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Author Topic: The fundamental problem with ICOs and bounty campaigns  (Read 279 times)
OriginTrain
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June 01, 2018, 01:22:30 PM
Merited by suchmoon (5), Foxpup (4), botany (2), Samarkand (1), TheHas (1), Don Pedro Dinero (1), mdayonliner (1), theyoungmillionaire (1)
 #1

I don't feel this belongs in Altcoin Discussion since it's a rather big issue if you think about it. Disclaimer: I use the term 99% here not as a literal figure, but as a figure of 'what seems to be'. If that makes sense. I would use the term "most" instead, however "most" could mean 60%, and 99% is far more accurate in this instance than 60%. This post is not a rant, but an observation that bewilders me.

The issue
If we stop and pause for a minute, we'll realize that 99% of ICOs are absolute garbage for one simple reason: They're allocating 2% or so of their token supply to bounty hunters.

Now, this in and of itself would be fine if the bounty hunters gave real conversions to projects. There's no doubt that conversions do happen, however 99% of ICO teams seem to be completely lacking in common marketing or business sense despite whatever impressive LinkedIn profiles they have simply due to the fact that they'd distribute 2% or so of their token supply to people without conducting any form of pixel or conversion tracking to see how effectively these people promote their ICO/project.

It's web marketing 101 that you should be tracking every conversion, and know the conversion rate of all of your promoters. If you're running AdWords, Facebook Ads, or hiring a promoter to promote your business, you're definitely tracking every conversion in order to measure your ROI. No businessman in existence would run a web marketing campaign without knowing its conversion rate. This is excusable in TV, print and radio advertising where it's impossible to do so, but not the Internet. Such incompetence to track conversion sources would only allow one to retain a living in a governmental, charity or other subsidized position. Definitely not in a business.

Which now begs the question, how come all of these ICOs are allocating huge sums of money to bounty hunters with no form of pixel or cookie tracking to monitor conversions? They could simply request all participants to add "?uniqueID=186" for example at the end of their link, and now the conversion rate of each individual bounty hunter can be direclty monitored. Now you can pay 2-10% bounty directly to your bounty hunters depending upon how many actual conversions they acquired for you. Gone entirely is the need to filter through tens of thousands of bot and spam accounts that don't give you any conversions.

The real benefit to doing this? Now you can finally attract real promoters. And this is the heart of my post; the reason many ICOs fail to reach their soft cap is because no serious promoter would touch a bounty campaign with a ten thousand foot pole. I for one am not interested in writing articles or promoting an ICO on my personal facebook because I know if I do, many people would buy into the ICO based off my recommendation since I rarely do such promotions. My friends also know I'm not a shill, so if i make a recommendation they'd take it seriously. The problem is I'd be sharing my  stakes with scammers, spammers and spam bots which give 0 conversions to an ICO. Even worse, and based on my past experience, these spam bots or "copy pastas" often get higher staking allocations than legitimate accounts or incredibly well written articles due to bounty managers neglecting their duty due to either their incompetence or corruption.

The fact 99% of ICOs use such a system to pay random people on this forum their project tokens shows me that their extensive business resumes are in fact quite useless. With all of that business experience, surely they'd be interested in running some basic conversion tracking on their bounty hunters?

Which thus leads to my final point. If the above is true, then we can logically conclude that 99% of ICOs don't have any basic business or marketing sense, despite whatever verified resumes and ICOBench 5 star reviews the teams might have. No legitimate business would pursue web promotional avenues that give away 2% of their capital without monitoring conversions. So who are all these business people launching ICOs then? The only person that would pursue these promotional avenues are obviously members of BitCoinTalk forum. In fact I'd bet nearly every ICO has had a member of BitCoinTalk forum as the CEO on an alt account. Because how else could such lunacy transpire? It's the only logical explanation to this phenomenon.

So in essence, ICOs are mostly run by people on a single Internet forum and not by mainstream business leaders. This means the entire ICO sphere is missing out on vast amounts of business experience outside of this forum. How can ICOs ever be taken seriously by the mainstream public with these realizations?
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June 01, 2018, 02:02:26 PM
Merited by botany (2)
 #2

2 % is such a small amount.  There project was doomed to fail from the start if this amount of dumpers can crash their project.

