Those that existed in 2017 will likely remember the craze for the Initial Coin Offering (ICO), which saw many new projects emerge, many of which produced amazing returns for participants within weeks or months.
Although many projects funded by ICOs turned out to be frauds, a small fraction grew and evolved into today’s heavyweight blockchain platforms, including Ether (ETH), Filecoin (FIL), Polkadot (DOT), and Cardano (ADA), each of which is among the 30 largest crypto assets by market capitalization.
The average ICO generated a profit of a whopping 1,320% for short-term investors, which makes them one of the most attractive investment opportunities in recent years, despite their overall less than outstanding long-term performance.
But there was one big problem. Not only was it incredibly difficult to accurately measure the strength of a project due to the sheer number of ICOs and the euphoria in the market at the same time, but it was also nearly impossible for ordinary users to secure a spot in top notch ICOs, which is often pure Luck required. Connections or a large investment to get your share.
The beginning of the changes
That started to change in 2019 with the advent of the Binance Launchpad, which for the first time provided a pathway that opened early-stage projects to the masses, or more precisely, anyone who owns Binance’s native utility token (BNB).
Although the Binance Launchpad arguably strengthened the crowdfunding space for democratic cryptocurrencies, it has gradually become less and less accessible. Now users have to keep exorbitantly large sums of money at BNB to ensure their Initial DEX Offerings (IDO) are appropriately sized, which is anything but fair access.
In the past year, however, a multitude of alternative platforms have emerged, all with one goal in mind: to democratize access to the next generation of crypto projects and protocols. These platforms, known simply as Launchpads, offer a curated and curated list of new projects available to their users.
The vast majority of this year’s best performing assets have completed the final phase of their token sale via one or more launch pads. These include Project Seed, PulsePad, WagyuSwap and My Neighbor Alice, each of which achieved a maximum return on investment (ROI) of more than 30,000%.
Democratized launch pads distribute access to new opportunities among hundreds or thousands of potential users, each with the opportunity to participate or be entitled to a guaranteed allocation, depending on the specific characteristics of each platform. Because these projects are manually audited, they help reduce fraud, money theft, and fraud.
However, the immense growth of these platforms has started to negatively affect users as the size of their quotas gradually decreases as the number of users increases. Many decentralized launch ramps also have their minimum entry barrier increasing, with the lowest level on some launch ramps requiring an investment of several thousand dollars.
The launch pad industry
Today, The launchpad industry is full of different platforms, many of which target projects starting on specific blockchains or specific sectors / niches. While there are generally a variety of platforms providing launch pad services for each blockchain, some have dominated their respective chains and have taken on most of the quality projects.
In its current form, DAO Maker is currently dominating the Ethereum project landscape and has released big hitters like XCAD Network, Opulous, Orion Money, GameFi and DeRace in the last few months. Thanks to recent successes like NFTLaunch, BitOrbit, WagyuSwap, and ADAPad, BSCPad is generally considered a launch pad for Binance Smart Chain projects.
Other emerging blockchains also have their own launch pads, including Solanium, a Solana-centered launch pad that hosted the incredibly successful winning gambling projects Project SEED, Cryowar, and DeFi Land; and Avalaunch, which launched a number of coveted assets in the Avalanche ecosystem.
BlueZilla, on the other hand, has started a very distant network by developing and operating launchpads on multiple blockchains, including Cardano (ADAPad), PulseChain (PulsePad), and KuCoin Community Chain (KCCPad). This strategy aims to democratize access to projects by giving shape to these new chains.
Launch pads are one of the main reasons Avalanche, Solana, Terra, and many other modern blockchains have seen an explosion of Cambrian innovation in the past few months, as they provide an easy path for projects to not just secure funding and distribute their tokens, but also to boot. Your initial user base.
Some are now big enough to be officially backed by the native blockchain they support, such as VelasPad, which has been linked to the AI-powered Solana fork called Velas.
Launch pads and the blockchain space
By providing a solid starting point for new projects, launchpads have become an integral part of the blockchain landscape, and the most popular launchpads can have tens of thousands of users.
While launch ramps have successfully democratized access to promising investment opportunities, not all launch ramps are built equal, and those on the less successful end of the spectrum may struggle to secure high quality projects in between from the ever-increasing competition.
As a matter of fact, There are now many launch pads, but relatively few promising projects. This has resulted in fierce competition among launch pads as each of them struggles to secure the best projects for their respective communities. However, only the top launch pads have the community and track record to be picky about their projects, often leaving less established platforms with the lowest quality projects.
The deeper we go into the bull market, the bigger the quality gap becomes, which could be a challenge for less experienced traders and investors.who can take losses by entrusting their funds to the growing number of mediocre launchers.
This article does not provide investment advice or recommendation. Every step of trading and investing involves risk, and readers should do their own research when making a decision.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
Kalani moe is the director of ecosystem growth at Velas, a decentralized smart contract platform derived from Solana. As a serial entrepreneur and early developer in the blockchain space, Moe previously founded Project Divi and, as a former creative director, helped make CoinPayments the world’s leading payment processor for cryptocurrencies.