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Crypto launchpads have emerged as a vital source of capital inflow for new blockchain projects. They give developers an easy avenue through which they can raise funds from their biggest believers – the communities that grow up around their apps.
These days, there are dozens of crypto launchpads around, catering to decentralized projects in the metaverse, DeFi, GameFi and NFT industries. The premise is pretty simple in that launchpads provide a way for developers to advertise their projects and seek capital from a pool of investors that is only too eager to find emerging gems that have the potential to go to the moon.
Most crypto launchpads are pretty sophisticated platforms. Similar in many ways to old-fashioned startup incubators, their primary goal is to raise funds for the projects they back. In addition to providing desperately needed cash, they also help projects to build a community of faithful users, from which they can tap into vital expertise in areas such as technology, marketing and more. The money is raised by selling some of the project’s initial token supply at what is promised to be a discounted price. This attracts lots of investors who believe in the project and think that its token price will eventually grow far beyond what they paid at the time.
In this way, launchpads cater equally to both developers and investors alike. Developers get the money and the skills required to bring their ideas forward, while investors get the opportunity to profit on successful projects.
What follows are four of the most popular launchpads in the crypto industry right now, known for churning out a steady stream of promising ideas that deliver viable use cases for blockchain technology.
Having only launched in November 2021, UpLift DAO is the newest launchpad on our list. Yet, the Binance-based multi-award-winning platform has already proven to be immensely popular thanks to its unprecedented accessibility.
UpLift DAO carries out extensive due diligence on each of the projects it backs, assessing the project’s team of founders and the technology behind it to ensure it can be trusted and offers a viable use case.
Where UpLift DAO really differentiates itself from competitors is through accessibility. Most launchpads require a fairly significant upfront investment before people can participate in IDOs. Because of this, many launchpads are seen as exclusive clubs for rich “whales” that exclude the normal person on the street.
Not so with UpLift DAO, which requires a minimum stake of just 100 LIFT tokens. So even if LIFT goes to the moon and its price rises by 100%, it still won’t cost an arm and a leg to invest in projects on its platform. With such a low minimum stake, that means investors have more cash to throw at the projects it supports, making it a win-win for users and developers alike. At the same time, it operates a Fair Lottery system for would-be investors that ensures a “whale-resistant” approach to IDOs, allowing fish of all sizes to access the opportunities it provides.
At the same time, Uplift DAO is more inclusive, giving users the chance to stake 10,000 LIFT or complete a series of tasks to obtain the same benefits as venture capital firms. Add to that, Uplift DAO offers protection to investors, with a full refund guaranteed if project’s token prices drop within 24 hours of their token generation event.
No wonder that UpLift DAO has already hosted a number of successful project launches, with NFT4Play raising USD 200,000 in BUSD last November, and YouMinter scooping up USD 450,675 in BUSD last December.
Besides being accessible, UpLift DAO is also very inclusive. It’s governed by a decentralized autonomous organization, meaning that LIFT token holders get to propose updates to the protocol and suggest new projects to back, with the community voting whether to implement those ideas or not.
All in all, UpLift DAO makes investors feel very welcome, while providing extensive support to the projects that launch on its platform. As more and more projects look to tap into an enormous potential of crypto crowdfunding, UpLift DAO will be one to watch.
As the name suggests, TrustPad prides itself on being one of the “safest” launchpads, going above and beyond in its efforts to protect user’s investment funds.
TrustPad’s launchpad is powered by its native SWAP token and provides a full service with subscriptions, cross-chain token swaps and split payments. To invest in TrustPad projects, investors are required to stake a minimum of 4,000 SWAP tokens. Once that’s done, they’ll gain early access to dozens of hot prospects. An investor’s chances of getting in on the action does, however, depend on how much they stake. Providing the bare minimum means they’ll be entered into a lottery, with the chance to invest in some of its projects. However, investors can stake 45,000 SWAP tokens to guarantee participation in the IDOs they want.
