ICOs, or initial coin offerings, are now old news. Just months ago, the novelty of crowdfunding via the blockchain and a booming cryptocurrency market was enough to attract new investors, but things have changed. Previously, startups with little to offer the marketplace but a decentralized spin on an old concept could generate millions of dollars in minutes, but investors are now intensifying their scrutiny. Their motivation used to be quick profit, though as markets wise up to new trends, they must invest (and not speculate) based on merit.

Anyone can write a white paper, generate a smart contract and publish their wallet address. Would-be investors must now all but ignore the blockchain aspect of a potential investment, and instead look at factors like the team, product, and timeline – like they did before ICOs were even an option. However, there are still great opportunities out there for those willing to do research.

1. Energi Mine

This upcoming ICO is courtesy of a UK-based company called Energi Mine, founded in 2016. That they’ve waited over a year to launch their ICO is encouraging, especially given the complexity and potential of their product. The company employs artificial intelligence and the blockchain to manage the energy usage of large clients, and incentivizes energy conservation through its ETK token.

The global energy market is worth $2 trillion, and capturing a piece of it could be a lucrative opportunity. A decentralized platform for using energy will allow peers to trade energy between themselves, and will reward participants who display energy-efficient behavior.

2. Gladius

A unique offering in the world of blockchain, Gladius aims to help users increase the security and speed of their websites. Participants can “rent” their computers’ spare bandwidth and processing power in exchange for tokens, and then use these tokens to pay for a private, decentralized hosting solution using the network’s collective power. This solution will render DDoS attacks and other threats harmless, and create a fast, safe environment for people to operate online.

Keep an eye out for the public sale, which starts November 1st, 2017. The white paper and team composition are impressive, making this ICO one that the market is likely to jump on.

3. Dether

Dether has an answer to one of cryptocurrency’s biggest questions: how do we get regular people to use it? There are many who understand the importance of finding real world applications for cryptocurrency, but Dether is one of the few to offer a realistic solution. The company makes it possible for people to purchase Ethereum with cash, either online or from anyone on the street who already has it. The application turns Ethereum holders into PTMs (people teller machines), who can transact with others and with retail shops using their smartphones.

The Dether application’s powerful, yet simple functionality make it a likely candidate for those looking to add a new ICO to their portfolio.

4. EOS

While EOS has already raised a significant amount of funding, their ICO doesn’t officially end until June of 2018. The system allows smart contract blockchains to process transactions much more efficiently, through a proprietary process called parallel execution. By separating the authentication from the execution processes, generating role-based permission and more, EOS provides a smart contract infrastructure that can process over 100,000 transactions per second.

This type of solution is largely B2B, which is a good sign for investors. As blockchain moves from the consumer realm to benefit large companies and institutions, investors in ICOs like EOS gain value with increased adoption.

5. CanYa

CanYa uses the power of cryptocurrency to run their platform where people can list services and hire others, all with CanYa Coins. To push wider adoption of crypto, companies must provide pre-built marketplaces and literally deliver a functional use case to the average consumer. This is a notion that CanYa understands well, and it’s evident when reading their blog, whitepaper, and even communicating with them on Slack. It’s also encouraging that the company has such a well-rounded team.

The first stage of the ICO begins in mid-October, and though there will be only 60,000,000 coins released, those who participate during the presale get an extra 400% on their investment. Whether to see the value of the coin increase as its popularity does, or simply to get a discount on the coins you’ll use to hire someone to mow your lawn, smart crypto fans will get in as soon as they can.

6. Privatix

In a world where Russia and China are banning VPNs, a decentralized solution based on blockchain has obvious value. Privatix has built an Ethereum-powered peer-to-peer product that takes spare power from its users and gives them access to powerful, distributed proxy software. Whether to get past China’s “Great Firewall” or simply to watch Netflix in a foreign country, the benefits of such a system are immense.

Users who help run the network for others are paid in tokens, which in turn can be utilized to use the Privatix VPN. If not for return on investment, one should contribute to this October 19th ICO for the product itself.

Finding Blockchain’s Killer App

While blockchain is certainly a revolutionary technology, it can no longer be presented as a standalone feature for a new startup. Companies must make smart use of blockchain as a software-like solution, prove the value of their idea, and speak about their team and timeline rather than the future value of their token. In this way, vetting ICOs for investment becomes much easier, and highly rewards those who can separate the great concepts from the novel.

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