by Guest Post
At the end of February 2018, the AdHive project token sale was completed ahead of schedule. Tokens sold at the Token Sale Phase 1 amounted to $12 million. A month earlier, the project successfully conducted its pre-sale, selling tokens for a total of $5.5 million in just 36 minutes. Over this period, more than 25 thousand people expressed their trust in the project and became Whitelist members. The Telegram community of the project now counts reached over 22 thousand people in its peak. More than 100 news sites, including such prominent resources as The Entrepreneur, INC., Coin Speaker, Crypto Coin, The Merkle, and others, gave the interesting and promising project well-deserved accolades.
Several months of hard and tireless work of the more than 50-people strong project team led to truly spectacular results. This article is to share some experience we had from all those sleepless nights.
Key Lifehacks for a Successful Token Sale:
1) A Large, Interested and Healthy Community
AdHive managed to create a community of people who are highly interested in the project and have fate in it. The project team cooperates closely with those interested from the very first day as our community managers answering any questions posed by the AdHivers 24/7. The founders constantly conducted Q&A sessions, webinars, participated in conferences and spoke at forums, while news and updates about the project were regularly posted on social media.
It is of paramount importance for us to note that at a time when many projects were using various mechanisms to artificially pump up their Telegram communities (AirDrops, Telegram referral and/or bounty campaigns), a lot of people supported AdHive expressing genuine and immense confidence in the project and its team.
When getting the Token Sale ready, we analyzed the increasing mechanics of the community, among which were the AirDrop and the Bounty (Bitcointalk and SMM). The AirDrop allows to attract many people to the community quickly. For example, shortly after the completion of the AdHive Token Sale, scammers disseminated information about the AdHive Airdrop, and the Telegram channel of the scam group grew to twice the size of our main English-speaking group (40,000 against 20,000) in two days.
But the problem is that often AirDrop and Bounty campaign members do not have any knowledge about the project or any interest in its long-term development, and therefore they usually sell all the received Tokens on the first day of listing.
The lack of AirDrop mechanics and the minimal bounty budget (a total of 114,176 ADH paid out as bounty awards for Bitcointalk or less than 0.12 percent of the current circulating supply) testifies to the exceptionally “healthy” and lively nature of the community that is interested in the long-term development of the project. Some of them are already involved in the early beta testing of the platform.
2) Whitelisting and Deposits
The project team received a large amount of positive feedback about the organization of the Token Sale. At both stages (Presale and Token Sale Phase 1) we introduced the possibility of early purchase of Tokens for the Whitelist members.
At Token Sale Phase 1, we introduced a deposit system for those community members who applied to the Whitelist and passed the KYC procedure. This guaranteed them the purchase of ADH Tokens with this early deposit which was automatically converted to Tokens on the day of Token Sale’s launch. This allowed the Whitelist participants to skip waiting for the exact minute of the Token Sale’s launch, eliminating “gas wars.” The Whitelisted buyers did not have to pay out huge commissions while competing in transaction speed since their priority purchase of ADH Tokens was already guaranteed.
In addition, we gave the participants an opportunity to purchase Tokens directly from exchange wallets, which eliminated the need to make unnecessary transactions and pay additional commissions. Under these conditions, the Tokens were transferred to live and confirmed personal user wallets.
Such a mechanism is also a supplementary measure of security because unique ETH and BTC wallets were generated for the transfer of funds. The only possible way to see the address of the wallets for the purchase of Tokens was through the user’s Personal Account on the project’s official website. This mechanism veered scammers attempts to send their wallets to the community for the transfer of funds. The community was already aware that there were no unified wallets.
All these measures were highly appreciated by the community. The AdHive Token Sale brought in an enormous interest from the community and all Tokens were sold before the start of direct sales at the deposit stage.