What’s special about TrustPad is its unique Trust Swap mechanism, which aims to eliminate the risk of rug pulls and instant sell offs as soon as the tokens are issued. Rug pulls are the big fear of crypto investors, and refer to scam projects that just take their money and run. Instant sell offs aren’t great either, as they can quickly crash the price of any nascent token. The prospect of either is significantly reduced thanks to TrustPad’s SmartLaunch toolbox, which locks up the tokens assigned to early adopters and the project’s team until a certain development milestone is attained. With this mechanism in place, investors can be assured that nobody can throw them under a bus. In addition, the developers of the project are held accountable to the community, and will therefore be more incentivized to make good on their promises.
There are other benefits too. For instance, TrustSwap generates publicity for new projects, offers marketing support and visibility. Since launching in September 2020, it has successfully raised more than USD 20 million in funding for projects including Glitch Finance, SOTA, BitCashPay and Chain Games.
A decentralized multichain crowdfunding platform that lives on the Polkadot blockchain, Polkastarter is uniquely able to provide access to dozens of projects, not only in the Polkadot ecosystem but also on Ethereum, Binance Chain, Avalanche, Polygon and other prestigious blockchains.
The Polkastarter platform features familiar auction systems, including Dutch auctions and sealed-bid auctions, plus dynamic and fixed ratio swap mechanisms to ensure fair access. At the same time, it offers strong security and reassurance with password-protected private pools, smart contract token swaps, price alerts and a transparent whitelisting process.
The native POLS token acts as the gateway to IDOs on Polkastarter, with investors required to stake at least 3,000 POLS to gain early access to the projects it incubates. Users can also earn rewards from staking their POLS tokens. Further, POLS is also used to pay transaction fees on the platform and participate in governance.
Note, however, that users must first provide liquidity to the protocol before they can stake their POLS and earn rewards. This is because Polkastarter is looking to create one of the largest decentralized token launch pools and auction platforms in the industry. As such, it needs to create a highly liquid tokenomics structure that’s able to handle the volume of transactions it will support. To do this, it offers various incentives and rewards for users who provide liquidity to token pools.
Although investors need quite a bit of capital to participate, Polkastarter offers a lot of value. To date, it has launched more than 109 ideas while raising over USD 48 million in capital to support them. That metric is likely to keep on building as the platform lists a seemingly never-ending stream of projects in the DeFi, GameFi and metaverse spaces.
As the first and most prominent IDO platform on the Cardano blockchain, OccamRazer is a good place for both developers and investors alike.
OccamRazer is one of the main elements of Occam.fi, which is designed to be an all-in-one DeFi hub that sits atop of the Cardano ecosystem. It was built by a team of experienced Cardano blockchain veterans to fulfill a critical adoption need within the ecosystem, which previously lacked a viable launchpad.
OccamRazer notably offers investor protections with a full suite of compliance and RegTech tools. It provides startups building on Cardano with a seamless path to raise capital while building out a loyal community of fans and users. At the same time, it provides a feature-rich experience for liquidity providers and ADA holders with traditional DeFi incentives incorporated into its platform to generate liquidity.
The platform relies on the IDO mechanism to raise funds for the projects it backs, providing full transparency into its token allocation process. At the same time, ADA token holders can generate passive income by providing liquidity to bootstrap new token pools.
To date, OccamRazer has launched 28 projects on its platform, with one of the latest being WingRiders, an Automated Market Maker DEX built on top of Cardano that raised 1,289 BNB (Just over USD 300,000). Prior to that, the Web3 gaming infrastructure platform Arenum raised 351BNB (USD 82,100) on OccamRazer.
Crypto Crowdfunding Is Here To Stay
The success of all four platforms demonstrates that while the concept of launchpads is still relatively new in the crypto space, it is already providing immense value to the industry. The trend towards crowdfunding means that the most promising, up-and-coming crypto projects are no longer limited to rich venture capitalists. Rather, crypto launchpads have kicked off a paradigm shift that has made new blockchain ideas more accessible than ever before, while paving the way for developers to implement them. Nowadays, everyone can participate and enjoy the benefits of backing their favorite ideas and projects from the very beginning.