With new launchpads popping up on different blockchains every month, we broke down some of the top launchpads in the crypto space today.
Over the last year, the blockchain space has exploded with innovation and the number of new projects has grown dramatically.
While many of these turn out to be duds, a proportion goes on to achieve considerable success and can represent lucrative investment opportunities. However, identifying these projects at an early stage can be a challenging endeavor. Not just because of the sheer quantity of projects, but also due to barriers to entry.
To learn more about IDOs, see our glossary entry!
IDO launchpads can pose an attractive solution, since they allow participants to gain access to often highly sought-after projects before they list on public exchanges. This, therefore, allows participants to enter at the lowest possible price and benefit from the maximum return.
However, the launchpad space is getting crowded. Not all launchpads are always able to secure high-quality projects for their participants. As a result, launchpad selection is a challenge in and of itself — particularly when it’s not possible to participate on multiple options.
With that in mind, we’re going to look at the most dominant launchpads for 10 of the most popular smart contract platforms.
All of the launchpads listed here have a good reputation and most have demonstrated the capability to secure high-quality projects. Nonetheless, we recommend that you do your due diligence when participating on any launchpad or participating in an IDO — positive returns are never guaranteed and many launchpads do not have flawless track records when it comes to project selection.
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Ethereum: DAO Maker
The platform has pioneered several token sale formats, including the dynamic coin offering (DYCO) and more recently the strong holder offering (SHO), changing the way investors gain access to new projects and opportunities.
Since 2020, it has hosted dozens of token sales and has built an impressive range of products in this time.
How DAO Maker Works
To access SHOs on DAO Maker, users need to hold at least 500 DAO tokens in their wallets and be registered to the platform (known as the DAO Pad).
Depending on the number of DAO or DAO LP tokens held in their registered wallet, users will unlock DAO power and be assigned to a tranche. There are five tranches in total. Users will be placed in the lowest tranche (tranche 1) if they hold between 500 and 1999 DAO, whereas the top tranche (tranche 5) requires that they hold 50,000+ DAO.
The full list of tranches are:
Tranche 0: 500–1999 DAO Power
Tranche 1: 2,000–3,999 DAO Power
Tranche 2: 4,000–9,999 DAO Power
Tranche 3: 10,000-24,999 DAO Power
Tranche 4: 25,000-49,999 DAO Power
Tranche 5: 50,000+ DAO Power
Higher tiers have a better chance of winning a slot in an SHO. Those in tranche 5 can expect to win almost every SHO.
Recent DAO Maker Launches
DAO Maker has hosted SHOs for a wide range of popular projects, including some of this year’s best-performing tokens — such as My Neighbor Alice, Lossless Protocol and Orion Money.
Binance Smart Chain: BSCPad
Binance Smart Chain has grown to become the platform of choice for a large proportion of new projects in recent months — owed to its speed, EVM compatibility and low fees.
As one of the more prolific launchpads, BSCPad has hosted IDOs for well over 60 projects — averaging more than six launches per month.
How BSCPad Works
BSCPad employs a tier-based system to determine how users can participate in its IDOs. Users need to stake at least a fixed minimum number of BSCPAD tokens to access their tier on the platform and will either be part of the lottery round or guaranteed allocation round.
The current tiers, their staking requirements and their perks are as follows:
Bronze (1,000 BSCPAD): 1 lottery ticket
Silver (2,500 BSCPAD): 3 lottery tickets
Gold (5,000 BSCPAD): 7 lottery tickets
Platinum (25,000 BSCPAD): Guaranteed allocation (pool weight: 10)
Diamond (50,000 BSCPAD): Guaranteed allocation (pool weight: 30)
Blue Diamond (75,000 BSCPAD): Guaranteed allocation (pool weight: 60) + private allocations
20% of the allocation is shared between lottery ticket winners (Bronze, Silver and Gold) whereas the remaining 80% is shared between guaranteed allocation tiers (Platinum, Diamond and Blue Diamond).
Recent BSPad Launches
Since the platform opened its doors in March 2021, it has consistently hosted some of this year’s best performing IDOs. This includes the likes of Revomon, Medabots, GameZone and AstroSwap — several of which achieved over 100x growth over the IDO price.
Since its mainnet went live in March 2020, it has seen its DApp ecosystem explode and there are now well over 150 applications currently running on the platform.
As a Solana-centric launchpad, Solanium helps Solana ecosystem projects easily raise funds through decentralized swap pools, while providing a secure way to distribute tokens to IDO participants.
How Solanium Works
Solanium uses a staking system that includes a clever mechanism to incentivize long-term supporters.
To participate in Solanium IDOs, users need to hold xSLIM tokens, which are obtained by staking either Solanium (SLIM) tokens or SLIM LP tokens. By committing to a long-term lock-up on their staked SLIM or SLIM LP tokens, users will receive a multiplier to the number of xSLIM they receive.
