Every once in a while an innovation comes along that is so revolutionary that it changes everything. In the world of computers, if you had to pick one revolutionary innovation, it would undoubtedly be the internet.
Since the advent of the internet the world in which we live has changed dramatically. So crucial to our modern way of living is the World Wide Web that we can no longer live without it. Everything from our smartphones to GPS now depends on the internet.
The interconnectivity that this world changing innovation facilitates has also allowed developers to create new software that threatens to further revolutionize the world we live in. These new technologies promise to remove the control that traditional institutions like the banks have over many of the processes vital to our daily existence, a control that has allowed them to maintain their monopoly for hundreds of years.
Arguably the most famous example of such an innovation was Bitcoin, which was created back in 2009. Bitcoin was the first ever viable digital currency thanks to its creator Satoshi Nakamoto managing to devise a solution to the “double-spending problem” that blocked the path to the creation of any usable digital currency. The solution that Satoshi managed to devise lay in a revolutionary new concept that he called “blockchain”.
2017 was really the year that ignited the true blockchain revolution. Developers and companies from all around the globe rushed to stake their claim in the development of this exciting new technology. This has resulted in a huge number of new startups that aim to implement blockchain solutions to improve many of the processes we rely on today.
The advent of the Initial Coin Offering was to be a godsend to many new startups as ICOs allowed them to gain access to the funds that they needed to develop their projects. Investors flocked to these ICOs, seeing them as a great way to make significant returns. Soon the number of ICOs would explode, making it a real headache to keep track of them all.
Investors were delighted when the first ICO listing sites appeared. Sites such as ICO Tracker have become an essential tool to ICO investors the world over. The unreliable reputation of some ICO tracker sites, however, is quite disconcerting and has caused many investors to worry about whether or not their platform is a good choice.
This concern has meant that there is a lot of room in the marketplace for anyone able to develop a reliable ICO tracking website. In this article, I aim to outline how to go about ICO tracker website development for those individuals who are considering doing so.
What is Blockchain?
Blockchain was first outlined by Satoshi Nakamoto in his 2008 paper “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”. Blockchain utilizes a chain of data blocks that are used to create a digital ledger. Once one block is written, it is verified and added to the ledger, where it then remains forever.
The really exciting part of blockchain is that it operates on a decentralized network rather than via the conventional client-server model. Not only does decentralization help bring increased anonymity and improved security, but it also removes the need for a single controlling entity to maintain authority over the database.
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For more on how blockchain works you can read this great article.
Blockchain and the Cryptocurrency
The most famous example of a blockchain application is the cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies use blockchain to facilitate financial transactions, which are then stored in the blockchain.
A complete record of this blockchain ledger is stored with each node on the network, all of whom are required to validate each new transaction before it can be made. Due to each node having a full record of the ledger and being required to perform validation, any unauthorized change would be resisted by the network and so prevented.
The decentralized nature of the cryptocurrency has profound implications. It is now possible to transfer wealth without the need of banks and other financial institutions. Not only does this help people send and receive money without having to pay excessive fees, but it also empowers people by allowing them more anonymity when it comes to their financial affairs.
Initial Coin Offering
An ICO allows companies to sell crypto tokens to investors to generate much needed funds for their projects. Unlike IPO’s, these tokens do not give investors any financial stake in a company, but rather give them the chance to earn profits when these token rise in value as more and more people use them.
Ethereum, one of the most famous blockchain based platforms, held its ICO from 20th July 014 to 2nd September 2014. This 42 day long ICO proved to be one of the most successful ever, raising over $18.4 million. Their ICO funded the Ethereum Project and earned early investors huge amounts of money as the value of their Ether coins skyrocket last year.
In 2017, successful ICOs raised 100’s of millions of dollars, and in doing so green lighted numerous exciting new blockchain projects. With so many ICOs now being launched every month, it has become paramount that there be an easy way to keep track of both upcoming as well as current ICOs. ICO tracking websites like ICO Tracker are an easy and low cost solution to this problem.
ICO Tracker is a dedicated website that aims to bring together ICO launches with investors. The platform is one of the most popular sites on account of the number of ICOs it has listed and the key features that it offers.
It is free to use and makes its money by allowing users to donate bitcoins to get certain ICOs moved up in their ICO listings. The site includes basic information on each ICO and also links to social media accounts and ICO whitepapers etc.
Key Features of ICO Tracker:
- Easily Search Past, Present and Future ICOs
- Great User Interface That Includes a Calendar view detailing ICO start dates
- ICO tracking detailing how much money previous ICO’s have made
- Section for recently added ICOs
- Healthy ICO investors network
- Chat Function
- Free Smartphone App Available
How to create an ICO tracking website
Creating an ICO tracking website can be a daunting task, especially given the huge amount of different ICOs that get launched each day. On the ICO Tracker website, for example, there are 100’s of ICO listed at any one time. Since ICOs have different technical aspects and project goals, all this information has to be somehow presented in a coherent and easy to understand manner.
So to help you build an ICO tracking website, here are the key areas that you must get right with your platform:
As an ICO tracking website is used by a huge range of individuals from total newcomers to industry experts, the design has to be simple but still provide all the most important information about each ICO.
