ICO craze of 2017/2018 was really a sight to behold. While this crowdfunding concept dates some time back (Ethereum – the base platform of most modern ICO’s – was once launched through an ICO itself), it definitely peaked during the last couple of years. New coin offerings kept popping up on a daily basis as projects realized how easy it was to collect funding by creating a smart contract and shipping tokens to investors.
Even though the part where you take money from ICO buyers is relatively simple, there is much more to the entire process. Most projects looking to enter the space will require some guidance and a platform to jump off of, especially in today’s age where crypto investors are much smarter/careful (at least on average) and regulators are paying much more attention. Binance noticed this specific market need and decided to try and help fulfill it with its Launchpad initiative.
What is Binance Launchpad?
Binance describes its Launchpad initiative as a “token launch platform for transformative projects”. This simply means that the platform is focused on providing blockchain start-ups with the knowledge, networking and the “kick in the butt” required to raise funds via an ICO.
New projects in any industry are very vulnerable and lack proper direction, resources, and promotion; ultimately the idea you are trying to finance could be amazing but the whole thing will amount to nothing without quality support.
The Launchpad provides exactly the resources a new project needs. It gives the project a chance to present their idea in front of 10 million Binance users and potential investors. Binance claims that the process of selecting which projects get to use the Launchpad is very rigorous, but they don’t really specify what they mean by that. Some of the factors they consider are the most important are:
- Relative maturity of the project development
- Readiness for large-scale adoption
- A strong and committed team
- Potential to benefit the growth and development of the wider crypto ecosystem
That being said, Binance does compile a detailed review for each project listed/launched on their bootstrapping platform. These reviews give the exchange’s 10 million users a chance to learn why exactly a certain project is being backed by the Launchpad infrastructure; they can also help users determine if they ultimately want to invest a part of their own holdings into the reviewed project.
Anyone who has a KYC-verified account on the Binance exchange can log into the Launchpad and take part in an ICO. Potential investors are limited regarding the amount of certain token which they can purchase (this limit is determined on a project-to-project basis).
Token purchases work on a “first come, first serve” principle, and those who manage to squeeze in front will eventually have their tokens credited to their native Binance account. There are also certain limitations set in place preventing users from several countries from using the Launchpad platform.
The platform has existed since 2017, when they helped launch projects like Bread (a financial services platform that aims to build the world’s largest decentralized bank) and GIFTO (token of the live streaming app Uplive). After going into hibernation for almost two years during the latest crypto bear market, Launchpad’s blockchain kick-starting activities were recently revived by Zhao and the company.
First ICOs launched on Binance Launchpad
Binance Launchpad first supported projects for 2019 are BitTorrent and Fetch.AI, both of which have shown clear intention to expand their business activities with blockchain technology.
BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer file sharing mainstay whose transition into the world of blockchain wasn’t surprising, considering it was recently purchased by TRON’s Justin Sun for $140 million. The project looks to expose its 100 million active monthly users to cryptocurrency by launching a native BTT token that will be used to purchase on-platform services and better packages.
While questions remain regarding how smart it actually is to have your torrenting data forever embedded on an immutable blockchain, Binance’s Launchpad helped it get off to an excellent start.
BitTorrent’s token sale was extremely invasively promoted by both Binance and the god of blockchain marketers himself, Justin Sun (BTT is created on Justin’s TRON blockchain). Their activities paid off significantly as the project garnered a huge amount of hype.
The entire ICO supply of 59 billion tokens ended up getting sold in mere 20 minutes and the sale even caused the exchange to experience minor technical difficulties. Apparently this process would have ended in seconds were it not for the aforementioned glitches.
BTT token is currently one of the best performing cryptocurrencies on the market, as it recorded an almost 600% increase in price since its January 28th ICO. Binance will be staying true to their supporting role with BTT, promising to take part in all the upcoming airdrops of this token.
The next in line for Binance will be Fetch.AI, a project marketing itself as “decentralized digital representation of the world in which autonomous software agents perform useful economic work.”
The Fetch.AI project is a combination of blockchain and artificial intelligence. This project wants to deliver data or provide services using “smart ledger technology” in exchange for Fetch Tokens, the network’s native cryptocurrency. Its creators see use cases for their tokens in hospitality, transportation, energy, and supply chain sectors.
Fetch.AI’s token sale is expected to kick off on February 25th; you can check out all the relevant details on the project’s Binance Launchpad official page.
Binance Launchpad will look to nurture both of these projects and help them grow into important players in the world of cryptocurrency. Besides offering token launch help, Binance promises full advisory support; this allows the projects to focus their efforts entirely on developing their blockchain-backed idea. Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance, recently communicated that his team is actively looking into helping launch even more projects in the future.
Details about the timing and procedures for each token offering on Binance Launchpad will be revealed in a timely manner. Binance’s blog post also reveals that the Launchpad will look to host at least one ICO every month of 2019.
Launching a legitimate cryptocurrency product can be a daunting task. Just like with anything in life, navigating the mine field of obstacles you need to overcome is very complicated without the help of a knowledgeable advisor and mentor.
This is where Binance steps in, acting as the seed picker, separating bad seeds from the good ones; the farmer, fertilizing and watering the project to make it grow big and strong; and the farmer’s market, promoting and delivering the product to the end user.
While some will rightfully question the less-than-transparent methods used by Binance to select/review who they’ll bootstrap, the platform has promised to stay objective and deliver only the best quality blockchain products to its users.
Truth be told, there isn’t much to be said or reviewed from the technical side of most current, let alone upcoming blockchain projects, so Binance can’t be faulted much for skimping on details in their reviews.
What can be somewhat worrying is Binance’s willingness to engage in hyper-aggressive marketing of these startups. For example, numerous adverts have recently popped up online hailing BTT as the next coming of Bitcoin and advising people to rush to Binance and purchase the token, or else they risk missing out on an opportunity of a lifetime.
While BTT could eventually explode to Bitcoin price levels, there are very little facts out there supporting this scenario.
Ultimately what drives this current market is hype, and probably the biggest exchange in the world understands that well. It seems that, after a prolonged period of inactivity, Binance Launchpad will focus on bootstrapping and aggressively marketing new projects; chances are some of them won’t turn out to be pump and dump schemes and will actually deliver a revolutionary blockchain product.
We’ll just have to wait and see how big those chances actually are.
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