What Are the Models of Token Distribution?

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We live in a digitized world where cryptocurrencies are gaining momentum. Token distribution is a pivotal part of this landscape, with several models to choose from. This blog post will guide you through these different models, helping you pick the one that’s right for your project or investment strategy.

So, let’s dive headfirst into the fascinating realm of token distribution!

What Are the Models of Token Distribution?

Token distribution models encompass various strategies utilized by cryptocurrency projects to disseminate their tokens. Notable among these models are SAFT or private token sales, where tokens are sold to early backers ahead of public offerings.

Token launchpads serve as a bridge, connecting crypto projects with potential investors, enhancing their reach and visibility. Public token sales, often known as TGEs or ICOs, provide an avenue for individuals to procure tokens before they’re listed on exchanges.

Token airdrops emerge as a potent marketing tool, offering free tokens to the public to spike interest and engagement in a project.

Key Takeaways

  • Token distribution models include SAFT or private token sales, token launchpads, public token sales (TGE/ICO), and token airdrops.
  • SAFT is a model where tokens are sold to early backers before the public sale begins.
  • Token launchpads help cryptocurrency projects reach a wider audience by connecting them with potential investors.
  • Public token sales allow individuals to participate in the project and acquire tokens before they become available on cryptocurrency exchanges.
  • Token airdrops are free distributions of tokens given away as a marketing strategy by cryptocurrency projects.
  • Legal considerations for token distribution include compliance with relevant laws and regulations, such as securities laws and anti-money laundering regulations.
  • Properly structuring token issuance ensures fairness and transparency in the distribution system.

Types of Token Distribution Models

There are several types of token distribution models, including SAFT or private token sales, token incentive schemes, token launchpads, public token sales (TGE/ICO), and token airdrops.

SAFT or Private Token Sale

SAFT stands for Simple Agreement for Future Tokens. It is a model of private token sale. In this method, developers sell tokens to early backers before the public sale begins. This helps fund the project while it’s still in development.

As part of the deal, these early adopters agree to get their tokens at a later date, usually after the public launch. SAFTs are mostly used by companies in places where there are strict rules about selling tokens to people who aren’t investors yet.

This model can help reduce some legal risks tied with token sales.

Token Launchpad

Token Launchpad is a platform that helps cryptocurrency projects launch their tokens. It provides support in terms of token distribution and fundraising. Token Launchpad enables these projects to reach a wider audience by connecting them with potential investors.

This model allows investors to participate in token sales at an early stage and potentially benefit from future price appreciation. The use of Token Launchpad helps ensure a fair and transparent distribution of tokens while providing opportunities for both project teams and investors to be part of the growing crypto ecosystem.

Public Token Sale (TGE, ICO)

Public Token Sale, also known as a Token Generation Event (TGE) or Initial Coin Offering (ICO), is one of the models of token distribution. In this model, tokens are sold to the general public in exchange for cryptocurrency or traditional currency.

It allows individuals to participate in the project and acquire tokens before they become available on cryptocurrency exchanges. Public Token Sales have gained popularity due to their potential for high returns and early investment opportunities.

However, investors should carefully evaluate projects before participating to minimize risks.

Token Airdrops

Token airdrops are a type of free token distribution model. In this method, tokens are given away to individuals for free, without requiring any payment or exchange. Airdrops are often used as a marketing strategy by cryptocurrency projects to raise awareness and attract new users.

These tokens are usually distributed to early adopters or those who hold certain cryptocurrencies in their wallets. Token airdrops can help create a wide user base and generate interest in the project.

It is an effective way to distribute tokens fairly and incentivize participation in the ecosystem.

Legally Structuring Token Distribution

Legal considerations for token distribution and the importance of structuring token issuance to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.

Legal considerations for token distribution

When it comes to token distribution, there are important legal considerations that need to be taken into account. Businesses must ensure that they comply with relevant laws and regulations in the countries where they intend to distribute their tokens.

This may involve understanding securities laws, anti-money laundering regulations, and consumer protection requirements. It is also crucial to have proper documentation and agreements in place when distributing tokens, such as terms of use, privacy policies, and disclaimers.

