What is Airdrop? Complete Guide – Changelly’s Tutorial

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airdrop explanation and guide

Cryptocurrencies airdrop is a free distribution of tokens by a particular blockchain project. ‘Airdrop‘ means dropping cargo from an airplane (equipment, food) or airborne landing. It’s more likely to be involved in the crypto sphere in the first sense: blockchain projects “dump” cargo in the form of their tokens.

Most often, airdrops arrange projects for the sake of PR and brand promotion. Startups can thus attract investors, lure potential customers, offering to use their services, or simply tell the crypto community about their existence to attract those users who will be interested and useful in the project.

How to get free coins via airdrop? What are the most exciting airdrops that happened? Where to get the information about the upcoming free tokens distribution? Stay tuned and explore the world of airdrops with Changelly!

Airdrop Basics

Airdrop is a one-time distribution of coins to those members of the crypto community who perform specific actions or meet some criteria. For example, developers can send project coins to those who repost from their official pages on social networks or are the holder of a certain cryptocurrency. In exchange, those who want to receive free cryptocurrency become a means for instant distribution of information over the network.

Airdrop is very similar to bounty campaigns that are launched during the ICO of various projects. However, the bounties are aimed at promoting a fundraising event, while the ultimate goal of an airdrop is to advertise a certain coin, which is part of a new project, platform, or application.

There are several types of the airdrop, from which you can benefit:

  • Automatic airdrop. Holders of specific cryptocurrencies receive new coins that appear as a result of hard fork networks. The primary condition for obtaining such coins is the presence of a wallet that supports new coins. For example, Bitcoin holders automatically received the Bitcoin Cash cryptocurrency as a result of the hard fork of the Bitcoin network.
  • Incentive airdrop is a reward for certain actions that help in the dissemination of information about the project. Such actions may be advertising 
    • on social networks or the BitcoinTalk forum;
    • publishing articles on blogs and news resources; 
    • mailing lists; 
    • creating groups on social networks.
  • There are also forms of an airdrop, for which you need to have a certain amount of a particular cryptocurrency in your wallet. For example, those who wanted to get Stellar via airdrop had to confirm that they had a certain amount of bitcoins. Furthermore, holders of NEO cryptocurrency could get Ontology Token. 

There are alternative ways to get free coins. We recently wrote about Basic Attention Token (BAT) and Brave browser, which have another idea for user reward. You can get free tokens for using the Brave browser and watching the native advertising. The coins can be donated to Twitter users or utilized within the system. 

You can also get freshly developed tokens with Binance Launchpad. Get 500 BNB (binance native token) to take part in the Lottery. Binance Coin (BNB) owners can have five lottery tickets, depending on their BNB balance, for 20 days before the start of the sale of tokens. 

The Most Famous Airdrops

Airdrops have been around for a very long time, starting with the first cryptocurrencies. When Bitcoin Cash split off the Bitcoin network, then everyone who had their own wallet received as many Bitcoin Cash coins as they had bitcoins (i.e. 1 BCH for 1 BTC). This is an example of airdrop after a hard fork. What are the most famous airdrops? Let’s see. 

Auroracoin for Icelanders

auroracoin logo

On March 25, 2014, began the most unusual experiment on the “financial stimulation” of the economy of a particular country. As part of the Airdrop operation, every citizen of Iceland could receive 31.8 AUR coins and do whatever they want with them. It was the first-ever airdrop. 

In the second stage (another four months) unclaimed coins were divided between 330 thousand inhabitants. The third stage, for another four months, the division of coins according to the same algorithm. At the final stage, unclaimed coins from the first half are destroyed. The remaining 50% will be distributed for charitable or other purposes, as citizens themselves decide in a democratic vote.

Everipedia Airdrop

July 12, 2018, all EOS holders who registered the Ethereum address got the IQ Tokens, native Everipedia tokens for in-platform usage. The users got 5.1 IQ for every EOS coin in their wallets. 

BTT Airdrop

BTT airdrop

In 2019, the airdrop of the BitTorrent token (BTT) happened. The coin was offered to al TRON (TRX) holders in the ratio 1TRX for 0.11 BTT. Only users who stored more than 100TRX could receive airdrop funds. 

Stellar hands out $125 million in XLM tokens

All owners of the Blockchain wallet could participate in the airdrop. The giveaway was the result of a partnership between Stellar and Blockchain. Block Smith CEO Peter Smith noted that Stellar was chosen because the project was “built for scalability and has an evolving ecosystem.” Airdrop allowed users to test the use of XLM tokens in their Blockchain wallet.

How to Take Part in an Airdrop?

If you don’t have money to buy top-end crypto assets, or to buy promising virtual currencies, well, or if you just want to get free crypto that can show x2, x3 or more, then to get really promising coins or tokens, you need to choose projects more thoroughly.

