What a year it has been! Not only for me but for every ICO DOG core member and the rest of the pack. Exactly one year ago, I started the ICO DOG twitter channel together with the hashtag #YearOfTheDog.
We started ICODOG in February 2017, everybody was still full of enthusiasm and still high of the ICO rush of 2017. Yes, the market dumped hard, in January, but it would recover in March for sure. At least that’s what we were all thinking back then. March turned to April, followed by May, June, and July. Every month was tougher to handle. The ICO space took a particularly big hit in Q3 and Q4 of 2018, but we didn’t care. It was our year and knew that we had to try our best to make something out of it.
And we did.
Fast forward to today. Year of the dog is almost over, and it was one of the most exciting years of my life. We managed to learn and achieve so much in just a year. A year where everything was working against us.
The last 12 months in 1000 words
Origin of the name ICO DOG, January 2018:
A friend and I were discussing; what I should call the twitter channel for the ICO reviews? He said, well Brian (my dog) is here, let’s see if ICO DOG is still free. It was, and so was ICO_DOG born.
Birth of the ICO DOG POOL: February 2018
It was a chaotic time, people were killing each other to get into ICOs. The solution for many was the Pre Sale Pools. People asked me on twitter if I could open a primablock pool so that we can get into those sexy ICOs again. I knew that someone from the balina group was talking about pooling. He made a new telegram group for organizing the pools. I joined the group and, offered the head my twitter channel, he was an idiot and also ruthlessly greedy. After I told them that the ICOs that they were opening were scams or shitty projects, they decided to ban me. I then went to the founder and told him he could screw himself and I’d make my own pool. A better and bigger one.
That group later became the biggest pool group in the world. The ICO Participation Capital and we became ICO DOG.
ICO DOG Core Team Emerged: March 2018
ICO DOG grew quickly and the pool telegram channel was active 24/7. We even had a night shift admin, he lived on the other side of the world and could take over when we needed to sleep. The group became bigger, ken, jedi, mo and many others joined in and in March our tech genius Gio joined the dog.
Birth of the first ICO Presale Platform: April 2018
ICO hype was slowing down, but there was one project that everybody still wanted to get into. It was One Ledger. Everybody was saying 5x, 10x to the moon, myself included. Somehow I managed to get my hands on a one ledger allocation and people tried to bribe me to an allocation. Most people would have just given it to the highest bidder, but at ICO DOG we do things differently. I always knew about the proof of care system that some ICO adopted to select the people that should be able to invest.
We decided to do the same, little excel sheet and basic proof of care to see who deserves the allocation the most. It was a huge success, our growth tripled. People were happy, and so was the team.
We decided to build a platform for pooling that enables the best people to get allocations. This was the birth of the ICODOG Platform.
ICO DOG NO BS Reviews: May 2018
We knew that we needed a better ICO review page. Most, if not all ICO rating sites were nothing more than a rating shop, or a shill fest for VCs and influencers. We needed a place that had a quick overview and breakdown of ICOs, but on a platform that people trust. So we decided to do it ourselves. In the beginning, I tried my best together with Ken to build the website. The early version was, clunky looked like a bad 90s domain and was slow, but at least it was never paid or shilled for. As we grew, so did the quality of the website.
Old version of ICO DOG Reviews New version of the Website New
Big Expansion & Growth: July 2018
Its six months into the bear market and people started losing faith and leaving the ecosystem. Many projects started to struggle, but the sun could not have shinned for the ICO DOG team. We had the platform and the reviews done, and an army of supporters shilling us like mad. Every day our reviews got better, and the telegram group was booming.
I remember when one one of my tweets had around 180.000 impressions on Twitter, our telegram was packed and every day 100s of new users registered on the ICO DOG platform. It was the last big dead cat bounce before things turned really dark.
The Post One Ledger & Atonomi ICO Market: All of Q3 2018
ICOs were dumping like crazy, retailers dropping like flies and crypto startups going bankrupt on a weekly basis. Things were bad, but everybody remained hopeful. That quickly changed on the day that One Ledger and Atonomi both dumped hard. Atonomi and one ledger were one of the most hyped and anticipated projects of the year. Nobody expected them to underperform, yet alone to dump, but they did. After that, the ICO game was officially over for many. The majority of people started to finally give up and leave crypto.
