Are Airdrops Just a Gimmick or Key to Web3 Marketing: State of Airdrops in Q2

In this post:

  • Airdrop volume shifted to Eigen Layer projects.
  • Loyalty and holding other assets are a prerequisite for airdrops.
  • Projects like Core offer curated airdrops to a predetermined list of eligible wallets.

Airdrops are a quick way for a new project to gain users. Some of them are risky, and may contain scam tokens or even phishing attempts. But airdrops are also turning into a key tool for Web3 marketing. The challenge for top projects is to make airdrops safe and boost their reputation as a legitimate tool.

Top airdrops are usually tied to trending types of projects and are sometimes an indicator of how “smart money” moves among crypto traders. 

Eigen Layer Dominates Airdrops in Q2

Airdrops in Q2 are often tied to Eigen Layer projects, which give away new points or tokens for staking Liquid Staking Tokens based on ETH. This trend dominates other types of airdrops, especially NFT and general participation tokens. 

The trend of airdrops now targets interested parties, mostly crypto insiders, instead of spreading tokens to just any wallet.

Leading airdrop projects based on Dune Analytics data.

Source: Dune Analytics

As of May 20, there are 9,396 farmers on the Eigen Layer airdrop, about 30% higher compared to other trending projects. 

Airdrops are highly active from a handful of other protocols: Cube, Layer3, Lifi and Swell_l2. Each of those projects has between 3-6K farmers. Airdrop activity also depends on the stage of the campaign. 

Some projects, like Masa and Bonsai, are trending in the short term, with peak contract interactions. Other former airdrops mark a slowdown of activity, down 66% from previous peak levels. The S2Learn project is also at peak transactions. 

Airdrops Mark Out Top Trending Projects

In Q2, airdrops are not always free, but may be tied to whale wallets and users that are aware of the airdrop’s potential. 

The participation of crypto insiders and whales is also giving some insight into projects that are trying to gain more attention. Some of the recent airdrops turned into high-profile hubs for DeFi. 

Also read: Tokenless Protocols: One of Hottest in May, Promising Long-Awaited Airdrops

Top airdrops include high-profile projects like 1inch, Arbitrum, Athena and DyDx. Formerly, Uniswap had a similar strategy of issuing airdrop tokens, reserved for DeFi users and NFT owners. 

Gamified Airdrops Target Token Owners, Crypto Insiders

Airdrops are becoming more gamified, and are targeting crypto insiders that already hold certain assets. Some form of activity or milestones are then tied to receiving additional assets. Airdrops are also a way to lock tokens, in exchange for new NFT or other assets. 

Airdrops serve to retain loyal users, but they are also a tool to grow the basic user base. Arbitrum was one of the projects to offer a major airdrop in Q2, boosting its wallet count to 5M wallets. Since then, Arbitrum users returned to their baseline organic growth. 

Airdrops Become Key Web3 Marketing Tool

For smaller projects, NFT collections, games and other startups, airdrops are becoming a marketing tool. Formerly, airdrops relied on social media campaigns, signups and even KYC procedures. 

In 2024, projects are releasing airdrop tools to make the process simpler and to automate the discovery of eligible users. The Core wallet by Avalanche includes an opt-in analytics feature, meaning users agree to share their data in exchange for airdrops. 

Core users on the Avalanche blockchain can also build queries to discover lists of wallets that will be eligible for their airdrop. The tool offers any project a single dashboard approach to building and distributing an airdrop. 

Other niche tool creators are building airdrop tools with the goal of data-based distributions. The IBC blockchain hub will assist with wider airdrops, allowing any project to reach a list of wallet based on predetermined criteria.

In the past, up to 80% of airdropped assets were sold in total. During the current airdrop cycle, not all of the assets are liquid, and some need to be held closely, as they are only a step to additional rewards. With better distribution tools, airdrops may help accelerate the adoption of newly trending crypto projects.

Cryptopolitan reporting by Hristina Beeva

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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