Depending on the number of xSLIM held, users are assigned into one of five tiers:
Tier 1 (100 xSLIM): 1 lottery ticket
Tier 2 (1,000 xSLIM): 12 lottery tickets
Tier 3 (5,000 xSLIM): 100 lottery tickets
Tier 4 (10,000 xSLIM): Guaranteed allocation
Tier 5 (50,000 xSLIM): Larger guaranteed allocation
As you can see, tiers 1 through 3 need to participate in a lottery to win a slot to participate in each IDO, whereas tiers 4 and 5 both receive a guaranteed allocation.
Recent Solanium Launches
Solanium has launched projects operating in a variety of niches, including gaming, DeFi and NFT collectibles. Some of its best-performing IDOs include Port Finance, Cyclos and CropperFinance.
PulseChain is an upcoming Ethereum fork that is designed to act as a sister network to the Ethereum main chain.
Boasting interoperability with Ethereum, a proof-of-stake-based consensus system, zero inflation and aggressive burn mechanics, PulseChain wants to make DApps more efficient and economical, while reducing their environmental impact.
Despite being so new, PulseChain already has its own launchpad — PulsePad. The platform is designed to bootstrap the PulseChain ecosystem with its first wave of high-quality projects by providing a simple crowdfunding solution.
The platform will also feature its own bridge solution, allowing users to easily migrate their assets from Ethereum to PulseChain to participate in IDOs.
How PulsePad Works
These are as follows:
Pulse Explorer (50,000 PLSPAD): Pool weight (10)
Pulse Leader (125,000 PLSPAD): Pool weight (28)
Pulse Visionary (250,000 PLSPAD): Pool weight (60)
Each tier will share a guaranteed fraction of the total available pool. Pulse Explorer tier holders will receive the smallest allocation, whereas Pulse Visionary tier holders will receive the largest allocation.
Participants in the top tier (Pulse Visionary) may also receive exclusive access to the private sales of select projects.
Recent PulsePad Launches
As a recently launched platform, PulsePad hasn’t hosted any launches. However, being backed by the same team behind BSCPad and TRONPad, users can expect a range of hand-picked projects.
The platform recently completed its Alonzo hard fork, activating its smart contract capabilities and allowing third-party developers to begin building and deploying their DApps.
Although its smart contract capabilities went live just months ago, it has already seen its DApp landscape expand aggressively, and a wide variety of tools, products, and services are now running on the chain — including NFT marketplaces, DeFi apps and a variety of games.
As the fourth-most popular smart contract platform (behind Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain and Solana), there are a number of launchpads that support Cardano, including ADAPad and CARDStarter.
How CARDStarter Works
CARDStarter is one of the simpler launchpads in terms of participation requirements.
Users need to stake at least 100 CARDS tokens on the platform to participate in a lottery or must stake at least 1500 CARDS to get a guaranteed allocation for each IDO.
All 8 current CARDStarter tiers, their staking requirements, and their perks are as follows:
Singles (100 CARDS): 25% chance of winning an allocation
Duces (500 CARDS): 25% chance of winning an allocation
Trips (1,000 CARDS) 50% chance of winning an allocation
Guaranteed allocation tiers:
Jacks (1,500 CARDS): guaranteed 2x IDO allocation
Queens (4,500 CARDS): Guaranteed 6x IDO allocation
Kings (9,000 CARDS): Guaranteed 12x IDO allocation
King of Clubs (16,000 CARDS): Guaranteed 22x IDO allocation
Aces (20,000 CARD): Guaranteed 28x IDO allocation
Recent CARDStarter Launches
CARDStarter has hosted well over a dozen IDOs and currently has several more in the pipeline. Some of its most successful launches currently include Ridotto and Paribus — both of which are trading substantially above IDO price.
TRON is one of the top five smart contract platforms and a common choice for DApp developers due to its speed and cost-efficiency. It’s also home to a huge number of new projects, many of which will be hosting an IDO.
How TRONPad Works
Like most BlueZilla launchpads, TRONPad uses a tier-based access system that determines how users are able to participate in its IDOs.
Tier holders will be eligible for a guaranteed allocation in each IDO if they stake at least 50,000 TRONPAD tokens, whereas there is also a more accessible lottery tier, with a minimum staking requirement of 15,000 tokens.
The current staking requirements for each TRONPad tier and their benefits are as follows:
Earth (15,000 TRONPAD): 1 lottery ticket
Moon (50,000 TRONPAD): Guaranteed allocation (pool weight: 10)
Mars (200,000 TRONPAD): Guaranteed allocation (pool weight: 45)
Sun (500,000 TRONPAD): Guaranteed allocation (pool weight: 70) + private allocations
A total of 10% of the IDO allocation is assigned to lottery winners, 85% is shared among guaranteed allocation tier-holders and the remaining 5% is open to the public — i.e. those that assist with promoting the project by completing simple tasks (no TRONPAD tokens required).
Recent TRONPad Launches
Some of the most successful IDOs hosted on TRONPad include CrossWallet, ETHPad and ADAPad — each of which achieved between a 50 to 100x multiplier over IDO price at their peak.
Since its mainnet went live in 2020, Avalaunch has been on what can only be described as a meteoric uptrend.
The platform has seen its DApp landscape explode in this time and has catapulted up the market rankings to secure a position among the top 15 largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.
