Have you ever wondered how some cryptocurrency projects manage to raise millions of dollars even before officially launching their initial coin offering (ICO)? This is made possible through a presale event known as a pre-ICO. This article will discuss what a pre-ICO is, how it differs from a regular ICO, and the key benefits of participating in a presale cryptocurrency launch. By the end, you’ll understand this important fundraising strategy commonly used in the crypto space.

Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) have emerged as a popular means of fundraising for blockchain-based projects in the dynamic realm of cryptocurrency. However, a precursor to the ICO—the Pre-ICO—exists within this landscape that warrants exploration. Understanding the nuances between a pre-ICO and a standard ICO is crucial for investors and enthusiasts navigating this ever-evolving space.

What is a Pre-ICO?

pre-ICO, or pre-initial coin offering, refers to a presale of blockchain-based digital tokens before the official ICO launch of a new cryptocurrency project. During the pre-ICO phase, a limited number of tickets are offered to early adopters and investors at an even lower price than what will be available once the ICO begins. It functions as a fundraising mechanism to help new crypto startups gain the funding needed to complete their product development before opening token sales to the general public.

Some key things to know about pre-ICOs:

  • They usually last 1-2 months before the main ICO launch.
  • Only a few tokens are sold in the presale, usually 5-15%.
  • Tickets are sold at a discounted rate, often 30-50% less than the ICO price.
  • Funds raised are used to finish building out the platform/protocol infrastructure.
  • Participation is usually limited to larger investors willing to invest, say,>$10k.

Overall, a pre-ICO provides a valuable opportunity for early believers and backers to get involved at an attractive entry point before broader public access.

How does a Pre-ICO Differ from a Regular ICO?

A pre-ICO precedes the primary ICO launch, serving as an initial phase where select investors can purchase tokens before the public offering. This exclusive phase often offers early contributors discounts, bonuses, or unique privileges, aiming to incentivize their participation and generate momentum for the main ICO.

The world of cryptocurrency often introduces unique opportunities beyond traditional investment realms. Understanding the potential benefits of receiving additional tokens as incentives, riding the hype train before FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) sets in, and leveraging short-term price speculation can significantly impact investment strategies in this dynamic market. 

Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) offer a diverse landscape for investors, where participation in pre-ICOs or token sales at discounted rates can provide unique advantages. Understanding the potential benefits of acquiring access tokens, gaining early exposure to promising projects, and securing allow list status for ICO allocations can be pivotal in navigating the ever-evolving world of cryptocurrency investments.

While both pre-ICOs and ICOs serve the purpose of raising capital for new blockchain projects through token sales, there are some critical differences between the two:

  • Timing – As mentioned, a pre-ICO occurs weeks or months before the official ICO launch date. This allows the project team to complete development using presale funds raised.
  • Token Price – Tokens are typically priced 30-50% lower during the presale versus the ICO. It rewards early investors.
  • Supply – Only a fraction (usually 5-15%) of total tokens are available during the pre-ICO, with the rest reserved for the ICO.
  • Access – Pre-ICOs often restrict participation to more prominent investors and are whitelist-only, whereas ICOs are open to the general public.
  • Risk Profile – ICOs tend to be lower risk since the platform/protocol is closer to launch, while pre-ICO carries higher risk as the project is still in development.

Understanding the nuances between a pre-ICO and a regular ICO is pivotal in navigating cryptocurrency investment. A pre-ICO is an exclusive phase preceding the primary ICO, offering early access to tokens at discounted rates or with additional bonuses. This stage caters to select investors, providing a chance to participate before the general public offering.

Conversely, a regular ICO represents the public phase, open to a broader audience where tokens are offered at standard prices without the bonuses or discounts typically available in the pre-ICO stage. This public sale aims to raise funds and distribute tickets widely among investors interested in supporting the project.

The Pre-ICO differs significantly in terms of accessibility, incentives, and the level of exclusivity it offers. Early investors in pre-ICOs often gain preferential treatment, fostering a sense of involvement and potentially reaping higher returns due to the discounted rates or additional perks received during this phase. Moreover, a Pre-ICO provides a unique opportunity to assess a project’s initial traction, team credibility, and potential market response before the public sale. This insight allows early contributors to conduct in-depth due diligence and make informed investment decisions based on a project’s progress and prospects.

In conclusion, while pre-ICOs and regular ICOs serve as fundraising mechanisms for blockchain projects, their distinctions lie in timing, accessibility, and the incentives they offer. Pre-ICOs cater to early investors with exclusive privileges, whereas regular ICOs open participation to the broader public without the additional benefits typically associated with the early phase. 

Understanding these differences empowers investors to strategize their involvement in ICOs based on their preferences, risk appetite, and objectives within the dynamic cryptocurrency landscape. Whether engaging in a pre-ICO or a regular ICO, thorough research, due diligence, and a clear understanding of the project’s fundamentals are essential for making informed investment decisions.

The pre-ICO period represents the earliest opportunity to gain exposure at a discount, though it comes with more significant uncertainty versus the post-product ICO phase.

