Top Crypto Airdrops 2024: How They Work & Where To Find Airdrops

Milk Roads recommended top upcoming airdrops on Ethereum, Solana and Cosmos, plus a guide to understanding it all.
Published: June 14, 2023   |   Last Updated: May 17, 2024
Written By:
Matt Pearlstein
Edited By:
Gary Anglebrandt
Gary Anglebrandt
Contributing Editor

What Is A Crypto Airdrop?

An airdrop refers to a protocol or blockchain distributing tokens to wallets and community members. As crypto projects aim to be decentralized and community-governed, they attempt to allocate tokens to their longest-standing and most valuable community members. Loyalty in this sense is often measured in usage and activity over time.

Airdrops present an opportunity for users to be rewarded for their on-chain contributions, while also allowing projects to give back to their most loyal users. Users that receive these tokens can immediately use them to govern the project, stake them for rewards, or sell them on the open market.

Note: If you are a U.S. taxpayer airdrops are taxed as income based on the price that you receive them at, which then becomes your tax basis for future gains or losses. If you are not a U.S. taxpayer, local tax laws may apply.

Below is a list of recommended airdrops from various ecosystems, including Ethereum, Solana and Cosmos. Please note that there are many airdrops one can participate in, however some are more risky than others. Protocols can be hacked and users funds lost as well as protocol teams can “rug” projects and steal user funds. It’s important to look for high quality projects and teams that have been audited.

There are risks with any protocol even the ones listed below, however the following are airdrops that members from the Milk Road team are participating in. Please exercise caution when using new blockchain protocols, understand the risks and participate at your own risk. Be careful for spam links on the internet, especially social media. For each airdrop we have shared the correct link below.

Note: Airdrops are often not confirmed and you are not guaranteed to receive anything. In some cases we have shared referral links for airdrops we participate in. Thanks in advance If you choose to participate using our referral links and help Milk Road grow! Good luck out there!

Top Airdrops In The Ethereum Ecosystem

ProjectCategoryDescriptionRecommended Tasks
ModeL2A layer-2 network that launched on Optimism’s superchainBridge funds into Mode to collect points for past DeFi activity, follow steps in Mode points program.
EtherFILiquid RestakingA Liquid Restaking and DeFi ProtocolRestake your ETH into EETH, additional points for using eETH in DeFI
SwellLiquid Restaking + L2Allows you to restake your ETH and earn yield while remaining liquidRestake your ETH into rswETH then bridge to Swell L2 for additional points + EigenLayer points
BlastL2A layer-2 network with native yield.Bridge ETH or USDC to Blast and participate in DeFI for boosts
RenzoLiquid RestakingA Liquid Restaking ProtocolRestake your ETH into ezETH, additional points for using it in DeFI
KelpLiquid RestakingA Liquid Restaking ProtocolRestake your ETH into rsETH
EigenLayerRestakingA protocol that allows you to take ETH that is already staked and restake it to earn additional yield and secure other networksRestake ETH on their platform or use the Liquid restaking protocols above.
Karak
Access code: X1qXg
RestakingA protocol that allows you to take various assets and restake it to earn additional yield and secure other networksUse the Liquid Restaking protocols above and deposit into Karak.
zkSyncL2Layer-2 blockchain scaling Etherum with the power of zero-knowledge proofsUse the native bridge, explore zkLite, swap and provide liquidity on ecosystem dApps

Other Airdrops In The Ethereum Ecosystem

ProjectCategoryDescriptionRecommended Tasks
DeBankSocialFiSocial media platform for wallets who will be launching a layer-2 soonExplore the platform and it’s features, post and follow others, mint badges
SyncSwapDEXThe leading DEX on zkSyncSwap tokens and provide liquidity
LineaL2Layer-2 network created by the same team behind MetaMaskUse the native bridge, swap and provide liquidity on ecosystem dApps
MetaMaskWalletThe most popular wallet for DeFiSwap and use functions within the wallet itself
RabbyWalletAn EMV-compatible wallet that offers advanced features and a sleek interfaceReceive points for importing an existing MetaMask wallet, swapping within Rabby, and more
Orbiter FinanceInteroperabilityOne of the cheapest and fastest protocols for bridging to EVM networksBridge funds across networks
Kim ExchangeDEXA decentralized exchange on Ethereum and L2sSwap assets on Mode (For Boost Mode Points) and provide Liquidity
AvnuDEXThe leading DEX aggregator on StarknetMake swaps
Layer ZeroInteroperabilityServes as the connection point between blockchains, allowing for the deployment of cross-chain applicationsBridge funds using Stargate Finance, stake STG and vote on governance, use Layer Zero powered dApps

