Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technologies


The Laymans guide to buying ICO’s… in just 2 steps

The Laymans guide to buying ICO’s

The Laymans guide to buying ICO’s

So you’ve made that brave step and bought your first piece of bitcoin and ethereum… you’ve experienced a bit of the beautiful rollercoaster… you’re starting to understand there’s hype at every corner, good and bad and whilst I’m sure you are intelligent person (you got this far didn’t you ;o) ), you are no wolf of wall street and you haven’t just completed your masters from MIT

“But hey… fuck it… ICO’s sound amazing… I want some!”…. right?

Be aware of the hype, your money is well earned…
if you don’t keep it in check, your crypto will be burned

ICO’s are the cryptoverse’s version of IPO’s with a hefty dose of Kickstarter on steroids

99% of the companies you see here have been around for a nano second and are quite possibly being headed up by a spotty teen genius… after all Vitalik Butterin the creator of Ethereum was famously old when he delivered this platform to the world

It’s fair to say that the next Google’s, Facebook’s and Apples are in amongst this lot just waiting to be bought out by, you guessed it, Google, Facebook and Apple… the startups that hit this nirvana are a.k.a. Unicorns… you’ve been warned

So… lecture over… even though the process is actually pretty straight forward, buying into an ICO isn’t user friendly by a long shot… after a quarter of a century in the digital industry, I consider myself digitaly savvy, and even I struggled on the second ICO I bought

You will get the impression that they are literally hacking the process together on the fly… the reason is simple… these systems are being built by developers with an inherant undersanding of how everything works… nobody with an appreciation for the layperson has had an opportunity to apply some User Experience or Conversion Rate Optimisation principles yet… this isn’t an apple or Google product that “just works”

Right… the lectures definitely over now… here’s how to buy your first ICO in just 2 steps:

  1. Get a compatible Wallet
  2. Make Payment

Simple right?… wrong

1. Get a compatible wallet


You need a wallet that can handle ERC-20 tokens… “Saaay WHAAAAT?!”… there there my little baby noobie… ERC-20 is simply an agreed standard of how contracts are trnasfered and how its data is handled

You can not use the wallets from any regular exchange to participate in an ICO… so that means:

No Coinbase, no Kraken, no Poloniex, no Bitfinex, no

The wallets in exchanges are setup so they control your crypto on your behalf… in order to make things simple for you, they have had to take away your control… bit like our governments

Also some wallets like Jaxx and Exodus are not compatible either… its a shame because they are both pretty damned nice… I use Jaxx a lot and I treat it like a real world wallet, it has about 10 pence in it

  • Ledger Wallet Blue & Nano S – I use the Ledger Blue, it takes your money offline and is highly secure (the Nan S is just as good)… works in combination with MyEtherWallet when you enable browser support from the settings
  • MyEtherWallet – works in chrome, no download needed, I like
  • MetaMask – this is a Firefox and Chrome browser addon, impressive
  • imToken – really nice mobile apps iPhone version and Apple version
  • Generally Ethereum dedicated wallets will work, if you know more please let me know in the comments

2. Make Payment

Today there is no central service for buying tokens… generally speaking you use one of the ICO tracking websites which direct you to the individual startups ICO sales page…

Some good ICO tracking sites are:

  • – Go sign up there now… just before you do though, experience some additional uber crypto geekyiness and click on the “Continue with CIVIC” button… download their app, it’s decentralised ID verifiation… they have an ICO coming up in less than a week btw… do it, do it, DO IT! (make you r own mind up but definitely try out their app, its so simple but the possibilities are endless)
  •  ICO Tracker
  • Coinschedule

The startups that use (go sign up there now) to build and promote their ICO are fairly straight forward to use e.g. Monaco… but I bought some SONM yesterday and it was a terrible user experience… I had to call on a friend of mine who is an ICO nut to hold my hand through the process (thanks⁨ Dean Cannell)

For those the startups that use this is what you will experience:

Step 1 – Acknowledge your location

Some countries arent’s allowed to participate in some ICO’s

Step 2 – Read and Understand the Terms and Conditions

Or you could do what you usually do and totally ignore them, check the box, and sign your life away.

I’m kidding… DO NOT DO THAT HERE

Within the ICO’s T&C’s there are the finer details of what you are signing up too, and what your getting for your money… profit share, voting rights, it completely depends on how they have programmed their token (programmable money), there’s nothing standard about it and every ICO is different

Step 3 – Provide your email address

Make absolutely sure you get this right, this will probably be the only way you’re going to be able to prove you are who you say you are if anything goes wrong

If you are trying to remain anonymous then feel free to add a silly address like I have below… but I don’t recommend it at all

Step 4 – Read everything before you deposit

This screen provides some essential information… most importantly the Gas Limit… this is how much power is needed to create your token contracts… if you get this wrong your order will be rejected… this can be a major bummer if there is massive hype round a particular ICO that is selling millions of $’s in minutes… I have heard stories of people missing out because they didn’t give it enough gas

Step 5 – Reveal the address

Check the box “show payment address” to show the… well show the payment address, c’mon on you’re a noob not a numpty

Step 6 – Cough up

I highly recommend you become a CUT’N’PASTE king or queen… own the “Ctrl+A”, “Ctrl+C” and “Ctrl+V” keyboard commands… this is not the time to be smoking, drinking, or having sex… a slip up here and it could be painful

Step 7 – Finally

Hit that send button… and start breathing again…

Congratulations… seriously, I want to shake your hand and give you a hug

You are a pioneer… you have just used bleeding edge technology to fund a paradigm shift in the way our society is run…

A step away from centralised power to decentralisation ownership… from competition to cooperation… and from globalisation to localisation

You are a leader in the evolution, go tell your friends

I salute you x


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