Life After ICO: 4 New Methods to Launch a Token

Sergei Khitrov Hacker Noon profile picture

@serkhitrovSergei Khitrov

Entrepreneur, Itemizing.Assist Company Founder and CEO

The ICO mannequin, first utilized in July 2013, conquered the cryptocurrency market in 2017. The mixture of technological innovation, huge media consideration, legislative hole, and excessive profitability created a terrific stir in fundraising.

The historical past and finish of the ICO hype are well-known: many initiatives turned out to be unfeasible or fraudulent, and many individuals misplaced their cash.

Belief in fundraising strategies within the cryptocurrency market was misplaced.

Nevertheless, over the previous 4 years, the fashions of preliminary choices and launch of tokens have undergone important adjustments.

1. IDO

IDO (Preliminary DEX Providing) is a token launch mannequin by way of fundraising on a decentralized change. Simply as conventional startups obtain enterprise capital earlier than launch, initiatives conducting preliminary choices by way of decentralized exchanges (DEX) obtain funding from particular person buyers.

IEOs and IDOs are related strategies of launching tokens, apart from the platform on which the fundraising course of takes place. Within the case of an ICO, the mission takes full accountability for managing transactions and operations on the inner platform.

Throughout an IEO, the centralized change conducts the “ICO” in-house.

IDO is an ICO and IEO in a single body, however a decentralized one replaces the centralized change. On the identical time, IDO has benefits in comparison with the standard ICO and IEO:

  • Unbiased choice to conduct IDO;
  • Instant liquidity of tokens;
  • The instant begin of buying and selling;
  • Decrease price of implementation.

One of many first IDOs was RAVEN, which was held on the Binance DEX in June 2019. Now, nevertheless, the variety of platforms providing IDO companies has expanded considerably. My staff of analysts at Itemizing.Assist has labored on IDO launches with platforms like BSCPad, Duckstarter, MDEX, Poolz, BakerySwap, Polkastarter, Pancakeswap, and others.

2. Preliminary Uniswap Itemizing

Uniswap is a decentralized buying and selling protocol that permits anybody to create buying and selling pairs and commerce ERC20 tokens. The primary innovation of Uniswap is using an automatic market makers, which considerably cut back the barrier to creating liquid markets for any asset.

In the course of the preliminary itemizing on Uniswap, the staff funds a liquidity pool with equal quantities of its personal token and ETH. One of many first examples of implementation is UMA, a mission constructing infrastructure for artificial belongings, which launched its token instantly on Uniswap in April 2020. Since then, Itemizing.Assist analysts have been watching the implementation of this mannequin on different decentralized exchanges and blockchains.

It is very important word that though Uniswap is essentially the most broadly used product in DeFi, related runs on Uniswap have drawbacks. For the reason that preliminary liquidity pool is the one providing of tokens, customers can’t promote, which suggests the token worth can solely go up.

That is precisely what occurred with UMA; regardless of the groups’ claims that they have been promoting the token at $0.267 (its worth on the seed stage), the token worth rose to greater than $2 inside 5 minutes of the beginning of the sale. The buying and selling bots traded forward of the curve, inflating the value and finally promoting the tokens to retail buyers at a hefty worth.

3. Balancer Liquidity Bootstrapping

Balancer is a decentralized liquidity protocol constructed on Ethereum. One among its distinctive options is that it will probably assist liquidity swimming pools of as much as 8 belongings (Uniswap can solely assist two) and swimming pools of unequal weight (Uniswap can solely assist 50:50 swimming pools).

In March 2020, Mike McDonald of the Balancer staff launched Liquidity Bootstrapping Swimming pools (LBPs). The function of the concept is flexibility – groups can provide an unbalanced ratio of tokens in a pool (e.g., 80/20 XYZ/USDC).

In September, Perpetual Protocol turned the primary staff to make use of LBPs to launch its PERP token.

Swimming pools are additionally designed to keep away from the frontrunner assault (the talked about UMA mission launch instance) – they usually begin with a excessive preliminary worth and fall over time as individuals are motivated to attend for the value to drop. As an illustration, Perpetual Protocol began with a PERP:USDC 90:10 pool after which slowly set it as much as a 30:70 pool over three days, guaranteeing that the value would fall progressively.

The LBP mannequin has confirmed itself as a result of they provide groups management over the parameters to make sure a smoother distribution. It additionally creates a liquid market and is kind of efficient at shaping the value.

4. Liquidity Mining

Liquidity mining refers back to the distribution of tokens through which customers earn a local protocol token by offering them with their capital. Liquidity mining differs from the methods outlined above in that customers don’t purchase tokens however are rewarded with them. It is a so-called Honest Launch.

The Compound platform created a contemporary liquidity mining fever in June 2020 by distributing COMP to lenders and debtors on the platform.

Liquidity mining is a confirmed mechanism for distributing tokens to community customers. It additionally helps to decentralize the community and is a superb advertising instrument for progress. The primary downside is that it’s not a very good instrument for groups that want to boost funds as a part of a mission launch to maintain it operating.

A latest instance of such an consequence is the occasions across the yearn.finance mission. The mission and its founders didn’t have sufficient funds to proceed growth, and the group determined to challenge a further $225 million in YFI tokens.

In search of a steadiness between the founders’ earnings and the depth of the mission’s technological growth is likely one of the dominant concepts of yearn.finance mission creator Andre Cronje.

The evolution of token launch mechanisms over the previous 4 years exhibits how a lot innovation is presently taking place within the ecosystem of Ethereum and different cryptocurrencies. That mentioned, the next evolution of the business may spur new mechanisms because the Uniswap v3 replace, L2 scaling options, and Ethereum 2.0 are simply across the nook.

As well as, trendy initiatives can mix the mechanics of launching and distributing their tokens (SingularityDAO mission, Blockbank, and so forth.).

Nevertheless, these mechanisms are solely strategies, and the ultimate consequence is dependent upon the mission itself. Dapper Labs used CoinList to launch Stream and gave its group funds at a seed spherical worth, which led to a rise within the firm’s status. In the meantime, Curve held a decentralized Honest Launch, however determined to do it on not the clearest and clear phrases, shedding the belief of a part of the group.

The success of initiatives nonetheless is dependent upon an engaged group, considerate economics, a top-notch staff, and centered growth. All of those components in and of themselves matter way over how a mission is launched.

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