Airdrops

As we mentioned in last week’s missive, do not click on anything you do not specifically remember buying as it is 99.99% a scam token / NFT. There is of course an exception, where you were airdropped a token into your wallet by a protocol you either interacted with in the past, or you held an NFT in your wallet that qualified you for it (like the recent Pudgy Penguins and the Dymension airdrop for instance). Some protocols require that you go on their site to claim your tokens, others do not. An airdrop is essentially free assets dropped into your wallet by a protocol to thank you for completing certain tasks on social media or on chain.

The requirements for qualifying for an airdrop can be as simple as doing a swap of $5 USD on the DAPP (the only requirement for the $WEN airdrop by Jupiter Exchange that was worth $50 USD on drop and went up to over $100 USD before retracing) or you may be required to interact with the protocol daily over a period of months and provide liquidity, bridge assets to other chains using the DAPP or various other tasks on social media like sharing content and using referral codes to get more eyes onto the project. The main reasons behind airdrop campaigns are:

  • marketing, creating a buzz so when the token launches it does not die immediately;
  • interacting with the protocol’s testnet (e.g. Berachain) and trying it out and reporting bugs if you find any. Best to find the bugs / exploits when there is no assets at risk. A testnet is a sandbox; and
  • using the product (e.g. playing the Fabled game on steam?).

How to qualify?

Usually, the precise methodology used to calculate the airdrop is generally not disclosed to prevent individuals gaming the system. Most educated guesses are based on the Arbitrum airdrop requirements, i.e. interact the with protocol a certain number of times over a certain number of months, provide liquidity on the chain, swap large figures, bridge onto the chain etc. On Ethereum with gas costs as high as they are it does not make sense to airdrop farm significantly unless you 100% know what the airdrop requirements are, otherwise you may spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars in gas fees (transaction costs) and you may not ultimately quality for the airdrop on all of your wallets. It could end up being a gigantic waste of time and money.

Bot army?

A simple way to prevent airdrop farming of this nature is to bind a wallet using Galxe or any other platform to a certain social media account. These platforms can spot bots a mile away so each individual will only get one airdrop to one wallet, they usually have some proof of humanity requirements aswell (note to self, be active on Github!). Other protocols, like Linea, will have physical events around the world and whoever attends them will get an NFT airdropped to their wallet (we think!) that will qualify that specific wallet for the airdrop. 

There are a plethora of airdrop campaigns going on at the moment. A good list can be found here: https://twitter.com/vohvohh/status/1742680269499318678. There are too many to go through for this article so we have taken a few of the more interesting ones and outlined what you need to do to qualify for them below.   

Security first!

As you may not have come across most of these projects before, do not search for them in Google or other search engine, scammers sometimes pay to appear first in the results. ALWAYS take links from the “official links” tab in the Discord of the project or from the topline of their Twitter account. NEVER take links from any comments posted in response to any announcement, they are usually scam links. However, as you are all diligent readers you will know from last week to only connect your MINT wallet to any new site… isn’t that right? 😊 Bookmark the site as well in your browser.

Jupuary

One airdrop in particular that caught our eye was the Jupiter Exchange’s 1st of 4 annual airdrops. Jupiter is an exchange that is currently on the Solana blockchain https://jup.ag. This is interesting as it is the first airdrop that is not giving all of it’s airdrop tokens away in one foul swoop. The value of the lowest qualifying wallet was some 200 $JUP which equaled $140 USD at the time of the drop https://www.coindesk.com/markets/2024/01/31/jupiters-jup-token-soars-after-massive-700m-airdrop-to-solana-wallets/ the airdrop in total was worth some $400 MIO USD (taking 0.4 USD instead of the initial 2 USD!) at drop and now the 1 Billion airdropped $JUP tokens are worth some $500 MIO at time of writing. Now consider this, that was the FIRST of FOUR airdrops and $500 MIO of value (at current prices) was just added to the Solana ecosystem. The consensus is that the majority of this money will stay in the Solana ecosystem.

