management requires a 24/7 committed approach.

Knowledgeable – This is not a position where you can bluff your way through. You will be expected to be the ‘face’ of the ICO and know everything about the company behind the ICO, including the technical aspects. A strong knowledge of blockchain technology and the crypto world is essential for an ICO community manager to build trust within the crypto community. Try and bluff your way through, and you will get found out very quickly, especially on Reddit.

Patient – An ICO community manager will have to deal with all types of community members and potential investors, some more knowledgeable than others. Also, the ICO community manager will have to answer the same few questions repeatedly on a daily basis – “How much do I get?” and “When are the bounties distributed?” are two of the most common questions an ICO manager will have to answer… a lot! Patience is important.

Communicative – The ability to communicate is essential to the role of ICO community manager. Different messages will have to be conveyed to different groups in different styles, so the ability to get the ICO message across to the right people in the right way is a big responsibility of the ICO manager.

Flexible – Most ICO community managers are forced to wear many hats. Facebook group posting one minute, then posting 1000 word articles on Quora the next minute, requires a degree of flexibility.

Alert – Crypto ICO news comes in thick and fast and it is the job of the ICO community manager to stay on top of the news and events and react accordingly.

Experienced – The key to successfully running a community is being part of the community itself. The ICO manager must know the nuances of important channels like Reddit and BitcoinTalk and ideally be experienced members themselves, to be able to fully optimize valuable the resources.

 ICO Community Managers Playing a Bigger Role

In the fast-growing world of ICO consulting which has sprang up alongside the equally booming ICO crowdfunding industry, more importance is being placed on the role of the ICO Community Manager. Simply put, the ICO community manager can make the difference between a successful ICO and a failed ICO and there isn’t an ICO PR agency worth its salt that doesn’t realize that.

There is no definitive role description for an ICO community manager, its tasks and responsibilities vary from person to person and company to company. However, the function and purpose do not differ and the person who sits in the role or roles of ICO community managers will have the biggest impact of all. Get the right person who has the attributes listed above and provide them with the right tools, budget and backing and they can go a long way to help an ICO enjoy long-term success. As the advertising bans intensify and the coin launch calendar becomes busier, the ICO community manager will have more responsibility and more power to make or break an ICO. Therefore, it is essential the right person(s) fill the roll with the right backing given to carry out a defined and widespread ICO community management strategy.

 

Publish your ICO on Cointelligence to attract new investors today

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What You Should Know When It Comes to Crypto PR

Motti PeerApr 27, 2018

It’s no secret that a cryptocurrency PR agency can be a strong factor in making or breaking your product and, sadly, your company. So putting your trust into the right hands is crucial. If it’s not known yet, the official press release announces any news or updates that a company has to share with the public. The success of a release and securing media coverage can do wonders for your company.

Let’s get into the details of what it looks like at each stage of your ICO and how to find the right cryptocurrency PR agency for you:

Pre ICO

It’s the beginning of a new era for your company, which you’re hoping will be the next big thing or at the very least a successful project that will lead to even greater success in the future. At this point, you have an idea of what your token will be and the utility behind it. Now, you’re going to need seasoned PR experts to represent you throughout the length of this process, so you start the search for a crypto PR agency. Taking care of this first step can really push your project further than you could ever imagine. The success you achieve with your new agency will have a big impact on your token.

Think long and hard about who you will be hiring and make sure you are comparing a few options. Part of your research ought to include talking to others around you and in the industry, performing a general search, and checking out the reviews. This process helps rule out the ones that don’t fit your standards for the work you expect. Focusing on past successes and having a proven track record are clear indicators when picking a PR agency.

Let’s fast forward a bit to after you’ve picked the perfect PR agency and it’s time to create a PR strategy. This is the point where the crypto PR strategy must align with your company’s idea, messaging, and product. Make sure to have a back-and-forth to ensure that you’re getting exactly what you want. Speak up and don’t be shy! Part of this stage is creating the crypto PR itself, which also may involve many iterations as things evolve. Once it’s complete, it’s time to move on to the next step.

