How We Rate ICOs

Before explaining how we rate ICOs, we have to emphasise that this, and all other content on this website, is purely informational. It does not constitute investment advice. We are not financial advisors. You should always do your own research and due diligence when investing in ICOs.

How do we at rate ICOs?

There are two parts to how we rate ICOs here at First, we need to find out if this is a quality ICO. Second, we’d like to classify the ICO so we can have an idea of what to expect in its lifetime – what class of ICO does this fall into?

Let’s start with the first point – quality.

Evaluating the Quality of an ICO

Our quality assessment is done internally, and considers the following four dimensions:

  • Community (social metrics, influencer mentions, notable investors)
  • Product (total addressable market, existing product/prototype)
  • Finance (hard cap, token supply/allocation)
  • Team (core team, advisors)

Want a silly mnemonic to help you memorize that? CuP oF Tea.

In our evaluation we frequently come across low-quality ICOs, but we only feature what we consider to be high-quality ICOs on this site.

Once we’ve considered that we’re dealing with a quality ICO, we consider its classification (aka type or category).

Classification of ICOs

We include three types of quality ICOs on this website: Stellar, Solid, and Stealth ICOs. Let’s go through each one of these so you can get an idea of how we classify the ICOs we feature.

💫 Stellar 💫

A Stellar ICO will stand out due to its large addressable market and all-star team. This is an ICO that in a few years could potentially be at the level of the tech giants we see today – either as a consumer-facing product or as a widely used protocol/platform/technology. You should expect a Stellar ICO to have very strong community metrics, and influencers should be talking about it. Stellar ICOs often have a bigger than average hard cap, but not necessarily. 10-20% of the ICOs we evaluate end up in this category.

Some examples of Stellar ICOs are: Kyber Network and Gems.

💪 Solid 💪

A Solid ICO has team members with a proven track record, and their solution is solving a problem of high importance. You’d expect the hard cap to be lower than a Stellar ICO, but not too low. The token supplied in the ICO (including pre-sales) should normally sit between 30% and 70%, depending on the case. More than 70% means the team won’t be as incentivised to keep developing the project after the ICO, but too little means the founder team might be taking too much for themselves. Of course, there are exceptions to these rules. 50-70% of the ICOs we evaluate end up in this category.

Some examples of Solid ICOs are: Bread, CoinFi, Cobinhood, and Raiden Network.

⚡️ Stealth ⚡️

A Stealth ICO is an interesting one – this one has typically gone under the radar of most influencers and investors, either due to poor marketing or due to their lack of network. Stealth ICOs are in many cases companies that are integrating an existing solution with the blockchain. In other cases, they focus on profitable but niche markets. In almost all cases, they have a smaller than average hard cap, and the percent of tokens distributed is often high.

Some examples of Stealth ICOs are: Snovio, aXpire, and Ripio Credit Network.


The ICO space can seem overwhelming, but we use these two frameworks to evaluate the quality and classification of ICOs. Opportunities exist in all classes of ICOs, as the examples above show. You can read how some of the above mentioned ICOs performed in our 2017 review.

As always, remember to do your own research – none of this is investment advice.