Investment Analyst @ SenseTime. Founder of Worthyt. MIT Sloan 2020.
In the past month, Bitcoin has bounced from a recent low of around $5,800 to today’s current price of $8,200. Redditors on /r/bitcoin and /r/cryptocurrency are going crazy. News sites are trying to explain the boom. People everywhere are wondering if this is the right time to jump into crypto. But putting money in and investing is, after all, still a controversial topic as cryptocurrency is still considered in its early infancy. If only there was a way to get cryptocurrency without having to actually spend money…
…Well, there is. If you want to argue the minutia, yes, it costs a minute of your time, which I guess is more valuable than money because money can be earned back but money can’t. But come on, enough soapboxing, let’s jump straight to it: yes, you can get free cryptocurrency, and no it’s not as hard as you might think.
It’s called an Airdrop, and it is an event that many cryptocurrency groups participate in to market their own coin. The argument is simple: rather than spending marketing dollars trying to advertise and find potentially interested cryptocurrency enthusiasts, blockchain projects will just give out some amount of their own tokens to users in return for building its community. For example, an Airdrop event usually asks a user to follow a Twitter account and join its Telegram community in order to qualify for the tokens.
It’s a pretty neat and unique strategy that helps the project build followers and presence while also exposing its value proposition to many users that would otherwise not have found it. While it only started recently in late 2017, nearly all new blockchain projects have at least one airdrop event to catalyze their marketing exposure.
Long story short, these are the usual tools that you’ll need:
First, you need the correct wallet. While many airdrops have historically happened on the Ethereum blockchain, which meant you needed an Ethereum wallet, nowadays, with the introduction of more blockchains, we see them happening on many others.
For example, WandX, a blockchain project which is a decentralized exchange on Ethereum that lets anyone package a bunch of different ERC-20 (i.e., Ethereum) tokens and trade the Basket directly through the blockchain, is now launching its existing project on the NEO blockchain. As part of this launch, the project is hosting an airdrop event that gives people 300 WANDNEO tokens. Between July 24 to August 10, 2018, anyone can sign up to qualify for an airdrop.
The WANDNEO airdrop signup requests the typical steps that an airdrop event would ask for, including following the official Twitter account and joining the Telegram chatroom. An email address is also requested — the instructions explain that more details for information on the airdrop will be emailed as the event comes to a close, so use one that you can and will remember to access.
At this point, you’re pretty much set. Once the email from WANDNEO comes through, it’ll likely ask for your NEO wallet address. If you don’t have a NEO wallet address, setting one up is pretty simple. While there are many options to generate one, WandX has/will have their own wallet that you can use to receive the airdrop. Alternatively, you can also use the City of Zion wallet, it’s the one I use.
If you’re not familiar with GitHub, don’t be intimidated. All you have to do is look at the top, where it lists the Assets. Underneath are links — select the one that corresponds with your operating system; e.g., if you use Windows, select Neon-0.2.6.Windows.exe (note that the version might be different than what the screenshot below shows).
Once you install it, you just need to open it, and it will install itself. After it opens up, you’ll see a fairly basic screen with green boxes. Select the one that says Create a new wallet.
On the next page, it’ll ask you to enter a passphrase. It’s just a fancy way of saying password. Enter it and remember it, you’ll need to use it. After you’ve typed them in, click Generate Keys. It’ll bring you to the next page, which might look confusing because of all the QR codes.
While I’ve desaturated the image to bring focus on the Public Address, I do want to emphasize the importance of keeping all of this information safe, secure and private. They only information from this page that you should ever give out is the Public Address (highlighted in green) or Public Address QR code above. Never give out any other information — it’s unnecessary to provide to anyone else, as it can be used to access all your funds and steal everything inside your wallet.
After you’ve saved all the other information, feel free to copy the Public Address and keep it somewhere. Any time someone asks for your NEO wallet address, this is what you’ll give them. Alternatively, if you have a Ledger Nano, you could really just skip all of this because the Ledger Nano S has its own NEO wallet built in.
There are many airdrops available on the marketplace, and they’re not all limited to Ethereum or NEO blockchains. Creating wallet addresses is a fairly simple task once you get the hang of it, and after you have a wallet, you can use it to participate in as many airdrops as you want. Try to walk through the WANDNEO airdrop — it’s open until August 10th, so if you would rather use the City of Zion wallet, you have some time to set it up.
If you intend to explore the world of Airdrops more, you can definitely find other quality ones similar to the WANDNEO event. That being said, because the cryptocurrency industry is hardly regulated, it also leaves room for scams. Apart from simply harvesting data, malicious actors may feign events to try to collect keys to access unsuspecting individuals’ funds. Please research every Airdrop; I have personally been victim of scams from airdrops before, despite even my best efforts in discretion.
If you want to connect with me, here are some places to get started. I just ask that you use the right platform! For example, if you want to chat about crypto, please join the Discord. If you want to ask me a question personally, you can use Worthyt.