Adam Cochran

BizDev/Growth Hacker at DuckDuckGo

The 3 ICOs I’m Watching this Summer

With the major boom in the cryptocurrency there seems to be an endless supply of incoming ICOs. Deciding what has good value can be a challenge even for experienced investors.

Here’s the top 3 ICOs that I think are worth watching over the coming months!

Giga Watt (WTT) — June 2nd to July 31st

Giga Watt’s GigaPod Mining Storage Facility

Giga Watt is a provider of turn-key cryptocurrency mining. Their ICO will sell 30 million WTT tokens each representing 1 watt of electrical power at their Washington State facility for 50 years.

The tokens will be sold for $1 USD each and can be redeemed to mine on their equipment or leased out to others.

Why Giga Watt is Interesting:

  1. Their Washington State hosting facility has access to $0.028/per Kilo-Watt Hour electricity. Whereas the US average is between $0.12 — $0.18/per Kilo-Watt Hour.
  2. The low cost should drop the price to mine a Bitcoin (at current rates) from ~$1300 USD to ~$400 USD for their members.
  3. The ability to rent out tokens for $0.30 — $0.60 per year allows individuals to make 30% — 60% year-over-year returns on their investment without mining.
  4. The team lead by Dave Carlson seems to have both the expertise and resources to deliver this product.

Possible Downsides:

  1. It’s unclear if the Giga Watt rental platform will have any additional fees.
  2. The advancement in mining hardware or significant changes in the price of cryptocurrency will drastically change the profitability of this investment.

Hive — Date TBD

Hive’s solution Framework

Hive aims to create an ecosystem of small business invoice financing via blockchain crowdlending to compete with startups like Kabbage (recently valued at $135M)

Most businesses invoices have payment terms of 30–90 days. That means a small business can sit without cash for up to 3 months. A massive banking market has emerged to loan businesses money while they wait for invoices to be paid.

Hive aims to replace this by allowing small businesses to sell their invoice debt to the Hive blockchain, they’ll receive part of the invoice upfront in BTC or ETH and in exchange the full balance of the invoice will be paid back to the Hive blockchain allowing the lenders to recoup their investment and make a profit.

Why Hive is Interesting:

  1. They have an experienced leadership team that is familiar with crypto and financial lending. Their team includes employees from Bank of America, BitStamp, and BitLendingClub.
  2. The invoice financing industry is a $3 Trillion/year market that is hungry for disruption (as validated by startups like Kabbage and Fundera).
  3. The team aims to eventually sell the Hive project infrastructure to an existing player in the financial lending space and split the profits among token holders.

Possible Downsides:

  1. There are large risks in lending, both due to invoice verification fraud, defaulting, and bankruptcy.
  2. It’s unclear how current EU regulation views financial lending in cryptocurrency, defaulting on that debt, or ICOs in general.

Kin — Date TBD

Kin is the cryptocurrency currently in development by the chat app Kik. It will enable users to create a digital ecosystem by paying to interact with bots, join group chats, promote sponsored messages and more.

The reason that Kin becomes a no-brainer ICO is that from day one it will be integrated into Kik accessing their 300 million users.

A few years ago, Kik allowed users to earn and use “Kik Points” as rewards for engaging with advertisers. Their Kik Points experiment saw a daily transaction volume larger than that of the Bitcoin network, proving not only the value of their user base but the user bases affinity for a digital currency equivalent.

The deep integration into Kik will create a strong early demand for the Kin currency, but Ted Livingston Kik’s CEO is also founding “The Kin Foundation” to help steer growth and adoption of the currency into other apps.

Why Kin is Interesting:

  1. Large day one user base, many of whom are not currently in the cryptocurrency market.
  2. Backed by a large and experienced company with a strong reputation and the right resources to create this ecosystem.
  3. Rewards engine that allows developers to earn Kin by creating engaging user experiences.
  4. Clear day one value validated by past Kik Points experiment.

Possible Downsides:

  1. A significant amount of Kin will be held by Kik and the Kin Foundation. While unlikely, this could lead to a mass liquidation which would hurt the currency.
  2. Due to expected volume, and to minimize fees Kin will use a hybrid on-chain/off-chain system.

What about you?

What ICOs are you keeping an eye on? Share them in responses below!

*Disclaimer: Nothing within these posts should be considered financial or legal advice, nor an endorsement of any product, service or investment. Individuals should be aware of their local legislation when dealing with cryptocurrencies or any product that may be considered a security in your locale.

**The claims about cryptocurrencies in this post are based on promotional and forward-looking statements made by their respective teams, they have not been validated by myself or other third-parties at this time.

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