State of Airdrops in 2024 - The Best So Far and What’s Coming

27 Jun 2024

I have always thought about this quote from the late Charlie Munger of Berkshire Hathaway:

Never, ever, think about something else when you should be thinking about the power of incentives.”

See? The power of incentives should never be underestimated.

Crypto natives are not only tech-savvy, we are smart and have a grasp of human nature to an extent as well.

The most effective marketing tool within a crypto project’s arsenal is an airdrop. No other marketing strategy in all of crypto has the ability to drive a project's name into the consciousness of the public and onboard new users onto its platform like an airdrop does.

The numbers tell us this much, and it is common knowledge that numbers do not lie.

A lot of research has been conducted on web3 marketing, particularly the role of airdrops in influencing user behavior, capturing public attention, and nurturing powerful and loyal communities. One report, which focused on the rapid growth of decentralized exchanges (DEXs) in 2021, found that successful airdrop campaigns significantly boost the market capitalization and transaction volume growth on these exchanges.

According to the report, DEXs that adopt airdrops as part of their marketing campaigns exhibit a 13.1 and 8.6 percentage increase in the monthly growth rate of their market cap and transaction volume. This is after factoring in broad changes in the market and the trust factor of these exchanges.

Such is the efficiency of an airdrop, and it is almost a no-brainer for any serious crypto project to incorporate it into its marketing plan. The evidence lies in the number of high-profile airdrops in crypto, starting with Uniswap's record-breaking airdrop in the summer of 2020. That one airdrop would signal the start of a series of highly successful airdrop campaigns in the following years, one that continues to this day.

State of Airdrops in 2024

At the core of every marketing campaign or strategy lies a simple goal - to attract new customers and retain old ones, and airdrops are no different. Initially, airdrop programs were designed to introduce a new or existing crypto project to the public by rewarding individuals who perform simple social tasks.

For example, a form could be sent out for users to fill out, and those who did would receive free tokens in their digital wallets afterwards. The airdrop requirement in those days was simply participating in these simple social tasks.

However, as more and more crypto projects adopted airdrops as part of their marketing strategies, they began to incorporate different requirements, leading to an evolution in airdrop program design and distribution mechanism. In 2024, the points-based system is the favored airdrop distribution mechanism.

The point-based system has two main categories: trading volume-based and deposit-based. The trading volume model is standard in NFT trading platforms, derivative exchange platforms, and other similar platforms that emphasize trading volume. Users looking to position for potential airdrops on these platforms are encouraged to rotate funds multiple times, thus generating trading volume.

On the other hand, the deposit-based model focuses on the amount of funds a user deposits and the duration of the deposit. This model is prevalent on lending platforms, staking and re-staking platforms, and public chain projects.

The second half of the year is underway, and several high-profile airdrops have already been done. Let’s look at some of the best so far.

The Best Airdrops of 2024 So Far

It is only the second half of the year, yet there have already been several phenomenal moments in crypto. From the Ethereum Dencun upgrade to Bitcoin matching and setting a new all-time high, this is the most bullish the industry has been in a long time. Some of the following crypto project airdrops are among the year's highlights.

Smart Layer

The current version of the web excels at integration, but its growth is stunted. The vast majority of websites and web applications operate in silos, unable to interact with each other or facilitate the transfer of user data such as reputation and credentials amongst each other, thus limiting the potential of the Internet. If the digital landscape is to evolve and reach its potential, there must be a way to achieve integration that exceeds the current standard.

This is where Smart Layer comes in. By utilizing blockchain technology, Smart Layer provides a platform that introduces tokenization to solve the current integration issue on the Internet and usher in the next generation of the web.

Tokenization is a technology that transforms goods, services, and even digital rights into programmable tokens that can self-execute instructions. For example, a flight ticket, upon tokenization, becomes a smart token capable of streamlining several travel processes, such as connecting with car booking services to arrange transportation and adjust hotel accommodations in case of flight delays.

Smart Layer Airdrop Design

Earlier this year, Smart Layer airdropped its native SLN token to users who participated in its Smart Pass campaign. The campaign featured several tasks that users had to complete to earn points.

Aside from the tasks, users could also earn points through referrals. 2% of the total supply of SLN was allocated for the airdrop, and the total value of the airdrop is over $10 million.


The blockchain gaming industry is one of the fastest-growing sub-industries in web3. In 2023, its value stood at $154.46 billion, and experts say it could grow to $614,91 billion by 2030. Portal, a web3 cross-chain gaming platform and publisher, is one of its biggest exports in 2024.

The great thing about Portal, which makes it a big deal in the blockchain gaming industry, is that it solves most issues plaguing web3 gaming platforms. This includes web3 gaming adoption, single-game token risks, and other operational challenges. With Portal, playing any game (crypto, NFT, etc) on any chain becomes possible, eliminating the current fragmentation issue in the web3 gaming industry. Additionally, all in-game purchases and financial operations are backed by one coin, its native PORTAL token.

Another thing that sets the Portal gaming platform apart from other platforms in the web3 gaming space is its team. The Portal team comprises employees from various gaming backgrounds, including video game industry vets from Rockstar Games & Electronic Arts - the companies behind the Grand Theft Auto (GTA) and FIFA franchises.