Also just because someone doesn't click an add or signature directly doesn't mean they won't go and type it into a search bar.

I've already seen a lot of succesfull projects started out here on the forums with large bounty pools. HELL, I've seen projects done completely with an airdrop that are doing well.
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June 01, 2018, 02:50:39 PM
 #3

Now, this in and of itself would be fine if the bounty hunters gave real conversions to projects. There's no doubt that conversions do happen, however 99% of ICO teams seem to be completely lacking in common marketing or business sense despite whatever impressive LinkedIn profiles they have simply due to the fact that they'd distribute 2% or so of their token supply to people without conducting any form of pixel or conversion tracking to see how effectively these people promote their ICO/project.

As Green547 said, these coins can give a buzz to the project, even if they do not result in any clicks or conversions. These bounty campaigns do not want to take the risk and pay these accounts in bitcoin; so they just pay them using their own coins. If the coin turns out to be worthless at launch, the joke is on the bounty hunters.

The real benefit to doing this? Now you can finally attract real promoters. And this is the heart of my post; the reason many ICOs fail to reach their soft cap is because no serious promoter would touch a bounty campaign with a ten thousand foot pole. I for one am not interested in writing articles or promoting an ICO on my personal facebook because I know if I do, many people would buy into the ICO based off my recommendation since I rarely do such promotions. My friends also know I'm not a shill, so if i make a recommendation they'd take it seriously. The problem is I'd be sharing my  stakes with scammers, spammers and spam bots which give 0 conversions to an ICO. Even worse, and based on my past experience, these spam bots or "copy pastas" often get higher staking allocations than legitimate accounts or incredibly well written articles due to bounty managers neglecting their duty due to either their incompetence or corruption.

Promoting ICOs on Facebook may earn may a few dollars, but I like to keep my bitcoin life separate from real life. Facebook for real life friends, Linked in for professional contacts, Bitcointalk for crypto discussions.
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June 01, 2018, 03:00:30 PM
 #4

...
Gone entirely is the need to filter through tens of thousands of bot and spam accounts that don't give you any conversions.
...
With all of that business experience, surely they'd be interested in running some basic conversion tracking on their bounty hunters?
...

Another problem is the fact that some of the bounty campaign managers do not even filter or monitor
the participants of their campaigns at all. There are various campaigns that are full of multi-accounts and spam bots that definitely
do not generate any conversions and still get paid by the manager. As botany pointed out there is no financial
incentive to perform a due diligence or run conversion tracking, because they are only paying in imaginary tokens
that they can create out of thin air. Maybe this problem wouldn´t exist if they would pay for their marketing efforts
in Bitcoin or even fiat money.

Otherwise, I completely agree with your post and seriously question the basic marketing capabilities of
the people in these teams.

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June 01, 2018, 03:22:36 PM
 #5

IMO i don't think they see it this way, what they care about is thousands of participant, so they give each person coin worth 5 to 20 dollar just to facilitate hodl by thousands of people and in turn making them promote the project.

Your idea is valid but their is always discrepancies.

I believe for me to join such campaign as you describe, that campaign in question will have to pay me in reputable coin, not in a coin that might end up being a scam.     
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June 01, 2018, 03:34:18 PM
Merited by Foxpup (1)
 #6

Indeed some good points raised, the issue remains however that a lot of ICOs fail to reach their soft caps, not sure about the exact percentage. I've seen some teams with solid whitepapers that just have completely not realized how ineffective bounty campaigns are for actual promotion. As is stated here, for airdrops they're great, but for marketing, not so much.

