ICO portfolio review for January 2018

After a crazy rise in December, January was a very bad month for crypto-currencies. The most famous one, Bitcoin, lost about two third of its value. As a result, my ICO portfolio also suffered. I’m really happy I invested only a small sum as I’m not sure I could bear such volatility !

Portfolio structure

There has been noo change in my portfolio composition in January; I didn’t invest in any new ICO. WePower ICO took place on February, 1st and I really wanted to invest in it, but I totally missed it as I didn’t have internet access 🙁

I have invested in the following ICOs in equal proportions :

  • Crypto20 (C20), a crypto index fund
  • Symmetry (SYMM), a fund invested in crypto-currencies and ICOs
  • Naga Coin, (NGC) a smart crypto-currency for gaming and trading
  • Signals (SGN), a platform aimed at providing crypto-trading strategies

Current tokens valuation

Currently only two tokens are valued. C20 value is available in realtime at the project’s homepage, while pas values are displayed in the performance page. In addition to this, C20 is finally trading on exchanges. I’m using the official NAV value here, as there are differences between exchanges prices; moreover, the small liquidity may lead to unrealistic prices.

At the end of January, C20 token’s value was around $2.31 (versus $2.91 last month).

Crypto20 (C20) token price

Here’s NGC priced in USD at HitBTC; the chart includes most of February as I’m writing this article very late 🙁 While the token was worth at $2.82 at the end of December, it dropped to $1.46 at the end of January.

Naga Coin (NGC) token price

Total portfolio valuation

My ICOs portfolio saw an insane growth in December. In January, it went back to Earth – especially NGC -. The total growth of the portfolio is now “only” 25%. This figure shows how crazy the crypto-currencies world is; it’s a huge drop compared to last month (where I doubled my portfolio), but even after that, the return is still impressive for such a small time.

ICOs portfolio evolution

Future directions

Spoiler alert 🙂 After missing the WePower ICO, I decided to invest in NapoleonX, a crypto asset manager. I’ve been considering it for some time, and finally invested in it. I’ll provide more details in next month’s ICo review.

 

Also, as I really appreciate Crypto20’s approach, I keep a close eye on their current developments, and will probably invest in their future tokens.

 

Monthly ICO portfolio review

As I mentioned in this post, I started investing a small sum in crypto-currencies through ICOs (initial coin offerings) at the end of 2017. This portfolio is extremely small compared to my P2P lending portfolio.

From now on, I’ll report on the fluctuations of the tokens price on a monthly basis.

Portfolio structure

I invested an equal amount in the following ICOs :

  • Crypto20 (C20), a crypto index fund
  • Symmetry (SYMM), a fund invested in crypto-currencies and ICOs
  • Naga Coin, (NGC) a smart crypto-currency for gaming and trading
  • Signals (SGN), a platform aimed at providing crypto-trading strategies

Current tokens valuation

It may be hard to value a portfolio invested in ICOs. Currently neither SGN or SYMM have real value, as the ICO is not over yet.

The value of a C20 token is published at the project’s homepage; historical NAV can be found in the performance page. C20 token will also soon trade at HitBTC, a crypto-currency exchange. The NAV on December, 31st was $2.91.

CRYPTO20 - NAV Chart

NGC’s situation is even clearer as it already trades at HitBTC. As of December, 31st its closing price was $2.82.

NGC/USD chart at HitBTC

Total portfolio valuation

As I mentioned, I invested an equal amount in all four ICOs. Depending on the crypto-currency used to invest in ICOs, the transaction fees were different. In order to simplify comparison, I will disregard the transaction fees paid initially.

Also, as I bought the NGC tokens during the pre-sale, I got a nice 30% bonus on the price, meaning that I actually bought 30% more tokens for the same price.

In order to make comparisons easier, I gave an initial value of 1 for all tokens. The resulting growth is impressive : around 3 times for C20 ($1 to $2.91), and about 3.6 times for NGC, thanks to the bonus ($1 to $2.82 plus 30% equal $3.66 ). Including the two “idle” tokens, I doubled the value of my portfolio in one month.