Now comes the media outreach. This is one of the most important pieces of this entire process because this is what will lead to success in securing coverage. As I like to tell my clients, all token PR is good PR as long as they spell your name right, and I stand by that. Getting back on topic, a good rule of thumb is quality over quantity. In other words, it’s better to have a smaller group of writers that are 100 percent interested in covering your story. Rather than having a large quantity of writers that won’t be interested, you want the influencers in the space that care about the topic and have covered it at length. In this case, the odds would be in your favor and they will better understand your mission.

Before we move on, let’s discuss the advantage of having a ‘bazooka.’ In our case a bazooka is a known politician, celebrity, athlete, or an esteemed professor can really make a difference in the success of the campaign. We all know that a bazooka can pack a punch and have a big impact. The advantage of having one in the crypto world is entering an entirely new ball game. I suggest all my clients to get a bazooka because it’s not only going to make my job easier and more fun, but it’ll make the clients project more successful and newsworthy.

During ICO

Your ICO has started and you’ve already reached the hard cap thanks to the great ICO PR you had. You’ve also received great coverage thus far. Congratulations, you did it! But, the work isn’t over just yet.

It’s time for you and your community team to build a presence on your social media accounts, especially if you haven’t done so yet. That means being active on Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, Medium, Reddit, Steemit, and Bitcointalk. It’s best to constantly share notable news, project updates, and interact with users on a daily basis. You’re not just growing these social platforms, but maintaining interactions and creating that strong presence that you want people to talk about for years to come.

While your team is focusing on building the community, the PR team is working to secure more coverage. Whether it be about updates or even connecting your project with current headlines, it’s important to go after every relevant angle.

It’s also a great time to be on podcasts and write thought leadership pieces. Both of these are great for maintaining coverage and displaying your expert knowledge of the industry. By positioning yourself as a leader in the industry, you will show the community that they can trust you and your project.

Post ICO

Fast forward a few months or maybe even a year, your company is established and you’ve built a strong community. Furthermore, your token is doing great! What more could you want? Well, there’s a simple answer to that question. You should always want more. There are certain limits with this way of thinking, but none-the-less your work with the PR agency isn’t over just yet.

Constantly having updates and news to share with the community is always a great way to stay in the media and, of course, keep people interested in your token. This doesn’t change after the ICO is over. One great story to share is when your token officially enters the exchanges. People who have invested in your token will care and take notice to this effect because  they will need to decide on their next steps.

It’s important to be completely transparent about what you are doing because a lot of people have decided to invest in your token. There are too many scams out there these days and you are not one of them. Constantly sharing updates about your token, letting the community members know when there will be a beta of the product to test, and having a demo that can be used by writers is all necessary. By putting these types of stories out for community members and journalists your project will gain more legitimacy.

Part of PR agency’s outreach includes submitting the CEO, CMO, COO, and others for various event opportunities. Events can include sponsored options like paying for a booth to exhibit or  getting on stage for a speaking opportunity to discuss a project or industry. These are great opportunities to get out into the world of crypto, technology, and the specific industries your product is targeting. At these events you can network with other professionals and leaders in the industry, getting to pick their brains on how you can improve your own ideas, while securing possible collaborations in the future. It’s important to note that no matter the success of your ICO, attending these types of events can really show you off as a leader in the industry, and can open many doors to the business world. Connections are everything. It’s also helpful to submit the company for awards to display your success. Plus, every company wants to receive awards.

Wrap It All Together

Whether you’re in need of a blockchain PR agency, crypto PR agency, ICO PR agency, token PR agency, or cryptocurrency PR agency, your team should be making your project feel like it’s the single and only project that is being worked on. They should be doing everything in their power to make your project and PR a success, no matter what the story.

About Motti Peer

Motti Peer is the Co-CEO of Blonde 2.0, an award-winning global PR agency. Also named as one the startup nation’s “Movers and Shakers” on Forbes. With a team of 35 professionals, Blonde 2.0 one of the leading forces in PR for Blockchain and Crypto, startups and VCs.

The views expressed are of the author.

Cointelligence invites global Blockchain and crypto professionals to share their opinions and expertise with our readers. If you would like to share your point of view, please contact us at info@Cointelligence.com.