It would be more helpful to these ICOs if they reserved some of their tokens for a proper community marketing effort. What I can't stand is the practice of these teams thinking "it's only our shitty project tokens anyway". Could anyone for the life of them imagine a registered public company saying "who cares about our shitty company shares, they're not as important as fiat?". They should be paying in ETH because they value their tokens more than ETH, like a good CEO, not the other way around. It's no wonder these projects go the way of the gutter, just like the attitude of their teams. It's the absolute kindergarten club of CEOs in ICOs.
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June 02, 2018, 06:29:19 PM
 #7

Interesting. I don't have much experience with bounties and I didn't knew that ICO's are allocating only ~2% of tokens to bounty participants, I thought they dedicate 10% or at least 5% of tokens to bounty campaign.
I'm not marketing expert but I also wondered, how effective are these bounty campaigns. But I think that ICO's aren't looking seriously into bounty campaigns. It doesn't cost anything to send payments in tokens to bounty campaign participants. Basically, bounty campaigns are just free advertising of project. And they don't care that bounty campaign are full of bitcointalk spammers,  users with fake social network accounts without real followers. I think that these ICO projects are more careful when they buy advertisements on webs, releasing sponsored articles on news websites and etc - when they spend real money for advertising, then they really need to check how many clicks it generated and how effective it was.
But I have more concerns about serious signature campaigns which are paying in Bitcoin. How they check effectivness of campaign? I haven't saw any campaigns which would have tracking tags in their links, for example /?ref=ID /campaign_bitcointalk or something similar. They just put direct links to their website in signature code.
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June 03, 2018, 03:13:53 AM
 #8

Interesting. I don't have much experience with bounties and I didn't knew that ICO's are allocating only ~2% of tokens to bounty participants, I thought they dedicate 10% or at least 5% of tokens to bounty campaign.
I'm not marketing expert but I also wondered, how effective are these bounty campaigns. But I think that ICO's aren't looking seriously into bounty campaigns. It doesn't cost anything to send payments in tokens to bounty campaign participants. Basically, bounty campaigns are just free advertising of project. And they don't care that bounty campaign are full of bitcointalk spammers,  users with fake social network accounts without real followers. I think that these ICO projects are more careful when they buy advertisements on webs, releasing sponsored articles on news websites and etc - when they spend real money for advertising, then they really need to check how many clicks it generated and how effective it was.
But I have more concerns about serious signature campaigns which are paying in Bitcoin. How they check effectivness of campaign? I haven't saw any campaigns which would have tracking tags in their links, for example /?ref=ID /campaign_bitcointalk or something similar. They just put direct links to their website in signature code.

It very much costs something - for the ICO investors. Whenever a project team spends tokens like the're "nothing" their investors are suffering heavily as their tokens become devalued. It brings warm trinkles down my spine when I see such careless CEOs and their sociopathic neglect of their investors prosecuted by the SEC.
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June 03, 2018, 12:22:33 PM
 #9

Many of novice ICOs does mistakes that you said and i totally agree with the flaw of current campaigns about the conversion rate thingy, its already a good enhancement for project owners to track conversion rate through the extension you mentioned, which i understand as thing like referral link i guess? I believe their intention of placing effort solely on here is because crypto members are so concentrate here and ads are too expensive, ineffective as they aren't expensive. I had seen some external projects already abandon the traditional way of ICOs, they heavily rely on their own platform for users to manage their rewards effectively.
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June 03, 2018, 06:59:20 PM
 #10

Hi Buddy,

Everything you said about ICO & Bounty campaigns is true for the present situation. Crypto & Blockchain are really a buzzword now. Crypto world is expanding day by day. So, the conversion of people is also increasing. Though we are facing now some Scam ICO and Spam users for bounty, it's because of our awareness, knowledge, investigation and also for supporting to bump Scam ICO. The number of Scam ICO is also increasing due to not having legal support from our government. Government and the public bank should understand its value. The blockchain is mostly Secure, Fast, Transparent and permissionless Technology, though Hacking is everywhere. We can protect it only with the help of legal support.

Most of the country is understanding its value now. Soon we will have more good news when it will go through the legal procedure. One day everyone will accept it when they will get support legally. Then there will be no Scam and Spam.

This Bitcointalk Community will be a big asset then. As you know, everyone is hunger after money. More people will convert to this community from all social media.

At last, We shouldn't blame Scammers or Spammer, it is their opportunity now because of having controlling weakness. It is our fault that we are supporting them by doing their bounty. We shouldn't do bounty randomly. We should do a proper investigation about their ICO, Project Goal, Fundamental base etc.

