Back in September 2020, participants in the Uniswap crypto exchange airdrop received 400 UNI each. At the beginning, token prices fluctuated close to $3. On May 3, 2021, UNI reached $44. Traders who sold tokens on that day received almost $18K with just one airdrop!
Sometimes, all you need to do to make some money is to pick and support the right project, and you can do this for free. This is what airdrop hunters do.
Let’s learn what airdrops are, how profitable they can be, where to find them, and what pitfalls you should be aware of.
What are crypto airdrops
An airdrop is the process of cryptocurrency or non-fungible tokens (NFTs) distribution. The name “airdrop” is derived from the practice of delivering cargo from a flying aircraft.
Typically, airdrop creators carry out the process by themselves, which solves three problems:
👫 Building a crypto community. Newly launched cryptocurrencies have no users and no turnover. Airdrops help form the core audience.
💰 Attracting investors. A new coin with no trading volume may appear unattractive to potential investors. To organically launch the cryptocurrency on the market, the company distributes tokens. Users can sell, exchange, or simply hold the coins in their wallets, which generates the statistics.
🍭 Encouraging users. Some projects distribute coins or NFTs among their most active users. This is a simple way to boost user activity, make the audience interested, and attract newcomers.
Airdrop conditions vary. In some cases, project managers do not require anything in return, while in others, they may have various demands, such as social network subscriptions, friend invitations, or reviews.
The screenshot below shows typical airdrop conditions. At the moment of writing, Tezos is conducting this airdrop. It is a similar but more advanced ecosystem compared to Ethereum, with its own blockchain that can be updated without forks.
Tezos launched an airdrop to promote a domain naming platform called Tezos Domains. We have learned the conditions: only Tezos wallet users with Tezos domain names registered before April 30, 2023, are subscribed to the project’s Discord, and use Tezos ecosystem applications can receive TED tokens.
However, free coins do not always come with airdrops. Nobody regulates this market, so there are a lot of scammers. Con artists might promise to give you tokens, ask for reposts or other activities, and then disappear.
Fraudsters can also use airdrops to obtain passwords and access keys to individuals’ digital assets. We have prepared an article, which you can use as a guide to avoid scam projects: How to DYOR.
How much you can earn on airdrops
Airdrop hunters are users who are hunting for airdrops to make money. Their success depends on three factors:
😎 Number of subscribers. Sometimes coins are only available for popular bloggers. Organisers prefer participants with a large audience because they can help promote the project to more people. That is why the larger the number of subscribers, the bigger the income.
🏃 Airdrop market activity. Active hunters and participants earn more than someone who pays attention to airdrops once in a while.
☃️ Crypto market season factor. Crypto winters usually come with an airdrop shortage. However, in bull seasons, many new offers appear, waking up airdrop hunters.
Asset value also depends on the season. If you receive a promising coin during a downtrend, it is better not to sell it immediately because the value may rise when the market begins to recover.
Now, let's speak numbers. There are many answers about how much you can earn from airdrops; it all starts from a few dollars to a couple of hundred or thousands. Some claim that you can even receive tens of thousands of dollars.
It may be assumed that someone who reads this article is barely familiar with the airdrop market. Here is the warning shot: diving into the market may take months, so you should not expect a good income from the first few days.
Coins received in airdrops need to be stored somewhere. Read our wallet guide to learn everything about storing crypto: types of storage, cold and hot wallets purposes, pros, cons, and best options.
How to find airdrops
Aggregator for crypto airdrops airdrops.io
Its developers split all airdrops into four categories: the newest, the hottest, those with the greatest potential, and those for asset holders. This platform differs from its analogs because of its detailed description of every drop.
Aggregator for decentralized apps dappradar.com
You can find a special section with airdrops on the platform, though there are just a few ads there. But DappRadar has a convenient feature: you can set up new airdrop notifications. To subscribe, you need to fill in your email address in the “new airdrop notifications” column.
Another one Aggregator for crypto airdrops airdropalert.com
The creators aim to make the Airdropalert platform the best place to find airdrops in the market. They split all offers into categories depending on the asset type and timing: DeFi and NFT airdrops, new, best, upcoming, and past airdrops.
How to choose airdrops: safety rules
Here are five main rules that will help you determine fraud and sort out unpromising projects:
1. Check the list of investors. If it has big names, that is a green flag. Large companies will not invest in high-risk projects.
In 2021, the Uniswap crypto exchange had a large venture fund, Andreessen Horowitz, among its backers. The Arbitrum crypto project, which conducted an airdrop in the spring of 2023, got investments from Coinbase, another large trading platform.
2. Check whether the airdrop conditions can be met. If you do not meet the criteria, you risk wasting your time and ending up with nothing.
You should not participate if the project is interested in reposts from major bloggers, while having only 20 subscribers. Here is an example of an airdrop with similar requirements. For every thousand subscribers, participants can earn $5. If there are few followers, there will be no profit.
3. Explore opportunities and perspective. Many developers do not have fresh ideas. Secondary projects rarely succeed, which means their digital assets will have no value.
In the summer, the hyper-hyped decentralised social network friend.tech ran into the market. Now, the platform has 10 rivals with almost the same tools and terms. They are unlikely to achieve anything since friend.tech has already rooted up, which means their airdrops will not be lucrative.
4. Examine tokenomics. Tokenomics is the distribution of digital assets. Typically, the issuer (the one who issues the coins) provides such information to airdrop participants and investors.
Healthy tokenomics should be detailed: how many assets are planned to be distributed, how many assets are locked and when they are planned to be unlocked, how many assets the project creators will receive, etc. Here is an example of the Maverick Protocol project's detailed tokenomics, which is currently conducting its coin airdrop.
5. Dive into the ecosystem. The wider the project’s ecosystem and the more elements it runs, the greater the chance that its tokens will have some value.
If a project has its own blockchain and coins for paying network fees are distributed on an airdrop, it is worth participating. Such cryptocurrencies will be in demand, which means its price may rise. A similar airdrop was carried out in 2020 by Solana. The crypto project runs on its own blockchain. Currently, the SOL token ranks 7th in terms of market capitalization.
Is it worth to participate in airdrops
It is worth participating in airdrops only if you follow all safety measures; in that case, you do not risk anything. If the organisers do not require your wallet access keys, passport data, or other confidential information, you can safely take part in the distribution. However, anyway, you should carefully explore the project by yourself.
Airdropped assets can become much more expensive over time, but do not take them as the main source of income. They can only become a pleasant addition to your main earnings.
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This article is not an investment recommendation. The financial transactions mentioned in the article are not a guide to action. Itez is not responsible for possible risks. The user should independently conduct an analysis on the basis of which it will be possible to draw conclusions and make decisions about making any operations with cryptocurrency.