An airdrop is a growth mechanism for Web3 companies that provides a financial incentive to early adopters and participating members of these communities.
Collective Shift believes that the launching of new tokens by Web3 companies will continue in the coming years and that airdrops will provide large yields for prepared and participating investors. Successful airdrop campaigns that Collective Shift members have participated in are listed at the bottom.
What Are Airdrops?
An airdrop is a distribution of cryptocurrencies to a predefined set of users’ wallet addresses, free of charge (plus any transaction fee for claiming).
In the broadest sense, airdrops can be performed by any Web3 company. Each Web3 company has a Web3 application that is aggregating the Web3 addresses of all its users. Typically, airdrops are determined by the use of a Web3 app by a Web3 wallet. A broad airdrop strategy for investors is to use as many Web3 apps as reasonably possible thereby registering their wallet with each of them.
Airdrops are handled slightly differently depending on the industry:
- Airdrops for DeFi organisations are typically determined by the transaction or staking volume of a user on a specific platform during a specific period. For DEXes this typically means exchange-traded volume and amount of Liquidity Pool tokens locked in the platform and for how long. For lending platforms generally, the amount of funds lent or borrowed.
- Airdrops for NFT collections typically require the holding of an NFT at a ‘snapshot’ date. A ‘snapshot’ is the list of all NFT holders at a given point in time. Snapshots are typically either teased beforehand or taken unbeknownst to the holders and retroactively announced. Those Web3 addresses on the snapshot list will be eligible for the airdrop.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ represents the greatest possible potential of an airdrop.
Last updated on Feb. 24, 2023. The next update will be Jul. 28, 2023. The newest additions are highlighted in green.
|Blockchain||Airdrop Potential||Action Steps|
|Scroll||⭐⭐⭐⭐||An Ethereum scaling solution. Recently entered public alpha with anyone able to join testnet and try it out. Connect, bridge funds and test out applications. See the Scroll testnet guide here.|
|⭐⭐⭐||No official announcement about an airdrop; individuals who anticipate a Layer Zero airdrop can take action by getting involved with Layer Zero projects. Stargate, a protocol on Layer Zero, is a good place to start, and options include providing liquidity, staking STG tokens, or participating in DAO proposals. Another possibility is using the Aptos bridge, which operates on Layer Zero technology.|
|Aztec||⭐⭐⭐||One of the biggest upcoming privacy layer-2 Ethereum networks. Raised $100M from A16z, Paradigm & Consensys. |
Join Discord and test its first dApp, zk.money.
|zkSync||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Create a wallet, use ZigZag exchange and bridge funds. Additionally, use zkSync when donating through Gitcoin Grants.|
V2, also known as “zkSync Era“, is in the process of mainnet deployment, slowly opening to developers and users.
|StarkNet||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Create an Argent X wallet and use StarkNet apps once launched.|
The token has been confirmed and an airdrop is probable in 2023.
The team have signalled tokens will go to developers first “build something, and you’ll get tokens”.
|Arbitrum||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Use the official bridge and transact on the blockchain. Or use Hop Protocol/other bridges to move funds from roll up to roll up.|
Offchain Labs announced ‘Abitrum Odyssey’, an 8-week onboarding campaign that is rewarding blockchain users with up to 17 Arbitrum-exclusive NFTs. Speculation is that these NFTs might be a precursor to an $ARBI token airdrop and that NFTs holders may be compensated for obtaining.
Abitrum Odyssey is halted for now due to congestion but just launched a new update to elevate gas fees. Expect the campaign to restart soon.
Ultimately, you want to use Arbitrum dApps.
|Optimism #3||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||13% of the total $OP supply has been allocated to future user airdrops (airdrops #1 + #2 are completed).|
Use the official bridge and move cryptocurrency from a Blockchain to Optimism.