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Cosmos Blockchain

Cosmos Blockchain – Many Chains, Many Tokens, One Ecosystem

Michiel MuldersApr 12, 2018

The Cosmos Blockchain is a novel answer to “sidechains,” which aims to enable users to traverse a galaxy of blockchains with ease. Cosmos wants to offer multiple parallel blockchains to interoperate while retaining their security properties. Previous attempts with proof-of-work were not as successful as expected because a child chain could be attacked when the majority of the mining power was allocated to the parent chain or another child chain. Cosmos is focused on interoperability between blockchains and a low-energy consuming version of a blockchain with great scaling flexibility.

The Cosmos whitepaper describes the current blockchain related problems:

To date, blockchains have suffered from a number of drawbacks, including their gross energy inefficiency, poor or limited performance, and immature governance mechanisms. Proposals to scale Bitcoin’s transaction throughput, such as Segregated-Witness and BitcoinNG, are vertical scaling solutions that remain limited by the capacity of a single physical machine, in order to ensure the property of complete auditability. The Lightning Network can help scale Bitcoin transaction volume by leaving some transactions off the ledger completely, and is well suited for micropayments and privacy-preserving payment rails, but may not be suitable for more generalized scaling needs.

There is no doubt blockchain will play a key role in our future, however, we have to acknowledge the existing problems. The Cosmos project acquired Tendermint blockchain consensus algorithm as it’s very efficient and uses the more mature Byzantine Fault Tolerance.

Meet Tendermint

Cosmos is using proof-of-stake, which means that there is no computational race for securing the blockchain as with proof-of-work. The larger stake of coins you own, the larger amount of coins you will receive. However, Cosmos uses a slightly different approach as it’s using a proof-of-stake version of Tendermint blockchain consensus.

To put it simply, Tendermint is a software which can be used to achieve Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) in any distributed computing platform. The idea behind BFT is decades old, but the interest has only increased since the blockchain trend has started. Blockchain technology is nothing more than BFT in a modern setting, with an emphasis on cryptography and p2p networks.

Why do we need Tendermint?

For a decentralized system, it’s technically not possible that all nodes communicate through one central node. Therefore, fast enough communication is only possible through a mesh network. However, a mesh network allows the Byzantine Fault where false information is spread and nobody knows who’s speaking the truth. This is where Tendermint is needed as it has several mechanisms to determine the trustworthiness of nodes. Tendermint relies on a group of semi-trusted nodes to vote on blocks; as long as more than two-thirds of the voting nodes are honest, the protocol will remain active.

Tendermint Architecture

Tendermint has been built up using two core components, namely Tendermint Core which serves as a consensus engine and the Application Blockchain Interface (ABCI). Tendermint Core is as well responsible for ensuring the correct order of the registered transactions on every node in the network. An ABCI provides developers with an interface to process transactions using their desired programming language and acts as well as a gateway to Tendermint Core. It is even possible to manage multiple application’s states via the Tendermint Core using a socket protocol they have developed.

In short, Tendermint is responsible for:

  •  Validating transaction signatures.
  • Preventing malicious transactions from being added to the world state.
  • Updating and managing the world state of your blockchain.
  • Offering query functionality against the world state. Blockchains like Bitcoin are not designed to offer querying functionality.
  • Sending transactions to Tendermint Core via a simple to use API.

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Cosmos Hubs and Zones

Cosmos allows multiple blockchains to run concurrently while retaining this interoperability. The Cosmos Hub is responsible for managing different Zones. Through using Hubs and Zones, Cosmos has created inter-blockchain communication (IBC) which is fairly unique. Each Zone accepts a stream of recent block commits which are forwarded to the Hub. The Hub is responsible for maintaining the world state. Validation occurs by communicating Merkle-proofs between zones to prove to other zones the information was correctly processed.

Cosmos IBC zone hub

A Hub hosts a multi-asset distributed ledger, where tokens can be held by both users or zones. The cool thing here is that it’s possible to move tokens from one zone to one another. This is again accomplished through IBC communication of a coin packet. Basically, the Hub is as well a routing mechanism.

