Arbitrum developers announced an airdrop of its governance token, ARB, to eligible users and DAOs on the Ethereum layer-2 platform. The average user received around 625 ARB tokens, which corresponds to around $625 to $1,250, according to pre-launch trading prices and popular estimations.
The prospect of earning free money has instilled excitement around users looking to hunt the next airdrop opportunity. The airdrop farming activity also benefits the protocols by attracting liquidity and usage to the platform. The strategy is working well for both protocol developers and users.
Moreover, a team’s sale of a protocol’s token invokes securities laws, inducing significant legal risk for the developing teams. Thus, it is reasonable to assume that future protocols will use the same strategy to decentralize their protocols.
Here are five potential airdrop opportunities for this year.
zkSync Era is a layer-2 rollup on Ethereum based on zero-knowledge (ZK) proof technology. Experts, including Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, have argued that zk-based EVM-compatible rollups could be a game-changer technology with high scalability and throughput, leading to mass adoption.
zkSync has the added advantage of being compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine, which enables access to the blockchain through MetaMask wallet itself.
Matter Labs, the team behind zkSync, raised $200 million in December 2022 in a Series C funding round led by Blockchain Capital and Dragonfly. Leading decentralized applications on Ethereum like Chainlink, Uniswap and Aave have signaled intent to launch on zkSync.
On Feb. 16, Matter Labs opened the floodgates for registered projects to deploy their code on the zkSync mainnet. The public deposits will start shortly. Users looking to maximize their chances of gaining an airdrop will look to improve their on-chain footprint on the mainnet.
Starknet is another ZK-based Ethereum rollup that supports decentralized applications. StarkWare, the developing firm behind Starknet, has confirmed a STARK token and its utility in decentralizing the Ethereum layer-2 network.
The team has previously worked on StarkEx, an Ethereum scaling engine used by independent Layer-2 solutions like Sorare, ImmutableX and dYdX. The success of its previous projects instills confidence in the success of Starknet.
StarkWare launched the Starknet mainnet in November. The total deposits on Starknet jumped 45% to $2.49 million after the Aribtrum token launch announcement as users rushed to farm the next airdrop. On-chain analytics firm Nansen witnessed record deposits of $3.4 million Ether(ETH) and Dai (DAI) on March 17 to the Starknet ecosystem.
Scroll, branded as a “true zkEVM,” is another zk-Rollup Ethereum layer 2. It’s similar to zkSync Era, which comes with full EVM compatibility. The project raised $30 million in April 2022 in an investment round led by Polychain Capital.
The blockchain is developed by Ye Zhang, a Ph.D. student at New York University. Scroll’s design replicates the same version of the Ethereum Virtual Machine as used on mainnet, making it easier for existing Ethereum developers to deploy code on Scroll, compared to alternatives like zkSync and Polygon’s zkEVM.
On February 28, the Scroll team launched on the Ethereum Goerli testnet, enabling public testing activity. According to the team, over 100,000 users accessed the previous testnet version of Scroll. The mainnet launch is scheduled for late 2023.
Related: Attack of the zkEVMs! Crypto's 10x moment
Sui Network is a Move-based layer-1 blockchain, similar to Aptos, born from the ashes of Meta’s failed blockchain project, Libra. Evan Cheng, who formerly headed Meta’s crypto wallet research and development unit, became the CEO of Mysten Labs, the team developing Sui.
Aptos Labs launched the blockchain’s native token, APT, on October 18, airdropping 20 million tokens to eligible users who minted a specific NFT on the Aptos testnet. On launch day, the airdrop was worth over $1,500. Sui testnet users can expect a similar airdrop upon mainnet launch in Q2 2023.
On March 21, Mysten Labs launched a Wave to Mainnet campaign, including a “series of events and content to further educate the community about the potential for Sui protocol.” Participating in the Sui campaigns and developing a digital footprint on the testnet could improve the chances of earning a future airdrop.
Sei Network is a Cosmos-based layer 1 blockchain focusing mainly on DeFi and high-frequency trading applications.
The blockchain comprises basic applications such as an order-matching engine and a unified liquidity model across the platform to enhance trading experience. The project is backed by industry heavyweights like Multicoin Capital, Coinbase Ventures and Delphi Digital.
The team launched its incentivized testnet in Q2 2022 with various mission and NFT minting campaigns along the way. Users who participated in these events will likely receive an airdrop upon mainnet launch. The team has hinted the launch will happen shortly.
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