Getting in early on a successful crypto project is the holy grail of those looking to strike it lucky. However, with the incredibly amount of projects that launch all over the internet and on different platforms, it can be next to impossible to find a batch of decent projects to back. Most will crash to nothing, either as rug-pulls or just being left behind. In this developing bull market, we are starting to see projects launch daily... most of them will take your money and that will be the end of it. Hoping to back more winners (or just one...) than losers is the name of the game!
As an amateur investor, it can be next to impossible to figure out what is decent. We aren't venture capitalists with analysts, tools and inside connections to get that little bit of an edge. Sure, most of us will try to do at least a little bit of research on the projects that we put money into... but let's not kid ourselves, mostly that is a cursory Googling and reading the whitepaper... if that, most people will just follow the latest hype train and have no idea what token they are buying or even what it does!
ICOs are now a thing of the past... the name is now tainted for the direct offerings from project to "investor/mark". IDOs now launch on DEXs, but essentially they are very similar. Sure, you might find that gem that moons, but more likely you are going to find the rocks that fall into the mud and sink. I dislike many of these offerings as they require you to purchase and stake risky assets, or to buy into a highly speculative liquidity pool to take part.
I'm a bit of a cautious guy at heart when it comes to money. I realise that I generally am out of my depth when it comes to finding gems in the muck of ICOs and IDOs. To me, the risk is too high in comparison to the risk... and mostly, these projects often look to be not long-term investments but for those who are looking to be quickest to sell at the sign of the first pump. Plus, there are million copycat projects anyway...
So, I've generally kept my highly speculative investments to vetted projects. These are projects that have already seen some seed funding from Venture Capitalists, or have been had some diligent research into them already (as in, not launched yesterday... with the goal of 100x by next week). Two places that I've found useful for that approach are CoinList and Binance Launchpad.
CoinList is a spin off from AngelList, which is a well known start-up employment site. It is based in the United States and many of it's early offering projects are backed already with VC seed funding. They do organise and host some token launches roughly once every few months and these tend to be much better developed and professional than the vapourware that is looking for backing in the wild. The tokens are often offered at 10 cents Crowdsale with a maximum limit or in a reverse Dutch auction format. Previous examples of projects that have launched include FileCoin, FLOW and Solana... and if you managed to pick up any of these at 10cents a token, well... you would be pretty chuffed right now!
At the moment, their only active offering is Blend which is the first offering from StakerDAO who are trying to run their "hedge fund" in a tokenised manner. It is a token that tracks a basket of currencies that have been vetted by their investment team. I had a look at it, but I think this is a skip for the moment, I already have direct exposure to the underlying basket of assets... however, I believe that there would be people who would be interested in the tax benefits of holding a rebalancing basket token rather than directly trading in the underlying assets.
The only gripe that I have with CoinList is the fact that they have terrible deposit and withdrawal options. Pretty much everything is STILL ON ETHEREUM... with crazy gas prices. USDT is offered on many chains now with much smaller transaction fees....
Meanwhile, Binance Launchpad offers some due diligence with their offerings. I do trust it a little bit less than CoinList... but the backing of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange is nothing to sneeze at! The previous offerings from Binance Launchpad have been a mixed bag, with most of the projects have great launches, but with mixed results in the medium to longer term.
There is some degree of vetting of the projects, so the launches tend to be a step above the wild offerings, but again, I trust the vetting and diligence of the Coinlist offerings over Binance.
Their last Launch (SafePal), changed the format from lottery to subscription models. It is an interesting change, and I am hesitantly positive about it at the moment... it allows everyone to get in on the action, but in smaller amounts than actually winning the ticket lottery.
In contrast to CoinList, Binance is a place that I visit often enough, and the ease of getting assets in and out of the exchange is second to none!
So, CoinList and Binance Launchpad have been good places for me to find those little gems. Of course, do your own research (fire up that Google browser...), but from one random internet guy to another, I've not been disappointed (yet!).
Are these two platforms without risk?
Of course not, but I do like the fact that their teams have done the research and diligence legwork that I'm not able to do. Plus, the fact that they don't require you to do any funny and risky asset shenanigans to take part... and that is a bonus for a cautious investor like me!
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