Researchers see 2024 as crypto’s ‘airdrop season’

Interacting with projects as an early user might be a viable way to earn tokens in the coming year.

Researchers see 2024 as crypto’s ‘airdrop season’

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In 2024, analysts expect an ‘incentive season’ in crypto, consisting of airdrops. Projects like Arbitrum, Celestia, Pyth Network, and Jito have raised awareness around incentives paid to users who interact with blockchains and decentralized applications (dApps) in their early stages. The average user received up to $10,000 by interacting with some of these projects.

The main reason behind analysts’ optimism related to an airdrop season is the $22.1 billion in investments directed to crypto startups by venture capital funds (VC) during 2022, the highest yearly capital flow in the crypto market’s history, according to DefiLlama.

Since then, the market entered a rough bear market, which is considered not an ideal time to launch products, and that’s why analysts point out that blockchains and dApps will make efforts to attract users in the form of token rewards, known as airdrops.

Besides being a marketing campaign and a strategy to retain users, airdrops aim to provide returns to VCs who invested in a project, says crypto researcher known as Chico, a member of Brazilian research firm Paradigma Education.

“VC holdings usually get vested for a year after a token launch, and that’s why I believe projects will launch their tokens in 2024. Considering the beginning of a bull market that lasts until 2025, VCs will be able to sell their tokens within this period. That’s why I consider that many big airdrops, like LayerZero, EigenLayer, and zkSync, are coming,” said the researcher.

Matheus Guelfi, co-founder and crypto researcher at Modular Crypto, a research team from Brazil, is also convinced that an airdrop season is coming for 2024. Guelfi considers that airdrops are proving themselves as effective strategies to boost adoption and reward users.

“Airdrops also serve as a way to decentralize governance and attract users interested in participating in proposals. Also, some strong catalysts are suggesting that the crypto market is moving towards a bull cycle, and VC investors are taking opportunities. Besides, most of the projects capturing investments will launch their native tokens to reward users and, usually, a part of these tokens is allocated to the community,” explains Modular Crypto’s co-founder.

Positioning for 2024

Chico says that not all users will be able to position themselves to get rewards, as most airdrops require an interaction history.

However, he points out numerous opportunities within Ethereum layer 2 blockchains, Cosmos ecosystem blockchains, and Solana dApps.

“If you do your homework and study where to and how to interact, it is possible to create a plan to position your wallet as a ‘loyal user’ of these projects. I still see a lot of opportunities and rewards, even for those who are starting now. But keep in mind: the time window is getting smaller by the minute. After a few more significant airdrops, I see this sector getting saturated, with too many competitors hunting rewards with more than one wallet. That’s when the positive asymmetry for airdrop hunting will deteriorate quickly,” weights the researcher.

Guelfi, also highlights the importance of risk asymmetry. While trying to qualify for airdrops, the user must keep in mind that his actions are an investment that may or may not present returns.

“A lot of projects could keep offering rewards to new users as a form of expanding their communities. Nevertheless, it is vital that users assess each project individually, without assuming that every airdrop will give substantial rewards,” adds Guelfi.

Furthermore, it is also difficult to qualify for every airdrop. That’s why carefully conducted research must be done to understand the potential of each project.

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