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Airdrops Guide: The Detailed Guide to Obtaining Free Cryptocurrency

An airdropped cryptocurrency giveaway is not only free money– it’s free money that can become more valuable over time. On the flip side, airdrop rewards sometimes drop in value and become worthless. It all depends on if the underlying project succeeds or fails.

If you’re curious about airdrops, you’ve landed in just the right place. This resource will give you all the knowledge you need to start collecting cryptocurrency giveaways.

Everything You Need to Know About Airdrops

Before we get started, here’s a quick airdrop primer.

What is an airdrop?

An airdrop is when a new cryptocurrency project gives away tokens or coins free of charge.

Just like other types of product giveaways, cryptocurrency promoters use airdrops as a promotional tool. Airdrops drive interest in new cryptocurrency platforms. The goal is to reel in new users and get a new cryptocoin into circulation.

How do you claim an airdrop?

All you need is a compatible cryptocurrency wallet. The majority airdrops involve ERC-20 compatible ethereum tokens or bitcoin.

Ethereum airdrops

ERC-20 defines the rules of the road for ethereum tokens to follow within the larger ethereum ecosystem. These standards allow developers to create tokens that can interact with each other on the Ethereum blockchain. There are now over 100,000 ERC-20 tokens, according to the Etherscan.io Ethereum blockchain explorer.

Bitcoin airdrops

Some altcoin developers opt to airdrop their new coins onto the bitcoin blockchain instead of ethereum. Bitcoin doesn’t have as many features for developers compared to ethereum, but it is still the most popular cryptocurrency on the market.  

Choosing a crypto wallet

Exodus is a good wallet to use for collecting airdrops because it features an elegant interface and supports over 90 different cryptocurrency assets by default. In addition, Exodus lets you manually add support for any ERC-20 token. Another nice thing about this wallet is that its interface hooks into ShapeShift– an exchange that specializes in quick and easy crypto-to-crypto trades. The main downside is that Exodus doesn’t let you customize the amount you pay in mining fees.

Exodus wallet app ShapeShifting
Exodus supports many different tokens and coins, plus it looks nice and is easy to use. However, Exodus is not quite as customizable as Jaxx. Source: Exodus

Related: Exodus Wallet Review: Beautiful Experience But Not For Advanced Users

Jaxx is another excellent wallet to use for collecting airdrops. It’s not quite as pretty looking as Exodus and it doesn’t hook into other crypto services, but it does accept any ERC-20 token, bitcoin and most popular altcoins. The main feature that Jaxx brings to the table is that it does let you adjust the amount that you pay in mining fees. If you opt to pay less, you’ll have to wait a longer period of time when you send or receive coins or tokens.

Main Jaxx screen
Jaxx lets you decide how much you’ll pay in mining fees when you send or receive cryptocurrencies and tokens. Source: Jaxx

Related: Jaxx Wallet Review: Full Control Over 60+ Coins but Security’s On You

MyEtherWallet is a popular choice for collecting airdrops, since it’s ERC-20 compatible and easy to use. The main disadvantage of MyEtherWallet is that it doesn’t support bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency aside from ethereum.

Airdrops vs. bounties: what’s the difference?

The main difference is the level of effort required.

Generally, airdrops are easier to collect compared to bounties. Some airdrops are given out automatically and you don’t have to do anything at all to collect your reward. Others require you to complete a KYC (Know Your Customer) questionnaire or give out your email address.

Before you can collect a cryptocurrency bounty, you have to perform some type of promotional task. For example, some bounties require you to post a series of tweets or message board posts.

Are there any risks associated with airdrops?

Not if you’re smart. Airdrop scammers use false promises to trick people into giving their coins or tokens away. But as long as you don’t send money to anyone or give out the private key to your wallet, there’s no risk involved in collecting airdrops.

How much money can you make from an airdrop?

It all depends on if the coin or token you get rises in value. If the value of the airdrop rises, then your reward will become valuable. However, if the cryptocurrency project that issues the airdrop doesn’t catch on, then the value of your reward will go down. Since airdrops are free, you won’t lose anything if the platform issuing the airdrop doesn’t take off.

How can I convert my airdrop tokens into cash?

If you want to cash out your airdrop reward, you have to use a cryptocurrency exchange that supports whatever token or coin that you received. If you participated in the ONT airdrop, for example, you could use Binance, OKEx, HitBTC and several other exchanges to trade your ONT in for bitcoin.

Once you’ve traded in your airdrop for bitcoin, you can then use any number of methods to trade in your bitcoins for government-issued currency. Alternatively, you use your bitcoin funds to shop at any store that accepts bitcoin payments.

Where can you go to find airdrops?

There are many blogs, Telegram channels and social media accounts that post airdrop promotions every day. Scroll down for a list of airdrop resources.

Three Airdrops That Became Valuable

You probably won’t become rich by collecting airdrops. You can make a significant amount of money, though– and best of all, it’s all free. Here are three airdrops that rose in value.

Ontology

The goal of Shanghai-based crypto startup Ontology is to provide a high volume of fast and cheap cryptocoin transactions for their clients, all while helping them solve various interoperability and identity issues.

Ontology is a blockchain/distributed ledger network which combines a distributed identity system, distributed data exchange, distributed data collaboration, distributed procedure protocols, distributed communities, distributed attestation, and various industry-specific modules. Together this builds the infrastructure for a peer-to-peer trust network which is cross-chain, cross-system, cross-industry, cross-application, and cross-device.”

Everyone who signed up for Ontology’s airdrop giveaway received 1,000 ONT tokens— and all they had to do was sign up for a newsletter. ONT is now worth $1.50, according to CoinMarketCap.