It’s also host to a singular launchpad, known as Avalaunch. The platform offers a secure platform for investors to gain exposure to vetted early-stage Avalanche ecosystem projects.
How Avalaunch Works
Like most other launchpads, Avalaunch requires users to stake its native utility (known as XAVA) token to unlock access to IDOs.
In order to make accessing IDOs as fair as possible, Avalaunch provides all users with a guaranteed allocation for each IDO they apply for. The size of this allocation is related to the number of XAVA staked and the chosen lockup period.
To prevent whales from getting most of the allocation, there is a maximum per person allocation limit in place. There is also a staking reward system in place that ensures smaller long-term stakers see their XAVA balance and allocation size grow with time.
Recent Avalaunch Launches
Being relatively new, Avalaunch has hosted just a handful of IDOs. However, all have produced a net positive return, including HurricaneSwap, Oh! Finance and RocoFinance.
Velas has gained momentum in recent months as a strong potential alternative to Ethereum, thanks to its high speed, security and low fees.
As a fork of the massively popular Solana platform, albeit with a few significant changes — including support for the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and an AI-optimized consensus system — Velas is designed to provide an attractive platform for DApp development.
How VelasPad Works
VelasPad uses a simple tier-based system that provides all tier-holders with guaranteed allocations for all IDOs.
To participate, users need to stake at least 20,000 VLXPAD tokens and obtain their tier. The tier the user falls into determines the size of their allocation in each IDO, and is broken down as follows:
Taurus (20,000 VLXPAD): Pool weight 10
Orion (50,000 VLXPAD): Pool weight 28
Vela (100,000 VLXPAD): Pool weight 60
The pool weight gives an indicator of the size of an allocation, such as that Vela tier holders receive a 6x larger allocation than Taurus ones.
Since VelasPad operates on the Velas blockchain, users need Velas-based Binance USD (BUSD) and Velas (VLX) in their wallet to participate on the platform (this is the gas token on Velas).
Recent VelasPad Launches
VelasPad is a relatively new launchpad. So far BitOrbit is its only IDO — which achieved a 150x multiplier over IDO price at its peak.
Terra is a powerful smart contract platform that is built to host the next generation of financial infrastructure.
Secured by a proof-of-stake consensus system and powered by an open, permissionless blockchain architecture, Terra leverages a range of algorithmic stablecoins to enable a new range of financial products — including the blockchain-based savings platforms Anchor and the synthetic asset issuance and trading platform Mirror.
How StarTerra Works
As is a common theme with launchpads, StarTerra offers a mix of lottery-based and guaranteed allocation systems.
However, unlike most other platforms, the amount of guaranteed allocation users receive isn’t always consistent for most tiers, participants will need to put in some effort to help their faction secure a larger portion of the allocation pool.
The platform separates users into one of five tiers based on how many StarTerra (STT) tokens they have staked. Three of these are user-selectable factions. These are as follows:
Tier 1 (Recruits): must stake at least 250 STT
Tier 2, 3 and 4 (Factions: Lunatics, Degens, and Interstellars): must stake at least 3000 STT
Tier 5 (Whalecraft): reserved for a variable number of top stakers
Tier 1 users participate in a lottery to share part of 20% of the allocation pool. Faction tier holders share a guaranteed 15%, but can potentially double this based on the social efforts of their faction. Lastly, tier 5 holders share 20% of the allocation pool.
Recent StarTerra Launches
To date, StarTerra has hosted just three IDOs — these are for Orion Money, Terra Land and Loop. More projects are currently listed as coming soon. As it stands, Orion Money is the only project to have conducted its TGE and reached an impressive ROI.
One of the more recent smart contract platforms, NEAR is a highly scalable and secure platform for DApps. Thanks to its simple development environment and strong cross-chain focus, NEAR is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with.
The NEAR mainnet went live in April 2020 and recently announced an $800 million grant program to fund promising projects building in its ecosystem.
The platform launched in September 2021 and plans to become the go-to launchpad for all things NEAR as well as a NEAR-based DeFi hub — with a DEX and yield aggregator products in development.
How NearPad Works
NearPad uses a rather simple system to determine how users access IDO allocations.
Depending on how many PAD tokens a user stakes, they will find themselves assigned to one of the following five pool tiers:
Pool tier 1 (1000 PAD): Multiplier 1
Pool tier 2 (5000 PAD): Multiplier 1.375
Pool tier 3 (25,000 PAD): Multiplier 1.75
Pool tier 4 (75,000 PAD): Multiplier 2.125
Pool tier 5 (150,000 PAD): Multiplier: 2.5
Every pool has a base allocation of 1 per 1,000 tokens. Users in pools 2 to 5 will also receive an additional multiplier, earning an up to 2.5x multiplier on the allocation received. This means if a user stakes 1,000 PAD and received a $10 allocation, a user who stakes 5000 PAD would receive a $68.75 allocation [(10*5)*1.375].
Recent NearPad Launches
As of writing, NearPad has hosted just two IDOs — its own staking token (PAD) and the decentralized prediction platform PULSE. The former provided an ~10x ROI, whereas the latter is trading below its IDO price.