TenX: A Peak Behind Their ICO Success
One of the most successful ICOs lately is a project with huge real-world ramifications: TenX. TenX is a Singapore-based team with a simple idea: make spending cryptocurrency as easy as spending regular money. The company rode a slick marketing campaign and some big-name backing to $34M USD in 7 minutes. It’s impressive even by the high standards of ICOs, and we’ll break down why it worked.
TenX MAKES GRABBING YOUR MORNING CUP OF JOE WITH CRYPTOCURRENCY A REALITY
TenX cooked up a card that functions like any regular credit card. You swipe it at a store and it instantly converts your Bitcoin into the local currency, deducts it from your account, and pays the store. TenX makes grabbing your morning cup of joe with cryptocurrency a reality. And that’s exactly what the team did: the most-viewed YouTube videos on their channel depicts members of the team using TenX to purchase things like coffee and fast food. This leads into one of the key reasons Ten-X’s ICO was so successful: marketing.
AS EASY TO USE AS DOLLARS AND EUROS
TenX’s mission to make cryptocurrency as easy to use as dollars and euros is a great, simple idea. It’s cool and profitable to accumulate lots of Bitcoins, but you still can’t go grocery shopping with them. Ten-X fixes this. The company let the idea pitch itself. Their YouTube channel depicts multiple videos of the team making everyday purchases with the TenX card. You can watch the money deducted from the wallet in real-time. The video itself is professionally shot, with upbeat background music, and is only a minute long. This emphasizes the team’s “quick and easy” pitch. Humans are visual creatures. Monkey see, monkey do, and it’s easy to envision yourself using a TenX card after watching video.
A WORKING PROTOTYPE… YOU BET!
This leads into another huge asset TenX had: a working prototype. One of the most-criticized aspects of ICO’s is most companies have nothing to show investors other than a whitepaper. TenX had a working prototype tested extensively in Singapore. Anyone can whip up an impressive whitepaper; investors are significantly more impressed by a working prototype. One of TenX’s advantages over competitors is the ability to quickly switch between multiple networks. TenX is built around the COMIT network. Another simple idea, COMIT connects multiple blockchains, allowing TenX cardholders to pay in multiple currencies. Ten-X currently supports Bitcoin and plans to add Ethereum, Dash, and all ERC based tokens (Augur, Civic, and many others). It’s still early days in the crypto world, and Bitcoin may not always be the king of currencies. Ten-X’s flexibility allows investors to hedge their bets by not tying the app to a certain coin.
TenX’s location in Singapore wasn’t irrelevant, and it wasn’t an accident. The company chose one of the world’s top financial hubs, where the financial governing bodies are favorable to startups. Additionally, Southeast Asia is a huge growth market; the TenX whitepaper estimated 50% of the population is underbanked.
TenX also accumulated some heavy hitters and big names on their team before launching an ICO. The company racked up a million in seed funding from Venture Capitalist firm Fenbushi Capital. And its website lists Vitalik Buterin as an investor. Vitalik founded Ethereum, the number two cryptocurrency in the world, and co-founded Bitcoin Magazine. He’s a big name in the crypto world, and having him on TenX’s side provides legitimacy and “been there, done that” expertise.
OTHER BLOCKCHAIN PROJECTS SHOULD LEARN FROM THEIR INCREDIBLE MARKETING EXECUTION
In addition to an effective YouTube channel, TenX’s whitepaper was easy to read and visually appealing. The original Bitcoin whitepaper, by comparison, is overwhelming for anyone without a strong computer background. TenX’s whitepaper also included detailed step-by-step instructions for how they were planning to spend their ICO funds
There were also technical reasons TenX’s ICO succeeded. The company accepted Ethereum, Bitcoin, Dash, Litecoin, and ERC20 tokens; most ICOs don’t take such a diverse range of payments. Ten-X also kept contribution addresses unpublished until prior to the swap. This prevented unnecessary spamming of transactions. TenX’s ICO was such a rockstar that they received an extra 45,000 ETH, but were able to swing it as a positive. They chose not to refund the ETH, as doing so would cause a significant amount of investors to have their tokens canceled. The company also offered a refund for anyone who so desired.
A FEW CONCERNS INVESTORS HAD
TenX has a fantastic idea, and they’ve been crushing it so far. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention a few concerns investors had, and why some passed on the ICO. Some investors debated the importance of being able to use multiple currencies. Bitcoin and Ethereum are the clear-cut biggest two currencies at the moment, and currently the only ones with major real-world application. If cryptocurrency someday becomes standard, it’s tough to imagine people toting funds around in a dozen different tokens. Some others didn’t envision high payouts from TenX. With their payout model, TenX would need to do around $40 billion worth of transactions annually for investors to receive $1. They’ve done around 500K so far. Essentially, unless TenX becomes a global standard card on the level of Visa or MasterCard, investors won’t be getting a lot back. Banks and credit card companies could easily torpedo TenX by launching their own competing crypto debit cards long before TenX gets huge. Lastly, TenX has trumpeted Vitalik Buterin’s presence for all it’s worth. But he may not be involved as investors hope. In an interview with TrustNodes.com, Buterin explicitly said “Fenbushi is an investor. I personally am not.” It’s unclear how hands-on Buterin is. TenX’s team, while qualified, mainly come from non-blockchain backgrounds.
RECAP FOR ICO SUCCESS
But we aren’t here to bad-mounh TenX; they’ve got a great idea and executed a phenomenal ICO. Let’s recap why it was so successful. Ten-X had big names like Buterin and PayPal Incubator in their corner, providing legitimacy in a world of sketchy ICOs. They had a working prototype. They displayed it well. And their whitepaper clearly listed how funds from the ICO would be used in detail. All of these things gave investors confidence to pull the trigger. It’s too early to say if TenX will outlast its competition, but the company is to be commended for an excellent ICO.
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