Airdrops: Everything to Know

By  Beluga Research August 6, 2023

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  • Cryptocurrency airdrops are free distributions of digital tokens to holders, promoting project awareness and incentivizing participation
  • Airdrops in the crypto world benefit users by providing tokens without financial commitment, allowing them to explore new projects and participate in the ecosystem
  • From a project's perspective, airdrops serve as a strategic marketing tool to create awareness, build a community and distribute tokens in a decentralized manner
  • Participants must be cautious of scams and verify project legitimacy before engaging in airdrops


Cryptocurrency airdrops are free distributions of digital tokens to holders, promoting project awareness and incentivizing participation. Airdrops have gained significant attention in the crypto world due to their potential benefits for both users and projects. For users, airdrops provide an opportunity to obtain tokens without any financial commitment. This can be especially appealing for individuals who may not have the resources to invest in cryptocurrencies but still want to participate in the crypto ecosystem. Additionally, airdrops can serve as a way for users to explore and engage with new projects, potentially discovering valuable opportunities for future investments.

From the perspective of blockchain projects, airdrops serve as a strategic marketing tool. By distributing tokens to a targeted audience, projects can create awareness and generate interest in a platform. Airdrops can help bootstrap a community around a project, as recipients of the tokens may become early adopters and advocates. Furthermore, airdrops allow projects to distribute tokens in a decentralized manner, aligning with the core principles of blockchain technology.

A Brief History

The concept of airdrops originated in the early days of cryptocurrencies, with the first notable airdrop occurring with the launch of Bitcoin in 2009. In the early stages, Bitcoin's creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, distributed free BTC to encourage adoption and participation in the nascent cryptocurrency network. These early airdrops were instrumental in building the Bitcoin community and fostering interest in the technology.

However, airdrops gained mainstream attention with the rise of Ethereum in 2015. Ethereum, a blockchain platform that enables the creation of decentralized applications (Dapps) and smart contracts, popularized the idea of airdrops as a means to distribute tokens built on its platform. The Ethereum network became a breeding ground for numerous token projects. Airdrops became a common method for these projects to distribute tokens to potential users and investors.

Airdrops: Everything to Know

To participate in an airdrop, users typically need to fulfill certain requirements set by the project initiating the distribution. These requirements can vary widely and may include tasks such as joining a specific Telegram group, following social media accounts, completing a KYC (Know Your Customer) process, or holding a specific amount of a particular cryptocurrency in a compatible wallet.

It is crucial for participants to exercise caution when engaging in airdrops, as scammers have been known to take advantage of the popularity of airdrops to conduct fraudulent activities. To mitigate the risks, it is recommended to verify the legitimacy of the project and its team before providing any personal information or participating in an airdrop. Researching a project's website, social media presence and community feedback can help determine its credibility.

Once the requirements are met and an airdrop is completed, participants typically receive airdropped tokens in a cryptocurrency wallet. These tokens can then be held as an investment, traded on cryptocurrency exchanges if available, or used within the project's ecosystem, depending on the token's utility. It's important to note that the value of airdropped tokens can vary significantly, ranging from fractions of a cent to substantial amounts, depending on the project and market conditions.

Getting Started

  • To participate in cryptocurrency airdrops, follow a few simple steps. First, a digital wallet that supports the specific blockchain protocol of the airdropped tokens is needed. This is crucial because airdrops are usually distributed directly to individual wallet addresses. Thus, having a compatible wallet is essential for receiving tokens.
  • Stay informed about upcoming airdrops. Airdrops are often announced by projects through official websites, social media channels or dedicated airdrop platforms. It's important to be cautious and verify the authenticity of an airdrop before participating, as scams can occur in the crypto space. Research the project and ensure it has a legitimate presence and purpose.
  • Complete certain tasks or meet specific criteria. These tasks can vary widely depending on a project's requirements. Some airdrops may ask to join their Telegram group, follow them on social media or complete a KYC (Know Your Customer) process. By fulfilling these requirements, this demonstrates interest and support for the project, which often serves as the project's marketing strategy.
  • Provide a wallet address to the project or airdrop platform. This is usually done by submitting a wallet address through a web form or including it in the required fields during the registration process. It's crucial to double-check the accuracy of the provided wallet address to avoid any potential loss of tokens.
  • Receive the airdropped tokens. The distribution process varies depending on the project. Some airdrops may distribute tokens immediately, while others may have a specific distribution date or require additional verification steps. It's important to follow the instructions provided by the project to ensure you receive your tokens correctly.

