OP Token Falls After Surprise Optimism Airdrop

The token’s value has fallen as more supply hits the market. 

AccessTimeIconFeb 9, 2023 at 11:49 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:07 a.m. UTC

Optimism Network conducted a surprise token airdrop Thursday, sending 11.7 million governance tokens to more than 300,000 wallets, according to a blog post by the layer 2 blockchain’s caretaker group, Optimism Collective.

Optimism’s airdrop is part of the blockchain’s initiative to distribute 19% of its initial governance token supply as the blockchain forges a path toward wider adoption. Optimism distributed 5% of its initial governance token supply, or more than 200 million tokens, in its first airdrop in May.

The airdrop comes as Optimism looks for an edge over its largest competitor, Arbitrum, another Ethereum layer 2 albeit one without a token. Arbritrum currently boasts more than double the amount of transacting wallets as Optimism, widening the gap between the two exchange’s transacting wallets over the past month.

Users who spent gas executing transactions on the blockchain qualified for the airdrop. As did those who delegated the voting powers, which is imparted by the governance tokens, to other users. The Optimism Network recognizes the sharing of voting powers as a “positive sum activity” to bolster the blockchain’s governance system.

The token fell 13% on the news Optimism’s circulating supply had grown. Even so, OP has rallied nearly 200% over the past few weeks. However, following today’s airdrop announcement, the token’s price dropped 13%. At the time of publication, the token trades at roughly $2.35.

Thursday’s unannounced airdrop went off relatively smoothly, unlike Optimism’s first attempt in July 2022, when users had to manually claim their allotments. In this case, the distribution was automatic.


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Elizabeth Napolitano

Elizabeth Napolitano is a news reporter at CoinDesk.

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