As the crypto industry has garnered more and more traction over the past half-decade or so, a lot of its associated vernacular has seeped into the mainstream. For example, the term ‘airdrop’ is now commonly used by a lot of tech enthusiasts, especially those dealing with cryptocurrencies.
In its most basic sense, the idea of an airdrop is a marketing ploy wherein free tokens are distributed to new/existing users of a project in order to generate more interest in it. To elaborate, an airdrop takes place when a project transfers a designated amount of tokens into wallets that have been whitelisted by its devs — i.e. the addresses satisfy all of the project’s regulatory/governance requirements.
Moreover, it bears mentioning that the tokens are usually doled out in return for a small service wherein the recipients might be needed to retweet a post made by the project or follow its social media handles.
In this article, we will delve into some of the most prominent airdrops to ever hit the digital asset market. So, without any further ado, let’s get to the heart of the matter.
Being one of the largest players within the decentralized finance (DeFi) arena, there was no surprise when word of the now-concluded Uniswap airdrop quickly transformed into one of the most awaited crypto events of 2020.
Uniswap is an automated digital asset exchange built atop the Ethereum network, which makes use of its very own governance token ($UNI) to facilitate various internal transactions.
And, on Sept 17th, 2020, more than 250k wallet addresses linked with the platform received free $UNI tokens as part of the airdrop. Moreover, within a month, nearly 91% of the available assets had been claimed by eligible addresses
That said, three years removed from the airdrop, there are still over 30,000 wallets that have not yet staked a claim on the remaining tokens — leaving a little over $84 million worth of $UNI up for grabs.
The second entry on our list is Stellar, an open-source, decentralized finance protocol that allows users to facilitate cheap, seamless, cross-border crypto-to-fiat transfers. Back in June 2017, the project distributed a sizable $1,000 worth of XLM tokens per Bitcoin (BTC) — which, at the time, worked to nearly 19% of the project’s total token supply. Following this, in November 2018, the company airdropped $125 million worth of XLM tokens to addresses that had been whitelisted by its dev team.
Over the last couple of years, Ethereum has transformed into one of the most popular layer-1 blockchains in the world. However, the project has time and again been faced with severe transactional bottlenecks, including high gas fees. As a result, a number of scaling solutions have emerged, with Arbitrum being one of them.
Through its use of optimistic rollups, Arbitum is able to not only reduce gas fees in a big way but also help alleviate congestion on the Ethereum main chain. Therefore, it was only natural that when the platform decided to airdrop its native cryptocurrency, $ARB, a lot of people were interested.
The airdrop was opened up to only those users who had interacted with the network before December 31, 2022. The event commenced on January 13, 2023, with users being able to claim anywhere between 10 and 10,000 ARB (as per their level of interaction with the Arbitum network). In total, a whopping 1.162 billion ARB were designated for the airdrop.
This is the first airdrop on our list that has yet to take place. Since its market debut in 2015, Sweatcoin and its primary Web3 offering, the Sweat Wallet, have piqued the interest of fitness enthusiasts across the globe, as evidenced by the application’s 7M+ users to date and 800k+ monthly on-chain active users.
This growth can be attributed to the fact that Sweat Wallet rewards its users for performing everyday activities such as running, walking, etc — allowing them to either exchange their earned $SWEAT tokens for other digital assets or physical rewards.
On September 12, $SWEAT will be airdropped to users in the United States as well as eight other countries in proportion to their sweatcoins (accrued via the Web2 Sweatcoin app). A sizable sum of 690M $SWEAT tokens have been set aside for this, and those interested in participating need to sign up before Sept 12.
Another airdrop that has yet to take place but has made it to our list is for a project called Shardeum, a decentralized protocol allowing users to create and deploy shards across any network of their choice. In brief, shards are small pockets of data that are created to help decongest a blockchain. They run in parallel with each other and can communicate using cross-shard transactions.
Naturally, when Sharedeum announced earlier in 2023 that it is airdropping a sizable 5% of its total $SHD supply, a lot of people became interested. The event is open to only those individuals who had created or joined shards on the protocol before April 30, 2023, and is set to commence during the second half of 2023.