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What are the Best Crypto Airdrops for Summer 2023?

Lincoln Murr

Summary: Cryptocurrency airdrops are some of the best ways for individuals to grow their portfolios without spending money. This trend, which was popularized by Uniswap in late 2021 and revitalized by Arbitrum this past March, has caused many to be on a constant search for the next protocol that could provide its early adopters with a ...

Cryptocurrency airdrops are some of the best ways for individuals to grow their portfolios without spending money. This trend, which was popularized by Uniswap in late 2021 and revitalized by Arbitrum this past March, has caused many to be on a constant search for the next protocol that could provide its early adopters with a lucrative airdrop. Let’s look at what projects could be airdropping tokens next and how to be potentially eligible. 

At their core, cryptocurrency airdrops are distributions of a project’s native tokens or coins to its users. At first glance, airdrops may seem like they provide no benefit to the project, but they serve several purposes. Not only is it a great way to incentivize early participation, which is essential for creating liquidity on a finance platform or building an early network of nodes, but it also provides a protocol with instant decentralization. Without an airdrop, a project may be more likely pursued by government authorities for being an unregistered security. With this context in mind, let’s look at the projects that could be airdropping tokens in the short to medium-term.

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The first project most likely to airdrop is the zero-knowledge Layer 2 ZkSync. This protocol is a scaling solution for Ethereum that leverages zero knowledge technology to be more efficient and provably secure than optimistic rollups like Arbitrum and Optimism. They have previously announced that they will be releasing a token at some point and that 2/3rd of the token will be distributed to the ZkSync ecosystem, and with the hype surrounding the project, it could be one of the biggest airdrops in history. The best way to become eligible is to be an active user of the recently-released ZkSync Era Layer 2, an EVM-compatible platform that already has hundreds of millions of dollars in total value locked. To be an active user, it is recommended to bridge funds and frequently interact with smart contracts and decentralized applications. Some native ZkSync dApps include decentralized exchanges Mute and SyncSwap, sportsbook Goal3, and lending protocol ReactorFusion.

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ZkSync is not the only Layer 2 that could be airdropping soon. Others include Scroll and Fuel Network. Scroll is another zero-knowledge EVM-compatible rollup, but it is still in its testnet phase, meaning there is little to do other than bridge funds and wait for a full release. Similarly, Fuel Network uses a new virtual machine architecture, the Fuel VM, to build the “fastest execution layer for the modular blockchain stack,” according to their website. They are also still in testnet. Finally, StarkNet is another competitor in the zkEVM space that will have a token and likely participate in an airdrop.

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One of the biggest issues for new blockchains is growing the number of validators and creating a truly decentralized network. Instead of giving airdrops for interacting with their protocols, these projects reward early nodes and validators. Setting up a node can be a complicated process requiring the use of a hosting server and some level of technical knowledge, but the payoff could be huge. For example, Aptos testnet nodes were given an airdrop for their commitment to decentralization in the earliest stages of the project. There are a few upcoming chains that are speculated to do the same. The first is Celestia, a blockchain emphasizing modularity, data availability, and the ability to use shared security to facilitate the easy creation of application-specific chains. Another project, and possibly the most likely to do an airdrop, is Shardeum, a blockchain whose revolutionary technology allows for greater scalability as the number of nodes increases. Due to the direct correlation between network performance and the number of nodes, it is safe to assume that they will heavily incentivize node runners and validators with their token. 

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LayerZero is a protocol that falls into neither of the aforementioned categories, as it aims to make inter-blockchain communication much more seamless and secure. To facilitate this interoperability, they need liquidity, which implies the possibility of an airdrop. The best way to interact with LayerZero is by using protocols implementing LayerZero technology, including Stargate, Mugen Finance, Pendle Finance, and Tapioca DAO.

The cryptocurrency landscape is teeming with opportunities for savvy users looking to benefit from airdrops. Layer 2 solutions like ZkSync, Scroll, and Fuel Network, alongside projects with validators like Celestia and Shardeum, will likely offer airdrops to early adopters actively engaging with their platforms. While there is no guaranteed return, staying informed and involved with these cutting-edge projects can put you in a prime position to benefit.

By Lincoln Murr

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