Welcome to another Crypto Weekly Digest brought to you by VirtualBacon.
This week, we're taking a look at the ever-evolving landscape of airdrops. With the buzz around Solana's airdrops reaching its peak, it's clear that many of these projects have gained massive popularity, often leading to high initial valuations and potentially missed early opportunities. Shifting our focus from Solana, we're highlighting fresh airdrop opportunities emerging in other ecosystems as we step into early 2024. We’ll dive into my top five airdrop picks that not only promise rewarding prospects but also offer a chance to get in at the ground floor. As with every week, we'll conclude with a snapshot of market movements and pivotal project developments that have surfaced.
Why Now Is a Great Time For Airdrops
The airdrop landscape has dramatically evolved since our early coverage in February 2022. Initially, testnet airdrops like zkSync and Arbitrum were open to all, requiring no financial investment but vulnerable to exploitation. Today, the focus has shifted to mainnet launches with real money transactions for eligibility. This shift ensures a fairer, more genuine engagement in the network.
It's a significant change, moving away from easily manipulated testnets to a system that rewards real participation and investment. For those willing to engage modestly, this new approach offers a more equitable opportunity to benefit from airdrops. This evolution marks a more mature, rewarding phase in the world of airdrops, emphasizing authentic involvement over superficial participation.
Linea, developed by ConsenSys (valued at $7 billion), stands out in our airdrop lineup. As the brainchild behind MetaMask and Infura, and with Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin at its helm, Linea's credentials are impeccable. This Layer 2 solution is already active on the mainnet, locking in $157 million of real money, a testament to its robustness.
The game-changer with Linea is its shift from exploitable testnets to a mainnet-based approach, demanding real financial participation. This move guarantees that airdrops reach genuine users. The current 'DeFi Voyage' program on Linea exemplifies this, offering accessible tasks for both newcomers and seasoned users until December 16th. It's not just an airdrop; it's a comprehensive introduction to DeFi, guiding users through essential transactions like bridging via MetaMask and swapping on supported DEXs.
Linea's association with ConsenSys's vast product ecosystem—including MetaMask and Infura—fuels anticipation for potentially lucrative airdrops. While details about the nature and number of these airdrops remain speculative, the potential within this ecosystem is immense. For those looking to dive into airdrops with a promising future, Linea is a top contender to consider in early 2024.
zkSync is emerging as a formidable player in the Layer 2 space, boasting a live mainnet and a substantial $600 million total value locked. Yet, it interestingly remains without a token, presenting a unique opportunity for airdrop participants.
Engaging with zkSync's mainnet using real funds is essential for airdrop eligibility. The primary action is utilizing zkSync's official bridge, TX Sync, to transfer Ethereum. This bridge, being zkSync's official conduit, significantly boosts your airdrop qualification chances.
A standout within zkSync is the GVT project, a perpetual decentralized exchange. GVT's close alignment with zkSync, backed by direct funding from Matter Labs, hints at exclusive access not only to the GVT token but also a potential mystery airdrop from zkSync.
This combination of the official bridge use and involvement in GVT's invite-only waitlist suggests the zkSync airdrop snapshot may still be up for grabs, offering a fresh window for participation. For those keen on securing their spot, these are strategic avenues to explore. Stay alert for our detailed guide on navigating these airdrop opportunities effectively.
LayerZero has consistently been in the spotlight as a strong competitor to Chainlink's CCIP and a top-tier cross-chain interoperability protocol. It's not just about bridging tokens; LayerZero enables decentralized applications to function across multiple blockchains like Ethereum and Avalanche seamlessly. This strong protocol, coupled with high speculation around its potential airdrop, makes it a standout choice.
Previously, LayerZero released the Stargate Finance (STG) token, primarily for bridging purposes. However, recent announcements from LayerZero Labs have stirred excitement. They've confirmed the development of a native LayerZero token, with distribution expected in the first half of 2024. This clarity from the team suggests that the snapshot for the airdrop hasn't been taken yet, signaling a prime time for community engagement.
