The Ultimate Guide to Airdrops

25+ protocols and crypto projects that might have an airdrop in the future

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Dear Bankless Nation,

We published a guide to earning token airdrops back in January. At the time we said there was a good chance you could make serious bank by being an early user of these crypto protocols.

We were right.

One example: Darren Lau deposited $100 into dYdX and walked away with $50K. 🤯

We’re pretty confident the airdrops aren’t stopping either.

In this guide, we share over 25+ opportunities with the prospects of a future airdrop.

The first 5 are free for everyone.

The rest is available exclusively to all you Bankless premium members.

Obviously, we can’t promise anything. But spending 10 mins on each of these opportunities to learn and use them will likely land you a payday in the future.

Thanks for being a part of the Bankless Nation. We appreciate your support. 🙏

Time to front-run the opportunity.

Best of luck.


P.S. Bankless DAO’s NFT project DAOPunks goes live this week and the style is 🔥🔥🔥 . Public minting opens on October 30th (29th for DAO members!). I’ll def be getting a few 👀

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Tactic Tuesday

Bankless Writer: William M. Peaster, Bankless contributor and Metaversal writer

The Ultimate Guide to Airdrop

DeFi protocols are increasingly turning to token airdrops to decentralize governance and foster the engagement of early users. Projects often conduct these airdrops “retroactively,” meaning they award them based on how much you’ve interacted with their systems in the past. 

Accordingly, this tactic will outline a handful of new protocols you can try out today to potentially line up for retro token rewards in the future! 

  • Goal: Identify untokenized protocols to potentially capitalize on future airdrops

  • Skill: Beginner

  • Effort: Medium

  • ROI: Variable depending on protocol + your activity levels

It’s Raining Coins…

…If you know where to look around crypto!

Back in January, I wrote the first Bankless “How to earn token airdrops” guide. The verdict still remains out on some of the projects I covered, though I did get some things right, e.g. the dYdX and SuperRare airdrops.

What would that guide look like if I wrote it today? What are the most interesting projects out there now that also may airdrop tokens to their users in the not-so-distant future?

I’m going to speculate on these questions in this updated V2 guide. Accordingly, below I’ll outline over 25 interesting projects across DeFi, NFTs, and beyond that might eventually conduct airdrops + key info and related instructions.

🏴 The first 5 are available for free! Become a Bankless premium member to get the full list.

Words of Wisdom

With what we’ve seen over the past year, it’s reasonable to conclude that airdrops are becoming standard operating practices for young DeFi projects. There’s still some work to be done to optimize these airdrops from the project’s perspective (like making them Sybil Resistant), but at this point, most projects will consider one if they have an existing product with users.

That said, you certainly don’t have to be a rocket scientist to predict that many more airdrops are coming in the foreseeable future. The thing? Most people don’t have tons of time and unlimited resources to scattershot activity into every DeFi project that may eventually launch a token. 

Therefore, the name of the game is efficiency: figuring out which projects to focus on (e.g. is there a non-trivial chance a given protocol will launch a token in 6-12 months?) and with what kind of size (i.e how much money to deposit to balance risk with potential reward). 

To that first point, with a little research, you can often find a team’s/community’s token plans to guide your way. For instance, ParaSwap recently announced it has no airdrop plans. Conversely, MetaMask recently revealed it was open to the idea of eventually releasing a native token.

As such, maybe you want to start performing some crypto swaps through MetaMask as one example. There’s no guarantee a token is coming, true, but at least now we know it’s in the field of play and we can start directing our focus accordingly. 

Next, how much should you interact with an untokenized protocol to qualify for an airdrop?

This will vary by project, but DeFi’s early golden rule is “never deposit more crypto than you can afford to lose.” 

The good news? Even just a modest amount of money/activity can be enough to qualify you for a non-trivial airdrop, as The Daily Ape founder Darren Lau noted last month. 

25+ crypto projects that might have a future airdrop

Here’s our V2 list of interesting crypto projects with some likelihood of launching a token and doing a retroactive airdrop in the near future.

Disclaimer: I have no idea if they will or not. This is solely my opinion based on my experience being an active crypto user and researcher.

1. Element Finance

Description: Element Finance is an “open-source protocol for fixed and variable yield markets.”

Resources: Website | Docs | Twitter | Discord

Why Element: Element Finance has created a governance model that suggests the inevitability of a native Element token. 

Airdrop strategy: Element Finance’s flagship products are its Earn app and Save app; using either of these might qualify you for a future airdrop. 

Starter guides:

2. Hop Protocol

Description: Hop Protocol is a token bridge protocol for easily sending ETH and ERC-20s among blockchains and rollups; it currently supports bridging assets across Ethereum, Arbitrum, Optimism, Polygon, and xDai. 

Resources: Website | Docs | Twitter | Discord

Why Hop: Regarding a potential Hop token, the project’s team has previously said “any official announcements about the protocol will come directly from the Hop team on the official Hop channels.”

If Hop had zero plans for a token, they’d likely just say so like ParaSwap. 

Airdrop strategy: Check out and either 1) use the Send dashboard to bridge assets from one chain to another, or 2) become a Hop liquidity provider through the Pool dashboard. 

Starter guides:

3. DeFi Saver

Description: DeFi Saver is a “one-stop dashboard for creating, managing, and tracking your DeFi positions.”

Resources: Website | Docs | Twitter | Discord

Why DeFi Saver: DeFi Saver has been mum on a native token so far. But a curation token, which holders could use to vote on and prioritize new protocol integrations, certainly seems conceivable. 

Airdrop strategy: Try out DeFi Saver’s Portfolio system or Recipe Creator.  

Starter guides:

4. Ondo Finance

Description: Ondo Finance is a protocol that supports “risk marketplaces for decentralized finance.”

Resources: Website | Docs | Twitter | Discord

Why Ondo Finance: The Ondo team has previously said that “Ondo has no token at this time.” The operative phrase there is at this time

Airdrop strategy: Join one of Ondo’s risk markets (note that they have specific “open windows” during which you can join). 

Starter guides:

5. Saddle Finance

*Confirmed Nov. 2021: Saddle airdropped SDL tokens in a bid to fully pivot into DAO governance.

Description: Saddle is a decentralized exchange “optimized for pegged value crypto assets such as stablecoins and wrapped BTC.”

Resources: Website | Docs | Twitter | Discord

Why Saddle: Saddle is an adaptation of Curve’s Stableswap system, albeit written in Solidity rather than Vyper. With CRV in mind, it’s no stretch to think Saddle will eventually have its own token, too. 

Airdrop strategy: Make token swaps through the exchange and/or serve as a liquidity provider

Starter guides:

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A guest post by
Writer and editor of Metaversal, the Bankless NFT newsletter. On the Ethereum, DeFi, and NFT beats. @WPeaster on Twitter
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