(Scroll to the bottom if you just want the airdrop. 🤔)
Airdrops are the crypto analog to free samples in the mall. Projects that are just starting out will oftentimes give out a small amount of free tokens to verified people in order to spread the word about their project. They often do this near the time of their ICO. This is done to facilitate user growth and incentivize people to tell others about the project (often through referral systems or social sharing promotions). Airdrops occur in various forms, including: mass-dropping to wallets (for example, all NEO wallets will get x amount of the token), and free tokens upon community involvement or signing-up for something and providing some basic personal information. Usually the amount given out during airdrops is small in terms of fiat currency, but if you hold on to the tokens for an extended period of time and you picked a good project, these tokens can grow in value, making your airdropped amount worth a significant amount of money. Projects that gave out airdrops months ago can be worth $100s of dollars now, due to price appreciation. It is ultimately up to you whether or not you hold onto them or sell, but note that many airdropped coins will not be listed on an exchange at the time of airdrop, so you will usually have to wait some time to sell them.
If you were wondering exactly how it is beneficial to do mass-airdrops during an ICO, it essentially boils down to network effects and the nature of network graphs. Theories such as Reed’s Law have posited that a network’s utility (which be measured in money earned, or any other metric) is superlinearly proportional to the number of nodes (people) in the graph. The exact amount of utility ranges from n² to 2^n based on the field in which the network graph was applied to, but it is clear that increasing your network larger and larger will give you outsized utility relative to earlier utility. For example, these theories show that growing from 100 to 200 people will provide significantly less additional utility than growing from 1,000 to 1,100 people would, even though you gained the same number of people.
In the context of an ICO, this means that a hard push to expand the project’s social network presence during the ICO will provide large returns in terms of both ICO contributions and further mindshare of the project, so it is therefore best utilized at this moment in the project’s lifecycle to maximize both financial and community support. Assuming a team has a finite amount of tokens to be airdropped, it thus makes sense to use them specifically during ICO, as opposed to at other times, since they can directly make money as well as social influence, whereas normally, this would be limited to just social influence (and perhaps indirect token price appreciation if demand increases). Additionally, distributing free tokens creates a group of token holders who are more focused on the actual utility of the token in the project than the price (since they did not pay anything). This can become an essential factor in spurring adoption and creating an initial base of loyal users and/or developers.
There are a few ways to find airdrops. One is on Bitcointalk, one of the oldest and largest forums for crypto discussion. This is usually the very first place a new project will announce themselves, and is a great place to learn about all of the ICOs going on. You can usually get a great history of the project by looking through their initial Bitcointalk thread. Be aware that this forum, while a great source of information, tends to be very high volume and does little to explicitly filter out low quality projects — so while there are many hidden gems here, there are an equal number of scam projects.
Another common way to find airdrops is through various airdrop aggregates. These often do some pre-processing for you and verify that the airdrops are legitimate and that the projects are likely to actually pay out your coins. These often involve joining a Telegram group or following an account on Twitter. Good accounts and websites to follow, or subscribe to, for airdrops include the following:
A common website for airdrop listings is https://airdropalert.com.
Some Twitter accounts to follow include https://twitter.com/cryptoairdrops?lang=en and https://twitter.com/airdropalert?lang=en.
Some subreddits to follow include https://www.reddit.com/r/airdrops/ and https://www.reddit.com/r/CryptoAirdrop/.
Finally, there are some ways to just passively receive airdrops. Some coins will just randomly give them out to existing wallets in common platforms like Ethereum or NEO, or to owners of certain other coins. In order to be eligible for these random airdrops, you should ensure that your wallet is active and has some coins in them (not necessarily a lot, perhaps 0.1+ ETH). Additionally, platforms like https://earn.com allow you to sign up for airdrop lists and have your address publicly available to be airdropped into.
Now I will go through an example airdrop from a project that I believe is of decent quality. This one is particularly easy one to complete (you do not have to follow any account or join a Telegram group), and gives a large amount of coins for free. The project is Synapse AI, which aims to create a decentralized machine learning marketplace in which “agents” can be paid to provide real-world data, and models can then be trained off of that data and used as micro-services. They are currently doing their ICO, which ends soon, so if this sounds really interesting to you, definitely consider buying some tokens.
Now, in order to participate in the airdrop, all that you have to do is sign up through someone’s referral link, which only requires your name and email. After signing up using my referral link (https://tokensale.synapse.ai/r/59860) via the “Sign up” button, and verifying your email, you will get 50 tokens for free, and then if you refer other people, you can get 100 more per referral. You should be able to see these free tokens under the “Referrals” tab on their website with an amount of 50 tokens.
Synapse also has another form of airdrop, in which you simply click links they post throughout the day. Each airdrop ranges from an additional free 10 to 100 tokens. They post 3 links per day across their various social media channels:
FB group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/synapseai
FB page: https://www.facebook.com/syntoken
At the current ICO price, the 50 initial tokens are worth about $5.00, which is pretty good for just making an account. The tokens can go in any ETH wallet, and will be distributed when their ICO ends in March. In order to add a wallet to the Synapse website to eventually claim your tokens, simply go to the “Wallets” tab and add your Ethereum wallet address. If you do not have one, you can easily make one through Metamask. They are currently doing their ICO, which ends soon, so if this project sounds really interesting to you, definitely consider buying some tokens.
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