The amount of an asset that is distributed as part of an airdrop campaign may vary, depending on the total number of coins issued, the initial price, the percentage of cryptocurrency allocated to Airdrop and the desire of developers and the project management to distribute the asset in general for free.

Even though each project has its own conditions for distributing coins through an airdrop, in most cases, this is a relatively simple process. To participate in airdrop campaigns, you will need:

  • Active cryptocurrency wallet suitable for the cryptocurrency that is being distributed;
  • Telegram account from which you will need to subscribe to the project channel (if required, as well as pages on twitter, facebook or any other social networks specified in the airdrop conditions);
  • BitcoinTalk Forum Account,
  • Email address: it is advisable to use a new one or one to which exchanges and wallets are not tied.

How to Get Info about Upcoming Airdrops?

There are several ways to be aware of future free token distribution in 2019. The projects announce it in their social nets, or on Bitcointalk forum, Reddit, Quora. However, the most convenient way is to follow the accounts that track all the airdrops and update the info. Here is a list of several accounts on Twitter and dedicated websites, which shows the latest airdrop coins.

You can get the alerts about new airdrops by simply following the social nets of websites. For instance, you can set the airdrops.io alert by following their Twitter, Telegram Channel, and Facebook page. You can also subscribe to an email newsletter here

Best Airdrop Platforms

Airdrop & Bounty: What’s the Difference?

The incentive airdrop option is often confused with bounty campaigns. This airdrop implementation has some similarities with bounty, but in the end, it’s different ways to make money for several reasons:

  • Airdrop is simpler than bounty and has fewer requirements. The bounty requires special skills, for example, in the field of programming, design, language skills. Bounty developers are looking for competent people; developers, who are organizing airdrop, do not put forward any special requirements. Bounty campaigns in social networks and forums require the participant not only a large number of subscribers but also a certain literacy and understanding of the basics of marketing. Airdrop does not have all of this: this phenomenon involves simple monotonous actions that do not require creative work.
  • Airdrop is easier to implement. Registration in a bounty campaign can be lengthy. Often you have to wait for a reward a couple of weeks, or even more. Registration in airdrop can be not required, and coins come to the account much faster. However, sometimes airdrop also has to wait a long time to reward, but this is usually due to the incompetence of the developers, and not with the features of the airdrop.
  • The amount of reward in an airdrop is much smaller than in the bounty. At various forums, users tried to calculate the difference and concluded that when participating in several projects at the same time, it ranges from tenfold to twentyfold. This is extremely inaccurate information, but the fact that airdrop awards are several times less than bounty awards is a fact. On the other hand, ten times less effort is often required.

How not to Run into Scammers?

Drop-scams are fundamentally different from quality distributions because there is neither a clear prescribed technological basis, nor a transparent team, nor an intelligible strategy for using a coin or token in the project’s ecosystem.

There are some ways in which scammers can benefit from fake airdrops. They can steal everything from you: from private information to all your assets. Let’s sort out all the types of scam airdrop projects.

  1. ‘Fill in your private key’. Yes, you read it correctly. Some ‘developers’ ask to fill in the gap with the private key of your wallet. They can make a note such as ‘we will keep your private key safe and would not transfer it anywhere’. Blah-blah-blah. NEVER give your private key anyone because it’s your assets. 
  2. Info tracking. Some of the so-called developers aim to get your personal information. It can be e-mail, social nets, wallet address, etc. Your data can be used for spam distribution or phishing. However, airdrop can be used by crypto projects to identify critical adherents of the product. In exchange for free tokens, users can fill out online forms containing valuable information that can be used to develop targeted marketing strategies. Such personal information can be used repeatedly and repeatedly, for further communication with ordinary potential customers and users, as well as with opinion leaders.
  3. Fake registration. You can think that you are signing up for an airdrop, but actually, your info goes to the referral source. It does not do any harm for you but wasting your time. 

Here are some tips for avoiding scam websites

  • Check the official website of the cryptocurrency in a reliable source and compare with the address of the proposed airdrop. Most often, attackers copy the design of the official website entirely, and in the address bar, they imperceptibly change a couple of characters.
  • The cryptocurrency must be listed on the CoinMarketCap source.
  • Do not make any donations to be an airdrop participant. It’s 100% fake. 
  • Check the spelling and punctuation. A self-respecting developer will not send out a text with mistakes.

Airdrop Summary

Free distribution of tokens is considered as one of the best ways to attract attention to a new project. Coins can be handed out after the fork, in which case they are transferred to the accounts of users who already have a cryptocurrency of the main network. 

Depending on which tokens are distributed, you may need a secure wallet. If you give out tokens that are incompatible with ERC-20, then there will be information about which wallet is needed for this. Airdrop is not a way to earn quick and big money, but it is an opportunity to get acquainted with the cryptocurrency world. Sometimes coins start to grow in price, as the platform gains popularity. In this case, after a year, or maybe more, the received tokens can bring a good income.





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