It was a tough spot as a pool. People were pissed, everybody lost money. A lot of money. Even the best ICOs failed. The final nail went into the ICO coffin was Fantom. Very hyped Asian project that dumped just like everything else. After that, people had enough of the ICO space.
After One Ledger failed, we knew we had to change our business model, otherwise, we’d be out of business before the end of the year. We looked at all the problems that were plaguing the ICO system and decided to become the company that would slow the problems that decentralized companies face. Not only until the ICO raised money, but we would focus on helping these projects post ICO to become a decentralized entity.
Birth of the DAO Maker: Q4 of 2018
In the last few months, the team worked hard on building a plugin solution that could help ICOs with all of their problems. There are millions of software solutions for centralized companies, but 0 for decentralized companies. Blockchains like steem are still plagued by a lack of organization, and the DAO is still a dream. The closest thing to a DAO is still bitcoin.
We were on a tight time schedule; with revenue gone, we only had a few months to pull this off. Finish the platform and get paying clients and all before the end of the year.
We took our platform solution and improved it, added blockchain interactions to detect hodlers on and off chain, ERC20 or mainnet. Integrated real-time 5th directive KYC & AML services. Added marketing tools, community management tools, discord integrations and much more. The final product was pretty boss. After 3 months of work, we were ready for our first test client.
We were pretty happy with the ICO LTO Network, established company very transparent and uses a solution that seems to utilize the power of decentralized systems. Before the end of the year, we had our first deal signed and paid and saved our ass in the process.
Two days after platform integration LTO network started to moon in terms of awareness. ICOs public sale was said to be dead. Only option would be a IEO (Initial Exchange Offerings), however, LTO managed to raise over $1M on the ICO DOG platform and has been growing very rapidly since.
Around 4 million USD was raised through crowdsales in 2019 (excluding IEOs) and $1M were raised on the ICO DOG solution.
ICO DOG Mass Media: November 2019
We noticed there is a lack of high quality general educational material in crypto. We had an abundance of crypto mainstream news pages. Such as cointelegraph, coindesk and all the other coins. As well as a huge diversity in ICO review pages, but it was hard to find a place that would just present useful information on crypto related topics on a daily basis.
We decided to do it ourselves. The beginning was a bit tough, very few readers and our website analytics looked like a desert, but we pushed through and the results started to become visible. It’s January 2019 and we now have “Crypto guides”, “Crypto Stories”, “ICO Deep Dives”, and coming up are the influencer reviews.
Although we still have a long way to go as a mass media site, the progress is clearly visible. Also, check us out on steemit.com/@icodog
Roadmap for Q1 of 2019
First lambo, then moon.
Decentralized Post ICO analysis
Jokes aside. Q1 of 2019 is very exciting for us. We are in the midst of planning our community token. With the help of some fancy token economic theories, we are planning to build a second layer on top of the icodog page for decentralized ICO reviews. The idea is that ICO and crypto shill industry is plagued. Everybody lost trust in reviews, and that’s good. That’s why we are planning to start a little crypto social experiment. More news soon.
DAO Maker upgrades
We are currently in discussions with 3 more projects to implement ICO DOG solutions. Last week we implemented an upgrade that fixed over 100 bugs and implemented the blockchain detection functions as well as improved bot functions to find better community members and also working on some cool features like the anti-Fud button. Community responsibilities and elections, task leaders and a bunch of other cool things. We will present the changes in a joint blog with LTO Network.
ICO DOG Masternodes are coming back
Our first attempt at the masternodes, was pretty rekt. We started them mid-july just before the second downturn of crypto. We are implementing Masternode overview on the platform and will feature only the top coins that have real utility.
ICO DOG Crypto Education
We will make some major changes to the icodog website again, but hopefully this time we will finally be happy with the overall user experience and design. We are aiming to become more like an educational cryptocurrency platform and will start designing the overall changes and topics in the next 2 months.
We are continuing to push more articles and build up our following on all major social media sites. Best time to do marketing is during a bear market. This is the time that you can find the best people and have the least amount of competition.
If you’re reading this and have been with us since the beginning, then you’re amazing. Thank you so much for your continuous support through these crazy times. If you’re new or recently found ICO DOG, then welcome to the pack. Let’s make the world decentralized!