ICOs portfolio valuation as of December 2017

 

Will this crazy growth continue ? I’m of course not sure. Overall I’m really confident in C20’s value; NGC’s price variations remain to be seen. SYMM’s first dividend is supposed to be paid in April, so we’ll see how it turns out !

Future directions

I try to stay informed on current ICOs and trends in crypto space, as I find this topic interesting. However I don’t plan to grow my portfolio much, unless I found a very compelling ICO to invest in. Crypto20 is supposed to create new indexes later (for example for ICOs), so it may provide new investment opportunities.

 

 

Crypto20 ICO : investing in crypto-currencies

So, finally, Crypto20 ICO will be my entry point to the scary world of crypto-currencies.

I’ve been interested in this topic for a while, but never dared to start investing. There were several reasons to this : a lack of trust towards most platforms, the apparent complexity of crypto-currencies world, and finally the crazy rise of bitcoin which made me fear a large pullback.

Recently, my interest towards this topic was sparkled again by the announcement that the CME (Chicago mercantile exchange) would launch bitcoin futures. And today, a little out of the blue, I decided to get involved in Crypto20 ICO (Initial Coin Offering).

Although I already had an account at two exchanges (Kraken and Coinbase), the process was far from intuitive for the beginner I am. This post aims at summing up the different steps I took. But first, what is an ICO ? And what about Crypto20 ?

Initial Coin Offerings

Basically, an ICO is similar to an IPO (Initial Public Offering). It allows a startup to raise money (actually, crypto-currencies). The investors receive tokens; these tokens can later be traded at an exchange. After the ICO, no new token will emitted, so their value will fluctuate depending on supply and demand.

Note that unlike IPOs, ICOs are not regulated. Also if you’re a US citizen, you cannot legally invest in ICOs.

Crypto20 ICO

Crypto20 aims at creating a tokenized index fund of crypto-currencies. It will incorporate the 20 crypto-currencies having the largest market cap, with a maximum weighting of 10%.

Note that there’s another upcoming ICO called Rhea Crypto20, which is totally unrelated as it aims at creating a derivatives market.

Investing process

I followed these 3 steps :

  • opening and funding a Coinbase account
  • creating a wallet
  • registering for the ICO

For my first investment I chose to send bitcoins to Crypto20. However, as you will see the fees were very high for my small invested amount. You may want to experiment with other crypto-currencies !

Opening a Coinbase account and funding it

I chose to fund my Coinbase account rather than my Kraken account as the company seems more trustworthy.

The process was rather simple, however the identity verification took a long time. Don’t expect your account to be up and running in a few minutes !

Wiring funds (Euros in my case) was extra simple, and they reached my Coinbase account the next day.

Buying crypto-currencies

They will be used to fund the ICO. This is an easy part : choose “Buy/Sell” on Coinbase, select the crypto-currency you want to buy. Then input an amount in fiat currency (Euro in my case) and validate after checking the amount and fees. Note that for my small amount, the fees are rather large for this transaction ! Fees for either Ethereum (ETH) or Litecoin (LTC) would be the same amount.

Exchanges other than Coinbase may have different transaction fees.

Buying BTC in Coinbase

Creating a wallet on MyEtherWallet

You’ll need a wallet to store the tokens issued by Crypto20. Actually you already have an exchange wallet, but it’s not a token compatible Ethereum wallet. I chose to use MyEtherWallet, which seems to be more or less universally recommended.

I expected to be asked for an e-mail address in order to identify me, but all you actually need is a password.

Wallet creation at MyEtherWallet

This password will actually be used to encrypt data stored in a file giving access to the wallet. This file can be downloaded from the next screen

DownloadKeystore file from MyEtherWallet

Save it in your computer ! You will need it to access your wallet again.

The next screen will display your private key, which you should print.

Finally, in the next screen, you can see your address (aka public key). You will need it during the Crypto20 registration.