By addressing these legal considerations upfront, businesses can avoid potential legal risks and ensure a smooth token distribution process.

Businesses should be mindful of the importance of structuring their token issuance properly. This involves determining factors such as the total supply of tokens, the allocation of tokens among different parties (such as founders, investors, advisors), and any vesting or lock-up periods for these tokens.

Importance of structuring token issuance

Structuring token issuance is crucial for cryptocurrency projects to establish a fair and transparent distribution system. By carefully planning how tokens are allocated, businesses can attract investors and build trust within the community.

It involves considering factors such as tokenomics, incentives, and trade-offs to ensure that the distribution model aligns with the project’s goals and values.

With a well-structured token issuance approach, companies can create an attractive ecosystem that encourages participation from early adopters while also maintaining fairness across all stakeholders.

Popular Token Distribution Models

Venture capital

Venture capital is one of the popular models for token distribution. In this model, investors provide funding to cryptocurrency projects in exchange for tokens. These investors are typically looking for high-potential projects that can offer substantial returns on their investment.

By investing in early-stage companies, venture capitalists not only provide financial support but also offer expertise and guidance to help the project succeed.

This form of token distribution allows startups to secure the necessary funds needed for development and marketing while giving investors the opportunity to benefit from the project’s success in the long run.


Lockdrops are a model of token distribution where tokens are given to existing token holders for free. This is different from traditional airdrops, where new tokens are distributed to anyone who signs up or completes certain tasks.

In lockdrops, users have to “lock” their existing tokens for a specific period of time in order to receive the new tokens. The idea behind lockdrops is that it helps create a more engaged and committed community by incentivizing current token holders to hold onto their tokens rather than sell them immediately.

It also allows projects to distribute their tokens in a fair and controlled manner while avoiding potential regulatory concerns associated with selling or distributing securities.


Rewards are one of the models used for token distribution. In this model, tokens are given as a form of incentive to users who engage with a particular platform or complete certain tasks.

This can include activities like participating in community discussions, providing feedback, or referring new users. Rewards serve as a way to encourage user participation and create loyalty within a network.

By distributing tokens through rewards, businesses can incentivize positive behaviors and foster an engaged community around their project.

Public sales

Public sales are one of the models for token distribution. In a public sale, also known as a Token Generation Event (TGE) or Initial Coin Offering (ICO), tokens are sold to the general public in exchange for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum.

This allows anyone interested in the project to participate and acquire tokens. Public sales have become popular because they provide an opportunity for early adopters to invest in innovative projects and potentially benefit from their future success.

It is important for cryptocurrency projects to carefully plan and execute their public sales in order to attract investors and ensure a fair distribution of tokens.


There are various models of token distribution that businesses can use. These include paid methods like venture capital and public sales, as well as free methods like airdrops and rewards.

It’s important for companies to carefully structure their token issuance to ensure fairness and attract investors. By considering the trade-offs and incentives of different models, businesses can create successful tokenomics strategies that drive network growth and user adoption.


What are the models of token distribution?

Models of token distribution involve different methods like paid token distribution, airdrops for token distribution, rewards, public sales and venture capital.

How do I legally structure my business’s token issuance and distribution?

Look at various models for distributing tokens to find what fits your needs best. These options can range from IPOR or Initial Coin Offering (ICO) as well as other mechanisms.

Can early adopters get benefits in these models?

Yes! Token allocation and distribution modeling often includes giving some tokens to early adopters. This is a part of many tokenomics models.

Are there any fair methods for distributing tokens?

Fairness in token distribution depends on the chosen method. Some businesses use lockdrops or even reward systems where everyone has an equal chance to earn tokens.

Where can I distribute my tokens using these models?

You can use different platforms that match with your chosen model, whether it’s through direct sales or by using airdrops.



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About the Author:
Jordan Adams, with a rich background in Finance and Economics and specialized knowledge in blockchain, is a distinguished voice in the cryptocurrency community. Their journey in fintech and digital currency trading has equipped them to offer unique insights into digital finance. Jordan's writing demystifies cryptocurrency concepts with well-researched, practical advice. Engaged in the crypto community, Jordan shares timely market insights, fostering understanding of complex technologies and their practical applications in the evolving digital currency landscape.