OmiseGO

Last year, OmiseGo– a new cryptocurrency platform designed to enable financial inclusion and interoperability through a public, blockchain-based decentralized network– sold its tokens to the public and then gave 5% of them away for free.

Next generation financial network and decentralized economy. The OMG network is a scaling solution for finance on Ethereum, enabling transparent, peer-to-peer transactions in real-time. The decentralized network facilitates self-sovereign financial services across geographies, asset classes and applications.

Every address on the Ethereum blockchain that held a balance over a minimum threshold of 0.1 ETH automatically received the free OmiseGO (OMG) tokens. The more ETH that you had in your wallet, the more OMG you recieved.

According to a Bitfinance blog post, there were actually several OMG airdrops that took place last year. During the first one, everyone who owned 1 ETH received 0.075 OMG. During the second airdrop, the ratio was 0.1029 OMG per 1 ETH.

Those figures suggest that anyone who owned several thousand dollars’ worth of ETH automatically made several hundred more dollars following the OMG airdrop. However, OMG holders that cashed out early ended up with the best deal. OMG briefly spiked up past $20 USD, but is now worth around $4 USD.

Swarm

In February of 2018, Swarm– a “a fully decentralized capital market place that democratizes investing”– announced that it would give away 100 SWM coins to anyone who completed its KYC (Know Your Customer) questionnaire. Shortly after the airdrop, SWM was trading for around a dollar. Today, however, SWM is only worth around 15 cents.

Airdrop resources

Airdrop lists are springing up all over the internet. Here are some links to get you started.

Blogs and websites

Airdrop blogs can be spammy, but most do contain links to cryptocurrency giveaways. Here are a few of the better options.

  • CoinDesk. CoinDesk is one of the most well-respected cryptocurrency blogs. You can find news about new airdrop offers by browsing articles that are tagged with “airdrop.”
  • CoinTelegraph. CoinTelegraph doesn’t have an airdrop tag, but you can still find press releases related to airdrops on the site via search.
  • CryptoCreed. CryptoCreed’s airdrop list may not look pretty, but it is huge and is updated on a daily basis.
  • TopICOList. TopICOList provides information related to ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings). The site’s “airdrops” page features a curated list of current and upcoming airdrops.
  • AlertAirdrop. In addition to airdrops, the people who run this site also list bounty programs and try to spot ICO scams.
  • CoinAirdrops. This site currently lists around 30 airdrop programs.
  • Airdrops.io. Airdrops.io conveniently uses categories like holder airdrops, Telegram airdrops and Twitter airdrops to make searching for airdrops easier.
  • AirdropLand. This no-frills airdrop site currently lists around 25 airdrops.
  • AirdropAlert. Despite the fact that this site’s layout is somewhat cluttered, it still provides a decent starting point for hunting for airdrops.

Telegram

Telegram is a messaging app that’s popular among cryptocurrency enthusiasts, mainly because it’s fast, secure and easy to use. Here are some Telegram channels to check out if you’re looking for airdrop offers.

  • High Pay Airdrop Stop. This channel has close to 100,000 members. New airdrop offers are posted every day.
  • Best Airdrops. Best Airdrops only has a few thousand members, but it also sends out less spam. New offers are posted daily.
  • Airdrop Bounty Watch Bot. This channel also has around 100,000 members and bills itself as a source for “daily & legit crypto airdrops all in one place!”
  • ERC20 Airdrops. This Telegram channel is relatively small and has just over 1000 members, but it’s still worth checking out.
  • AlertAirdrop. In addition to the Alert Airdrop website, there’s also an Alert Airdrop Telegram channel with 6,700 members.

Facebook

Facebook also has a huge number of cryptocurrency-related resources. Here are a few of the most popular Facebook groups for finding airdrops.

  • Airdrop ICO. With over 37,000 members and an average of 132 new posts each day, Airdrop ICO is one of the largest airdrop groups on Facebook. The “About” section of the group guarantees “No Spam / No Porn / No Violent Content / No Terroristic behaviour.”
  • Airdrops And Bounty. This group doesn’t have as many members as Airdrop ICO, but it posts far more airdrop alerts. There were 322 new airdrop posts made today.
  • Free Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, Token Airdrops. This group has over 18,000 members and gets around 190 posts per day.
  • Airdrop Alert | Cryptocurrency Airdrops. This group is also large and active, with over 10,000 members and over 4,000 posts in the last 30 days.
  • Airdrop Signal. In addition to maintaining a popular Facebook group, Airdrop Signal also has a useful airdrop website.

Twitter

Several Twitter accounts tweet about airdrops as well. Here are a few starting points for finding airdrop announcements on Twitter.

  • @CryptoAirdrops. Follow CryptoAirdrops on Twitter to get airdrop news and announcements in your feed.
  • @AirdropAlert. This account posts several airdrop offers every day.
  • @AltCoinAirdrop. @AltCoinAirdrop uses photos of airplanes to promote various airdrop offers.
  • @AirDropBahamas. Along with airdrop offers, @AirDropBahamas also tweets cryptocurrency news stories.
  • @AirdropAlive_io. This account posts details about each airdrop offer that it promotes, including how much the airdrop is currently worth.

Final Thoughts

If you view airdrops as way to learn about and test new cryptocurrency platforms, then you will likely have a fun experience collecting them. Though it is possible to get lucky, you certainly shouldn’t expect to become a millionaire overnight.

It’s useful to keep in mind that airdropping is a promotional technique used to drum up interest in new cryptocurrency platforms. Airdropped tokens and coins can sometimes become valuable, but many also lose value over time. If the crypto platform that releases an airdrops fades away, the value of your airdrop will drop. On the other hand, if the platform takes off, you may be able to make a few hundred dollars.

Alex Munkachy

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