Who doesn’t love free money? “Airdrops” are a hot topic in crypto right now after a number of recent ones have added up to serious smackeroos.

But before we get started telling this story: for those who are new to crypto, “airdrops” are the process of a project sending free tokens to users, either to reward early supporters or get a burst of free publicity and attention. Many of these airdrops are worthless, but there’s been some big exceptions.

This morning on Crypto Twitter, one user revealed how he’d made a cool US$900,000 in the airdrop for DYDX, a decentralised platform for leveraged crypto trading. Through high-volume trading on 10 different wallets, he was able to qualify for 10 different high-tier airdrops — one in each wallet.

Others were able to qualify for the second-highest airdrop tier (which was based on trading volume) even with a fairly small account. The 6,413 tokens this user received would be worth US$89,000.

There’s also the “Good Bridge” community token, airdropped on September 11 to 16,135 users who had bridged Ethereum tokens to Avalanche. There were 906 tokens per airdrop, and the tokens were trading this morning for US$2.65, putting the value of the airdrop at US$2,400.

The token’s smart contract “charges” users a one per cent fee per transaction, which is then redistributed to holders. Other projects like Bridge Loot are distributing NFTs to users with 900 or more Good Bridge tokens in their wallet, “to reward the ones that did not sell”.

Ponzi scheme? Perhaps. But it’s been endorsed by Avalanche co-founder Kevin Sekniqi.

There’s also the September 2020 Uniswap airdrop, to 251,534 past users who had used the exchange, including about 12,000 addresses who only submitted failed transactions. At 400 tokens per address, that airdrop is worth US$8,500 for those who held their tokens.

ShapeShift today expanded their airdrop of FOX tokens to include over 33,000 DAO community token holders previously ineligible because their tokens were locked in staking or liquidity providing activities. At current prices that airdrop is worth US$70.

Dfinity’s Internet Computer also gifted tokens to thousands of early supporters this year, to people who had simply subscribed to its mailing list back in 2018, in another airdrop worth thousands.

Buying or selling art on SuperRare also made users eligible for a lucrative airdrop last month.

Speculation on airdrops

So how can one find the next high-value airdrop? Nearly always once they’re announced, a wallet snapshot has already occurred, so it’s too late to jump on board. But here are some projects that could — potentially —  reward early supporters with some free tokens.

1 & 2. Arbitrum and Optimism. Neither of these Ethereum scaling solutions have tokens, but there’s been some talk they might have to introduce them to compete with platforms such as Avalanche and Polygon (MATIC), which can give away their tokens to attract users.

3. ParaSwap. For those not familiar, ParaSwap is a decentralised exchange aggregator, comparing prices across various exchanges and routing them accordingly. Paraswap founder Mounir Benchemled told the Epicenter podcast recently the platform would indeed introduce a token soon, although he didn’t say how it’d be distributed. “When this will happen, we don’t have a date yet,” Benchemled said.

4. Zed Run. The Sydney-based founders of this NFT horseracing game told Stockhead in July they were looking at various token models, although nothing had been decided yet. If they do decide to introduce one, an airdrop to all horse-owners (or all those who have raced a horse) might be one way to do it.

5. OpenSea. Unlike competing platforms like SuperRare and Rarible, the leading NFT marketplace doesn’t have its own token. Of course, the RARE and RARI tokens have a use case — holders get to vote on how the platforms are curated. But OpenSea is an open marketplace where anyone can sell on. Still, there could be an airdrop.

6. Hop Exchange. This is a protocol that lets users quickly send stablecoins quickly between various Ethereum scaling solutions, such as Arbitrum, Polygon and xDai.

7 & 8. Zerion and Zapper. These are websites for tracking one’s DeFi assets across multiple platforms and projects.

9. Metamask. The team behind the popular Ethereum wallet, which has over five million users, said in a community call last month that it was “absolutely” open to making the project community-owned through the introduction of a governance token. But senior software engineer Erik Marks said the team will only do so if the use case is “compelling,” Cryptobriefing reported.

10. Cowswap. This is another decentralised exchange aggregator, by the team behind Gnosis Protocol, that uses an economic concept called “coincidence of wants (COW)” to tackle miner extractable value. The Gnosis community recently began debating the idea of introducing a CowSwap token, although it’s not clear how it might be distributed.

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