The step-by-step guide on how to participate in ICOs provides an overview of what a user needs to do in order to be able to invest in a startup company. The guide is split into two parts. Step1 covers the part where a user first needs to obtain the cryptocurrency. Step2 is about participating in the actual ICO. For more info on how to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies follow our guide. Storing coins on an online exchange might not be a good idea unless you are a day trader. Once you get your first Bitcoins/Ether find a wallet which is under your control.

Step2 – the ICO participation

Please note each ICO is different and has its own tricks. This guide provides a more general overview on how people participate in token sales. The rising interest in this new type of crowdfunding creates new challenges: the token sells off in a matter of minutes, networks get overloaded, and transactions slow down, scammers are getting more creative in fooling people, these token sales are huge honeypots in the eyes of hackers. ICOs lack any type of government regulations, and if something bad happens, there are no refunds. Currently, Ethereum is the most popular crowd sale platform in the blockchain space. This might change anytime. Waves is another project which successfully conducted token sales on its blockchain. After receiving your tokens consider moving these to cold storage. Additionally, it is recommended to keep up with the news surrounding the projects you invested in. Startups could go offline without any further notice and leave the investors wondering what happened: example HackEtherCamp.

IPFS

IPFS(Interplanetary File System) aims to replace HTTP and seeks to connect all computing devices with the same system of files. At its core, IPFS is a versioned file system that can take files and manage them and also store them somewhere and then tracks versions over time. IPFS is the synthesis of existing protocols combined into one: SFS, Git, Bittorrent, DHT.

# Hashing

Instead of referring to objects (pics, articles, videos) by which server they are stored on, IPFS refers to everything by the hash on the file. Every file gets hashed. The long string that gets created is unique for every file and if the content of the file gets edited, the string changes completely. It is impossible to reverse engineer a file from the hash string. If you want to access a file from your browser, a signal will be sent across the network asking for a file that corresponds to the specific hash.

# Merkle trees

The idea of merkle trees it to create a map of all files which correspond to each other. In IPFS the hash of the file determines it’s link. If you change the file, the hash changes and the link will be different. Let’s take for example Bitcoin. Bitcoin is one huge merkle tree, where every block points to a previous one. But Bitcoin is immutable and in IPFS people will need to change the contents of files over time. That’s why IPFS will distinguish between mutable and immutable links.

 

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