Decoding Top 10 Airdrops in History

24 Jan 2024

Decoding Top 10 Airdrops In History - cover

Airdrops are a low-risk minimum-commitment gateway into web3 for many enthusiasts. For seasoned crypto traders and investors, these airdrops are a way to reap substantially high rewards a a low cost.

For projects, airdrops provide a simple and sure-fire way to engage highly targeted audiences.

In 2023, just the top 50 crypto airdrops distributed tokens worth over 4.5 billion!

In this article, we will take a look at the top 10 airdrops in history that have together distributed over $2 billion worth of cryptocurrencies.

What Makes An Airdrop Successful?

An airdrop, in the context of cryptocurrency, is a marketing stunt that involves sending free coins or tokens to wallet addresses in order to promote a new virtual currency. The overarching goal is typically to boost the adoption and visibility of the new token.

The success of an airdrop largely depends on its strategic planning. This includes a well-thought-out selection of recipients, often targeting those who are already engaged in the cryptocurrency community. By focusing on users with an existing interest in digital currencies, the likelihood of the airdrop creating meaningful engagement increases. Moreover, the amount and value of the tokens being distributed need to be carefully calibrated. Over-generous airdrops might devalue the token, while too meager offerings might fail to draw interest.

Community engagement is another critical factor. Successful airdrops are often preceded by or coincide with, robust marketing campaigns aimed at building a community around the token. A strong community not only helps in spreading the word but also in establishing the token’s credibility and perceived value.

The clarity of objectives behind the airdrop is crucial. Whether the goal is to reward loyal supporters, attract new users, or decentralize the token distribution, it should be transparent and aligned with the overall mission of the cryptocurrency project. This clarity helps in building trust and a sense of participation among recipients.

Below is the blueprint of top 10 cryptocurrency airdrops. Founders, developers, token designers and marketers can study them to formulate their own airdrop strategy.

  • Uniswap

Uniswap functions as a decentralized exchange (DEX), serving as a global marketplace for cryptocurrencies on the Ethereum blockchain. It enables direct trading without the involvement of intermediaries. Started in 2018, it's open source, and anyone can use its code for their exchanges.

Uniswap is like a bank where you always have control over your money. Unlike some other banks (centralized exchanges), Uniswap doesn't make you give up the key to your account. It does transactions faster and cheaper because it uses a direct connection (blockchain) instead of a complicated internal system like traditional banks.

  • On September 17, 2020, Uniswap gave away $UNI to over 250,000 users who had engaged with the platform, receiving at least 400 $UNI tokens before September 1, 2020.
  • In 2022, around 70-100 users claim $UNI weekly, but 30,000 users haven't claimed over $84 million worth of tokens yet.

To get the 400 free UNI tokens from the UNI Airdrop, you simply had to use Uniswap before September 1, 2020. It's an easy process open to anyone.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Open to any Ethereum wallet.
  • To qualify, individuals needed to complete at least one of the following actions before September 1, 2020:
  • Executed at least one swap.
  • Provided liquidity for any duration.
  • Redeemed SOCKS token.
  • Possess at least one SOCKS token when the snapshot is taken.

Token Distribution Summary

  • 400 UNI Tokens per Wallet.
  • 49 Million UNI Tokens were allocated for Liquidity Providers.
  • 1000 UNI Tokens designated for SOCKS Token Engagement.

The UNI airdrop remains a significant milestone, standing out as the most impactful in the history of decentralized finance (DeFi).

  • Apecoin

ApeCoin, governed by ApeCoin DAO, operates on Ethereum and empowers users to make decisions within a decentralized autonomous organization (ApeDAO). Created by Yuga Labs, inspired by Bored Ape Yacht Club, ApeCoin is used for transactions in the Otherside metaverse.

ApeCoin on X: "The airdrop claim consisting of 15% of the total ...

Eligibility Criteria

Yuga Labs, the team behind ApeCoin, regularly hosts airdrops and special events to build excitement around the ApeCoin brand. Exclusive benefits during these events are reserved for holders of Bored Apes and Mutant Apes NFTs.

