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ICO Launch: The True Price of Your Idea
In light of the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday, NinjaPromo decided to have a look at the other side of sales and figure out, how much it would cost to launch your own ICO.
Many entrepreneurs still see ICO (Initial Coin Offering) as an easy way of funding their blockchain projects despite the blows it's receiving today. The success of one's ICO depends on many factors, and not all of them can be influenced directly. But proper preparation can mitigate some risks and increase the overall results in the long run.

So, you are finally ready to turn your idea into a real crypto project. How much do you need for the ICO?

The Basic Needs of ICO Launch

Before you put your money on the table, there's some planning to do.

After you've established your idea, you need to find people who'd support your project by sharing their time and resources. Those with proper competence in those relevant fields that you don't would be your greatest partners. Same goes for your teams, advisors and ambassadors during later stages of development.

Total expenses you'd have to cover include at least hiring people, technical development, legal support, marketing, PR, investors relations.

But let's get down to the numbers.

How Thick Your Wallet Should Be?

There is no saying how much exactly launching the ICO would cost you. You can get lucky and become extremely successful after spending only $200k. Or you can put over $1m into the project and barely return any money.

But in general experts agree on certain range of spending on individual level of each step.

Technological development

There is no point in tackling any other subject before talking about technology. It's the core of any crypto-related project and its costs should come first.

So that's quite interesting to know that sometimes they're not the largest in the ICO. It's common to spend around the margin of $25,000-$100,000 on technology only. That cost also includes the development of token-sale platform, the KYC system etc.

Legal coverage

ICO still doesn't have precise position in every legal framework around the world. Crypto regulations are to this day evolve rapidly. Establishing your company, developing your technology, creating proper token-related documents and more — all that still leads to the rocky road.

So you need a team that would be able to navigate the ever-changing conditions and adapt to them. It makes legal team one of the largest expenses of the ICO. The lowest reasonable price that you'll pay for more or less protected project is around $50,000, but it's generally acceptable to spend $100,000-$200,000 for legal coverage alone.

Note: of course you can find team for a low as $20k but if you want to make sure your project survives the first hard hit it might take you should be ready to increase expenses on legal support.
The White Paper

One of the must-haves of any ICO is its white paper. It's a complex document that should clearly explain all the details of the blockchain project and its practical use to the potential investors in an accessible way. It's the way of making the first — and, maybe, only — impressions.

There are a lot of estimates but they meet at the reasonable range of $5,000 — $10,000 but it's not uncommon to spend up to $15,000 for white paper alone. The price depends on many factors, among which are: complexity of your ICO project, qualifications of the technical writer and the length of it.

Note: your white paper is a significant part of your image. Don't cut these expenses too much, so that you don't end up with low-quality document that would turn your potential investors away at first site.


Today having an attractive and user-friendly website is obligatory for any business. Of course, you could get by with a rather simple site and spend no more than $5,000 on it. But blockchain project usually require more sophisticated resources with features and tools that common business don't.

In general, website development for ICOs costs somewhere from $10,000 to $20,000 depending on your requirements.

Note: even though in modern conditions it's not a problem to develop a website single-handedly — there are plenty of resources that allow to do that with barely diving into the code — it's better to have a professional web-developer and web-designer. They possess the necessary skillset and would focus only on making the greatest site possible, leaving you and your partners to more pressing business.

Since the entire blockchain industry is based online, the issue of security is of extreme importance. Most commonly, the cost of related development and activities lies within $30,000 — $50,000 margin.

PR & Marketing

ICO highly depends on its community and the reach of its audience. So there's no surprise that in general marketing costs are among the highest in ICO budgets. But to be fair, there's quite a lot of work to do:

· Publications in various media;

· Paid search and marketing;

· SMM and community management;

· Participation in events and conferences.

Given all those expenditures, ICO project might require from $40,000 up to $400,000 for all major directions for advertising.

Team, advisors, ambassadors

Every ICO needs professionals for its teams. It also makes sense to attract advisors and ambassadors in different regions so that they would help with development and PR. The expenses here extremely depend on the countries and other factors, so they can vary from $80,000 to over $200,000.

So what have we learned?

As in any other business, there's always a way to spend more money. And it's always possible to do as much work yourself as possible — maybe even all of it. But the question is always about the combination of high quality and common sense.

The most common findings suggest that the cheapest price to ensure the success of your ICO launch revolves around $250,000 — $300,000. And if you'd like to feel as secured and covered as possible and still earn some money off your idea, you could spend at about reasonable $1,000,000 or more — depending on the specific features of your blockchain project.

Thank you for reading this article! Please, share it if you'd enjoyed it and tell us what do you think about ICO launch costs today. Also, you might like our other stories:

- The Blockchain Influencer Marketing Manual

- Things You Neglect Because They Are Obvious While Marketing Your Crypto Project

- ICO Launch: The True Price of Your Idea

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16 March / 2019