Thanks  Smiley

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June 03, 2018, 07:33:04 PM
 #11

I don't feel this belongs in Altcoin Discussion since it's a rather big issue if you think about it. Disclaimer: I use the term 99% here not as a literal figure, but as a figure of 'what seems to be'. If that makes sense. I would use the term "most" instead, however "most" could mean 60%, and 99% is far more accurate in this instance than 60%. This post is not a rant, but an observation that bewilders me.

The issue
If we stop and pause for a minute, we'll realize that 99% of ICOs are absolute garbage for one simple reason: They're allocating 2% or so of their token supply to bounty hunters.

What are as far as you, the marketing costs of most companies? You know what, 2% is normally what they spend just in their basic web page. You don´t seem to realise how cheap is to market through bounty, without paying taxes nor established agencies.

I would ask everyone in here that thinks that it is expensive or that conversion rates are low to provide figures. Else is just FUD.

 I can for sure provide conversion rates for Facebook and Google and compare but they are not real (Google does NOT have even an 8% conversion, not even remotely.

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June 04, 2018, 06:14:14 AM
 #12

I agree with a lot of your points, however, some ICO's do have large and capable teams, so not sure the problem is always lack of marketing experience.

The problem, I think, is that at the ICO stage the team has almost nothing to lose with casting a wide net in its marketing (including by allowing low quality posters or 'promoters'). They are losing little by providing tokens in their yet to be valued company - initially worth zero dollars - that raises most of its capital from people interested in cryptocurrency. If the ICO flops, well, the project leads have wasted their time, but if it succeeds, then you're 'only' giving away at most a couple of percent of what you've raised to people who may or may not have contributed to the success of your project.

Project leads, at the ICO stage, don't need to worry about efficiency or value of marketing at the ICO stage. It is all about raising capital and if that means spam posting, I don't think it will bother them too much.

This is another reason why, I think, established coins don't usually do bounties - they need to worry about efficiency, value for money, conversions and so on, since their token now has actual agreed value set by the market through trades, rather than an arbitrary value set by the ICO leads.

 
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June 04, 2018, 08:27:08 AM
 #13

Again, to the above two replies, the issue is treating investor-funded tokens as if they're candy, which no real CEO should do.
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June 04, 2018, 09:16:31 AM
 #14

Again, to the above two replies, the issue is treating investor-funded tokens as if they're candy, which no real CEO should do.

Sorry, but that is not at all specific to ICOs, it happens all over the Venture Capital scene. Stocks are worth less than the paper they are printed in until the company actually starts making some income or has an exponential growth in active users and other parameters.

To be honest, the problem is not in the ICO mechanism, but in the lack of understanding of the average investor. Surely it is not your case, but many people thought that ICOs just multiply your cash or Bitcoin in a couple of months and is as simple as contributing, watch it grow, rinse and repeat. Well, it is not.

ICOs are a way of financing business but as an investor it is your sole responsibility to understand that, in order of priority:

1. TRUST - You are putting your money in the hands of a team. You are trusting that they will do the best to protect your investment. If you have any doubt don't invest. e.g.


[Hi, this is ICO XYZaa, our CEO is a 23 year old graduated from the Meaningless University of Lostland, a cryptoenthusiast that has been working in crypto in secret since 2013.

If you give your money to this guy, don't complain.


2. VALUATION - I am amazed at the number of people that cannot do the most basic math and then complaint about the ICO when tokens fall in value. e.g.

Hi, this is ICO XYZbb, our soft cap is 1 million, our hard cap is 200 million, we are selling 20% of the tokens.

If you don't know what is the problem with those figures, just don't f*nking put your money before someone more knowledgeable has the time to explain it to you

3. UNDERLIYING BUSINESS - Some business ideas don't make sense of have very little chance of ever becoming profitable.

Hi, this is ICO XYZcc, our business is going to replace VISA with a much faster and cheaper high-throughput chain because is cheaper and faster. We are selling tokens with a soft cap of 5 million and a hard cap of 10 million.

If you don't see a problem with these figures, follow the same steps as for section 2.

Investing is not about White Papers. I can produce 10 a week at 200 USD a piece and all of them would make more sense than those of 90% of the ICOs. Most of these projects would be (a possibly have been) laughed at by any real investor, and that is why they are trying to get investment from uneducated people.

And there are many more things that the average investor is simply ignoring on the hope that someone will buy their tokens at twice the price the next day, don't blame it on something else.

