A common problem for crypto investors is investing in an ICO (Initial Coin Offering), especially if the ICO blocks investments from their country of residence.. Countries like the US, China, Israel and Singapore have very strict, possibly even outdated investment regulations. They consider ICO tokens to be securities and consequently only allow accredited investors to participate in these ICO token sales.
Many ICOs, thus, have a choice: either comply with these strict regulation and only allow accredited investors to participate, or open the ICO to everyone except those from the US, China and Singapore.
Some ICOs, like Filecoin, go the accredited investor route and fully comply with the US securities laws. However, this seriously limits the potential investor pool, and so the majority of the ICOs simply block visitors that arrive from the US, China and Singapore from participating in the token sale.
One of the ways they can achieve this “geo-blocking” is simply by blacklisting all the IP addresses from these countries. In this guide we will show you how to bypass the geo-blocking using a software tool called a VPN (Virtual Private Network), so that even if you’re located in the US, China or Singapore you will still be able to participate in the ICO of your choice.
What is an IP Address
Let’s discuss what your IP address is and how it’s tied to your personal identity. An IP address is a unique string of numbers used to identify your device on the web. Every time you communicate over a network, the transaction is recorded using your IP address. That means every connection you make, website you visit, email you send, etc. can all be traced back to you using just your IP address.
When you browse the Internet, your IP address is traced, tracked, and even recorded by websites and third parties. Government agencies, Internet Service Providers and third parties use your IP address to track and in some cases sell your data.
ICO websites, on the other hands, use your IP to determine which country you’re located in and to blacklist you from participating if you’re in one of the strictly regulated countries like the US, China and Singapore.
How To Bypass ICO IP Blacklists
A simple solution for the ICO geo-blocking is using a VPN service like SaferVPN.
A VPN allows you to change your real IP address to a virtual IP address originating in another country. For example, you can browse the Internet from New York with an IP that originates from Germany and achieve full, unrestricted access.
And it’s actually much easier to do than it sounds:
- Get a VPN subscription like SaferVPN
- Download the SaferVPN application for your device.
- Launch the SaferVPN application and login with your credentials.
- From the list of available countries, choose a country which is not restricted by the ICO. We recommend choosing a European server like the Netherlands or Switzerland, as the residents of these countries are not restricted from participating in ICOs.
- Connect to your chosen country server
- Browse to the ICO website and voila! You’re no longer blocked by your IP because the website sees you as coming from the Netherlands (or another country that you’ve chosen).
- Wait for the ICO to moon, then buy a Lambo (this one is optional).
Other VPN Benefits
Changing your IP address is not the only benefit from using VPN. There are other privacy and security benefits as well.
Cryptocurrency wallet traffic is easy to identify because specific wallets all use the same pre-configured ports that need to be open for the wallet to function. And obviously, devices that run cryptocurrency traffic are some of the juiciest targets to attack.
A VPN service protects your data when trading and holding cryptocurrencies. When you’re connected to a reliable and secure VPN, you will stay completely private because every bit of your network traffic is encrypted with bank-grade encryption algorithms.
Attackers won’t have a clue that you have a cryptocurrency wallet on your device and they won’t target your device specifically.
Another benefit is that a VPN also obfuscates your Bitcoin activity from your ISP (Internet Service Provider). With the current Net Neutrality laws in dispute, who knows how well your ISP logs are secured, and for how long? All kind of unsavory attention might come to you from being exposed as a cryptocurrency holder on your ISP records. Good VPN services keep no logs of your traffic, so your activities are completely private.