Yuga Labs wants to make sure ApeCoin feels like a special treat for its loyal community of NFT fans and gets the desired publicity from the crypto community.

  • BAYC and MAYC holders
  • BAYC and MAYC NFT holders, including BAKC dogs paired with either BAYC or MAYC

Token Distribution Summary

Allocation: 150,000,000 APE (15% of total supply)

Tokens per Claim: Up to 10,950 APE

Claim Deadline: 90 days post-launch

NFT Allocations:

  • Bored Ape Only: 10,094 tokens
  • Mutant Ape Only: 2,042 tokens
  • Bored Ape paired with Kennel Club: 10,950 tokens
  • Mutant Ape combined with Kennel Club: 2,898 tokens

Ensuring a fair launch, ApeCoin distribution to BAYC and MAYC NFT holders is determined by the floor price difference between each NFT collection, approximately from February 7, 2022, to March 8, 2022. Bored Ape Kennel Club NFTs can claim ApeCoin if paired with either a Bored Ape or Mutant Ape.

  • dYdX

dYdX stands out as a decentralized exchange (DEX) platform, offering perpetual trading options for more than 35 popular cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ether, Dogecoin, and Cardano. Renowned as one of the largest decentralized exchanges globally, it boasts significant trading volume and market share.

Operating on a hybrid, partially decentralized infrastructure, dYdX ensures easy access for any user with internet connectivity to engage in trading activities on the platform.

Founded by Antonio Juliano, a California-based entrepreneur, in August 2017, dYdX officially launched in July 2017. Initially focusing on crypto margin trading, lending, and borrowing services over the Ethereum layer-1, it has since evolved into a comprehensive platform.

dYdX Foundation 🦔 on X: "DYDX's Retroactive Mining Rewards ...

Eligibility Criteria

Users who utilized DYDX before July 26, 2021. Early dYdX users engaging in trading on any of their protocols (perpetual, margin, spot) on L1 or L2, or depositing funds into dYdX’s borrow/supply pools are eligible for the retroactive airdrop.

Token Distribution Summary

  • Number of Participants: 64,000
  • Allocation: 75 Million DYDX Tokens
  • Prize: Up to $1000 DYDX Tokens

Note: Any addresses detected for misuse or mass airdrop claiming will not be eligible for the airdrop.

  • Arbitrum

Arbitrum, a cutting-edge Layer 2 scaling solution for the Ethereum blockchain, is spearheading the era of fast smart contract transactions coupled with reduced transaction costs. This groundbreaking technology, pioneered by New York-based Ethereum startup Offchain Labs, has garnered substantial investments from industry heavyweights like Alameda Research, Pantera Capital, and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Arbitrum ( , ) on X: "Today The Arbitrum Foundation is extremely ...

Eligibility Criteria

Arbitrum is giving away tokens in an airdrop, but you need to meet at least three out of six criteria to qualify. Here they are:

  1. Bridge to Arbitrum: Use Arbitrum to connect.
  2. Transactions Over Time: Keep using it over months.
  3. Transaction Frequency and Interaction: Stay active and interact a lot.
  4. Transaction Value: Make transactions with value.
  5. Assets Bridged to Arbitrum One: Bring your assets.
  6. Activity on Arbitrum Nova: Be active there too.

Token Distribution Summary

The project gave away 12.75% of all tokens for those who've been busy on the network in the last year.

More Rules: The more criteria you meet, the more tokens you get. Simple, right? But wait, there are two more rules to keep it fair:

  • Complete Fast: Finish all your transactions in just 48 hours.
  • Minimum ETH: Have at least 0.005 ETH and don't use more than one smart contract.
  • Ethereum Name Service

Ethereum Name Service (ENS) is like the phonebook of the Ethereum blockchain. Instead of dealing with complicated strings of numbers and letters, ENS gives Ethereum addresses easy-to-remember names, making web3 a breeze.

ENS uses a team of helpers (nodes) to turn those tricky Ethereum addresses into simple names. It's like magic! They decide who gets to use what name through a fun auction. This makes it super easy to use Ethereum apps and services without dealing with confusing addresses.

