Polkadot 'Crowd Loan Lease Period', what is it?
By now, you have learned that Polkadot offers much more than just scalability and interoperability. While it is still a relatively new project, Gavin Wood and the core team are also introducing a new way of funding projects. These projects actively bid to receive the most votes and become a Parachain.
To do this, the project must remain attractive to investors who instead would have to lock their DOT and vote. For every DOT locked—and there is a minimum—the project could offer bonuses, token airdrops, and more. The more there are freebies, the higher the chances that the project will receive votes--becoming a Parachain.
Now, the difference between ICOs, IEO, and other token generating events is that every DOT sent to a crowd-loan will be 'leased.' That is, locked for at most 24 months. The Parachain lease begins immediately after the slot is won and would serve to bootstrap project development.
All DOT contributed as locked in the Relay Chain and won't be under the control of the project developers. DOT will be locked until the end of the lease, which would vary from project to project. Any airdrop, bonus, or distribution program promised by the project will be done during the lease period.