Top Three ICOs to Watch in 2018

Top Three ICOs to Watch in 2018
By Kenneth Alexander
Date December 20, 2017

If you had asked me last month if I liked the upside of high-quality initial coin offerings (ICOs), I’d have said, “Absolutely.”

Today, my response would be even more emphatic. I’ve gone from “ICOs are investment-worthy” to…

“I don’t care who you are or what your investment goals are, you cannot afford to ignore ICOs.”

Why ICOs Pack Abundant Upside

It may sound like it’s FOMO – fear of missing out – at play here. But I assure you, it’s not.

Not investing in the ICO space is tantamount to never saving for your retirement…

Inexcusable and avoidable. Utterly irresponsible investor behavior.

Unfortunately, plenty of people will give ICOs a pass. They’re not the easiest opportunities to figure out. (That’s where we at Early Investing come in, of course.)

Some investors might think they’re too risky or that they’re a passing fad. Others avoid them out of ignorance or laziness. That’s a big mistake.

But the very fact that you’re reading my advice right now is a good sign. It means you have an open and curious mind.

So listen very carefully to what I say next…

The financial rewards of ICOs are unprecedented orders of magnitude higher than what you could expect to get by investing in the early stages of tech startups.

The reason makes perfect sense… Most startups try to meet a large need. Silicon Valley investors seek 10 times returns from companies that improve the product and/or user experience by 10 times.

It means 10 times faster or cheaper or friendlier user experience, 10 times better quality, 10 times more features, etc. You get the idea. But every now and then, a company comes on the scene and transforms an entire industry. Think Uber or Airbnb.

Early investors in those companies make much more. You can add one or two more zeros to the 10X hoped-for gain.

What About ICOs?

Those exceptions where industries get a complete makeover are destined to be much more common going forward. That’s due to ICOs, which don’t just meet needs… They reinvent entire industries.

Forget 10X improvements. The impact that the ICOs’ underlying technology (called blockchain) is expected to make is much more sweeping.

An early example? Sending bitcoin from one country to another in seconds without bank participation. Many, many more examples are coming.

At the moment, this technology is new and, for the most part, still in its testing phase. But right now we’re at the beginning of a two- to three-decade-long technological transformation that will reinvent dozens of industries.

Ready or Not, Dozens of Industries Are About to Be Disrupted

Our banking system is the most obvious sector that will be disrupted, so it’s getting most of the attention right now. But that’s just scratching the surface.

As I write this, tokens are funding the rollout of hundreds of decentralized (and disruptive) technologies.

Some examples include cloud storage (Filecoin, Storj); digital advertising (Basic Attention Token, adToken); marijuana (PotCoin); and dentistry (Dentacoin).

Token-based projects are gearing up to anchor revolutions in transportation, healthcare, shipping, insurance, real estate and dozens of other industries. It’s becoming clearer by the day that cutting out the middleman is a game changer.

The efficiency gains – simply from sharing and securing information on a decentralized web-based ledger – are proving to be major.

I recently wrote that “the ICO companies of today are setting themselves up to dominate vast swaths of tomorrow’s industries.”

Sounds like a good investment opportunity, no? Except that right now we don’t know who will rule banking, cross-border and peer-to-peer payments, insurance, transportation, real estate, and many other vast global markets.

Then what do we know? We know that several token-based technologies will emerge as big winners and make their investors a ton of money.

The Beginning of Explosive ICO Growth

To be able to give the crowd access to ICO opportunities is incredibly exciting because, even without the crowd, ICO funding has exploded, with $3 billion-plus of funding just this year.

ICOs are now dominating startup funding in the blockchain space and are raising more funds than traditional venture capital. Take a look at this chart…

It’s a stunning development, one that shows no signs of slowing.

In 2017, ICOs amount to less than 1.35% of the total cryptocurrency market (which is estimated to be more than $400 billion as I write this).

If the Securities and Exchange Commission does force ICOs to declare their tokens to be securities (as many, including me, fear it will), that would only make launching ICOs under Reg. CF or Reg. A+ a more attractive option.

That’s because funding ICOs under Reg. CF or Reg. A+ shields these companies from other more expensive, complicated and restrictive government regulations..

Early Is How You Earn Big Returns

If you just look around, there’s plenty of evidence that ICOs and blockchain technology are not just a passing fad. Companies are certainly taking this space seriously…

  • American Express is introducing blockchain-enabled cross-border B2B payments to customers.
  • Hewlett-Packard is planning to use distributed ledger startup R3’s Corda platform to offer services for payments and identity.
  • NoterEth is a notary service that uses blockchain technology to verify a person’s identity and eliminate the need to show an ID with a stamped document.
  • UJO’s blockchain technology lets it give greater rights to artists rather than big record labels.
  • IBM has teamed up with blockchain startup Stellar and payment company KickEx to launch a cross-border payment system for banks to reduce costs and settlement time.
  • JPMorgan is getting ready to unveil Quorum, a blockchain technology that will allow interaction between public and private blockchains while supporting data privacy.
  • Microsoft and Bank of America are collaborating on a blockchain to digitize and automate the money flow around trades.
  • Maersk, the Danish shipping giant, is testing a blockchain to track its shipments and coordinate with customs officials.
  • Airbus, the French airplane manufacturer, and Daimler, the German automaker, want to use blockchains to monitor the thousands of parts that come together to make their jet planes and cars.
  • BAE Systems, the British defense contractor, is exploring the use of blockchain to share cybersecurity threat data.

Blockchain will be a critical part of many future technologies, and the foundations are being laid right now. We can see it happening before our eyes. So it may be very early in the life of these transformational technologies, but the ICO/blockchain space is very real.

And at the moment, it’s not necessary to pick the ICO/blockchain technology winners. By backing a smart, innovative enabler of ICOs and the blockchain, we’re making as safe an investment play in ICOs as can be made.

The upside potential is still huge… and the risk isn’t. And there’s a few ICO plays you want to look into this year, these three should definitely be on your watch list:

2018 ICO Watch List

  1. Experty – ICO January 31, 2018: Remote consultants shouldn’t ignore this revolutionary technology… Experty has developed a blockchain-based calling platform. It allows two or more people to connect via video or audio call. The app seamlessly allows consultants to set a by-the-minute rate. Charges are accrued by the call and settled directly at the end using smart contracts powered by Ethereum.
  1. DADI – ICO January 22, 2018: It’s not often a company has the right technology to challenge big names like Amazon, Google and Microsoft. But DADI has an edge that makes it very intriguing. The company has developed a decentralized cloud service. It uses something call a “fog computing structure,” where a decentralized pool of devices works together to more efficiently scale web services. It’s a revolutionary step in the cloud computing business and an opportunity that could hand initial investors outsized returns.
  1. VeriME – February 1, 2018: Another decentralized system looking to revolutionize its market is VeriME. The company has developed a decentralized Verification-as-a-Service ecosystem that operates via blockchain and on customers’ mobile applications. The whole point is to authenticate and identify customers quickly and efficiently at the point of purchase, thus saving money and time for the company and enhancing the customer experience.

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Adam is our in-house crypto currency expert.

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