Launchpads come in many forms. There are those that require you to stake its native token, there are those that just require you to hold its native token, and there are those that require you to burn a token in order to purchase an IDO allocation. No matter which participation mechanism is used by the launchpad, participating in token offerings on these platforms is most commonly permissionless in that anyone can participate so long as they stake, hold, or burn the requisite native launchpad tokens. However, launchpads can also be categorized as centralized, decentralized, and semi-decentralized depending on their mechanisms for allowing projects to launch tokens on their platforms.
Centralized launchpads are the most common form of launchpad. These launchpads have a central, authoritative team that undertakes due diligence processes and decides in a centralized manner which projects can launch their tokens on their platforms. While centralized launchpads pick and choose which projects to launch, they are also able to provide the most support to the launching project in terms of marketing, strategic partner connections, community growth and so on. These centralized platforms are also able to provide the most support to their community members and are more secure due to their centralized decision making processes.
Decentralized launchpads are those that do not have a central decision making authority. Any project can go to a decentralized launchpad and list their token without the need to pass any due diligence processes of the launchpad. These launchpads are generally cheaper for the launching project to use, but they do not offer the same level of support for neither the project nor the community. Investors are advised to proceed with caution and to do their own research before buying tokens from a decentralized launchpad because of the greater risk in encountering scam projects.
The third type of launchpad is a semi-decentralized launchpad. With these types of launchpads, a central decision-making body will perform due diligence on a crypto project, but once the team accepts that the project is viable and worthy of launch, the project must pass a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) vote by the community that decides whether they want the project to launch on their platform. Semi-decentralized launchpads provide all the benefits of centralized launchpads, but also hand some of the decision-making power to the community, possibly making it an appealing option for all involved.