Many exchanges now hold fairly regular "contests" and discount opportunities on their platform to try and drum up some user interaction and to increase awareness and trading volume in certain cryptocurrency pairings. In general, they are something to be wary of as it can entice you into buying things that you actually don't want or have no use for... just like discounts and special offers in supermarkets!
Still, if the asset that is being promoted at a discount is something that you want to have in your portfolio anyway, it is an easy way to get a little bonus extra for something that you were already doing! Most of the Asian based crypto exchanges such as Kucoin, Binance and Huobi are prime examples of this sort of trading gamification. That said, some of the Western based exchanges such as Crypto.com have also come onboard with their version of sales events, which differ in being NOT a contest.
In many ways, I do prefer the more orderly Crypto.com Syndicate events which have a slightly lesser payout, but are not heavily dependent on latency at a particular point in time (which heavily favours bots and geographical location). After all, if people all around the world are hammering a website for that split-second where the participation rate goes from 0% to 100% it just isn't fun... and more than likely, you will be disappointed!
So, just quickly, the Syndicate sales events are part of the Crypto.com ecosystem. The Crypto.com ecosystem is an exchange, wallet and credit card integration with lots of nice bonuses for staying in the ecosystem (rebates and discounts). Although, this might be heretical to the "not your keys" crowd... it might be what is required for mass adoption. I would advocate a balancing between holding on exchange and holding in private wallets... depending on the use case.
So, with each Syndicate event, Crypto.com releases a certain amount of the featured cryptocurrency at a certain discount level (generally 50%). So, this is the critical supply amount and the Discount rate as pictured above. Now, most of the time, you are going to need to be a CRO (the utility token of their ecosystem) staker on their platform to take advantage of the discount event. Generally, the lowest tier of participation will be at 10,000 CRO with higher levels allowing you differing levels of participation in the event (but the same discount rate).
Sometimes (incredibly rarely), there are events with no required CRO staking required to take part. Don't count on it, this sort of CRO-staking free events occur only once in a blue moon!
After the sale announcement and before the commencement of the sale, the actual price of the sale asset will be locked in. Notice that the price is going to be denominated in CRO tokens (the utility token of Crypto.com). Now, here is the interesting part... this will be the current market price of the CRO token and the asset. If you were fortunate enough to have purchased CRO at a cheaper price, then you will be getting an even better deal!
So, after the sale opens and for up to 24 hours after the opening, you can move CRO to your Exchange wallet on Crypto.com which can then be contributed via an easy interface to the Sale stake. You can allocate as much as CRO as you want up to the maximum amount allowed by your CRO staking tier (denominated in CRO).
As you can see from the table above, the more CRO that you have staked on the Crypto.com platform (which also accrues interest), the higher your maximum level of allocation. However, the sale is structured in such a way that this is the ONLY advantage that higher level stakers have.
Keep in mind, if you are sending in CRO from outside wallets (such as Kucoin), you will need to wait 30 confirmations before the assets are available on Crypto.com. CRO is an Ethereum token, and so that means at a block time of around 10 minutes, that would be 300 minutes or 5 hours before the CRO appears on Crypto.com ready to contribute to the event. So, be prepared... needless to say, the price of CRO does tend to spike in the days before these events.
Now, the way that the sale is distributed is quite well structured and equitable. After the sale begins, you have 24 hours to contribute CRO to the allocation. Over the 24 hours, you can keep contributing until you hit the maximum (however, you can not retract contributions). At this point, the subscription allocations are calculated.... and the way that it is done means that there is no inherent advantage to contributing large amounts or to getting in earlier, it only matters that you take part!
If the sale is UNDER-subscribed (the total contributions is less than the amount of the asset on sale), then everyone just gets the amount that they allocated at the 50% discount and the leftover assets are NOT allocated.
If the sale is EXACTLY subscribed, then everyone gets the amount they allocated at the 50% discount.
If the sale is OVER-subscribed (the total contributions is more than the amount of the asset on offer), then everyone gets an amount of the asset on offer in PROPORTION to the amount that contributed (in comparison to the total contributed amount) at the 50% discount. The leftover subscribed CRO is then returned back to the user.
Generally, the sales events are OVER-subscribed and that means that you will likely get some proportion of your CRO returned back to you (which you can use in a later sale) and some of the asset on sale at the 50% discount. Now, this is definitely a winning situation IF you plan on holding the returned CRO anyway for later use. It is possible that with the returned CRO AND the discounted asset, you could immediately sell for a profit... however, that is less certain as that would really depend on relative prices of the asset and CRO and also upon what cryptocurrency asset that you wished to exit with.
So, I've found that the Crypto.com Syndicate sales are a much more relaxing way to take part in the "contest" atmosphere that is pervading the exchanges. It has a leisurely timeline (over the period of a couple of days), with no special benefits for larger stakers or faster internet speeds.
Although I still enjoy the contests that Kucoin, Binance and Huobi regularly hold, I do find that with those you really have to pick the battles that you can win... as much of the payouts depend on competition with other traders and users. Plus, they tend to be a first come-first served basis, which makes for a bit of a scuffle at the start and means that you might not be guaranteed a decent outcome... this makes it more like a gamble than a calculated risk. That said, if you do pick the parts of the contest that you want to play in (I often write about these specific contests and what is worth going for...) you do stand to make a bit of "free" crypto with minimal participation and risk!
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