What is Crypto Vesting and How Does It Work?

What is Crypto Vesting?

Crypto vesting is a process that entails locking crypto tokens or coins for a predetermined time duration. In this manner, the token owners are able to fully access the reserves or transfer them in a process known as crypto vesting. This process is usually employed in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and crowd-funding events.

Crypto vesting allows investors to make long-term investment positions that prevent early investors and team members from selling their reserves to take profits. This happens by introducing a vesting period that allows investors to gain gradual access to invested funds at predetermined intervals.

A vesting schedule is subjected to change. Usually there is one-year cliff or waiting period followed by issuance of equal monthly payments.

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How does Crypto Vesting Work?

Here are the following areas where vesting is applicable:

Team and Advisers

This vesting ensures that team members and advisers stay connected with an ongoing project by vesting the issued token reserves.


Early investors working for an ICO or token sales are subject to vesting periods to avoid short-term price speculation.


Founders align project involvement with long-term performance by vesting the token issued to team members or founding members.

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Smart Contracts in Vesting

Smart contracts are used to implement vesting to enable automatic and clear application. This system assists investors in building trust among stakeholders by showcasing commitment to ensure long-term success of a project. Vested tokens are unlocked using various methods based on the binding contract.

Token previously locked for a predetermined duration are released based on the set timeline. In this manner, investors are able to unlock assets with the passage of time in the form of increments and bonuses.

However, in some cases the conditions of release are based on completing tasks such as following time-based schedule and adhering to performance metrics.

Types of Vesting

Here are following classifications of vesting of cryptocurrencies:

Time-based Vesting

When using time-based vesting cryptocurrencies are released at a consistent pace over defined time intervals. Smart contracts enable gradual vesting of ERC-20 tokens for funding events.

Milestone-based Vesting

Milestone-based vesting entails token distribution based on completing set parameters such as benchmarks or objectives. At the completion of each milestone, a set installment of vested token is issued.

Hybrid Vesting

Hybrid vesting has the elements of time-based and milestone-based vesting. Blockchain firms use vesting model for token allocations. One segment of token can be assigned to the team and initial investors as in time-based vesting and the other portion of reserve may be locked using milestone-vesting mechanism. This approach ensures completion of project goals and rewards long-term investments.

Reverse Vesting

Reverse vesting allows recipients to forfeit initial investments If specified terms are not completed. It is the opposite of simple vesting process. Blockchain projects such as Filecoin use reverse vesting for Simple Agreement for Future Tokens (SAFT) users.

Utility of Crypto Vesting

Blockchains issue mining rewards based on a predetermined schedule to ensure long-term functionality. At the same time, 25% block rewards are instantly issued to incentivize miners while 75% are locked in vested agreements to be issued over 180 day duration.

Protocol Labs and Filecoin Foundation are set to receive FIL tokens over the course of next 6 years. However, SAFT investors will earn tokens during the next 3 years.

Advantages of Crypto Vesting

Crypto vesting is powered by smart contracts to bring flexible, secure, and transparency alignment with stakeholder interests based on long-term goals.

Using crypto vesting brings automation and increase reliability in DeFi and builds trust among token holders.

Vesting crypto ensures long-term success of a blockchain project based on time and milestone-based mechanisms. The vesting process is customizable that adds accountability and reliability.

Vesting crypto is automated process that does not have biased lags and tampering such as regulated administration. It warrants long-term project development, decreasing speculative actions, and retains goodwill among investors.


Crypto vesting allows blockchains to streamline total circulatory supply and bring more accountability to the network. At the same time, it has some drawbacks such as regulatory uncertainty, technical lags, and limited liquidity. However, stakeholders can address these issues by considering relevant factors.  

Author: Isacco Genovesi

Isacco writes news articles, reviews and guides about cryptocurrencies including technical analysis, blockchain events, coin prices marketcap and detailed reviews on crypto exchanges and trading platforms.

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