Airdrop Details

Eligibility Criteria: Traders who owned ENS tokens on or before October 31, 2021, are eligible to claim their tokens.

Calculation Formula: Claiming ENS airdrop involves a calculated formula based on the wallet's address history. Here's a breakdown:

  1. Age of the .eth address
  2. Expiration dates of the address (longer registrations gain more ENS)
  3. Owners with set addresses (Reverse Record) get a 2X multiplier

The distribution of ENS airdrop will be made to wallet holders based on these factors. It's important to note that the distribution is tied to wallet addresses, not wallet names.

Token Distribution Summary

A total of 100 million tokens will be distributed as follows:

  • 25% to Ethereum wallet holders
  • 25% to ENS contributors (individuals, groups, or Discord users)
  • 50% to the DAO community

ENS is not just transforming web3; it's also rewarding early adopters and contributors through this airdrop initiative, creating an inclusive and thriving ecosystem.

  • Internet Computer

Internet Computer is like a superhero for the Internet, taking on big challenges like making things more secure, protecting your personal info, and breaking up the monopoly of Internet giants. It's all about building a better, modern Internet.

What makes Internet Computer unique is its special tech called Chain Key Technology. Unlike regular blockchains, it can handle a ton of data super fast and scale up to include millions of computers.

Eligibility Criteria

The Internet Computer Airdrop in May 2021 was a significant event that aimed to involve the community and distribute tokens widely. Here are the key details:

  • Distributed approximately $1,737 billion tokens.
  • Engaged around 50,000 participants.
  • Each participant received 2,513 tokens.

Node Operator Allocation

Approximately 10.50% of the total tokens (49,268,690 tokens) were allocated to node operators on the blockchain network.

  • Bonk

BONK, a dog-themed meme coin, is making waves on the Solana network, injecting new life into the Solana ecosystem by enhancing liquidity. Launched on Christmas last year, BONK's price trajectory marks a significant turning point in the meme coin arena, akin to the success stories of Shiba Inu (SHIB) and Dogecoin (DOGE).

BONK is not your average meme coin. It adds a fresh vibe to the Solana ecosystem.

Eligibility Criteria

The distribution of BONK during its launch was diverse, reaching various sectors of the Solana ecosystem. Here's a breakdown of the 50% airdrop to the Solana community:

20% to 40 Solana NFT Collections:

  • Benefiting NFT collectors in projects like Cyber Samurai, Lily, Lotus Gang, SolGods, and more.
  • The Total NFT count across all projects approximates 297,000.

15% to Early Openbook Traders:

  • Rewarding traders who engaged with BONK in its early stages on Openbook.

10% to Solana Artists and Collectors:

  • Supporting the vibrant Solana art community and those who appreciate and collect Solana-based artwork.

5% to Solana Developers:

  • Acknowledging the vital role played by developers in the Solana ecosystem.

With its unique style and growing popularity, BONK is making a name for itself in the crypto world. It's not just a meme coin; it's a playful addition to the Solana network's crypto family.

  • Celestia

Celestia stands out as a modular blockchain network designed to empower developers by providing a robust infrastructure for building and maintaining blockchains. Its distinctive feature lies in offering other blockchains the utility of utilizing Celestia as both a data availability and consensus layer.

Celestia can handle lots of transactions quickly and make sure all the data is super safe.

Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria encompass four major categories:

Exploring and Supporting the Ethereum Ecosystem:

  • Criteria: Engaged contributors on Public GitHub driving essential protocol advancements, fostering public goods, and contributing to ETH Research.

Pioneering Early Blockchain Development:

  • Criteria: Innovative contributors on Public GitHub shaping rollups and pivotal modular infrastructure.

Trailblazing Ethereum Rollup Supporters:

  • Criteria: Standout users among the top 50% on L2 Beat's highest TVL rollups as of April 20, 2023, holding a minimum balance of $50 during the January 1, 2023 snapshot.

Cosmos Hub & Osmosis Champions:

  • Criteria: Dedicated stakers with a minimum of $75 and integral IBC relayers on Cosmos Hub and Osmosis identified through a snapshot on January 1, 2023.

