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Guide to launching an ICO (from a projects perspective)

Guide to launching an Initial Coin Offering (ICO)

There has been a lot of confusion on what an initial coin offering is (ICO — also sometimes called a token generation event or token sale), what kinds of companies an ICO can be used for, and what goes into launching an ICO — from a project’s perspective.

Disclaimer: This is not to be construed as investment or legal advice, but rather meant as a template to show the process behind an ICO, and what a project’s stakeholders (team, board, stakeholders) should think about when conducting an ICO.

Given the blockchain industry is relatively new, there isn’t a whole lot of information on the topic (from a project’s perspective), and with each new ICO, teams are learning best practices on what to do and what not to do. Below is a guide of all of the information we collected about the ICO process, with input from people who experienced the process first hand.

If you want to contribute to this guide, or have any suggestions, feel free to make suggestions here:

We will update this post with changes as we collect them.

A big thank you to Linda Xie, Ankur Nandwani, and Kim Cellere for contributing and reviewing this post.

Contents Pre-PlanningPlanning (Token, Whitepaper, Website, Communication, etc)Before the ICOAfter the ICORunning the project post-ICO. Pre-planning

The biggest two questions you need to think about first are:

What is the purpose of the token?Are you sure you want to do an ICO?


What is the purpose of the token?What function or utility does it perform?Is the token absolutely necessary?Why does your project need to be on the blockchain?Can you describe a viable economic model behind it?

If your application doesn’t need to be built on top of a blockchain protocol, you should think hard before moving forward. For example, the computational costs of building an application on top of Ethereum is much more expensive than something like AWS. You ne...

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