For those looking to participate, using the Stargate Finance bridge and engaging with Stargate token staking are strategic moves. Additionally, the potential trade opportunities with Stargate token, given its likely involvement with the upcoming LayerZero token, present a lucrative scenario for early adopters. With hype building around this airdrop, LayerZero transactions are more relevant than ever. Stay tuned for a comprehensive guide on maximizing your chances with LayerZero.
Wormhole stands out in the Solana ecosystem as a key bridge project, further highlighted by its recent $225 million fundraising, valuing it at $2.5 billion. Its creation by Jump Trading, a significant supporter in the Solana space, adds substantial weight to its potential in the world of airdrops.
Now is an ideal time to focus on Wormhole for airdrops. Their recent marketing activities and integrations with major Solana projects suggest that their airdrop snapshot might still be pending. This scenario offers a better chance compared to other Solana projects that have already peaked in their hype cycle.
To enhance your chances for a Wormhole airdrop, the main step is using their Portal Token Bridge. As a longstanding central bridge in Solana, utilizing it is vital. Stay tuned for a detailed guide, covering all the necessary steps and associated ecosystem projects for Wormhole. For now, bridging even once using the Portal Bridge could be a crucial step towards securing your spot in this high-tier project's airdrop.
Scroll is our final project to watch, standing out as a Layer 2 solution for Ethereum with a distinct advantage. Its native compatibility with the Ethereum Virtual Machine makes it a straightforward choice for developers looking to migrate with minimal changes to smart contract code and infrastructure.
Since its mainnet went live on October 17th, Scroll has been filtering out bots, offering a fairer chance for real participants who invest a bit in bridge and mainnet transactions. A notable aspect of Scroll is its Scroll Origins NFT program, initially targeting developers deploying smart contracts. This program's conclusion signals a shift towards user-focused incentives, suggesting the ideal period for airdrop qualification is just around the corner.
The most effective current action for Scroll is using its official bridge. Simple and direct, this step is the gateway to potential airdrop rewards. With the developer phase ending, we anticipate Scroll to soon highlight top ecosystem projects, marking the perfect time for transactional engagement and boosting airdrop eligibility. Stay tuned for an updated guide on engaging with these key projects on Scroll.
The Data Ownership Protocol (DOP) deserves an honorable mention for those interested in privacy-focused blockchain solutions. This protocol allows users to preserve the privacy of their transactions effortlessly, maintaining control over their transaction history in a more privacy-centric environment. DOP's testnet is launching soon, providing an excellent opportunity for early adopters.
By participating in DOP's testnet, available shortly at dop.org, users can secure a guaranteed token reward. While these rewards might not be as high as those from speculative airdrops, the likelihood of receiving them is exceptionally high, almost 99%. This makes DOP an attractive option for those looking to earn rewards with minimal risk. Keep an eye on DOP's social media for updates and be ready to try out their testnet for what’s essentially a guaranteed bonus.
StarkNet has been one of the most anticipated airdrops of 2022. Despite comprehensive coverage and a dedicated airdrop video, recent developments suggest that the opportunity to qualify for the initial airdrop has passed. StarkNet confirmed the Stark token launch, which was initially announced a year ago, but clarified that the eligibility snapshot was already taken by June 1st, 2022. This means current activities won’t impact eligibility for this initial airdrop.
However, StarkNet enthusiasts shouldn’t be disheartened. With the planned deployment of 1.8 billion STRK tokens to their ecosystem and a token release anticipated in Q1 2024, there are still opportunities ahead. Once the early airdrop participants receive their tokens and the mainnet goes live, it's likely that high-yield farming opportunities will emerge, offering a chance to earn more StarkNet tokens. For those interested in StarkNet, staying informed about these future developments could be rewarding.
