Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) have been making news for reasons both good and bad. An Initial Coin Offering can be considered a counterpart of an Initial Public Offering (IPO). Basically, it's crowdfunding in the cryptocurrency​ market. The exponential rise in the number of ICO launches and money raised has brought them under the microscope with regulators issuing public notices, warning investors about ICOs being a ‘pump and dump’ scheme and some other form of scam. While there is some once of truth in this claim, it would be unfair to put all projects under the same head.

There are several good projects being launched which have merit to them. Here’s a look at four such upcoming ICOs (in no particular order).

Energi Mine (ETK)

Energi Mine is a Manchester, UK-based technology company founded in 2016 that uses advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and blockchain to trade and manage energy on behalf of blue-chip clients. The company is now looking to revolutionize the $2 trillion global electricity market by bringing in a change in the way energy is both traded and consumed.

By launching a tokenized platform for energy, Energi Mine plans to decentralize the global energy markets. This will facilitate peer-to-peer trading of electricity between users while offering rewards in the form of tokens to users (Energi Tokens – ETK) for energy-saving behavior. Attaching incentives to energy-efficient behavior can reduce the wasteful energy demand and promote buying of efficient energy appliances.

Overall, the platform can help resolve basic issues in the existing energy marketplace such as opaqueness, centralized mechanism, limited players and lack of incentives for consumers. The ICO is just about to enter pre-sale, with a target ICO date towards the end of the year. ​​

Crypto20 (C20)

While cryptocurrencies have garnered a lot of interest, factors such as limited knowledge, volatility and high risk are some of the reasons that have kept investors away from dipping their toes. This is where a structured product like the CRYPTO20 can be of use.

CRYPTO20 is the first cryptocurrency-only tokenized index fund that autonomously maintains (through regular rebalancing) a diverse portfolio of the top 20 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. The product can replicate the style of Vanguard 500 that maintains a portfolio of top 500 publicly listed US companies based on market capitalization.

By cutting out the middleman, CRYPTO20 is looking offer the lowest fees in the industry. All that an investor needs to do is buy its token C20, which will represent the investor’s shareholding of the fund with its value linked directly to the 20 underlying cryptocurrencies. Currently eleven out of the top 20 cryptocurrenies have a market cap in billions, they are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Litecoin, Dash, NEM, IOTA, Monero, NEO and Ethereum Classic. Pre-sale starts October 7, while main token sale starts October 16, 2017. 

Sensay (SENSE)

In today’s times, users spend countless hours on messaging apps but these applications operate in isolated chambers with no common connect or scope for direct knowledge sharing. Opposite to the present structures, Sensay is a decentralized messaging platform which operates in a transparent manner by allowing interoperability messaging across centralized messaging applications.

Sensay is now launching the SENSE token to enable users earn rewards for their conversational contributions across the Sensay platform and other applications. The Sensay network has over 20 million Sensay Coins already in circulation among nearly 3 million users, exchangeable for SENSE. Sensay works on any SMS-enabled device with which it has a potential reach of 4.9 billion people globally. With SENSE, ‘monetization’ angle will be added for users and developers on an already existing, advanced and decentralized platform. Pre-Sale in September, followed by main token sale from October 3-10, 2017

Dether (ÐTR)

Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization, is a decentralized software platform that enables SmartContracts and Distributed Applications (ĐApps) to be built and run without any downtime, fraud, control or interference from a third party. Since its launch in 2015, Ethereum has been a favorite with investors and developers alike but the process of buying and selling it remains centralized, which has hindered its mass adoption.

However, with Dether, the world's first decentralized application, people can buy ether using cash and spend it at physical stores using a mobile phone. Dether allows any person who has ether to become a person teller machine (PTM). While buyers can buy ether anywhere, anytime with cash, merchants can accept payments in ETH. The process of buying and selling, in this case, is guided by Dether’s map. Dether is launching the DTR token (ÐTR) to use Dether’s map in the best possible way and to be able to become a part of its buyback program. Thus, Dether will lower the barriers which are inhibiting Ethereum’s mass adoption. Crowdsale will take place in November 2017. 

Investopedia or the author (Prableen Bajpai) does not endorse these projects for investment purposes. The article is purely for information purposes and is not an investment advisory.