Ukraine's Airdrop Tease Spurs Influx of Microdonations

Thousands of small donations ranging from 0.0001 to 0.01 ETH are flooding the Ethereum blockchain ahead of an announced giveaway.

AccessTimeIconMar 3, 2022 at 12:30 a.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 6:40 p.m. UTC

Ukraine’s airdrop tease is prompting an influx of microdonations on the Ethereum blockchain.

Since the country tweeted “airdrop confirmed” early Wednesday morning, Ethereum users have made thousands of donations ranging from 0.0001 ether (ETH) to 0.01 ETH (approximately $0.30 to $30) to Ukraine’s official Ethereum wallet, according to data from Etherscan.

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.


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Tracy Wang

Tracy was the deputy managing editor at CoinDesk. She owns BTC, ETH, MINA, ENS and some NFTs.

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