How to view your wallet in MyEtherWallet

Use the “keystore / JSON file” option, select the file you downloaded, type the password you set at the very beginning and press “unlock”.

This will display the following screen :

Wallet info on MyEtherWallet

There you can see your address again and your account balance. ICO tokens will also be displayed here.

I hope you survived this rather annoying part !

Registering for the Crypto20 ICO

The process is well documented and rather straightforward.

During the third and last step, you will have to input your public key public key (“receiving ethereum wallet”).

Sending the funds to Crypto20

This part is also easy. Go to step3 again on Crypto20’s website. The receiving address will be displayed for each crypto-currency.

Crypto20 investment address

Log in to your Coinbase account again, select “Accounts”. Choose the crypto-currency you bought earlier and click the “Send” button.

Send BTC through Coinbase

Fill in the address, the amount in either EURO or BTC (your can also use a “Max amount” for BTC), check the fees again, and validate. Please note that the fees depend on the network congestion.

At the time I took this screenshot the fees very rather insane : 5% for a transfer ? That’s not what I expect from a digital currency. I should have researched this earlier, as other crypto-currencies seem to have lower fees overall ! On the other hand, transfer fees for the same amount in Litecoin were only… 0.01€. Needless to say I strongly encourage you to use Litecoin in order to invest in ICOs ! Another Litecoin benefit is transaction speed : buying Litecoins then transferring them was much faster than with Bitcoin. I made yet another experience using Ethereum later, and transfer fees amounted to 0.17€, which is more than Litecoin but obviously still neglictible compared to Bitcoin’s huge costs.

Note that other ICOs may work slightly differently. Another ICO I invested in didn’t ask me for my wallet address, but directly used the address I used to send the crypto-currencies. In this case, as this address has to be a token compatible Ethereum wallet, I had to transfer the currencies to my MyEtherWallet first, then transfer them from MyEtherWallet to the ICO.

The whole process may seem a bit overwhelming the first time you invest; take your time and don’t hesitate to double-check everything twice. After investing in a few ICOs everything will seem much more logical and natural !

Check your token balance

Coinbase will send a notification once the transaction has been processed. You can then check your Crypto20 account. Note that even after receiving Coinbase’s notification, it may still take some time for your balance to be updated.

Crypto20 investment breakdown

Finally, you can also check that the resulting token appeared in your wallet. Once again, it may not appear immediately as Crypto20 sends them once a day (actually in my case it even took two days, so be patient !). Go to MyEtherWallet, select “View wallet info”, select your UTC/JSON file and enter your password. On the next screen, click on “Load tokens” under “Token Balances” at right of the screen. This will display your Crypto20 coin (listed as C20).

MyEtherWallet tokens

Adding a custom token on MyEtherWallet

Recently issued tokens may not be visible in MyEtherWallet’s list. Don’t panic ! In this example I’ll show you how to add the SGNL token (for Signal ICO)

Using another browser tab or window, go to ethplorer and enter the token name (SGNL in my case); a popup menu will appear and list the matching tokens. Select the right one; you’ll then be taken to a new page.

The relevant informations are located in the middle of the screen.

Token information on Ethplorer

Go back to Coinbase tab or window, click “Add custom token” and fill the required informations :

  • Token Contract Address : visible under “Contract information” / “Contract” on Ethplorer
  • Token Symbol : SGNL in my case
  • Decimals : visible under “Token xxx information” / “Decimals”

Click “Save”, and the resulting token will appear !

Congratulate yourself

Congratulation ! You’ve successfully invested in Crypto20 ICO.

Next steps

I’m planning to invest in other ICOs, the next one being CyberTrust which is scheduled to start next week. However, the global amount invested in ICOs will be very small compared to my overall portfolio.

Before doing so, I will do some additional research regarding transaction and transfer fees, as my bitcoin transactions have been very expensive ! I will probably invest using Ethereum or Litecoin in order to compare the fees with Bitcoin.

Links

Coinstaker provides an excellent introduction to ICOs

CryptoRated provides an ICO calendar and reviews

Last updated on January, 11th 2018.