Again, nothing personal, you are a senior and probably seen many action already, I just can't agree with your conclusion.













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June 04, 2018, 11:18:05 AM
 #15

The thing is is that the majority of mainstream investors aren't that smart. They're being exposed to the same risk/reward as venture capital funds without their experience, smarts, or teams. As long as ICOs continue to screw mom & pop investors over and burn them, there won't be a cash cow to milk for much longer in the ICO sphere.

It is very much the responsibility of corporately responsible CEOs to take the lead here and have the best interest of their project tokens, and thus their investor, at heart at all times. That begins with taking every 1% they allocate anywhere seriously. Once they do this, they won't be prosecuted by the SEC so much, nor will ICOs suffer from their current reputation.
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June 11, 2018, 06:07:24 PM
 #16

I don't feel this belongs in Altcoin Discussion since it's a rather big issue if you think about it. Disclaimer: I use the term 99% here not as a literal figure, but as a figure of 'what seems to be'. If that makes sense. I would use the term "most" instead, however "most" could mean 60%, and 99% is far more accurate in this instance than 60%. This post is not a rant, but an observation that bewilders me.

The issue


They could simply request all participants to add "?uniqueID=186" for example at the end of their link, and now the conversion rate of each individual bounty hunter can be direclty monitored. Now you can pay 2-10% bounty directly to your bounty hunters depending upon how many actual conversions they acquired for you


In fact at this point, couldn't your bounty manager just be a smart contract(as long as the ICO is on ETH)? Allocate the 2% of funds to the contract at the begining and let it award the bounty hunters based on referals, would be harder to game the system then.
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June 12, 2018, 12:19:32 PM
Last edit: June 13, 2018, 01:08:12 PM by 2342q6tegw
 #17

I think there are really 3 interrelated problems.

The average dev doesn't have a business head so lithe ICO have the same problem as the start-ups, they need money to get the project off the ground and they want a business person but it is really hard to evaluate a skill you don't have. That might not have mattered much but now everyone and his dog is buying in to the ICOs, so it draws get rich quick types rather than build a stable business and the devs just believe in what the linked  in profile says, more traditional start-ups will have advisors like the op on board who can step in and evaluate these people, you still get plenty of so called business people who would never do tracking ids though they just waste their time. I think it's also added into because they take far too much, they have looked at the amount in crypto  (not value of fiat) raised and in the distrust, anonymity (while that can be good, and a chance for non traditional start-ups to be funded who may very well provide a good product) with the others it create a scammers charter
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June 16, 2018, 07:32:05 AM
 #18

I agree with the author of the post on 99% of the ICO that does not represent any interest. Moreover, even the tokens that go to the exchange and get into the rating of coinmarketcap-in most cases they are also garbage and do not represent any value for their holders, so after listing on the exchange, the owners begin to merge tokens and roll the project into the floor. Now on coinmarketcap more than 1600 tokens and here of course not 99% but still the majority (approximately 60%) are also garbage.
Normal and strong projects that have a strong team, an excellent road map do not need to advertise their product with the help of bounty hunters, as a rule, such projects are the best investment funds and bloggers for a long time. The rating of such projects is always very high and does not require additional promotion with the help of bounty.
Bounty hunters become more and more, and a lot of bots and scammers leading to several accounts at once and projects is not as tracked, and it turns out that at the end of the ICO and the release of the project on the exchange - first of all, all of their free earned tokens begin to merge it bounty without thinking how much this project, in the hope of getting at least some profit.
In most cases, the team allocates 1-2% of the sold tokens to the bounty company, but it happens that up to 5% of the tokens are allocated, and as a result, marketers do not think that with such gifts they themselves roll their project to the floor. Requires some regulation of the ICO and the bounty of the companies, my opinion you need to improve tryptomer or we wallow in this garbage.
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June 16, 2018, 11:15:45 AM
 #19

I don't feel this belongs in Altcoin Discussion since it's a rather big issue if you think about it. Disclaimer: I use the term 99% here not as a literal figure, but as a figure of 'what seems to be'. If that makes sense. I would use the term "most" instead, however "most" could mean 60%, and 99% is far more accurate in this instance than 60%. This post is not a rant, but an observation that bewilders me.

