What are Pre-Launch Markets?

Pre-Launch Markets are for Traders who are interested in speculating on the listing price of a token that has not yet been launched.

Why Pre-Launch Markets?

Until recently, there was a market inefficiency: the time between the announcement of a token and its TGE. This created inefficiencies where investors could not publicly trade tokens that had not yet launched, leading to value only being transferred in private or OTC markets.

With Pre-Launch Markets, Drift aims to provide more transparency and information to help the market reach realistic expectations of the token’s opening price before it launches. This furthers Drift’s mission of enhancing the ecosystem through innovative, safe market design.

What to expect when the Token launches

Once the Pre-Launch Token reaches TGE (Token Generation Event) and a reliable oracle source becomes available, Drift will convert the Pre-Launch Market into a regular Perpetuals Market.

Pre-Launch Markets vs Perpetuals Markets

Trading Details

Pre-Launch Markets have the following characteristics that distinguish it from regular Perpetual Markets:

  • Lower max leverage (up to 3x)
  • Oracle Price will be based on Mark Price TWAP since there is no spot price to reference
  • Funding rates may be elevated to encourage market stability
  • Open interest caps will also be lower to start and are re-evaluated on a case-by-case basis
  • Fees for taker, maker, and liquidations will differ

Additional details on Pre-Launch Markets can be found here.


Like Perpetual Markets, P&L is settled in USDC. Since Drift supports cross-collateral, a USDC borrow would be opened for settlement purposes if the account holds non-USDC collateral.

Safety Guardrails

Pre-Launch Markets is an experimental, high-risk product. A number of safety measures will be in place to help mitigate risk and market manipulation.

Below is an overview of these measures.

Subaccounts with zero liabilities:

Trading Pre-Launch markets requires isolated risk between other markets. This means your subaccount:

  • cannot have an open borrow or an open perpetuals position
  • must have P&L fully settled/claimed

You can easily open a new subaccount to trade Pre-Launch Markets. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you.

One Pre-Launch Market position per account

To isolate risk, if an account has an open Pre-Launch Market position, no other positions or borrows can be opened.

The only borrow that maybe opened is a USDC borrow for P&L settlement purposes if the account has non-USDC collateral.

You can trade normally in the subaccount once the Pre-Launch Market position has been closed and P&L has been settled.

Oracle Price Ceiling

To protect against market manipulation, a maximum Oracle Price on Pre-Launch Markets will be set. For Traders, this means that positions wouldn’t be liquidated beyond this maximum if there was a large spike.

The maximum may be raised if certain risk conditions are met. This is evaluated on a per market basis.

The First Pre-Launch Market Listing

Drift’s FIRST pre-launch market will be $W (Wormhole) and will be available for trading soon.

If there is a listing you would like to see, head on over to our discord and join the conversation!

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