A Zone is an independent blockchain that is capable of exchanging these IBC messages with the corresponding Hub.

Validators

We mentioned earlier Cosmos is using proof-of-stake. The Cosmos network requires you to stake Atoms, the platform’s internal currency. A validator is tied to one zone of the Cosmos hub for which he is validating transactions. Your voting power is calculated by the amount of staking Atoms. Validators that act maliciously will be penalized and so lose all their staked Atoms and their share of the reserve pool. In addition, he will lose all credibility within the network.

When more than one-third of the nodes act maliciously or go down, the network will be halted, because Tendermint prefers the safety property above liveness. The only way to restart the network is by recovering it with a hard-fork reorganization proposal.

It is important to know Tendermint limits the number of validators by nature as it was discovered that blockchains become slower when there are more validators, due to the increased complexity of communicating with each other. In the first year, the number of validators is set to 100. This number will increase by 13% each year over a period of ten years, settling at 300 validators.

The Atom Token

The Atom token is the native asset to the Cosmos Hub, which can be used across the different distributed ledgers of each zone. Atoms give users the right to vote, validate, or delegate to other validators. Like Ethereum, the Atom token is considered to be the gas for paying for transactions. This fee is implemented to mitigate spam.

Use Cases

Distributed Exchange

A distributed exchange is one of the cool concepts which is possible with Cosmos. By using the hubs and zones architecture, this mass-replicated ledger is less vulnerable for internal and external hacking attempts.

A distributed exchange is not exactly the same as a decentralized exchange (DEX). A DEX makes use of atomic swaps, which are cross-chain transactions. The downside of a DEX is that both users have to be online for the trade to succeed. A distributed exchange doesn’t require this as the trade-matching service will take care of the transaction.

A distributed exchange’s added value is its high transaction throughput and capacity using the zones and Tendermint core. According to the Cosmos whitepaper, the commit latency of a transaction is comparable with those of centralized exchanges.

Bridging to Other Cryptocurrencies

A certain zone can act as a bridge token to be traded for another cryptocurrency, creating a link between a foreign and a Cosmos native cryptocurrency. In order to accomplish this, a bridge zone has to keep up with both the internal zone and the foreign cryptocurrency.

Scaling Ethereum Dapp on Cosmos Stack

If you are held back by the Ethereum performance, there are different approaches to scale your Dapp using the Cosmos stack.

Peg Zone

The peg zone – called ‘Peggy’ – allows users to transfer ERC20 tokens to the Cosmos Hub where they can be exchanged at a much faster rate. In addition, the Cosmos Hub provides special EVM zones for ERC20 tokens. Once users are finished, they can withdraw their tokens back to the Ethereum network.

Tendermint Plasma

Plasma allows developers to use the Cosmos SDK for developing Dapps while their tokens are staked on the Ethereum network. These projects can rely on much faster transaction times within Tendermint zones.

Cosmos SDK

The Cosmos SDK v0.10.0 was announced on the 28th of February, 2018. The Cosmos SDK is providing Dapp developers another way of building secure blockchain applications besides the EVM smart contracts. It is now possible to have different chains with different coins, enabling a true Cosmos Ecosystem.

cosmos ecosystem diagram

Cosmos provides an example of a coin, called BaseCoin, that makes use of the Cosmos Ecosystem. You see here an example of the code where we set some options for our new coin like a supply and token name.

coin default options code

As you can see, the code is written in Golang. The Cosmos SDK shows us as well some code for users, to be used to send messages containing arbitrary information.

message interface

At this time, the documentation on the Cosmos SDK is not great yet. Let’s hope this will change in the future.

Useful Links

Github Cosmos SDK: https://github.com/cosmos/cosmos-sdk
Cosmos SDK Documentation: https://readthedocs.org/projects/cosmos-sdk/downloads/pdf/develop/
SDK Announcement v0.10.0: https://blog.cosmos.network/hello-world-the-cosmos-sdk-is-ready-for-takeoff-b8857b4057db
Cosmos Whitepaper: https://cosmos.network/whitepaper
Cosmos Official Telegram: https://t.me/cosmosproject

 

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