Portal Airdrop Design

Portal ran an X (formerly known as Twitter) marketing campaign dubbed Crystal Dash for its airdrop. A unique SocialFi experience, users earned crystal dash points (shards) by creating content about Portal on X—the more viral the content, the more shards a user earns. At the end of the campaign, shards were fused into crystals, which became the Portal airdrop.

Kamino Finance

While blockchains and cryptocurrency introduced the concept of a peer-to-peer financial ecosystem devoid of the pitfalls of traditional finance, such as intermediaries, censorship, and accessibility, it is Decentralized Finance (DeFi) that truly expands on this concept, taking it beyond simple value transfer to include more complex financial use cases.

Thanks to DeFi, all kinds of financial products and services previously available to only a privileged percentage of the global population in traditional finance are now available to everyone from all shapes and walks of life. These include lending and borrowing, asset management, insurance, investment packages, financial instruments like derivatives, etc.

DeFi is only possible thanks to DeFi protocols and platforms like Kamino Finance. Built on the Solana blockchain, Kamino Finance is a first-of-its-kind Defi protocol offering a suite of DeFi products, from lending to liquidity and leverage. The platform enables users to, amongst others, borrow and lend assets, provide liquidity to decentralized exchanges (DEXs), and use liquidity positions as collateral.

Kamino Finance Airdrop Design

Kamino Finance’s airdrop was one of the most anticipated airdrops going into 2024, and it did not disappoint. The platform adopted the points-based system for its KMNO token airdrop.

To qualify, users had to interact with Kamino Finance products to earn points that would be converted into KMNO tokens. They could lend, borrow, or provide liquidity to qualify for the airdrop.

The Upcoming Airdrops To Look Out For

As we head into the year's second quarter, the historical Bitcoin halving is the most anticipated event in all of crypto. There are a couple of airdrops to watch out for as well, including the following.


As the global web3 space continues to grow and mature, the emergence of new concepts and use cases for blockchain technology and crypto is highly likely. There have already been a few in the past, such as DeFi and gaming, and now, in 2024, the next generation of blockchain use cases is springing up.

One such use case is Liquid Staking. For years, Proof of Stake blockchains have enabled and maintained security within their networks through staking. Here’s how it works. Users stake their tokens with a validator on the network, giving it more influence over the decision-making process within the blockchain. The more credible validators users stake their tokens with, the more influence they have on the network, thereby contributing to its overall censorship resistance. In return, these users receive passive rewards (extra tokens).

The only issue with native staking is that users do not have access to their tokens for the duration of the stake. Liquid staking solves this problem by allocating Liquid Staking Tokens (LSTs) to users, who can use them in the meantime for various purposes.

Sanctum is a Liquid staking protocol on Solana with plans to make all SOL staked and all staked SOL liquid and readily accessible. On Sanctum, users can natively stake their SOL tokens and a select group of Liquid Staking Tokens (LSTs) in return for yield and other passive rewards.

Sanctum Airdrop Design

Sanctum recently launched the Wonderland campaign, and there have been speculations regarding whether or not users who participate in the campaign will be eligible for its upcoming airdrop. The Wonderland campaign is designed to encourage users to use the platform and familiarize themselves with the concept of staking and Liquid staking tokens.

To participate in the campaign, simply head over to the Sanctum website, connect your wallet, and stake some of your native or liquid staking tokens.


Blockchains are essentially democratic, independent ecosystems capable of surviving on their own with little to no interaction with the external world. While this makes them secure and trustworthy, it also means they lack interoperability and cannot achieve cross-chain communication. This was not an issue at first, but with the emergence of new concepts like DeFi, blockchains now need to be able to communicate and send assets to one another.

For DeFi to reach its peak, users need to be able to perform cross-chain operations. This includes sending assets across chains, accessing liquidity pools across chains, creating liquidity pools across chains, and much more. These possibilities are essential to DeFi's overall user experience.

That's why platforms like InterSwap are so important. A fully composable native asset cross-chain automated market maker (AMM) protocol, InterSwap brings the concept of cross-chain asset swaps and unified liquidity to life. It is a platform that allows users to transfer assets across chains, create cross-chain markets, access liquidity pools for all kinds of assets (pegged and non-pegged), and more.

InterSwap is built on the Axelar network, a platform that transforms interoperability into a programmable layer. Axelar’s underlying technology is what makes it possible for InterSwap to facilitate various cross-chain experiences.

InterSwap Airdrop Design

InterSwap has just launched its public testnet and is encouraging all crypto lovers to explore the platform and earn rewards. Users can participate in the ongoing campaign by completing tasks on the web3 social platform, Galxe, or by interacting with the InterSwap public testnet daily. You can interact with the platform by swapping tokens or adding liquidity, earning you Interpoints (IP). The more Interpoints you own, the higher your chances of winning rewards at the end of the campaign.

InterSwap has already allocated 7% of its total supply to the community, from which rewards will be distributed to campaign participants.


Airdrops have evolved over the last few years, and in 2024, most projects are adopting the points-based system for their allocation and distribution. Several airdrops have already been launched using that system this year, and one can expect to see a lot more as the year progresses.

It is also possible that another evolution in airdrop design will occur before the end of the year. If there’s one thing about crypto, it is that it is very unpredictable and rapidly changing.