Back Collections Unpacked: The Token Trailblazers

Token Takeaways ✍️

✨ Many leading projects in the token universe have found success by pioneering new innovations ahead of their competitors.

✨ As the crypto space is so competitive, token trailblazers often outperform their challengers. 

✨ The Token Trailblazers Collection highlights some of crypto’s biggest pioneers.

The token universe has given rise to an explosion of innovation. Since Bitcoin launched in 2009, thousands of projects have emerged in hopes of creating a major impact on the world through tokenization. The space moves fast as teams continually experiment and push boundaries. But while there are many token projects, there are only a few pioneers that created new technological innovations before other teams did. The biggest token pioneers are so integral to the space that we created a dedicated Collection celebrating their work. Read more below. 

Please note: Investing in cryptoassets is risky. Due to the volatile nature of the cryptocurrency market, investors run the risk of losing their funds when they make an investment. Returns from cryptoasset investing are not guaranteed, therefore users should always be aware of the risks. 

Why trailblazers get ahead 🔥

Crypto moves at lightning speed because it’s a global Internet-based movement with many bright minds working on exciting new ideas. Innovation happens fast, so projects that move too slowly risk getting left behind. 

Many of the space’s standout projects have succeeded and attracted ardent supporters by setting a template for others to follow. For example, Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency and attempt at a decentralised alternative to traditional money. Ethereum was the first network to envision an open version of the Internet with decentralised apps, which helped it establish network effect. The CryptoPunks NFT collection is another project that predated many similar derivatives, giving the project an enduring legacy. 

CryptoPunks inspired countless other avatar-based NFT collections (Source: Larva Labs)

Why is “first-mover advantage” important?

In the traditional world, companies that bring a product to market ahead of competitors are said to have “first-mover advantage.” First-mover advantage is arguably even more apparent in the token ecosystem. This is largely because the space is fiercely competitive, and many different projects offer similar use cases. 

Additionally, crypto’s open-source ethos makes it relatively easy for projects to take ideas and “fork” an existing project to create an alternative version. The decentralised exchange Sushi, for example, famously forked Uniswap’s smart contract code when it launched in August 2020. 

Uniswap founder Hayden Adams is regarded as one of the token space’s pioneers (Source: Victor Llorente for The Wall Street Journal)

Creating a network effect is important in the token ecosystem because it helps projects stand out from competition and attract users—something all token projects need to survive in the long term. In the top projects, early users become loyal community members. Projects frequently distribute tokens to early users to incentivise adoption and nurture a community. 

Projects that innovate and pioneer new ideas often establish network effect before other teams offering their own spin on the same innovation. In the token ecosystem, the first cryptocurrency, the first smart contract network, the first DeFi projects, and the first Metaverse projects have been among the most successful to date. 

The Token Trailblazers Collection 💫

The Token Trailblazers shines a light on some of the most influential projects in the token ecosystem. 

The Collection features the world’s first and most popular cryptocurrency token, Bitcoin. For almost 14 years, the top crypto has held a place at the vanguard of the space. Bitcoin was the first token to emerge and kickstarted the revolution. 

The world’s biggest smart contract network, Ethereum, also features in the Collection. In pioneering smart contract technology and the vision for an open Internet, Ethereum has become the most widely used crypto network. Many projects have attempted to replicate Ethereum, but none have come close to stealing its crown. 

The Token Trailblazers also features a host of early decentralised finance projects that gave rise to the beginnings of the DeFi movement. They are the early lending protocol Aave, the creator of the decentralised DAI stablecoin MakerDAO, the synthetic assets platform Synthetix, the decentralised exchange Uniswap, and the yield farming optimisation tool Yearn Finance. 

The Token Trailblazers also features StarkNet, Polygon and Optimism, three projects leading the way in Ethereum scaling. All three projects are aiming to ready Ethereum for mass adoption by offering alternative Ethereum-linked networks with lower transaction fees.

The Collection also includes Polkadot and Cosmos, two projects optimising for cross-chain communication. Polkadot and Cosmos have spent years developing their projects and pioneered cross-chain technology ahead of their competitors. 

The Collection also features other pioneers like Chainlink, The Graph, Filecoin, BNB, Ethereum Name Service, Ripple, Zcash, Axie Infinity, Decentraland, and Dogecoin.

Discover more 👀

With so many tokens to choose from, knowing where to invest in the token economy can be difficult. However, crypto’s early years have proven that the biggest innovators in the space often have the greatest success. The Token Trailblazers aims to highlight that by celebrating the early winners who led the way for others to follow. Head to to discover the Collection for yourself now. 

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