Smith + Crown’s token sale vetting: results from community poll - Smith + Crown
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Smith + Crown’s token sale vetting: results from community poll

A summary of the results from the April, 2017 community survey about token sales and Smith +Crown's plan moving forward.

Thank you to all who responded to last month’s token sale survey. We were extremely pleased to have so many of you shared your thoughts and opinions. The input we get from our readers is invaluable as we strive to improve our research practices and provide the community with the best possible, objective resource about blockchain markets.

State of the token sale market

2017 has been a huge year for token sales. In 2017, the number of token sales concluding each week has almost doubled–jumping from an average of 1.5 sales a week in 2016 to 2.75 sales per week for the first four months of 2017. As the most recent Smith + Crown data reveals, not only is the pace of token sales increasing, the amount of capital flowing into them is increasing as well.

Our goal is to provide the most comprehensive possible resource about token sales. Recently we have encountered two challenges in covering the token sale market.

  • Project vetting: The lack of formal standards for operating token sales creates an incredible opportunity for innovators looking to fund their ideas and build a community. However, it also creates an opportunity for strategic marketers to sell vaporware at inflated prices, inexperienced teams to make promises they can’t realistically keep, and outright scammers to try the next scheme.
  • Research: breadth v depth: We are always fine tuning how to produce high-level project summaries that are timely and informative along side in-depth analysis and research.

We wanted to reach out to get the community’s input on these issues. The results we obtained were revealing and actionable.

Poll results

Project vetting

  • 61 percent of respondents thought that the token sale dashboard should contain almost every token sale and that we should only do additional research on projects that pass some kind of vetting process.
  • Of the possible vetting tests we could administer, 78 percent  thought we should require team names and bios, 53 percent thought we should require third party verification through a social media account or a press mention, and 33 percent thought we should require a video that shows team leaders’ faces and a public acknowledgement of their involvement with the project. 8 percent of respondents indicated that they wanted no vetting at all and that the ICO dashboard should include every token sale. Note: respondents could select multiple choices.


Project vetting: List every project

Based on the responses from the survey, Smith + Crown will continue to strive to list every project on our token sale dashboard. However, we will require that projects submit a response to our research intake survey. The survey is less than 20 questions long and takes about 15 minutes to complete.

The transparency of the founding team alone will not be a criteria for listing. However, Smith + Crown will continue to advocate for team transparency and other best practice standards for operating a token sale. Transparent and non-anonymous teams will be a requirement to be considered for in-depth analysis.

We will still indicate which projects have verified founder identities with our attribute.

Content types

When asked whether our readers would prefer to see more high level summaries (like this one for TokenCard) or more in-depth analysis (like this analysis of WeTrust ROSCAs) 62.7 percent of respondents indicated that they would prefer to see more in-depth analysis. 25.5 percent of respondents had no opinion and 11.8 percent of respondents indicated that they would rather see more high level summaries.

Content Plan: High level summaries for every project and a greater focus on in-depth analysis 

Currently, Smith + Crown is offering three levels of coverage for token sales: summaries, profiles, and reports. Based on the results from our survey, Smith + Crown will begin focusing on producing more in-depth analysis for a select few projects. At the same time, Smith + Crown will aim to provide a high level summary for every token sale project we list on our dashboard so that coverage is as broad as possible.

As a result, Smith + Crown will produce fewer token sale profiles–which were essentially summaries with a higher degree of detail. In order to make up for this loss of detail, we have redesigned our summaries so that they will contain much of the same information that profiles did, but in the form of a scannable table.

Querying the Community

Smith + Crown readers are some of the savviest people in the crypto-investment market. Starting May 2017, we will begin conducting regular opinion polls to gather information about which projects the community is most interested in seeing an in-depth analysis of.

As always, if you have any comments, suggestions, tips, leads, or questions–please let us know. We love hearing from our readers. Email us at