Ukraine’s airdrop tease is prompting an influx of microdonations on the Ethereum blockchain.
Ukraine has raked in over $40 million in donations since the country's Twitter account first tweeted it would begin accepting donations in cryptocurrency on Feb. 26.
The number of unique wallets that donated cryptocurrency in the 18 hours since the airdrop tweet has already surpassed the number of unique wallets that donated prior to the tweet, according to data from Dune Analytics.
The influx of donations suggests Ethereum users are trying to game the airdrop via a Sybil attack on Ukraine’s Ethereum wallet. The method typically involves one user making small donations from multiple wallets, as opposed to a larger donation of one larger sum.
The advantage, experts say, is that Ukraine could potentially airdrop the teased “reward” to unique wallets, thereby giving the owner of multiple donor wallets multiple helpings of the anticipated airdrop.
Historically, some decentralized finance (DeFi) users have deployed such a method to increase the total of their token airdrops. Now, instead of being used to game DeFi protocol airdrops, the method appears to be in use to game the rewards for donating to geopolitical crises.
However, it is still unclear what mystery item(s) Ukraine will actually airdrop, or the criteria the country will use to evaluate eligible recipients.
For example, one way Ukraine could combat such an attack is to restrict airdrops only for wallets that have donated above a certain amount.
Ukraine has announced that a snapshot will be taken at 6 p.m. Kiev time (20:00 UTC) on March 3. The snapshot likely refers to a list of all wallet addresses that have donated to Ukraine’s cause. The timing also means the Ethereum microdonations could continue for another day.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.