In order to qualify for the 2nd annual $JUP airdrop (snapshot will be taken for activity between November 2023 and November 2024) you must do the following:

  1. Swap on Jupiter exchange;
  2. Do a limit order;
  3. Use the Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA)Feature;
  4. Trade on their Decentralised Exchange (?)

It is not yet known if volume matters for round 2. Here is what some people are doing running 20 to 30 wallets (gas costs on Solana are almost nothing so it is scalable):

On each wallet you want to run put:

  1. 110+ USDC
  2. 1 $SOL (assuming a price of $100 USDC per SOL)
  3. On a 5 day – weekly basis (depending on your time) Do a DCA of 100 USDC to buy 1 USDC worth of $SOL for 100 hours. Do a converse trade selling your 1 $SOL to buy $1 USDC over 100 hours. Do a limit order buying or selling 1 USDC. Do a small (x2) leverage trade on SOL – USDC using the Decentralised Exchange.

The strategy here is to maximise activity on the chain over the year in the hope (and expectation) that you will qualify for an airdrop next Jupuary – (snapshot is for activity from November 2023 to November 2024) and the second airdrop itself will be sometime in the end of January 2025. You will need to keep an eye on their socials (Discord http://discord.gg/jup / Twitter – https://twitter.com/JupiterExchange)  to see if they change the requirements. If a new product appears on the exchange https://jup.ag assume you will need to interact with it. There are 3 more of these airdrops to go so it could be worth your while to have a look at this one.

You can always go HAM like this guy: https://crypto.news/jupiter-airdrop-farmer-earns-1-1m-using-thousands-of-wallets/ but you really want to be sure  that you know the precise airdrop computation mechanics before committing the time and resources this guy put in. It worked out for him pretty well, this time.

Side note: The team here planned to sell 2.5% of the total supply 7 days after price discovery but only if the price was above 0.7 USD. This was a novel approach to a team paying themselves, they were transparent about it all along. This still did not stop massive Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) being spewed by keyboard warriors (probably those who did NOT get their free assets!) immediately after the launch. It was a very impressive airdrop that went off without a hitch and pumped $500 MIO USD into the Solana ecosystem. But haters gotta hate!

Injective

Other airdrops that are pretty simple to qualify for are Black Panther and Talis on Injective ($INJ) (https://www.coingecko.com/en/coins/injective). To qualify, simply buy some Injective and stake it on your Keplr wallet (or Leap wallet) https://wallet.keplr.app/ .They will airdrop tokens to stakers (called delegators) at some point. In the meantime, you are getting 15.16% APR for your staked $INJ token. Not bad!

It is important to note that while a lot of Centralised Exchanges (CEXs) permit staking, this almost always disqualifies you from obtaining any airdrops at all. The protocols want you staking yourself via your own wallet as this increases the number of stakers and secures their networks a little bit better. In some instances, you will be asked by the staking programme of the protocol not to stake on the top 10 or top 20 nodes to help the network grow. It is up to you whether you do this or not. For instance, Black Panther is the No. 1 node on Injective:

Black Panther is beating out Binance (the largest crypto exchange in the world) simply because they have confirmed that if you stake (delegate your tokens to them) you will get an airdrop. With Binance you will get your APY, but will not qualify for the Black Panther airdrop.

Most protocols require a certain amount of notice to withdraw your staked tokens, typically this notice period is 21 days. Rewards can usually be claimed as they accrue.  See here for full instructions on how to stake on Black Panther and Talis Protocol https://twitter.com/milesdeutscher/status/1737103950028181636?s=20.  

ATOM

One of the grandfathers of them all. It is always worth staking some ATOM as a lot of protocols on the cosmos chain airdrop tokens to either enormous bags of ATOM or wallets that have been staking for some time. ATOM as it is ranked 25th https://www.coingecko.com/en/coins/cosmos-hub by market cap will probably not move too much pricewise itself in the coming years, but the real value could be extracted from airdrops to holders of staked ATOM. An APR of 13.14% on your staked ATOM is also not bad! 

