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Top 10 Crypto Airdrops to Look Out for in 2023

4.0 | by Joel Agbo -

Top 10 2023 airdrops


Key Takeaways:

  • Cryptocurrency projects embrace token airdrops as a proven strategy to grow their community and drive financial viability. The airdrop scheme usually matches the project’s goals.

  • There has been a good number of airdrops every year since 2020. To increase your chances of qualifying for an airdrop, you can look into becoming an early user of projects that are likely to offer airdrops.

  • A number of popular cryptocurrency projects are rumored to be airdropping a portion of their native tokens to their community in 2023, including Layer Zero, Quai, Arbitrum, Sui, ZigZag, and Shardeum.


Interested in receiving some free crypto in your wallet? As part of their token launch, some cryptocurrency projects send free tokens to their communities to drive adoption, an activity commonly known as “airdrops.” But what are airdrops, and how do you qualify for these free tokens? Read on!

What are Airdrops?

Cryptocurrency projects are big on incentivization as a way to drive interest towards their brand and the product itself, and airdrops are designed to introduce users to the project and reward them in the process as a dual marketing and reward system. As you'll see in the list below, one of the most common ways to improve your eligibility for new airdrops is to use the testnet. 

Early airdrop programs were basically structured to introduce a new or existing project to the cryptocurrency community by rewarding new users who perform simple social tasks. On completion, the participants receive a certain number of token rewards.

Over the past five years, airdrops have changed as the goal has shifted towards rewarding early adopters and significant contributors. After Uniswap’s high profile airdrop in 2020 and its impressive result, cryptocurrency projects are adopting airdrop systems that utilize more advanced technologies and deliver better rewards. DeFi projects champion this approach, and since 2020, every year has recorded significant airdrops:

  • On 25th December 2021, OpenDAO airdropped a major portion of its SOS token to NFT traders on OpenSea. 

  • Some of the most popular airdrops of 2022 were BAYC’s Apecoin airdrop to its NFT art holders, Ethereum Layer 2 network Optimism’s airdrop of its OP token, and Aptos’s airdrop to its early adopters.

With the year 2023 already upon us, let’s take a look at some likely airdrops that might happen over the year.

Do note that unless specified otherwise, these potential airdrops are highly speculative and a feature in this list is no guarantee that an actual airdrop will happen in the future. 

zkSync: Layer 2 Protocol Using Zero Knowledge Proofs

zksync ecosystem

zkSync leverages Layer 2 solutions to provide an alternative and more efficient way to use the Ethereum blockchain. Layer 2 solutions seek a faster and cheaper transaction experience while benefiting from the strong security system on the Ethereum network. zkSync hopes to achieve this through a modified version of the ZK-rollup. Matterlabs’ Opportunity protocol also hopes to deliver cutting-edge performance on its network through the zkSync 2.0 upgrade.

The Opportunity protocol features systems that support multiple, interoperable blockchains known as HyperChains. In their report, zkSync claims that HyperChains will be flexible and allow developers an array of options while choosing the way their applications and chains work.

Why an Airdrop is Likely

According to the project’s developer documentation, the company has always planned to release a token for the zkSync network, but no details have been released. However, with zkSync structured to grow into a formidable ecosystem with numerous projects deploying their solutions on the platform, and growing this ecosystem will likely require a token to spearhead its financial systems and support its technologies.

Improving Your Airdrop Eligibility

The most likely criteria for eligibility of a potential zkSync airdrop is trying out any of zkSync’s products or applications in its ecosystem. Again, there are no hints that this will be a criteria; however, testers on the zkSync2.0 testnet and users of zkSync 1.0 have relatively better chances of qualifying for a drop as they are early adopters. 

ZigZag: Decentralized Order Book Exchange on zkSync

One of the likely criteria for receiving a zkSync airdrop is using applications deployed on the zkSync network. If you choose ZigZag, a decentralized exchange, as the application of your choice, you stand a chance of earning yet another airdrop.

About ZigZag

ZigZag runs an order book decentralized exchange, unlike the popular Automated Market Maker (AMM) formula used by contemporary DEXes. ZigZag’s orderbook technology allows traders to place their bids and have them added to a queue as seen on centralized exchanges. Unlike the AMM, the orders stay in the queue until the required conditions are met before they are executed. Users are able to place their orders from the comfort of their personal wallets.

ZigZag runs on zkSync, initially deployed on zkSync 1.0 but set to migrate to the more advanced zkSync 2.0, ideally benefiting from the enhanced technology on the upgraded zkSync network.