If you take a look at the UI of the ICO Tracker website above, you will see that it has limited the information regarding each ICO to include the following:
- Number of ICO coins available
- Date ICO started
- Start Bonus
- Amount Raised
- Links to ICO whitepaper, social media and company website
Despite seeming to keep information to a minimum, the site actually contains or contains links to all the information that investors require.
Any ICO tracker website development team should have experienced UX designers that are able to create a catchy but uncluttered UI. If the UI contains too much information, it will seem overwhelming and is therefore sure to put off the average ICO investor.
Keep in mind that the majority of whitepapers and supplementary information are too complex for the average investor to understand anyway. In his article for Hacker Noon, Reza Jafery analyzed the language difficulty of several top white papers and concluded that “the more simple a white paper, the more money raised”.
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Investors want simplicity but still like to have access to all the right information. That is why the outbound links on the ICO Tracker website work so well.
The beauty of creating an ICO tracking website is that they are relatively simple sites to create. A typical ICO tracking website only needs to include the following:
- Homepage with a complete listing of ICOs
- A page where companies can add their ICOs
- 3 Pages for Current, Future, and Past ICOs
- About page
While it is definitely a good idea to offer something more than this to create a unique selling point to your site, the only real development challenge is linking in real-time ICO information into your site. I will cover this in just a second.
Before I do, remember when designing your UI, it is always best to stick to a minimalist approach that will appeal to your general user base. For a little more on how to create a great looking website you can read this article.
Most ICO tracking sites enjoy the pleasure of user generated content. Users can post their own ICOs without any need for help. However, all new ICOs listed will need to be scrutinized and approved by a member of your team.
The reason for this is the need to prevent fraudulent ICOs from being listed on your site and thereby tarnishing your site’s reputation. This will likely end up being a full-time position so you will need to allocate your resources appropriately over the long term.
As I have already stated, one aspect of ICO listings can be a bit of a challenge. Investors will want to see up-to-date information regarding ICO performance for each listing. This means that every ICO tracking site must incorporate this feature in order to be relevant.
The majority of sites use the ERC-20 standard to fulfill this task. ERC-20, also known as the Ethereum token standard, was developed in 2015 by The Ethereum Project. It outlines a list of rules or conditions that allow for the implementation of smart contracts.
To give a brief explanation on how smart contracts work, essentially they are the same as any real-world contract. Each contract has stipulations that have to be met before the contract is executed. When a company decides to launch their ICO, they can create a smart contract that allows for the creation of a predetermined number of tokens that reflect the value of the amount of monetary investment put in. These tokens then operate fundamentally in the same way as a cryptocurrency, where their value fluctuates according the principle of supply and demand.
Because of the simplicity and versatility of ERC-20 and the Ethereum platform, most new ICOs use the Ethereum smart contract system as the basis of token creation. Ethereum’s set of fixed standards clearly define how any developer using the Ethereum smart contracts can do so.
This gives the programmers a standard to work with, making development easier and more straightforward.
As a result of the popularity of Ethereum’s smart contracts, a massive support community has evolved around the platform, many of whom have helped develop a vast library of tools and even Solidity, a programming language that was created for writing smart contracts.
Page loading speeds are much better if all the data about the ICO is fetched and stored in a server-side cache and is presented to the user as and when it is requested. To ensure the best possible experience, a Websocket could be created that updates the data from the server in real time.
Once the contact details for any new ICO are added to your code-base, it will update automatically based on the JSON-RPC queries. This will ensure that all your ICOs are tracked in real time, giving the best possible information to users in real-time.
The core features that I have already detailed are the basic requirements of any ICO tracking website. However, adding additional unique features can enhance the appeal that your ICO tracking website has to investors.
Here are some unique features that you might consider:
- Editors Pick – Sites such as ICO Hot List actually recommend the best ICOs to invest in.
- Newsletter – A great way to let investors know of upcoming ICOs that might interest them.
- Large Community – Utilizing social media such as Twitter to actively encourage investors to interact and share information is a huge selling point.
- Chat Feature – Sites like ICO Tracker actually have an inbuilt chat feature on their apps. This once again helps users share information and the latest hot tips.
- Blog Articles – Not only will blog articles help with your sites search engine optimization but they also help inform your users too.
- Sort By Most Earned – This sort feature is utilized by About ICO Champs to allow investors quick and easy access to only the best performing ICOs.
- Map – ICO Map allows its users to search ICOs according to location. This allows investors to target specific locations where they are eligible to buy ICO tokens. (Due to ICO law, citizens of certain countries are not able to buy tokens depending on where the ICO is held and whether the sale meets the definition of a tradable security)
My Final Thought
The development of blockchain solutions is creating some fascinating new technologies. In order for ideas to get off the drawing board they need startup capital, and that’s where ICO investors come in.
An Initial Coin Offering is one of the few ways for that people can get hold of much needed cash without having to resort to an IPO or getting a bank loan. ICO investors are willing to risk huge sums of money to front these brave and exciting new projects.
These days the biggest problem ICO investors have is sifting through the vast number of ICO listings to find the ones that are of most interest. It is for this reason that they need a reliable and trustworthy ICO tracking site.
As I have demonstrated, creating a new ICO tracking site is a relatively straightforward task. The real key to success is whether yours offers a reliable, easy to use platform that is able to stand out from the crowd.
For this, your site will need to be innovative and embody some unique features that investors will quickly find that they cannot live without. For as the tech giant Steve Jobs once said: “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”