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Web3 Comeback Chronicles: Breaking Down Projects That Have A Second Summer

Web3 Project

Web3 is volatile. Many projects come and go. Few projects experience massive growth and even fewer projects stay around for more than 3 years.

It is commonly accepted that once a project’s token price rises, it will eventually drop and stay rangebound for a really long time. So it is better for investors to invest in a token early, to “catch the first pump” since few projects have a second pump. Buying a token after it has dropped from it’s all-time high seems like a fool’s errand.

Or it is really? 

What if there ARE projects that have experienced a second pump. Would you want to know how they did it and invest in them?

Here’s why investing in these projects may be better

  • They have already built a strong brand name
  • Less likely to rugpull. If they have been around for this long, they should have earned the profits they wanted. At this point, they may be less in it for the money

This blog post explores the intriguing phenomenon of Web3 projects that not only recover from significant drops but also surge to new heights. 

What sets them apart, and what are the driving forces behind their remarkable comebacks? Let’s delve into the narratives of three such projects: OKX, Thorchain, and Injective.

Setting The Parameters

Before getting into the analysis, let’s set the parameters. Our definition of projects that experienced a second summer is as follows

  • Project tokens that went up in price by at least 5 times in the first pump -> It is a real pump
  • The first pump was at least 2 years ago. i.e. 2021 or earlier -> The initial momentum was lost
  • Token price dropped by at least 50% from the first pump
  • In the second pump, the token’s price recovered to its previous all-time high level or higher   

Now that we have set the table, let’s get right into analyzing these projects and how they conjured a second summer.

OKX: The Perpetually Rising CEX

In the early days of Crypto (2017-2018) OKX exchange was always seen as an afterthought. In Asia, users talked about Binance and Huobi. When it came to the North America market, users preferred trading on Coinbase, Kraken and to a lesser extent Bittrex. 

Right now, it is arguably one of if not the biggest Centralized Exchange (CEX)

Rode Fast Moving Trends Strategically

During the “Defi Summer” of 2021, OKX strategically listed tokens that were hot and trending at the time, such as LUNA, LON, and Tornado Cash. Whenever a project looked like it was hot or going to be hot, OKX would list it immediately and ran trading campaigns with generous giveaways. 

As token prices were only going up during that time, OKX became the place for people who experienced FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)

In contrast, other CEXs had strict listing requirements. Binance favoured projects from their launchpad and Coinbase could only list tokens that met the regulatory requirements. This led to OKX taking full advantage of this opportunity and the first pump in their OKB token.

Attention Marketing, Product Release and Partnerships

However, it was in the second pump that OKX truly flexed its innovative muscles. Firstly, OKX kept the attention of the community during the bear market. Tweets filled with memes regarding future price expectations became the norm, keeping the community engaged. 

During the bear market of 2022, OKX’s product release timeline was on steroids! They pushed out multiple products that solved several user pain points. All these products were integrated into one OKX platform, providing a great user experience. The user just needed to open the OKX app or their website to access a suite of services. 

Some notable products released by OKX

  • The OKX wallet
  • Bot Marketplace to automate trades
  • “Flexible Loan” -> Let the user use multi-collateral and entice them with high APYs 

To further strengthen the brand, OKX sponsored notable brands in the Web2 space. These names include Manchester City, one of the best Premier League football teams and the F1 Mclaren team. This made new retail users aware of OKX as a brand and reinforced OKX’s strong branding for the Web3 community. 

With more users onboarded to the OKX platform, demand for the OKB token soared. With the OKB token, holders could earn trading fee discounts, stake for rewards and get exclusive excess to their launchpad projects.  

Thorchain (RUNE): Drove Growth By Releasing User-Friendly Products Just In Time

Thorchain, a trailblazer in the Web3 space, navigated the volatile Web3 landscape with a series of strategic moves and innovative initiatives. Thorchain took full advantage of the Defi summer of 2020. At a time when users were getting used to trading DEXs through the Automated Market Maker (AMMs) and liquidity pools, Thorchain built a cross-chain DEX. 

It was the perfect time, as alternative Layer 1 protocols like Solana and Avalanche were gaining traction with users. Thorchain provided these users with a way to execute cross-chain swaps while still owning their assets. All without the additional step of wrapping a token to trade. During its first pump, RUNE (Thorchain’s token) went from $0 to and all-time high of $20.