Intentx

This is a decentralized exchange on the BASE network that lets you trade perpetuals. It is in BETA at the moment: https://app.intentx.io/trade/BTCUSDT / it runs on the Muon network, more on this ecosystem in another article in a couple of weeks – think $LINK but orders of magnitude faster and it also has an ERC 404m in operation – a week after it’s genesis!! IntentX it has signed up a number of large market makers as it’s solvers. All trades on it are synthetic – there is no order book, just a limit of open interest that is gradually being increased as the system is battle tested by some traders. Key point here is that there is no stop loss functionality yet on the Beta version, this is their top priority to implement. They have recently asked for testers of their stoploss function so hopefully it will be pushed out very soon.

In exchange for trading on their platform, you will receive points towards an airdrop of 3% of the token supply when the Token Generation Event occurs (linear distribution over a number of months). So if you are already leverage trading, have a look at it and earn some points. If you do over 10k USDC of open interest you receive a 5% bonus reward of points, stackable for 7 days. So on day 8 if you still trade 10k USDC of open interest you will receive your reward. It looks like this:

If a leveraged trade with no stop loss on crypto terrifies you (and it should!) you can simply trade USDC – USDT leveraged long to make the 10k USDC OI, then close it so you will be paying the transaction fees as long as there is no market move against you while your trade is open. This one will cost you trading fees, but the points could turn into a nice airdrop in the coming months. All trading is synthetic and you will trade all of the various pairs available on the platform with USDC only in your account.

Why bother with airdrops?

Well, some people who guess it right make tens of thousands of dollars on airdrops (or millions in the case of the individual mentioned above!). 2022 and 2023 were not good years for the crypto space and with BTC over 52k at time of writing it is in a good place in 2024. There were a lot of large entrants to the market that have not yet launched a token as they were waiting for market conditions to improve. Well.. market conditions have improved so the general consensus is that 2024 will be the year to the bumper airdrops. We probably won’t see something like it again so it behooves you to pay attention, this is why it is our second discussion topic. For a little time and money (gas fees / transaction costs) you may potentially do pretty well. And learn a lot about the crypto space while you are working on it.

Freebies

The best way for anyone to gain exposure to crypto for free and potentially qualify for an airdrop is to conduct testnet tasks. A number of them are listed below:

• Use the DOP Testnet: https://doptest.dop.org?id=MsGKLJ1

• Berachain: https://x.com/milesdeutscher/status/1…

• Metis: https://x.com/0x_Swiper/status/175420…

• Shardeum: https://x.com/0xNonceSense/status/175…

• Quai: https://x.com/kabukistory/status/1753…

https://whitelist.personajourney.io?r=aik2hi (do the tasks and invite people and you may get on the whitelist for an eagerly awaited NFT mint) – connect with your MINT wallet if you are whitelisted.

How much can you make with this? Depends, some airdrops will be a few hundred USD and others can be in the low thousands. A lot will depend on the amount raised by the project in funding as to how large their testnet rewards can be. It is however a useful learning experience for people not very familiar with crypto to create their wallet, get fake assets airdropped to them via a faucet and trade away safe in the knowledge that no real assets are at risk.

What’s the time requirement?

It depends on how many airdrops you want to farm. The easiest ones to do are the Black Panther, Talis and Atom staking, do it once and forget about it. The JUP airdrop will require more active management. You solve the issue by being organized. Create a spreadsheet detailing, amongst other things:

  1. What airdrop you are farming;
  2. Source of your information (e.g. the Tweets above for most of the freebies – bookmark these);
  3. Socials of the project (which you will follow for updates periodically);
  4. Chain the airdrop is on (including the wallet your assets are in);
  5. Airdrop requirements and frequency of action

Set aside an hour a week and go through this sheet, update as required and perform the relevant actions. For relatively little work you could, this year in particular, make a nice gain. Stick a little tab on your sheet when you have a result and note how much it was worth at drop and how much of a gain you realized (after deducting taxes of course!). Everyone likes free stuff no?

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