EigenLayer has emerged as a compelling project in the Ethereum ecosystem, offering a unique liquid staking solution. EigenLayer innovates with the concept of 'reaking.' This allows users to stake Ethereum and simultaneously utilize the staking power to secure other Layer 2 or smart contract protocols on Ethereum.
Obtaining the EigenLayer token airdrop seems straightforward: follow EigenLayer's social media, use their app to stake Ethereum, and you're set. However, it's important to note that the staking is uncapped, meaning significant rewards may require substantial Ethereum stakes. This makes EigenLayer an intriguing opportunity for those who can afford to stake larger amounts. Although the likelihood of receiving an airdrop is high, the rewards correlate with the amount staked. Keep this in mind if you're considering EigenLayer for potential airdrop benefits.
Why I’m Not Buying Solana Airdrop Craze
The current hype around Solana airdrops has raised concerns for me. Recent launches like the PYTH and JITO airdrops debuted with huge valuations of $4.5 billion and $4.2 billion, respectively. This frenzy has led to inflated expectations for upcoming airdrops, like Jupiter's JUP token, which is already speculated at a $600 million valuation.
However, these valuations seem unsustainable. Comparing Pyth to Chainlink, for instance, Pyth’s valuation is already half that of Chainlink, yet it doesn't match Chainlink in terms of caliber. Similarly, JITO’s valuation at $4.2 billion appears hugely overestimated, especially when compared to other liquid staking protocols like Rocket Pool and Lido, which have significantly more staked assets but lower valuations.
In my opinion, the Solana airdrop frenzy is reaching an unsustainable peak, with new tokens launching at inflated prices. While Jupiter and Wormhole might still hold potential, the general trend in Solana airdrops seems overhyped and late in the game. My advice is to be cautious and consider rotating to other, more established projects outside the overvalued Solana narrative, where real airdrop opportunities might still exist in the coming months.
Altcoin Market and Project Updates
Now, let's check out the major altcoin gainers and losers from the past week, and catch up on key project updates.
Best Performing Coins of The Week
Worst Performing Coins of The Week
🟠 ASTR tokenomics 2.0 introduces three deflationary forces: burning 80% of gas used on Substrate, income from zkEVM platform, and unclaimed dApp rewards.
🟠 Pudgy Penguins, an Ethereum NFT collection, plans to launch its metaverse game 'Pudgy World' in 2024, featuring a 3D browser experience.
🟠 Uniswap V3 expands to Bitcoin sidechain Rootstock, aiming to enhance DeFi on the world's largest blockchain.
🟠 Immutable integrates Transak for diverse crypto and fiat payment options in its Web3 gaming on zkEVM platform.
🟠 Donald Trump launches $99 'Mugshot Edition' NFTs, boosting prices of his previous NFTs and offering dinner for buyers.
🟠 SSV Network launches first Ethereum staking permissionless mainnet using distributed validator technology.
🟠 Celestia integrates data availability layer with Polygon CDK to enhance Layer 2 projects and reduce gas fees.
🟠 StarkWare to distribute $3.5M in network fees to developers under 'Devonomics' program, supporting Starknet ecosystem.
🟠 Worldcoin integrates with Telegram, Reddit, Minecraft, Shopify, enhancing human verification while preserving privacy.
🟠 SafeMoon token plunges 31% in five hours following Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing.
In this newsletter, we navigated through various airdrop opportunities, from the innovative Layer 2 solutions like Linea and zkSync to the unique propositions of EigenLayer and Scroll. Each offers distinct advantages and potential rewards. However, we approached the Solana airdrop craze cautiously, highlighting its inflated valuations. My advice? Prioritize sustainable, promising airdrops in other ecosystems. As always, we've also taken a look at the altcoin market's biggest movers, alongside the key project updates from the past week. Stay informed and prepared for what's next in the dynamic world of crypto.
Top Crypto Altcoins on Avalanche (Hidden Gems)
The Bottom Line Support for Bitcoin Bull Market
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