Ultimately, you want to use apps built on Optimism. We also are awaiting further instructions on eligibility for Airdrop #2.
|Cosmos||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Staking of $ATOM can reward in airdrops from Cosmos-native dApps.|
|Sui||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Another not-yet-launched blockchain by ex-Meta employees. Will tokenise. Unclear if testnet users will be airdropped anything.|
|Celestia||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||A new blockchain focusing on ‘data availability’—taking a different approach to all other blockchains. Confirmed a token via their FAQs. The best way to quality will be to participate in incentivised and non incentivised testnets.|
Adding an RPC to a Web3 Wallet
The initialism ‘RPC’ stands for ‘remote procedure call’, a set of protocols that allow a client (e.g. MetaMask) to interact with a blockchain. Investors can use Chainlist to add the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible RPCs to their MetaMask wallet.
|App||Airdrop Potential||Action Steps|
|MetaMask||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Create a wallet and transact using their exchange feature.|
|Phantom (Solana)||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Create a wallet and swap inside.|
|Zapper||⭐⭐⭐||Use the protocol. Complete quests, earn NFTs and Volts.|
|Zerion||⭐⭐⭐||Use the protocol. Signalled a desire to ‘decentralise’.|
Bridges & Infrastructure
|App||Airdrop Potential||Action Steps|
|Wormhole||⭐⭐||Use it to send tokens from one blockchain to another.|
|EigenLayer||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||When EigenLayer launches a Discord server, join it. More importantly, participate in any initiatives associated with EigenLayer’s public testnet version—expected later in 2023—or community programs.|
Likely to tokenise in 2024 or 2025.
DeFi & dApps
|App||Airdrop Potential||Action Steps|
|Synthetix (on Optimism) (Website)||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Stake $SNX on the Synthetix app on Optimism.|
|ZigZag (Website)||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Use the protocol.|
|Unstoppable Domains (Website)||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Buy and hold a domain name.|
|Matcha (Website)||⭐⭐⭐||Use the protocol.|
|Lens (Website)||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Minting Lens profiles are unavailable at the moment. Users can only buy Lens profiles on OpenSea. Buying for an airdrop may not be wise due to high cost, and prices likely plummet once Lens opens to the public and supply increases to infinite.|
Look out for minting opportunities (via official channels). Users with a DegenScore of +700 can mint via Phaver App.
|Fractal (Website)||⭐⭐||A hub for web3 games. Using the platform, being active in Discord and potentially using or collecting Fractual NFTs.|
|Bundlr (Website)||⭐⭐⭐⭐||A layer increasing Arweave’s functionality. Participate in this quest (by Feb 28.) In the coming months, there will be more Bundlr Quests and opportunities to participate in its permissionless data network.|
|DeFilama||⭐⭐⭐||One of the leading data analysis dashboards tracking the crypto ecosystem. Recently expanding into swapping cryptocurrencies and becoming an aggregator. Could potentially tokenise, albeit with a lower chance.|
|App||Airdrop Potential||Action Steps|
|Zora||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Hold the Zorbs NFT, and buy and sell NFTs on Zora.|
|OpenSea||⭐||Buy and sell NFTs.|
|Blur||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Participate in Season 2 of the $BLUR airdrop. All bidding and listing points are doubled until April 1.|
More than 300M $BLUR will be airdropped in Season 2, less than the 360M $BLUR airdropped in Season 1.
Season 2 will likely end in May or June.
The great NFT collections are building into the metaverse for the long-term by creating ideals, values, storylines and an ethos for a group of decentralised people. These collections have proven to have a high probability of airdrop for NFT holders. Collections have proven to provide a yield to holders through the accumulation and sale of additional NFTs released by the creators.
The best-case scenario for holders is that additional NFTs are airdropped to them for free or given to them for the cost of claim fees (typically $25–$75). At minimum holders are typically given first right to mint additional NFTs released by creators at normal cost or at a discount. In both scenarios, NFT holders are given financial incentives for simply being a holder.