Benefits of Participating in a Pre-ICO

Participating in a pre-ICO can yield several advantages. Early investors may enjoy preferential token pricing, reduced investment risks, and potential bonuses, fostering a sense of exclusivity and potential profitability. Additionally, involvement during this phase could provide insights into the project’s development and roadmap, enabling a more profound understanding before the public launch. There are several compelling benefits for those willing to take part in a presale for an upcoming ICO project:

Access Tokens at a Deep Discount

As mentioned, tokens are almost always available at 30-50% lower price levels during the pre-ICO compared to the eventual ICO pricing. For example, if a project sells its tokens for $0.10 each presale but $0.20 each during the ICO, early backers enjoy a 50% initial return if they sell immediately. Participating in token sales during the early stages, such as pre-ICOs, often presents an opportunity to acquire access tokens at a significant discount compared to their future market value. Once the project reaches fruition, these access tokens can grant entry to a platform’s services, products, or ecosystem. Securing these tokens at a lower cost maximizes potential returns and offers a competitive advantage.

Gain Exposure to High-Potential Projects Early

The most successful ICOs in history, like Ethereum, Filecoin, and Tezos, all conducted highly successful presales. Getting involved at the earliest stages allows investing alongside visionary VCs who back only the highest quality opportunities. Early access to burgeoning blockchain projects through Pre-ICOs enables investors to delve into innovative concepts and potentially disruptive technologies before reaching the broader market. This early exposure allows investors to conduct thorough research, evaluate project fundamentals, and consider potential long-term viability, positioning themselves ahead of the curve.

Attain Whitelist Status for ICO Allocation

Many pre-ICO participants are given priority or allowlist status, guaranteeing an initial ICO token allocation. This protects their stake if an ICO sells out rapidly. Securing a spot on a project’s allowlist for ICO allocation can be a strategic move for investors. Allowlisting provides exclusivity, allowing individuals to participate in the ICO before it opens to the general public. This privileged status ensures access to tokens and offers additional perks, such as higher token purchase limits or bonuses, providing an advantageous position in the investment landscape.

Acquiring access tokens at discounted rates, gaining early exposure to promising projects, and attaining allowlist status for ICO allocations are strategies that savvy cryptocurrency investors employ to maximize their investment potential. These avenues offer financial advantages and grant insight and involvement in groundbreaking projects, fostering a deeper connection and understanding within the ever-expanding blockchain ecosystem.

Receive Additional Tokens as an Incentive

It’s common for presale participants to receive bonus tokens (10-30% extra) as a reward for taking on the higher risk during the earlier development stages. Participating in token sales or staking initiatives frequently offers investors the chance to receive additional tokens as incentives. These bonuses, commonly distributed during token sales, reflect an enticing method to increase one’s crypto holdings. Whether through loyalty rewards, referral programs, or strategic partnerships, these extra tokens amplify potential gains and incentivize continued engagement within a project’s ecosystem.

Tap Into a Hypetrain Before FOMO Sets In

Once token sale and project details go live; enthusiasm can explode. Before awareness grows, presales give those “in the know” first access at the lowest valuation. Timing is crucial in the volatile cryptocurrency space. Getting involved in a project during its early stages, often characterized by hype and anticipation, presents an opportunity to capitalize on potential gains. This pre-FOMO phase allows investors to join a project before widespread market enthusiasm peaks, potentially securing tokens at lower prices before their value surges due to heightened demand.

Profit from Short-term Price Speculation

In cases like EOS or Filecoin, tokens gained 5-10x in value within days of ICO launch. For the risk-tolerant, presales create opportunities for near-term ROI. Cryptocurrency markets are notorious for their volatility, presenting opportunities for short-term price speculation. Engaging in tactical buying and selling based on price fluctuations allows astute investors to capitalize on these market movements. Whether employing day trading strategies or leveraging market trends, a vigilant approach to short-term price speculation can yield profits in a relatively brief timeframe.

Navigating the world of cryptocurrencies demands a comprehensive understanding of various strategies. From seizing additional tokens as incentives to strategically timing market entry before FOMO intensifies and engaging in short-term price speculation, these approaches can significantly impact investment outcomes. Embracing these tactics requires a balanced approach, combining research, risk assessment, and market awareness to optimize potential gains in this dynamic and rapidly evolving landscape.

How to Find and Participate in Upcoming Pre-ICOs?

Navigating the crypto space to discover upcoming pre-ICOs involves thorough research across various platforms, including ICO listing websites, social media channels, and dedicated forums. Engaging with the project’s community, assessing whitepapers, and understanding the team’s credibility is essential before participating in a pre-ICO. Familiarizing oneself with the project’s goals, technology, and market potential is critical to making informed investment decisions.

To take part in promising presales, here are a few recommendations:

  • Browse upcoming lists on sites like CoinSchedule, ICObench, and Onchain. Filter for highly reviewed projects.
  • Follow reputable YouTube channels, podcasts, and crypto publications/influencers for the latest deals.
  • Search social media hashtags like # presale #preico for project announcements.
  • Check token sale calendar sites daily for newly added deals.
  • Read the whitepaper thoroughly and check developer backgrounds/experience on LinkedIn
  • Have your ETH wallet and KYC details ready if a project accepts a short sign-up window.
  • DYOR and only allocate what you can afford to lose in a risky, early-stage project potentially.

With diligence, great opportunities can be accessed before the general public through pre-ICO investments. Just manage risk appropriately, given their speculative nature.


pre-ICO provides an exciting chance to get involved in novel blockchain concepts before broad accessibility through a standard ICO. By understanding the characteristics of presales versus public token sales, investors can decide whether participating warrants a higher risk for a potential reward. With due diligence focused on quality teams building real solutions, pre-ICOs open doors to some of the most promising crypto ventures in their first phases. For the risk-tolerant, it’s a strategy that bears close observation.

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