3) Individual Hard Caps (No Whales Spotted)
The project team introduced individual hard cap quotas for Token purchase to allow the maximum number of participants to take part in the Token Sale. At the Presale stage, a quota of 50 ETH was set, and at Token Sale Phase 1, the quota was set to only five ETH. Thanks to this system, the project was supported by more than 5,000 people, despite the relatively low hard cap set by the project. Furthermore, this was the mechanism which allowed us to avoid “the whale takes it all” problem. This meant no huge bonuses for whales, and the inability to manipulate the price of the Token because the bonuses were relatively evenly distributed among our community.
Despite the rather low individual cap, interest in the project was so high that the team continued to receive numerous requests for the purchase of Tokens, which is a firm indicator of a high level of continuing interest in the project. To ensure the maximum level of liquidity and stable work of the platform, AdHive organized listing on two major crypto exchanges, HitBTC (Top-15), and QRYPTOS (an upcomer, and one of the most promising exchanges in 2018).
4) Low Level of Bonuses
The average weighted level of bonuses was only 17.9 percent, and all the major bonuses had vesting periods. This level of bonusing is very low relative to market standards, which once again proves the commitment and the faith of the community in the project’s long-term development, not its strive for speculation. We don’t believe that bonuses create the ultimate intention to purchase the Tokens, on the contrary, we are certain that if the project is well prepared and sufficiently structured, high bonuses are not necessary. In case it is not, luring the buyers with bonuses (or discounts) won’t be of any help.
5) Vesting System and Vesting Smart Contracts
The AdHive team applied the vesting system quite widely to guarantee maximum motivation of all participants of the project. For example, there was an 18-month vesting period on the founders’ Tokens, and Tokens themselves are stored on a separate Multisig-wallet, details of which are openly available to the community. Moreover, the following Tokens were also subjected to vesting: the bonus part of the Tokens of early project supporters (up to 9 months), the Tokens of the advisers (up to 6 months), the Tokens of the network growth pool (up to 18 months), and the Tokens intended for the Token Sale Phase 2 (up to 24 months).
All Tokens are stored on four Multisig-wallets, details of which are openly available to the community, and the audit of the vesting smart contracts is placed on GitHub. This level of openness and transparency is highly valued by the entire crypto community.
6) High Level of Security
Every day, for several months, the team faced an endless number of scammers and fraudsters that have built a massive fraud and scam industry around the Token Sale market. The team exerted great efforts to minimize all possible risks for the members of our community. All funds were accepted only via individual wallets in user personal accounts. From there, the funds were transferred to several main Multisig-wallets. All these measures guaranteed a safe system for storing funds.
Much attention was paid to legal compliance, the KYC procedure was conducted, and AML and OFAC databases were screened to minimize all possible legal risks.
Two-factor authentication was mandatory in user personal accounts with notification of logins from any new IP-address, and confirmation from personal email was mandatory for the withdrawal of Tokens, which was all done manually. Such measures are used by the largest exchanges and guarantee the highest possible level of security on the part of the project.
Token Sale business routines changed significantly over less than two years. The history of public Token offerings began with zero regulatory boundaries, little-to-none structured crypto communities, rudimentary marketing, and only basic allocation techniques. Over time, the market produced many solutions that helped Token Sale campaigns become more targeted, structured and predictable, or, simply said, more manageable.
We are certain that there are three key aims each Token Sale should pursue; (i) serving the best interests of token holders, (ii) meeting regulatory and compliance requirements and (iii) achieving development goals of the project.
This mix bears some controversy, and that is why it is important that every element of the Token Sale is chosen carefully and wisely. There are plenty of generally accepted mechanisms that, unfortunately, do not meet all the above-mentioned criteria. That is why we call on all market participants to be open to new approaches, initiatives, experiments and tailor-made techniques.
We believe that it is the project’s community that bears the answers to most of your questions. Browse your options openly, stick to transparent procedures and never miss an opportunity to double-check your plans with future Token holders. Nowadays, the crypto community is open to innovations, and it supports campaigns with plain and simple Token acquisition schemes and allocation formulas.
Our experience proves that once you follow these rules, your chances of conducting a successful campaign increase dramatically. Bear in mind that the Token Sale is not the end of the story, it’s just a step on a very long road.
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