Written by Nic Turnbull, Charlie Kavanagh and Harry Satoshi
What is a Crypto Airdrop?
A cryptocurrency airdrop happens when a blockchain project deploys free crypto tokens to their community, usually after meeting specified criteria, for the purpose of marketing and stimulating the circulation of a project’s native coin within it’s userbase and beyond.
Crypto projects are interested in seeing their token have as many transactions and users as possible, to increase visibility, to encourage adoption and to reward early adopters.
Airdrops are a great way to generate returns when you have a small portfolio and there’s little risk farming them. Easily one of the greatest ways to get paid for learning crypto.
- Airdrops are when project’s divvy out freshly generated tokens en mass to their users.
- Airdrops play a key role in how a project’s token enter circulation and become valuable.
- Crypto airdrops stir up excitement and engagement on freshly launched crypto projects.
- Crypto airdrops are generally free to claim, provided the user has met specified criteria.
What is Crypto Airdrop Farming?
Crypto airdrop farming is the deliberate pursuit of exploring and engaging with platforms and project eco-systems who are expected, presumed or likely to deploy an airdrop in the coming future. An airdrop farmer is interested in mass farming crypto airdrops for profit.
- You can extrapolate your yield by accessing prospect projects through multiple wallets.
- There are stories of Kiwis earning 40k NZD in a single airdrop, many others around 10k.
- Around the world, savvy individuals can make a living by strategically farming airdrops.
Benefits of Participating in Airdrops
The biggest benefit of participating in airdrops is the free crypto you attain, which once deposited into your wallet, is completely yours to decide what to do with. You may hold them, sell them immediately, or use them for their intended purpose of the project itself.
The second primary benefit, or bi-product, is the insane amount of knowledge and exposure you receive to these unique DeFi ecosystems, which you will learn immensely from – expanding your general understanding of the blockchain / cryptocurrency space.
Crypto airdrops are said to be the cross roads between blockchain and guerrilla marketing, an area in crypto where you will interact with the most diehard users and learn new ideas.
Types of Crypto Aidrops
There are three main types of crypto airdrop; retroactive, bounty and exclusive.
Retroactive airdrops: open to anyone who meets the requirements set by the project.
Bounty airdrops: require participants to complete specific tasks in exchange for tokens.
Exclusive: only available to select group of users; early investors or community members.
As an aspiring airdrop farmer, you’ll typically seek out and collect retroactive airdrops, where the amount of tokens you receive is determined by meeting criteria on chain.
Collecting Airdrops - Eligibility Criteria
How many coins you receive from an airdrop, or if you’re even eligible, almost always comes down to how you fit or exceed the criteria laid out by the project. As mentioned above, you can maximize your potential yield with multiple unique wallets/accounts.
At a particular time, a snapshot of the blockchain is taken by the project admins, who use this data to determine your capacity for airdrop deployment. It’s generally not known when this snapshot is taken, further encouraging users to explore and maximize their activity.
Ethereum’s recent Arbitrum airdrop provides an example of what these criteria may be:
There are many different ways a blockchain project can configure the criteria and reward their users for participating in various ways. An extended list of possible criteria follows:
- Total transactions; i.e. user has conducted 25 transactions before the snapshot event.
- Frequency of transactions; user has conducted 5 transactions over the last 3 months.
- Number of wallets connected to the project, such as MetaMask. Often requires just 1.
- Holding a specific cryptocurrency: yes, even just holding a project’s token may enable you to receive an airdrop, or by providing liquidity on a particular exchange or service.
- Social media engagement: projects may require participants to follow, like, retweet or share social media posts to qualify.
- User activity: those who contribute to a project’s development are often most eligible.
- Geographic location: a project may target users from particular regions or countries.
- Token swap: if they’ve swapped existing tokens for project’s native token.
- Whitelisting: when user has to dox an address, which you’d use a burner wallet for, where you may be required to provide your ID, name, email, other demographic info.
- Token holdings: the amount of tokens a user holds may determine their eligibility.
- Engagement: users who interact with a project’s website or app may be eligible.
- Staking: users who stake their tokens for a particular period may be eligible.
- Early adopters; those who join the project before a particular adoption threshold.
- Community participation; those who attend events, activities, forums, chatrooms etc.
- Token burns: projects may burn a particular portion of their tokens to distribute anew.
- Bug bounty programs: projects may offer airdrops to white-hat hackers who report, identify or secure vulnerabilities in the platform’s code.
- Voting: participation in voting for the project’s development roadmap or new features.
There are thousands of projects that may do a an airdrop, however not all of them are worth farming. The projects that distribute the most in free crypto generally have significant funding behind them. The best way to discover them is to get out in the field.
We’d recommend jumping on the NZ Crypto Airdrop Facebook group and keeping your eyes peeled on opportunities. There are also many websites that list potential airdrops.