Unique Aspects

One of the unique aspects of cryptocurrency airdrops is the ability to generate widespread awareness and interest in a project. By distributing tokens to a large number of individuals, projects can create a community of token holders who are potentially interested in their offerings. Airdrops serve as a way to bootstrap the initial distribution of tokens and attract early adopters.

Furthermore, airdrops can be seen as a form of marketing and promotion. By requiring participants to complete certain tasks or meet specific criteria, projects can increase visibility and engagement. For example, by joining a Telegram group or following the project on social media, participants help spread the word about the project to their own networks. This word-of-mouth promotion can be valuable for projects looking to build a strong community.

Cryptocurrency airdrops also have the potential to democratize access to tokens. Unlike traditional fundraising methods such as Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) or Initial Exchange Offerings (IEOs), which often require participants to invest a certain amount of money, airdrops provide an opportunity for anyone to obtain tokens without financial barriers. This inclusivity allows individuals who may not have the means to invest in a project to still participate and potentially benefit from its success.

Additionally, airdrops can serve as a way to reward existing token holders. Some projects choose to airdrop additional tokens to their existing holders as a way to incentivize them to continue supporting the project. This approach can help foster loyalty and engagement within the community.


  • Increased Awareness - Airdrops can generate significant attention for a blockchain project. By distributing tokens to a large number of individuals, the project gains exposure and reaches a wider audience.
  • User Acquisition - Airdrops serve as an effective user acquisition strategy. When individuals receive free tokens, they are more likely to explore the project further and potentially become long-term users or investors.
  • Community Building - Airdrops can help foster a vibrant and engaged community around a blockchain project. By distributing tokens to existing holders or individuals who actively participate in the project's ecosystem, a sense of loyalty and enthusiasm is cultivated.
  • Token Value Appreciation - A successful airdrop can lead to increased demand and trading activity for the distributed tokens. As more people become aware of a project and hold its tokens, the value of the tokens may appreciate, benefiting early recipients.
  • Network Effect - Airdrops can create a network effect, where the value of a project increases as more people join and actively participate. By incentivizing individuals to become part of the ecosystem through token distribution, a project can grow its user base and overall network strength.


  • Token Dumping - In some cases, airdrops can lead to token dumping. Recipients who are solely interested in the free tokens may quickly sell them on exchanges, causing a temporary decrease in token value.
  • Lack of Targeted Audience - Airdrops often reach a wide audience, including individuals who may not have a genuine interest in the project. This can result in low engagement and limited long-term impact, as many recipients may not actively contribute to a project's goals.
  • Regulatory Compliance - Airdrops can raise regulatory concerns, particularly when tokens are distributed to individuals in jurisdictions with strict regulations surrounding cryptocurrencies. Projects must navigate legal requirements to ensure compliance and avoid potential penalties or legal issues.
  • Scalability Challenges - When a project gains significant attention and decides to conduct an airdrop, scalability becomes a crucial factor. Ensuring a smooth distribution process to a large number of participants can be technically challenging and resource-intensive.
  • Reputation Risks - If an airdrop is poorly executed or perceived as a gimmick, it can harm the reputation of the project. Negative sentiment may arise if recipients feel deceived or if the airdrop fails to deliver on its promises, potentially leading to a loss of trust.