What is a Utility Token?
Utility token are defined as digital units of cryptocurrency that provide exclusive access to a product or service. A couple examples would be like discount voucher, the fake currencies used in many videogames, or a ticket providing access to a sporting event.
Utility tokens are not "real money" or investments granting shareholder rights, and draw their value from demand for the services they are associated with rather than the book valuation of the company issuing them. Find out more about difference between Security & Utility Tokens here
Scroll down for specific risk information, or click the button below to find out more about CATS Tokens.
There are many different types of risks associated with cryptocurrency and ICOs. Token sales are often complex. Tokens can be built on a variety of technologies and they can represent a variety of use cases ranging from simple to complex. There is no one standard definition for a “token” or “ICO”. For example, some tokens (such as Bitcoin) have no central management, Bitcoin exists on it’s own constantly changing blockchain and it has one very simple use case. Other tokens exists on top of existing blockchains, and therefore are dependent on them, they have their own central management team and the use cases for their token could represent voting rights, value transfer for work contributed, a security token, a token to purchase an in-app product or service, or a sort of digital “point” for curating content to name only a few examples. New use cases, economic models, technology and ways of doing business are being invented rapidly and with rapid development comes risk. Please be aware of the following specific risks before getting involved in any crypto or blockchain based project found on our site or elsewhere.
1. Fraud: The crypto space is still largely unregulated. This allows for unlawful projects to be launched in a quest to raise funds for a project which was never intended to deliver on any of its promises. In these instances contributors often lose 100% of their contribution. It is important to conduct thorough due diligence on all crypto projects. You should thoroughly research the team and advisory board behind all projects you’re interested in.Please be aware, that It’s often not enough to simply look at the profiles listed on the project’s website, as some fraudsters have taken to using fake identities, fake social profile accounts and listing fake work histories and work experiences. In other cases, fraudsters have used real identities of people who are not associated with their project.
2. Hacks: While it is less likely a blockchain will be hacked, their is a greater potential for hacks on the system layers that exists above the blockchain layer. For example, applications such as wallets, browsers, websites or software programs are all all common targets for hackers. These hacks often lead to a substantial loss of funds for both the token issuer and the token purchaser. Please be aware that many blockchain projects are uninsured which will likely result in the complete loss of your funds in the event your the victim of a hack.
3. Project Abandonment: There is also a risk that some crypto projects could become abandoned. This may happen for a variety of reasons including but not limited to; lack of interest from the public or developers, unfavorable regulations, failures in technology or lack of funding. If a project becomes abandoned, the tokens associated with it will often become illiquid or void of any real value.
4. New technology: Many crypto projects found on our site use a blockchain as their underlying technology. Blockchain technology is relatively new which comes with it’s own risks. To make matters even riskier, many token issuers experiment with the underlying protocols and algorithms. In the blockchain space it’s not uncommon to see technology failures.
5. 3rd Party Underlying Protocol Failure: Many crypto projects execute their project on top of existing blockchains. Common blockchains include, but are not limited to, Bitcoin, Ethereum and NXT. Therefore, many crypto projects rely on the proper functioning of these underlying blockchains. However, issues such as forks, system failures, project abandonment or newer technologies such as quantum computing could introduce new risks for these underlying blockchains and therefore the projects built on top of them.
6. Mining Attacks: Early stage blockchain projects come with increased levels of risk. Blockchain protocols often use algorithms (such as Proof Of Work of Proof Of Stake) which help protect the network. While, these algorithms and others have proven to be quite secure, there is a risk with early stage projects which don’t have a balanced distribution of miners. In these instances a project could find themselves with miners who are bad actors and could engage in activity, such as majority mining power attacks, that would reduce the value of the platform or network to zero.
7. Extreme Volatility: Cryptocurrencies have traditionally been incredibly volatile assets. This has many implications for the ICO and Token Sale industry. The value of a project’s internal token may or may not lead to increase or decreases in project progress as well as public interest in the project. Similarly, the price of the tokens used as the base currency (for fundraising) could also depreciate in value meaning the token issuer may not have the funds to complete the project.
8. Lack of verifiable 3rd Party Audits: Token sales are often not designed as securities sales and therefore they often are not subject to the same rigorous third party verification and auditing standards.
9. Accidental Loss of Tokens: It is possible to lose the entire balance of your token based on many different factors. For example, if you fail to follow the exact ICO or Token Sale instructions, including providing a correct and compatible receiving address you may lose your tokens. You may also lose your tokens if you fail to write down your password, private key or passphrase (depending on the rules of each token sale). Generally, failing to follow very strict guidelines will result in the total loss of all tokens. In the majority of these cases the tokens will be forever unrecoverable.
10. Regulatory Risk: There is a risk that a crypto project either failed to adhere to regulatory requirements for their specific use case and technology, or new laws or regulation may conflict with their current project functioning. It’s also important to realize that regulatory standards and laws change greatly between jurisdictions. It’s important to study, understand and constantly update yourself on the rapidly changing regulatory landscape surrounding blockchain technology and ICOs in your jurisdiction.
11. Internal Team Errors or Failures: There is a risk associated with putting control of the day to day operations in the hands of the token issuer. Token price, stability and utility are often grounded in the principles of good business management. However, there is a risk that central management will fail to run the business properly.
12. No Legal Recourse: There is a risk associated with finding a reasonable legal remedy in the case of a dispute. it may be difficult or costly for token contributors to assert their legal right. Due to the international nature of the internet, and global commerce contributors may find it expensive or difficult to challenge the token issuer in their jurisdiction. Similarly, crypto projects often explicitly state the risks in their terms and conditions. This can make finding a reasonable legal remedy challenging.