4 ICOs to Watch in March 2018

There’s a lot of scammy ICOs out there pushing an unrealizable dream, fueled by speculation rather than an actual product or recognized market need. As such, the ICO market has become oversaturated and treacherous, especially for novice investors.

In fact, I’m pretty sure even my grandma was talking about launching her own ICO, KnittingCoin (NanaCoin was already taken).

But, in all seriousness, investing in ICOs should be approached with caution and thorough research under your belt, and the acceptance that you could potentially lose your entire investment. Don’t gamble with money you aren’t willing to lose.  

Once you have reconciled yourself to such risks, here is a list of 4 ICOs that have strong teams and transparent roadmaps. They’re addressing actual market needs and deficiencies, and are well worth keeping your eye on in March 2018.

1. KYC Legal

KYC Legal logo

Know Your Customer (KYC)” is a term increasing in popularity by the day due to pervasive money laundering and other illicit activities in the cryptosphere and digital world. Unfortunately, a KYC regulatory ideal is not achieved by flattery, as the current framework is substantially lacking in affordability, efficiency, and transparency, and ICO scams and crypto fraud continue to run rampant.

Cue KYC Legal, a decentralized ID-verification service based on the blockchain, providing:

For customers:

  • Data encryption
  • User-friendly verification
  • Digital signature process
  • User device data hosting  

For service providers:

  • Customer-friendly ecosystem
  • Affordable verification costs
  • Authentic user data
  • Fraud prevention features

Why You Should Keep an Eye on It

The current KYC/AML verification system is fragmented, inefficient, and in dire need of an overhaul, with average verification costs spanning 2+ days and running service providers charging anywhere from $10 to $1500 per KYC. Additionally, KYC estimates 100,00+ blockchain users pass through KYC verification per day, averaging a processing time of up to 6 weeks.

As the world increasingly digitizes industries and service providers, reliable ID verification and data protection procedures need to adapt (the identity and access management market will be worth an estimated $14.82 billion market by 2021). KYC strives to ease the difficulties of an arduous digital identification process, and, should they succeed, could “make life easier for millions of users and businesses.”

Visit the KYC website to dive into their whitepaper and participate in their token sale which will run until March 23, 2018.

2. IPChain

IPChain logo

Although IPChain’s official ICO isn’t until Q2 2018 (fast approaching), their token presale begins on March 24, with 7.5% of base tokens reserved.

IPChain is a searchable blockchain database for intellectual property, offering proof of authorship through digital blockchain publication. Other services they offer include:

  • Delegated proof of contribution (DPoC): Consensus mechanism based on users’ cumulative contributions to the IP database and chain, punishing working nodes which violate various regulations.  
  • P2P network protocol: Ensuring network nodes are active and disabling non-active nodes, ensuring network alacrity.
  • Commercial application flexibility: A customizable platform for anyone to construct  and adopt commercial applications, including mature and highly technical transaction models.
  • Digest algorithm supporting multiple signatures: Public–private key encryption, protecting non-repudiation of transaction data.   
  • Extended UTXO model: Enabling mixed IP transaction recording, non-repudiation, scalability, and heightened privacy benefits.

Through strict adherence to WIPO’s standards, recommendations, and guidelines, all via a decentralized and immutable digital ledger, IPChain is a trustworthy and transparent IP management source of author and innovator rights.

Why You Should Keep an Eye on It

IPChain strives to fill a much-needed gap in private, academic, and corporate sectors, where ill-defined intellectual property attribution and ownership frequently results in lost value for inventors and owners, and eroded competitive consumption due to bottom-up appropriation.

Additionally, IPChain has already secured partnerships with:

3. Auctus

Empowering the average “saver” to prepare for the inevitable – old age – Auctus is a blockchain-based retirement plan platform that helps users create optimized portfolios of stocks, bonds, and cryptocurrencies. Auctus puts retirement savers “back in control of their retirement plan” by providing a decentralized, smart contract-powered fee structure on top of a transparent, trusted marketplace and platform.

Most notably, Auctus’ decentralized and transparent platform tackles several problems plaguing the retirement plan industry, including:

  • Centralization: The storage of personal and financial data in a central location avails pensioners to increased risk of security breaches and abuse of funds.   
  • Mediocre advice: Retirement savers often end up paying for mediocre advice with an unconscionable fee structure and unproven track record of success.
  • Hidden costs: Unbeknownst to the average retirement plan member, asset management fees aren’t the only costs associated with investment platforms. Such other fees include transaction, trading, asset custody, administration, regulation, and reporting, all costs diminishing investment returns and dissolving the retirement corpus.
  • Fraud: An unfortunate and widespread reality in the retirement planning industry, the U.K. estimates more than £42 million has been lost to pension fraud since 2014.

Why You Should Keep an Eye on It

Although retirement planning isn’t as alluring as some other upcoming industries, such as AI and cloud computing, it’s a colossal market with “global institutional pension fund assets in 22 major markets” estimated at $36.4 trillion at the end of 2016.

Numerous financial institutions have already expressed interest and enthusiasm in adopting blockchain technology to efficiently keep records, share documents, execute contracts, and settle transactions.

For example, Fortune 500 company Prudential Financial’s vice president, Roshina Nandra, stated:

We’re very excited about the potential blockchain has for us as a record-keeping system. It’s definitely a more secure record-keeping system than we already have in the industry.

The Auctus ICO goes live on March 27, so there’s still plenty of time to read their white paper and acquaint yourself with the project.  

4. CoinMetro
coinmetro logo

With their token sale ending on March 23, it’s still not too late to read up on CoinMetro and support the project. Boasting a user-friendly interface for novice and seasoned investors, Hong Kong-based CoinMetro is an “all-in-one” tokenized financial ecosystem and trading platform that supports heightened mobility between blockchain-based digital assets and traditional financial markets.

CoinMetro combines three core components of the present crypto market:

  • Quick and intuitive decentralized exchange: CoinMetro operates as a registered eMoney institution, stabilizing banking relationships and delivering a highly encrypted platform in both crypto and fiat.  
  • Trading platform: They offer the ability to buy, sell, trade, and cash out on a single platform, coupled with 1:50 leverage of non-deliverable OTC assets (Bitfinex – 1:3.33, Kraken – 1:5, GDAX – 1:3), risk mitigation margin wallets to cover losses, and extensive trading pairs.  
  • Turnkey ICO framework: They provide screened ICOs access to secure and transparent funding rounds, simple token issuance, and quick-to-market smart contract mechanisms to deploy on Ethereum, NEM, and NEO blockchains.

Why You Should Keep an Eye on It

At first glance, CoinMetro may appear similar to exchanges like Bitfinex, Kucoin, Coinbase/GDAX, Kraken, and Binance. However, where they differ is in their appeal to both the seasoned and novice investor, integrating digital assets and traditional markets, and fiat and cryptocurrencies.

CoinMetro also includes:

  • Tokenized asset management
  • Unique investment options, such as crypto-ETFs
  • Decentralized atomic swaps
  • A customizable trading interface  

Additionally, CoinMetro CEO Kevin Murcko is no stranger to running a smooth trading operation, with already established Forex broker, FXPig – known for transparency and highly-regarded customer service – under his belt. CoinMetro has also brought on a “heavyweight” advisory team, consisting of a former director of cybersecurity at McAfee and StoneSoft, a Google digital transformation and marketing strategist, and a financial crimes and AML expert from IBM.

At the time of writing, CoinMetro has already raised over $4 million in their token sale, which began back in late February. As mentioned above, their ICO will run until March 21, 2018.

To learn more and participate in CoinMetro’s token sale, visit their website.