The team adeptly capitalized on the DeFi summer of 2020, positioning themselves as key players in the evolving decentralized finance ecosystem. 

Unfortunately, in the bear market of 2022, Thorchain’s Total Value Locked (TVL) dropped substantially and remained range bound between $150 million to $200 million. In 2023, the TVL dropped below $100 million in the first half of the year. 

The project made a revival with the release of key products in Q3 of 2023. Some of the notable products were as follows 

  • Streaming swaps-> Big swap amounts were broken down and executed through small swaps over a longer period of time. Great for patient investors looking for the best quotation and are in no hurry to swap
  • Lending product-> Users could lend their BTC and ETH to receive stablecoins in return
  • Savers-> provide only one asset to receive yield. Users no longer need to provide two assets in equal amounts to receive yield. 

These product releases activated existing users to execute more transactions while acquiring new users. This can be seen in the TVL increase from $100 million to $200 million since Q3 2023. 

In addition to the popular product releases, Thorchain’s partnership with Binance accelerated the project’s growth in the second pump. Thorchain integrated the BNB Smart Chain in their Savers product. The partnership with Trust Wallet helped the project gain traction with their wallet’s users. 

Injective: Saved by it’s ambassador program

Injective burst onto the scene during the DeFi summer, establishing itself as one of the fastest Layer 1 blockchains. A significant milestone during its first pump was the groundbreaking event of facilitating GameStop stock futures trading on the Solstice testnet, capturing the attention of the crypto community. The project successfully tapped into the GameStop hype, where retail traders had the upper hand against institutional investors that shorted the stock excessively. 

Injective then listed trading of other popular tech stocks, as the tech bubble continued to grow. This helped to accelerate user activity on the blockchain. Other partnerships with wallets like SafePal and integrating INJ with Revolut helped to solidify their lead. 

After its fall from the first pump, Injective launched the Ninja Ambassador program in February 2023. The launch of the Ninja Ambassador program showcased an innovative approach to community engagement. 

Essentially, community members could contribute to the Injective ecosystem by creating content or contributing to the tech development by coding. The more a community member contributed, the higher up the rank he would go. Correspondingly, he will receive more benefits and monetary incentives. Injective leveraged the community to spread the word and build their ecosystem. 

The project experienced a surge in market momentum driven by enthusiastic investors and market makers. However, there has been discussion that INJ’s second pump was the result of manipulation from market makers

Post by 0xTavros

If true, this is not surprising, as Injective is funded by Jump Crypto, a division of Jump Trading, one of the biggest market makers. Injective has shown us that a mix of good marketing and market-making actions will lead to a second pump. 

How You Can Manifest A Second Summer

Are you a project looking to move your token out of the range-bound price? There are 3 common themes we see in these 3 projects that created a second summer for their token. Use these to get ahead.

Ride On The Trending Narratives
The core themes around the “Second Summer” of these projects revolve around proactive engagement with trending narratives. OKX, in particular, demonstrated a keen sense of market dynamics by consistently listing trending projects accompanied by enticing giveaways. Embracing the DeFi summer narrative, RUNE and INJ actively participated in the ongoing conversation, positioning themselves as integral players in the decentralized finance space. 

Consistently Push Out Products That Users Like
Moreover, the emphasis on product innovation remains crucial, as seen through the introduction of the OKX Wallet and Thorchain’s streaming swaps, lending, and savers features. These product launches engaged existing users and brought new users. Increasing transaction volume and conversely the price of the token. This requires a keen sense of what is lacking in the market and building it quickly. 

Use Your Community To Promote Your Project
Many projects tried to do this, but failed. The Ninja Ambassador program succeeded by gamifying the ambassador program. Market maker trading strategies that executed buybacks during periods of low price and volume ensured that the price of INJ was stable. In times like the second pump, more users will want to join the Ninja Ambassador program to earn INJ. Promoting Injective to more people, which brings up the price. Creating an upward spiral. 

Are You Looking To Revive Your Web3 Project?

If you are a Web3 project looking for a second summer, I can help. Use content marketing to differentiate your project from your competitors and attract new users.

Email me at jiayung@alphatechmarketing.com

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