A better way to launch projects

The purpose of this post is to discuss better, fairer and more joyful launches of new projects. Frankly, I don’t understand why in 2021 launches (at least for “small” community members) are stressful, often-times really frustrating events. Sometimes, it leaves an emotional residue about a project that never shakes off. (we’re all “moving on” but I am still feeling beat up by the ANC launch)

Being relatively uniformed about market dynamics, micro-economies and complex mathematics that I assume come into play with project launches; uninformed about human greed, and an individual’s desire to “game the system for personal gain” (eg bots), I keep wondering if we can create a template for these launches to fulfill a different set of needs, whilst retaining the possibility to be “profitable” - but I will aim to redefine that statement just a little, further down. I believe that with Terra we have the unique opportunity to explore and redefine not only the functions and uses of money, but also the emotional framework surrounding it. Depending on where we are born, and how we are raised, I observe that the vast majority of us inherits (without being able to truly analyze where it comes from ) the philosophy / world view of lack - and perhaps all our current models (including launches) inherit that predicate.

And this begs the “idealist” in me to ask if we can redefine a truly successful launch like this:

  • “Profitable” in financial terms for everyone involved (project team, seed investors, vc’s, and even the smallest community members)
  • Generating excitement and true joy, participating in a “launch” to support a project because we believe the project has true potential and will provide something of value to the ecosystem and the community
  • A sense of community and contribution
  • A sense of abundance, and growth – not scarcity; a positive outlook

Some ideas come to mind, which will probably seem too simplistic (and possibly I got the whole mechanics of a launch wrong), but I’m opening these up to the greater minds on this forum. It’s my understanding that a liquidity pool needs to exist somewhere to allow for swaps. Tokens can be created, held by a wallet, divided, locked and released by contracts, right?

Bootstrapping liquidity

  • Can the community bootstrap liquidity? Allocate the coins that would fall into this liquidity pool (eg 30% of circulation). Let’s say, only LUNA stakers (and possibly certain whitelisted individuals, eg a highly active plankton member, someone who eg “spread the good news”, is an active contributor etc) , get the ability to deposit into such a pool via a contract. A minimum deposit to the rate of $10 USD, anyone has access to do so.
  • Perhaps the allocation of the pool it’s not pro-rata, but instead the return is dynamic, favoring the smaller deposits, even if by a little (eg whales are slated to make more in absolute terms, but are making a 2x, vs plankton possibly doing a 2.5x - in simple terms). The goal is not to discourage whales, but to encourage the small and medium community members which represent the largest percentage of hodlers (I don’t know if that’s true) Perhaps there’s an indicator, showing a depositor an “optimal deposit” amount (most % gain / $ deposited), which could be somehow calculated based on the value of the staked/bound asset(s). The more one goes “beyond” the optimal amount, the less allocation those “extra” funds represent. Ideally, the end result is the same if one is using 10 wallets or 1, and possibly the value of staked LUNA/otherasset can be used as a parameter in this calculation (to prevent the multiple wallet issue)
  • Once the pool is “opened”, market dynamics come into play. This is the real “launch” as far as the external world is concerned, and there can be vesting periods for portions of the tokens that large whales hold (to prevent too sudden price dumps). There can be higher % fees and instant burns (eg price is so high atm that I’m willing to take the hit), and the instant burns could “go back to those bootstrappers that choose to sit it out”
  • A possibly silly idea: what if there was a “whale helps a shrimp” feature baked in - where a small percentage of every large whale’s profits is distributed to (all/a lucky random/a lucky random few) shrimps? Say, a whale is slated to make a 300% profit, and we take a percentage and use it for whales to “give back”.
  • Perhaps there’s a way for users to configure their own edge criteria (eg “if liquidity is low, and I make a 2x, 3x etc. then release my locked coins” as well into liquidity and let me pocket the profit"); As a user I may also be able to determine that I absolutely want to keep a certain amount (in $ value or in # of tokens).

Some side notes:

  • I don’t know what percentage of wallets actively participate in token launches; and what the reasons are they don’t (too stressful / pointless / don’t have enough liquid $ to invest / barriers of entry etc) This may give us an idea how big the “secondary” market is (rest of Terra community and potentially, new users), and that would help us determine the “profitability” of bootstrapping a project like this. (eg if all the community bootstraps, then there would be no market dynamics at play, we’d all just sit for external money to come in)
  • Could this bootstrapping contract buy/resell our own tokens cyclically, playing along with the post-launch dynamics, in a way that it follows the individual “launch configuration” parameters as stated above? Eventually, as the market stabilizes, everyone ends up “as close as possible” to where they wanted to be according to their criteria.
  • The initial token price would be known based on the funds allocated (+ adjustments based on the “dynamic allocation” and “personal configuration parameters”). I’m not sure what happens in edge cases (eg not enough funds raised / is there such a thing as “too much $” for the amount of tokens allocated etc and they’d need further conversation)

Tl-dr: launches at the moment feel like a feeding frenzy; the community of wannabe sharks finds a specimen and cannibalizes the product and itself; there are people who take a cut, step away and resell it at a higher value immediately; and rinse and repeat. It’s designed around greed and the perceived idea of lack. It inevitably creates “winners” and “losers” and the “losers” are still valuable parts of the community - we’d want to ensure they stay for all the right reasons. We’ve mostly played along with the few launchesbecause of the hopes of doing a 10x/100x, and always walk away bruised and pissed at a “bot”. (and sometimes with haunting suspicions - where things said post facto don’t quite add up, and possibly never go away; looking at you, StarTerra).

Can we make launches exciting, flip the philosophy where we are all “contributing to a project that will make all of us wealthy, one more amazing project on the Terra network and expanding the potential new users joining the Terra universe with every new launch”.

EDIT: I think exploring this with Pylon would be good / crowdsourcing a natural additon to the gateway pools (which after all that’s happened seem to meet a lot of these points)


Love this! Could the approach be simpler?

Allow people 3-7 days out to subscribe to the launch by depositing min 1K, max 10K UST into a locked pool. No other criteria. This sets the floor price of the token by the TVL in the pool. On launch, the tokens are released either immediately or vest over a short period

Basically a slight variation of Pylon gateway that allows deposits sooner, and vests faster

I agree with what you’re saying, and would add - If everyone has equal ability to participate, and the floor price is set - it would act to limit dumping on release, and encourage more holding. It also creates the most decentralisation for a project as it maximises the number of wallets holding. And it rewards people who are in the ecosystem at the time of new projects. And it solves the network congestion issue from people spamming transactions to get into public sales

The priority should be to keep things simple for people. I like what TFL have done with the move in col-5 to simplify the narrative of Luna economics by having all fees go to stakers. The same can apply to new launches - ‘I invest $X, the pool is $Y, there are Z tokens available so I will get ($X/$Y) x Z’. Anything that makes the launch more complicated (dynamic returns, whales helping shrimp) could discourage participation, especially for people newer to the ecosystem. And we want to maximise participation

Regarding minimum funding - I think the Terra community are ridiculously engaged (looking at TVL growth in the launches to date) and want new projects to succeed, and will support them fanatically if they add value to the ecosystem. It would be great for new projects to spend more time doing podcasts, articles, and promo on Loop, Twitter, etc to help people understand the core value of the project and the people behind it, which supports long term viability. I think the gamified shilling through Gleam as we’ve seen lately works against projects long term since it’s short term reward focused

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