NFT companies in 2021 and 2022 were primarily creating the first NFTs for their digital brands. Collective Shift has started calling these first items “1st level assets”. Through the natural building of a collection’s metaverse, an NFT collection will typically release 10,000 initial NFTs (first level) and then follow with an additional 10,000–20,000 items (second and third level) as a way to grow the digital brand and story they are creating. NFT holders of first-level assets will reap the financial and non-financial incentives as the collection releases second- and third-level assets.
To complement the long-term nature of our research, we’ll periodically share the current airdrop actions that Collective Shift analysts are making in the execution of each’s airdrop strategy.
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Some strategies when looking for airdrops include:
- Providing staking: Many users focus on staking a wide variety of core cryptocurrencies such as $ATOM, to be eligible for protocol airdrops.
- Participate in governance: Many tokens airdrop to users who use governance tokens to vote.
- Finding your niche: Crytpo organisations are getting wiser about airdrop farmers. Instead of scattering your eggs, it might be better to focus on a particular niche—such as Cosmos ecosystem or Ethereum L2s.
- Using testnets: Often cryptocurrencies will provide some early supply to those who helped test the protocol via testnets and early releases.
- Active in Discord: Cryptocurrency protocols often airdrop an early supply to its most active and earliest Discord members. It pays to be active and give value. You can’t be in all Discords, so find your niche or favourites.
- Avoid simple giveaways: CoinMarketCap have an airdrop feature and other websites like airdrop.io have many airdrops. Strongly consider avoiding these, as many of the tokens don’t have much value, some are illegitimate, it’s riskier and there are many low-quality projects.
- Who needs a token: Not all blockchain-based apps need a native token. Look for which platforms would benefit from a native token or which need to decentralise (governance tokens are one way to do this). DeFiLlama maintains an airdrop page—although, be extremely careful with new or forked protocols—enter at your own risk.
Risks & Considerations
Although the allure of ‘free money’ is strong, it’s important to remember the risks and challenges:
- Malicious sign: Always be careful with who you’re signing your wallet. Take best practice when using early, experimental and ensure you don’t have a significant value attached to that hot wallet when engaging in these activities.
- Rug pull: There’s a chance if you get a cryptocurrency from an unknown project it could be malicious or rug pull. It’s important to do your due diligence and use best security practices.
- Time: It can be time-intensive to farm airdrops.
- Cost: Although airdrops are generally ‘free’, they aren’t exactly, especially if you are specifically farming them. You might make transactions, spend gas, bridge or incur transaction fees you may not have otherwise done. This costs money, so these airdrops aren’t necessarily ‘free’.
- Legal: You may not be able to claim your airdrop. Many U.S.-based users were excluded from some highly prized airdrops.
- Tax: Depending on where you live you may have a taxable event as soon as you claim an airdrop, and then again when you sell. Consult your tax professional if you’re unsure of the tax laws in your country.
- Scam: The most common risk out there. Many scammers imitate projects to trick users into minting or claiming a token that’s not real. For example, see the below fake Arbitrum airdrop—clear red flags are the inability to comment and incorrect Twitter handle.
Successful Airdrop Campaigns
|Optimism #1||5% of the total $OP supply was airdropped to early adopters who bridged tokens to Optimism and then used apps on Optimism. (Airdrop #1 Eligibility)|
|Optimism #2||OP Airdrop #2 has happened! |
1inch airdropped 300,000 $OP to Optimism users. Not yet live, keep your eyes peeled. (Announcement)
|Hop Protocol||~55M $HOP were airdropped to previous users of the Ethereum L2 bridge. (Check eligibility)|
|SudoSwap||Details about $SUDO, the governance token of the sudoAMM protocol. As of Sep. 5, the token is yet to launch. (Announcement)|
|Metaplex||Airdropping $MPLX to Solana NFT creators. (Announcement)|
|Aptos||A not-yet-launched blockchain by ex-Meta executives. Will tokenise. Some will likely be airdropped to those participating in the current series of incentivised testnets.|
To keep up with the latest airdrop news, speculation and announcements, visit the #airdrops channel in our Discord server or comment below with the potential airdrops you’re monitoring.