The issue
If we stop and pause for a minute, we'll realize that 99% of ICOs are absolute garbage for one simple reason: They're allocating 2% or so of their token supply to bounty hunters.

Now, this in and of itself would be fine if the bounty hunters gave real conversions to projects. There's no doubt that conversions do happen, however 99% of ICO teams seem to be completely lacking in common marketing or business sense despite whatever impressive LinkedIn profiles they have simply due to the fact that they'd distribute 2% or so of their token supply to people without conducting any form of pixel or conversion tracking to see how effectively these people promote their ICO/project.

It's web marketing 101 that you should be tracking every conversion, and know the conversion rate of all of your promoters. If you're running AdWords, Facebook Ads, or hiring a promoter to promote your business, you're definitely tracking every conversion in order to measure your ROI. No businessman in existence would run a web marketing campaign without knowing its conversion rate. This is excusable in TV, print and radio advertising where it's impossible to do so, but not the Internet. Such incompetence to track conversion sources would only allow one to retain a living in a governmental, charity or other subsidized position. Definitely not in a business.

Which now begs the question, how come all of these ICOs are allocating huge sums of money to bounty hunters with no form of pixel or cookie tracking to monitor conversions? They could simply request all participants to add "?uniqueID=186" for example at the end of their link, and now the conversion rate of each individual bounty hunter can be direclty monitored. Now you can pay 2-10% bounty directly to your bounty hunters depending upon how many actual conversions they acquired for you. Gone entirely is the need to filter through tens of thousands of bot and spam accounts that don't give you any conversions.

The real benefit to doing this? Now you can finally attract real promoters. And this is the heart of my post; the reason many ICOs fail to reach their soft cap is because no serious promoter would touch a bounty campaign with a ten thousand foot pole. I for one am not interested in writing articles or promoting an ICO on my personal facebook because I know if I do, many people would buy into the ICO based off my recommendation since I rarely do such promotions. My friends also know I'm not a shill, so if i make a recommendation they'd take it seriously. The problem is I'd be sharing my  stakes with scammers, spammers and spam bots which give 0 conversions to an ICO. Even worse, and based on my past experience, these spam bots or "copy pastas" often get higher staking allocations than legitimate accounts or incredibly well written articles due to bounty managers neglecting their duty due to either their incompetence or corruption.

The fact 99% of ICOs use such a system to pay random people on this forum their project tokens shows me that their extensive business resumes are in fact quite useless. With all of that business experience, surely they'd be interested in running some basic conversion tracking on their bounty hunters?

Which thus leads to my final point. If the above is true, then we can logically conclude that 99% of ICOs don't have any basic business or marketing sense, despite whatever verified resumes and ICOBench 5 star reviews the teams might have. No legitimate business would pursue web promotional avenues that give away 2% of their capital without monitoring conversions. So who are all these business people launching ICOs then? The only person that would pursue these promotional avenues are obviously members of BitCoinTalk forum. In fact I'd bet nearly every ICO has had a member of BitCoinTalk forum as the CEO on an alt account. Because how else could such lunacy transpire? It's the only logical explanation to this phenomenon.

So in essence, ICOs are mostly run by people on a single Internet forum and not by mainstream business leaders. This means the entire ICO sphere is missing out on vast amounts of business experience outside of this forum. How can ICOs ever be taken seriously by the mainstream public with these realizations?

I don't think you are seeing the big picture to be honest. Its not just direct conversions that matter, Its mostly a case of numbers. Bigger twitter following, more people on telegram group etc. This is one of the first things investors look at when investigating an ICO. Many bounty campaigns also block and ban spammers or plagiarizes when they are ididentified. Another point is that it is a well known fact that less people overlook a project when they actually hold some of the tokens, this is why airdrops are done, so the more people holding a small amount of tokens, the better.

Your initial point is totally valid, but i just think there are other reasons why projects are run the way they are
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June 16, 2018, 06:15:05 PM
 #20

I disagree in the sense that bounty hunters at least create activity in the Ann threads. When you see an Ann with only one or two pages, and nobody really talking, it leaves a bad impression.

Not that I completely disagree, I think all your points are body. Just highlighting a pro.
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