How Much Does it Cost to Launch an ICO?

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Private: Blockchain development

In 2019, more than $3.3 billion USD was raised in ICOs. Today, the amount of money generated from an ICO is on the rise, making it a prominent investment tool for both institutional investors and large corporations such as Microsoft.

However, the percentage of successful projects has also dropped significantly. Only 25% of all ICOs manage to collect the amount they need to sustain themselves. Investors are only looking to invest in the most reliable and relevant ideas. And a success story of a Blockchain startup depends on the way they launch an ICO and how much money they are ready to invest in it.

ICO Cost Demarcation: Components to Consider 

The cost of launching an ICO depends on each stage of the process and how you decide to organize it.


The first and unfortunately most overlooked stage is consultation. Special technology consulting companies cover every challenge emerging in blockchain development. By delivering a thorough analysis of your current business processes, this company identifies the specific needs of the intended blockchain solution. It estimates the value of a blockchain application in your business.

The consultation stage typically consists of:

  1. Planning
  2. Drafting the whitepaper
  3. Token Creation 
  4. Marketing
  5. Website Development
  6. ICO Listing Process
  7. Post Launch Activities

The average cost of a consultation service sits at around USD 8,000.

Drafting a Whitepaper

A whitepaper is the main document needed for launching an ICO. Respectively, this is the most difficult document. It can take months to prepare and should be carefully proofread. So if you’ve written the whitepaper yourself, we recommend handing it over to a specialist for proofreading. They will fix or point out any problem areas, save you time, and spare you from possible pitfalls. And yes, that’s another $400 from the budget.

The typical structure of a whitepaper consists of:

  • Background — how it all started.
  • Introduction — containing the description of the market and the way your blockchain applies to it.
  • Market Analysis — deeper analysis of the market’s growth potential and your competitors.
  • Introduction to the product — what is the product, service, or project you are offering.
  • Product specifics — a more in-depth description of the product containing graphs and any necessary calculations.
  • Technical — description of the technical nuances of the product.
  • Use cases — product application practices.
  • The pre-sale stage — if there is a preliminary investment attraction.
  • The ICO — the terms, currency + blockchain, etc.
  • Development roadmap — what has been done, what is planned, and in what time frame.
  • Financial Projections — what the investment will be spent on.
  • Team — aspects of management, the key employees, and their experience.
  • Conclusion.

Don’t underestimate the FAQ section. Unfortunately, very few projects consider preparing a full-fledged section for “Questions and Answers”.

It is also good practice to have step-by-step guides on actions that can be a potential source of difficulty for users:

  • how to use your personal account
  • how to transfer tokens from different types of wallets
  • how to get tokens after the release

Costs related to drafting a whitepaper and auditing usually amount to USD 5,000.

Launching an ICO on your own

The most difficult way to launch an ICO is to go about it yourself and take on the responsibility of organizing everything on your own.

All ICO costs can be divided into three categories:

  • writing programming code
  • marketing and promoting the project
  • legal support

The costs for each stage will depend on the choice of specialists. Attracting experienced influencers involved in the crypto industry will increase the chances of success for your ICO, but the costs of the project will grow.

You can hire an experienced freelance developer for approximately $10,000 per month/project in the U.S or EU.

The creation of a landing page, which is needed to promote ICO projects, will also cost around $1,000-2,000. Costs for lawyers start at $200 per hour of consultation.

The Costs of Promoting an ICO project

Prices for marketing and project promotion vary from $5,000 to $500 000. On average, the efficiency of investment is about $10 bucks earned to $1 spent for the fundraising up to $500,000, and $75 earned to $1 for the campaign for fundraising over $1M.

You can find specialists who will solve your problems in a comprehensive manner, or hire them on a case by case basis.

The process of assembling a project promotion team, assigning responsibilities, and approximating costs involve hiring:

  • Chief project manager (from $500 to $ 10,000 per month)
  • Community manager (works and communicates with the community and bounty managers (from $10 per hour)
  • PR specialist (from $2,000 to $ 25,000 per month)
  • Marketing Manager (from $8,000 per month)
  • Copywriter (from $50 per 500 words)
  • Business developer to work with potential investors (from $3,000)

Note that a single mention of your project in the media will cost from $400 to $15,000.

Contacting Technology Consulting Companies

For startups seeking to save their time, resources, and most importantly, make sure that their ICO project will attract investors, there are special consulting firms. They offer different solutions such as technical advice, marketing guidance, legal counseling, and so on.

Working with consulting companies protects you from most of the pitfalls startups encounter when launching an ICO. You get a comprehensive ICO assessment, a well-organized whitepaper, a team of experts ready to work on your idea, and support even after launch of ICO and its subsequent successes has taken place.

Still have doubts about how to launch your ICO project? Unicsoft is here to help at every stage of the process. Except, maybe legal issues. Otherwise, our blockchain experts are ready to provide token development services to help you securely raise funds for your business venture.

Related case study: STO based crowdfunding platform

In a Nutshell

The popularity of ICO’s is on the rise. Today, it has become one of the most preferred modes of attracting investors.

While an ICO launch is difficult to pull off, it can give your company a great start if done properly. Thinking through every stage and getting professional assistance will secure you from potential risks and give you the best chance to attract the investors you need.