Celestia Token Grant Highlights:

  • Distribution of a substantial 60 million TIA tokens.
  • Coinciding with the highly-anticipated Genesis Block launch later this year.
  • Presents an exclusive opportunity for users to acquire a stake in the Celestia project.

Genesis Drop Involvement:

  • Welcoming participation from 7,579 developers.
  • Accessible to 576,653 unique on-chain addresses.

Platform Inclusivity:

  • Encompassing Ethereum rollups.
  • Embracing Cosmos Hub.
  • Welcoming Osmosis.
  • LooksRare

LooksRare is a cool NFT marketplace that's all about giving back to the folks who love trading, collecting, and creating. Unlike other places, LooksRare wants to be the go-to spot for NFTs in the crypto world, and they've got a unique way of making it happen.

Built on Ethereum, LooksRare keeps things simple with a one-chain setup. What's awesome is they've sorted through every NFT on Ethereum, so you can buy any Ethereum-based NFT right from LooksRare, even those from big platforms like OpenSea.

Eligibility Criteria

  • If you've traded 3 ETH or more on OpenSea from June 16, 2021, to December 16, 2021, you're eligible for free LOOKS tokens.
  • Just list an ERC-721 or ERC-1155 NFT for sale on LooksRare to claim your LOOKS.

Claiming Time

  • You've got a short window of 7-10 days to claim your LOOKS tokens.
  • Any left unclaimed goes into the treasury for building up the ecosystem.

LooksRare Kick-off

  • Sharing 120,000,000 LOOKS tokens, which is 12% of all the LOOKS out there.
  • They're spreading the love specifically to the NFT community.

Extra Goodies

  • Minimum of 125 LOOKS tokens for eligible wallets.
  • Very active traders can grab up to 10,000 tokens as a bonus.

  • 1inch Network (Airdrop 1)

1inch Network isn't your regular crypto exchange. It's like a super-smart assistant that checks out all the cool places where you can swap your digital assets to get the best deals. It's super handy for folks who provide liquidity.

Key Features:

  • Smart Searching: 1inch Network looks through different crypto exchanges to find the best spots for people who provide liquidity.
  • Works Everywhere: You can swap your digital stuff on 1inch Network across different popular blockchains.
  • Made by Smart People: A bunch of smart software developers at 1inch Labs created this cool network.
  • Community Rules: It's not run by a single boss; it's managed by the 1inch DAO community, so everyone has a say.

Eligibility Criteria

All wallets interacting with 1inch until midnight on December 24, 2020, are eligible for 1INCH token airdrops.

Qualifying conditions include:

  • If you've used 1inch before December 24, 2020, you're in!
  • Just do one trade before September 15, 2020, or make at least four trades, or trade a total of $20.

Token Distribution Summary

1inch DEX generously airdropped 90 million tokens, benefiting over 55,000 wallet addresses.

Using Transak to Enter Airdrops

The most common criteria to enter airdrop eligibility is to hold certain tokens like ETH, BTC, etc. and perform activities on specific blockchains.

At Transak, you can become a holder of many of the top cryptocurrencies by market cap. Users can buy over 170 cryptocurrencies from more than 185 countries using 20+ local payment methods!

Transak will deposit cryptocurrency directly into your DeFi wallet and does not assume custody in any way.

How to Buy Crypto on Transak

If you’re looking to fulfill the eligibility criteria of any airdrop and you need tokens that are available on Transak, here’s how you can go about buying them:

  1. Head over to
  2. Select the crypto you want buy
  3. Choose the currency you want to buy with
  4. Choose your preferred payment method
  5. Enter your wallet address in the next steps
  6. Complete payment and receive cryptocurrency


By studying past airdrops, founders, marketers and crypto project builders can glean insights into how to cultivate and engage a community, understanding the kinds of incentives and communications that resonate with potential users.

Airdrop case studies can provide educational insights into the workings of cryptocurrencies, tokenomics, and the broader digital asset ecosystem. This knowledge is beneficial for anyone looking to deepen their understanding of the crypto world.

Want to learn more about cryptocurrencies and web3? Head over to

About the Author:

Transak Team