Arbitrum Airdrops $120M to Projects; Some Dump, Some Look to Bolster Themselves

Not everyone is aiming for community growth and market capture with the ARB stimulus.

AccessTimeIconApr 26, 2023 at 12:22 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 26, 2023 at 7:33 p.m. UTC

Ethereum scaling blockchain Arbitrum on Tuesday completed the distribution of more than $120 million worth of its arb (ARB) tokens to projects that were built on the network, blockchain data shows.

In March, Arbitrum issued and airdropped its tokens to individual users in amounts ranging from 625 arb to over 10,000 arb, based on their network activity and number of wallets.

Airdrops occur when crypto projects send free tokens to their communities in a bid to encourage adoption. Crypto users who frequently interact with new and existing platforms are likely to receive an airdrop at some point. That has spurred the narrative of “airdrop farming” because large airdrops can be valued at thousands of dollars in effectively free money at peak.

Projects that built on the Arbitrum network, such as perpetual trading protocol GMX and token launchpad Camelot, were eligible for the airdrop, receiving tokens in proportion to the number of smart contract deployments, users and trading volumes, among other factors.

For some, like Vesta Finance, the airdrop provided a multimillion-dollar stimulus: The project was eligible for 2.7 million arb tokens, worth just under $6 million, despite holding only $3 million in its treasury. This can allow the project to, over time, sell the tokens to bolster its own development or even provide token incentives to users to further jumpstart activity.

Projects such as yield rewards-focused PlutusDAO said they will use their airdrop allocation in “multiple ways to make the project stronger,” without revealing specifics.

Other projects decided to sell as soon as they received the tokens, however. Gaming-focused TridentDAO sold $175,000 worth of arb, or half the amount it received, through three addresses. The move invited criticism from the community for its action.

On-chain data compiled by Lookonchain shows some 90 million ARB tokens – about $120 million at current prices – were sent to over 131 decentralized autonomous organizations, or DAOs. NFT marketplace TreasureDAO and GMX received the most at 8 million arb, or $12 million.

These were followed by decentralized exchanges SushiSwap, Balance, Uniswap, Curve, and Dopex, which will each receive between 3 million and 5 million ARB tokens.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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Shaurya Malwa

Shaurya is the Deputy Managing Editor for the Data & Tokens team, focusing on decentralized finance, markets, on-chain data, and governance across all major and minor blockchains.

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