Top Airdrops In The Solana Ecosystem

ProjectCategoryDescriptionRecommended Tasks
SanctumLiquid StakingLiquid Staking as a service protocol + Liquid Staking IndexDeposit SOL into INF, JupSOL and other LSTs to earn points.
Kamino FinanceBorrow/LendLarge lending protocol on SolanaLend and borrow assets (be aware of health factor)
MarginFiBorrow/LendLarge lending protocol on SolanaLend and borrow assets (be aware of health factor)
DeBridgeBridgeCross-chain bridgeMove assets from one chain to another
Mayan SwapDEXA cross-chain DEX powered by Wormhole that allows bridging to non-EVM networks such as SolanaBridge funds using Mayan Swap
GrassData SharingA way to be rewarded for your unused network bandwidthDownload the browser extension and leave it open, invite friends 

Top Airdrops In The Cosmos Ecosystem

Coming soon…

How to Farm Airdrops

Each protocol has different rules or instructions on how to qualify for an airdrop. These days, most protocols provide points programs with clear details on how to earn more points and thus receive more tokens. For those with points programs, simplify follow the details on their website and look for ways to boost your points by participating in additional tasks or protocol. For protocols without points program or clear instructions you will need to guess.

In general, protocols are looking for more liquidity or activity within their application. The more liquidity you bridge, stake or provide, the more points or tokens you will typically earn. The more you complete different activities and execute more transactions, the more you may earn. And finally, the longer that you participate in their applications, the more tokens you may be eligible to earn as well.

When supplying liquidity or interacting with new protocols to earn airdrops, please consider the risks mentioned above (among others) and manage your portfolio accordingly. We highly recommend you use a small % of your total portfolio, an amount that you would be ok with if you lost 100%, as there is a chance it may happen.

Below we will show a case study for a previous Airdrop to help you wrap your head around what all this means.

How To Find Upcoming Airdrops

Airdrops have become very popular over the past few months. As a result, information about them can be found in many places. Below is a list of resources, however you can also scroll below for a list of airdrops that the Milk Road team is participating in:

  • Social Media: Many people have become experts on airdrops and share valuable information across social media channels, with the main platforms being Reddit, Twitter, Discord, and Telegram. Staying posted to these channels and following the major accounts can be a good way to stay on top of new information. Here are a few airdrop information sources that we trust:
  • DeFiLlama: DeFiLlama is one of the most powerful tools in crypto research. Recently they added a helpful dashboard that shows you which projects do not have tokens, but likely will in the future. They also provide other important information such as the project’s valuation, TVL (Total Value Locked), and category. We broke down how we use DeFiLlama to find airdrops in our guide here!
  • Youtube creators: If visual learning is more your style, a group of Youtubers have emerged to cover the niche of airdrop hunting. The content covers everything from introducing potential projects that might airdrop to breaking down past criteria. Here are some channels worth checking out:
  • Airdrops.io: Airdrops.io allows you to use the navigation bar at the top of the page to sort by latest or hot airdrops. By clicking on a project, you will be able to learn more about the project and potential eligibility requirements. This information can point you in the right direction, but airdrops are not always guaranteed.

What Makes An Airdrop Worth Hunting?

When considering a certain airdrop, the following factors are important:

  • Project funding: The valuation and amount of funding a project has raised directly impacts the price of the token when it launches. By targeting tokenless projects with high valuations, you are positioning yourself for a share of a bigger pool.
  • Dilution: The more users that pursue a certain airdrop, the smaller each recipient’s piece of the pie will likely be. It is a good idea to pursue airdrops that few people or small accounts on Twitter are talking about.
  • Tokenomics / Whitepaper: Many projects openly present their tokenomics and other important information within their whitepaper. By diving into a project’s tokenomic breakdown, you can transparently see if tokens have been allocated towards the “community” or “early adopters”. Additionally, wording in the whitepaper around the project reaching “decentralization” or being “community-governed” is usually a strong signal of a future airdrop.

Past Airdrop Case Study: Arbitrum

On March 23, 2023, Arbitrum airdropped ~1.2B tokens to ~625,000 users. This airdrop is currently worth $2.4B in total!

As a case study, let’s dive into the criteria used for Arbitrum’s airdrop:

Source: Arbitrum Foundation

First off, it is important to note that Arbitrum is split up into two networks, Arbitrum One and Nova. Arbitrum One is the main layer-2 that is talked about, while Nova is a faster chain catered to gaming. Simply bridging into each of these networks would have gotten you two points. The amount you bridged over time could help with criteria 12-14.

