KYC for Polkastarter IDOs

Breaking down what goes into the KYC process for IDOs hosted on the Polkastarter platform.


Time to dive deeper into the practical reality of what goes into conducting KYC for IDOs on Polkastarter and give you a brief on how some of our projects approach KYC.

If you’re a veteran of a Polkastarter IDO, you’re aware of the steps that precede participation in a project’s IDO. If you’re newer to Polkastarter, here’s a (very) quick overview:

  1. The project announces that its allowlist process is open.
  2. Hopeful participants submit to the allowlist process.
  3. The project randomly chooses addresses from the eligible applicants for potential allowlisting, subject to the next step.
  4. Potential allowlisted addresses go through a KYC process for the IDO (we’ll come back to this!)
  5. Subject to KYC and general approval, the now allowlisted and KYC’d individuals participate in the IDO!

For a complete overview of the IDO process, see here.

Since February 2024, we introduced one-time KYC, so you don't have to repeat the verification again after passing the KYC with Synaps - learn more here.

How To Do KYC - Step-by-Step


One-time KYC with Synaps

Note: if you passed a one-time KYC with Synaps for one of the previous sales, your status will automatically change to "Allowlisted" or "Allowlisted FCFS" and you can skip all of the steps below.

  1. Go to your Polkastarter Dashboard to see if you have been selected for the project. If you are "Pre-selected" or "Pre-selected FCFS", you will be asked to start KYC soon. Check all possible statuses here.
  2. When your dashboard status changes from "Pre-selected" or "Pre-selected FCFS" to "KYC Open", click on the "KYC Open" status to start KYC. Alternatively, you can use the email sent from the project - please always verify the sender with our support on Telegram or Discord!
  1. On the Project Page, click the "Verify Your Identity (KYC)" button. This will trigger the KYC pop-up window to open.
  1. Complete all of the verification steps, like document check, liveness check, and email verification. In case of problems, reach out to Synaps support using the "?" icon in the top right corner of the KYC window.
  1. Wait for the final approval from Synaps. In case you are approved, that's it!
  1. If you got rejected, reach out to Synaps support to know the reason. You can access your KYC session using your "Session ID" displayed on the Project Page. Copy this character sequence and paste it into the following link in place of the YOUR_SESSION_ID placeholder: - this should re-open the KYC pop-up window, where you can click on "?" icon to contact Synaps.

In case of complications or further questions, you are always welcome to contact our support team on Telegram or Discord.

Why is KYC required?

If you’ve participated in many past Polkastarter IDOs, you may be asking yourself:

Why do different projects have varying approaches to their KYC processes?

If you haven’t yet participated in an IDO, you may be asking:

Why do I need to complete KYC at all?

For early stage projects, remaining compliant throughout their product development — and especially during a token launch — is paramount. KYC is a standard practice among financial organizations offering/distributing any sort of service or asset. Going through a KYC process ensures every IDO participant has been vetted and found ‘fit’ for participation.

The process is also important in ensuring compliance with legal requirements surrounding fundraising not only on the blockchain, but in the wider ‘real’ world. Traditional investing and betting platforms typically include KYC in their own compliance procedures to guarantee the legality of their operations

Due to the borderless nature of blockchain and crypto assets in general, determining which countries to allow participation in our IDO proved to be somewhat of a legal quagmire. We consulted a specialist legal firm who, due to regulations not being clear for many countries and their propensity to caution, provided us with an extensive exclusion list.

We analysed the exclusion lists for many projects operating within the same jurisdiction as ourselves and, following consultation with some of our investors, several VCs and incubators, we reviewed the list with the legal team and settled on a slightly less restrictive country list.

Every user that participated in our IDO was individually vetted and underwent a KYC process before being allowlisted to participate.’ - PolkaLokr

Polkastarter is a platform that enables secure, efficient, and user-friendly access to some of the highest-opportunity IDOs in the ecosystem. We partner with these projects to support them in their token launch, advise them in their community growth, and introduce them to our own incredible community of blockchain enthusiasts.

Polkastarter does not, however, have direct control or mandate over a project’s KYC requirements or process. Based on where projects are located, the composition of their organization, the design of the token, and more, each project will have different reasons for requiring KYC to ensure regulatory compliance. Projects may choose to restrict participants from certain countries because of a region’s crypto laws or status as a region at high-risk of fraud. Here is another example of a previous IDO project's approach to KYC.

‘Fractal ID is a conversion optimised identity verification provider specialised on the crypto and DeFi environment. Throughout all the IDO projects that they have supported, their laser-focus on user conversion ensures a comfortable user journey and high compliance.

In simple terms this is how it works:

First, the user clicks on an authorization link to KYC.

Then the user gets processed through the KYC journey which includes liveness checks, face matching and ID doc verification.

Afterwards, a team of specialised operators will verify the documents in any given language. If there are no additional documents required, the user gets an approval email as well as the status of a verified user.’ - Fractal Protocol


Polkastarter maintains no control over this KYC process, and cannot ensure that KYC’d individuals from one IDO be automatically KYC’d for future IDOs — as each project retains the right for different, nuanced, and specialized KYC requirements.

Again, we want to stress out that an inability to participate in a given IDO due to specific country restrictions is outside our control. Polkastarter is not in a position to allowed countries for IDOs.

For more information about the allowlisting and KYC process, you can also see here.

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