However discovering airdrops can be risky, as simply connecting to a dodgy application can put your crypto on the line. Crypto is still plagued by scams, and scammers are getting smarter with how they target airdrop farmers. Therefore, it’s important to have a trustworthy source of safe but also profitable opportunities.
Cryptocurrency NZ’s mate Charlie Kavanagh at Cryptochats runs a free community group where you can connect with other NZ crypto airdrop famers here in New Zealand. They also offer a paid service, where subscribers receive exclusive 5-minute step-by-step video guides each week, which takes the headache out of having to do your own research.
Charlie’s Website: https://www.cryptochats.app/
Airdrops NZ Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/3090826627844163
Other resources to get you started:
- Abrahams Chase
- Airdrops Official
Airdrop listing websites
The Crypto Airdrop Hunters ToolKit
To start airdrop farming, you’ll need a Metamask crypto wallet and a small amount of Ethereum (ETH) to cover gas costs across networks. You might like to consider creating up to 5 accounts within your one Metamask account, giving you the chance to be eligible several times therefore extrapolating your potential gains. It’s also important that you set-up a new wallet specific to farming to reduce the risk of losing your other assets.
- Only write the recovery phrase on paper, do not store it on the Internet.
- Only store funds in your wallet that you’re willing to lose.
- Disconnect your Metamask wallet from all platforms each month.
Gas (ETH) is required to be spent when sending transactions (but there’s several solutions to bringing these fees down) which can range from $0 up to a $10 per transaction. Usually, fees cost less than 50c but they vary on each network and its demand. Instead of seeing gas as a sunk cost, see it as an opportunity to make yourself more eligible.
- Always check the cost of gas before making transactions on networks.
- Select a cheaper gas option in Metamask in return for a slower transaction.
- Buy crypto from Binance or Easy Crypto and withdraw funds on the network you need rather than bridging.
Storing and Using Airdropped Tokens
How you receive tokens after being eligible is different for each airdrop.
Some airdrops will simply (and often unexpectedly) land in your wallet, where others will require you to claim. Be careful when claiming that you’re using the genuine website.
Any airdrop can be stored in the wallet you used to farm the airdrop, which is most likely to be Metamask. If the token is valuable, you might like to consider sending it to a more secure wallet, like a hardware wallet which can be purchased here in New Zealand.
Some tokens can dump right after an airdrop, therefore you might like to consider:
- Selling 30% to cover your tax obligation.
- Selling half, keeping half.
- Selling all or keeping all.
- Dollar cost average sell on a regular basis to get exposure to various price points.
Famous Examples of Airdrops Claimed by Kiwis
In September 2020, Uniswap launched its governance token, called UNI, which gave users a say in the future development of the platform. To distribute the tokens fairly, Uniswap decided to airdrop UNI tokens to users who had interacted with the platform.
The airdrop included 400 UNI tokens per address, which at the time were worth around $1926.09 NZD. To be eligible for the airdrop, users had to have performed at least one of the following actions on Uniswap before September 1, 2020:
- Swapped tokens
- Added liquidity to a pool
- Removed liquidity from a pool
ApeCoin (APE) is a cryptocurrency that was launched in March 2022 and is built on the Ethereum blockchain as an ERC-20 token. The project’s origins can be traced back to the NFT series Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), which was created by Web3 firm Yuga Labs.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) was created on August 1st 2017 as a fork of the original Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain. It was created by a group of developers who were concerned about the slow transaction times and high fees associated with Bitcoin.
The BCH Airdrop was conducted shortly after it was created. The airdrop was a way to distribute free BCH tokens to existing Bitcoin holders. The amount of BCH that each BTC holder received was equal to the amount of BTC they held at the time of the fork.
For example: If someone had 10 Bitcoin in a compatible wallet or sitting in a crypto exchange at the time of the fork, they would have received 10 Bitcoin cash. (1:1)
Arbitrum is a layer-2 scaling solution for Ethereum that was developed by Offchain Labs, a blockchain research and development company founded in late 2018.
Arbitrum later released a token in April 2023 and rewarded user who have interacted with the chain. Arbitrum put in place a points system to determine the number of tokens that airdrop recipients can claim. 10250 ARB being the max and the minimum being 1250 ARB.
NZ Tax Implications of Airdrops
In New Zealand, tax laws surrounding crypto Airdrops can be complex and confusing. It is important to understand your tax obligations to avoid any potential legal issues.
The New Zealand Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has issued guidance on the tax treatment of cryptocurrency, including Airdrops. The IRD considers income from cryptocurrency mining as taxable income, subject to income tax. This means that any profits made from Airdrops in NZ must be reported in your annual income tax return.
Seeking professional advice from a tax expert will help you to navigate the complexities of New Zealand tax laws and ensure that you are meeting your obligations.
More information regarding Crypto Airdrops can be found on the IRD’s website.