The rest of Arbitrum’s criteria was centered around transactions. They allocated points for the amount of transactions you had, as well as the total value of your transactions. Lastly, they put an emphasis on transacting over time. Users who engaged with Arbitrum over several months were rewarded more heavily.

Based on the amount of boxes you checked, you received the following amount of tokens:

Source: Arbitrum Foundation

With the price of the token trading around $1.50 at the time (and higher now), this proved to be a lucrative airdrop for everyone involved.

How Do Airdrops Work?

Everything that you ever do on the blockchain will be recorded on a digital ledger forever. As a result, projects are able to reward users for past contributions at any point in time. When it comes time to airdrop, these projects take snapshots of the blockchain ledger to record all past activity.

After a project takes a snapshot, they need to decide what the eligibility criteria will be for recipients. In the past, a wide range of criteria has been used, ranging from network usage, to contributing to the project’s open-source development. While it is impossible to predict the exact criteria, using protocols and blockchains as designed is often the best way to qualify.

Once criteria is set, the project will make an announcement that users can begin to check their allocations. Based on certain factors, users may be eligible to varying degrees. For example, someone who has experimented with a project may receive an allocation of 1,000 tokens. While a heavy user of that same project may receive 10,000+.

In addition to the amount of tokens available, users will also be given a date range of when the airdrop can be claimed. Eligible wallets simply return to this page during that time window and can claim their tokens. In most cases, these tokens are immediately vested and tradeable on major exchanges.

The Largest Airdrops So Far

  1. Uniswap (UNI) – September 16, 2020

    220,000 users received an airdrop that was worth $6.4B at its peak.
  2. Apecoin – (APE) March 17, 2022

    Holders of Bored Ape NFTs and other ecosystem NFTs received an airdrop worth $3.55B at its peak.
  3. Arbitrum (ARB) – March 23, 2023

    625,000 Arbitrum users received a total airdrop worth $2.65B at the time of writing.
  4. dYdX (DYDX) – September 8, 2021

    64,000 traders on dYdX received an airdrop worth a total of $2B at its peak.
  5. Ethereum Name Service (ENS) – November 8, 2021

    137,000 users who registered ENS domains received an airdrop worth 1.88B at its peak.

Other Considerations While Hunting Airdrops

While airdrops offer up a great opportunity for crypto participants, there are also downsides to be aware of. Here are the elements you should consider:

  • Scammers: The large amount of money in the crypto space has attracted a lot of bad actors. These scammers have specifically targeted airdrops as people need to connect their wallets to claim them, and often act quickly. It is important to note that airdrop claims last at least a few days, so you should always ensure you are using official links and never rush the process.
  • Gas fees: In most cases, engaging with networks and protocols is going to cost you gas fees. While you can venture outside of Ethereum to make this very affordable, it is still not free and no return is guaranteed.
  • Time: While certain airdrops have proven to be very lucrative, looking for airdrops can be very time consuming. 
  • Opportunity Cost: Some airdrops may require you providing liquidity or locking funds in a smart contract. If you never receive an airdrop, these funds may have been better put to use elsewhere.

Frequently Asked Questions

Information on airdrops has become widely accessible. We recommend utilizing social media to find the latest information on them, including Twitter, Youtube, Reddit, Discord, and Telegram. There are also sites like DeFiLlama and Airdrops.io that provide valuable information.

Tokens received in an airdrop are considered taxable income in some jurisdictions, including the US. The value of the tokens at the time of receipt is taxable as income. Additionally, this receipt value also serves as your tax basis for calculating capital gains on those tokens in the future.

The criteria for receiving an airdrop is set by the project and differs in every instance. Generally, you will receive airdrops for being an active participant and using blockchains and protocols as a normal user.

If you are hunting an airdrop, make sure to follow that project’s official socials so you are fully up to date. Additionally, there are tools that allow you to paste your wallet address and see if you have any airdrops to claim. Our personal pick for this is free and called Earndrop.

Matt Pearlstein
Matt Pearlstein
Analyst
Matt found crypto in 2016 and left TradFi to go full time in the industry a few years back. He is deep in the weeds of DeFi and also likes to go to the beach and play basketball.
Shannon Ullman
Shannon Ullman
Managing Editor
Managing editor working to make crypto easier to understand. Pairing editorial integrity with crypto curiosity for content that makes readers feel like they finally “get it.”

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