Airdrops were supposed to be a distribution mechanism used by projects to engage and incentivize their communities.
On the other hand, they can be perceived as opportunistic attempts to capitalize on unsuspecting investors.
With Sei and Sui projects being the recent projects to “fail” their community, I will address their community reaction and issues with project founders and Web3 users in this article.
Negative Opinions About SEI Blockchain
The Sei Community have been divided in their reactions to the recent airdrop, especially on Crypto X(formerly Twitter)
Some community members are excited about the potential of the project and the airdrop as a way to get involved.
Others are dubious of these relatively new ecosystems and believe their airdrops are merely a way to inflate the price of these tokens.
The Sei team initially announced that the airdrop would be available for the claim at the public mainnet launch. However, when the network launched on Tuesday, August 15, 2023, users could not claim tokens, which caused frustration and confusion among early Sei adopters eager to claim their share.
The status of the airdrop remained unclear after 24 hours following Sei’s mainnet launch.
In a post a day after the network’s launch, Sei Labs clarified that “airdrop rewards will be claimable following an initial warmup period” but did not provide a specific timeline.
It was not until later that day, after the SEI airdrop had already been called a “complete failure” by some observers, that the airdrop claim process was eventually opened to users.
Before that, several community members argued that the SEI project was only creating hype from the beginning; users couldn’t claim the airdrop tokens before or after the TGE; no exact airdrop criteria had been announced; and many other reasons.
As soon as the airdrop claims went live, participants quickly expressed dissatisfaction with the small number of tokens they received. The hashtag “SeiScam” began trending among a specific group of users, reflecting their disappointment in what they perceived as a meager allocation of rewards.
That’s why several users on X (Twitter) argue that the team behind the SEI project has no experience in Web3, while many call the project the worst L1 blockchain airdrop distribution mechanism ever seen. In other words, they call it the “first L1 meme blockchain.”
One user took things further by creating a special Twitter account called “Sei-Scam” and flooding their bio, profile, and posts with the hashtag “#SeiScam.”
Many complaints focused on the SEI Foundation’s selection of reward recipients.
Critics bemoaned the disparity in rewards between diligent testnet users and those who chose to bridge large sums of money into the network.
This disparity prompted accusations of favoring “whale behavior” over equitable distribution.
Sui Network (SUI) “Disappoints” the Community
Sui Network is a layer one blockchain that has been hyped despite being in development.
The cryptocurrency community was excited about its innovative approach to Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and the potential to own SUI tokens.
However, recent developments have disappointed some community members, as the project has chosen a community access plan over an anticipated SUI token airdrop.
594 million SUI tokens were released for the “community access plan” program, leaving early adopters without the expected free token incentive.
Meanwhile, Sui Network was one of the most anticipated projects to airdrop this year, following Arbitrum’s successful airdrops.
Despite the project’s repeated assertions that there will be no airdrop, many participants have stated that they anticipated one, which the project has denied.
A 0xqutub claims to have completed the necessary steps on the test net, to which the Sui team responded that they have never discussed airdrops and are not on the test net. This indicates that fake accounts, influencers, or Threadoors may have misled these users.
Some people went so far as to suggest that if SEI does not organize an airdrop, investors will not consider the project again. The project responded by saying they are not concerned if short-term investors will no longer consider them.
“That’s okay since we’re focusing on those building with us for the long term,” Sui responded.
Notably, Adeniyi Abiodun, co-founder and chief product officer of the Sui development team Mysten Labs stated in response to a Twitter user’s tweets about the airdrop.
Despite official statements to the contrary, the community remains hopeful that the project will provide users with an airdrop.
Those anticipating an airdrop point to the fact that they have seen many projects say there are no official plans for an airdrop, only to do so eventually.
Positive Perspectives Amidst Skepticism
While the Sei and Sui blockchain networks have been widely criticized, many community participants are still enthusiastic about them.
First, investors are optimistic about the projects because experienced teams back them.
For instance, SUI was developed by Mysten Labs, which several former senior executives lead from Meta’s (previously Facebook’s) now-defunct digital wallet program, Novi.
These executives have a wealth of experience in the blockchain industry, and their involvement in this project has given it a lot of credibility.
This supports the tweet of a supporter who said they were not interested in receiving Sui airdrops and were only there to learn and develop new things.
Furthermore, the potential applications of the projects are another factor driving optimism.
Both SEI and SUI are designed to be general-purpose blockchains, meaning they can be used to build various applications. Their lightning-fast and other capabilities attracted developers looking to build new and innovative blockchain-based products and services.
The Sei Mainnet, specifically called ‘Pacific-1,’ is optimized for trading and specifically designed to handle the stress of huge volumes and liquidity issues associated with trading volatile assets.
Issues With Crypto Projects.
The skepticism surrounding the initial hiccup of the Sei airdrop can be attributed to a lack of transparency in communication.
Meanwhile, the frustration stemming from the delayed distribution and perceived inadequacy of rewards underscores the importance of clear expectations and well-defined criteria in airdrop initiatives.
As witnessed, an airdrop that is not well prepared can lead to disillusionment and the rise of unfavorable opinions within the community.
One of the reasons for introducing cryptocurrency in the blockchain industry is to reward network participants and encourage them to keep validating the network.
Without rewards, an investor would not invest thousands of dollars to have a Bitcoin mining farm.
A validator wouldn’t spend thousands of dollars to up to 32 Ethereum to validate the network.
However, people are believed to be participating in your network to get a reward.
Let’s assume that The Sei and Sui team have no plans for airdrop; why make their community stress test their network without rewarding them?
It would be fair enough to say that relationships go two ways, if you want people to use and test your network, you have to reward them; if you have no intentions of rewarding them, you should not bait them into wasting their time testing your network.
Build what you want to build, organize a few people or allow the public to stress test it if they want to. But most importantly, inform them that there will be no future reward.
It is not a habit for projects to hint slightly about an airdrop, but they intend to enrich themselves with users’ gas fees.
As the crypto industry continues to evolve, it’s essential for projects to approach airdrops with strategic foresight, transparent communication, and a genuine commitment to their communities. Airdrops can indeed be a powerful tool to foster engagement and growth, provided they are executed with integrity and a clear vision for the future.
Issues with Community
Many people spend time, energy, and money interacting with these protocols.
Web3 community members should understand that no project owes them any reward.
If you like a project, use it genuinely without expecting a reward.
In the event the reward comes, that is good.
But If it doesn’t, life continues, and it isn’t enough to curse team members on X.com.
It’s worth noting that while skepticism and disappointment abound, a steadfast group of supporters still recognize these projects’ value and potential.
The experienced teams behind both Sei and Sui networks and their versatile blockchain capabilities have instilled confidence among multiple supporters.
Their optimism resonates with the understanding that the success of a blockchain ecosystem extends beyond immediate gains to encompass long-term development and innovation.
An important point I can not skip is this notion that a crypto project will not have users on their platform because they didn’t airdrop their users is not right.
Giving the community airdrop is never a yardstick to measure whether a project will succeed.
Airdrop being a Marketing strategy to create awareness for a project doesn’t mean there are no other viable strategies to create awareness around a Web3 project other than airdrop.
What determines the success of a project is if they are solving problems in the blockchain industry.
Ethereum, Binance, Polygon, etc., didn’t do an airdrop, but they’ve been among the leading projects in their niches.