Why an Airdrop is Likely

ZigZag has already released its native token, and the ZigZag token is used to run the ZigZag exchange DAO. The ZigZag airdrop is already confirmed since the team has already announced plans to distribute rewards to the community. However, the eligibility criteria will be decided by holders of the ZigZag token through the ZigZag DAO. The full plan for the ZigZag airdrop will be decided by the DAO.

Improving Your Airdrop Eligibility

A definite way to decide the fate of the ZigZag airdrop is to buy as many tokens as required to get a majority vote in the proposal, but this is most likely impossible. A more feasible way to stay on the lucky side is to get acquainted with ZigZag and zkSync. Old users and relevant contributors will likely stand higher chances of benefiting from the airdrop. 

Arbitrum: Optimistic Roll-Up Layer 2 on Ethereum

Arbitrum ecosystem

Like zkSync, Arbitrum is developing an Ethereum scaling solution by leveraging Layer 2 technologies. It offers fast transaction speed of up to 4,500 transactions per second and an incredibly low transaction fee of below $0.05, compared to the Ethereum mainnet. Arbitrum delivers these results while enjoying top security infrastructure on Ethereum network.

Arbitrum uses the optimistic rollup technology to cut the cost of executing a transaction and speed up the transaction time. Optimistic rollups achieve this by saving the time taken to validate transactions. Optimistic rollup proceeds to add a block to the chain without validating them, unless the possibility of a fraudulent transaction is detected.

Why an Airdrop is Likely

The Arbitrum network has been functional for over a year and currently hosts some applications, with a handful of existing dApps already migrating to the network. Arbitrum has yet to launch a token, and an allocation to the community is rumored to be a part of its tokenomics. If the Layer 2 network finally launches its native token, it is expected to follow the same path as Optimism.

Improving Your Airdrop Eligibility

With Arbitrum already running, early adopters are most likely to benefit from an airdrop, so consider using the Arbitrum blockchain as much as possible. To improve your chances, connect your wallet to the Arbitrum network and bridge your tokens (including Ethereum) to the Arbitrum network. Consider trying out a few applications on the Arbitrum network, such as Dopex and GMX. Here’s how to add the Arbitrum network to your MetaMask wallet. 

Sui Blockchain: Proof-of-Stake Layer 1 Blockchain

The Sui and Aptos blockchains are both very innovative blockchain projects developed using the Move programming language developed by Meta for Diem. Aptos Testnet testnet users received handsome rewards of up to $7,000 worth for simply testing out the blockchain. Sui, another project backed heavily by VCs, is rumored to follow a similar route.

About Sui 

Sui hopes to offer a speed of up to 1,200 transactions per second for cheap. It runs on the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm and uses a modified version of the Move programming language. It adopts a multi-directional block validation technique to execute transactions faster. 

Why an Airdrop is Likely

One thing is certain, the Sui blockchain will inevitably need a token (SUI) to run. While nothing is confirmed, with the team announcing that there are no plans for an official airdrop, it is still possible that the early community members will receive incentives.

Improving Your Airdrop Eligibility

Start engaging with the Sui project. The Sui testnet launched in May 2022 and since then, early adopters have been testing the network’s features. You can improve your chances of benefiting from the potential airdrop by joining the testnet program and engaging with the project socially as well. 

Layer Zero: Enabling Cross-Chain Applications

Layer Zero is an inter-chain communication protocol built on Omnichain. Layer Zero employs oracle technology to facilitate the transfer of information between applications built on different blockchain networks. The communication it creates between blockchain networks transcends simple asset bridging; Layer Zero’s technology hopes to connect every blockchain network into one by allowing applications built on one chain to rent infrastructures from other chains. Layer Zero does this while keeping these interchain transactions secure through proper validations on the chain that receives the request.

Improving Your Airdrop Eligibility

While an airdrop is not confirmed, users who believe that a Layer Zero airdrop is incoming can start by engaging with projects on Layer Zero. Stargate is one of the first protocols on Layer Zero, and you can consider providing liquidity, staking STG tokens, or voting on DAO proposals. You can also consider using the Aptos bridge, which is powered by Layer Zero.

Quai Network: Blockchain Network Utilizing Merged Mining and Sharding

Quai Network pursues scalability and improved user experience through a combination of the security of Proof-of-Work, and the scalability of sharding, where miners can validate multiple chains using the same mining hardware and bandwidth, and each chain (or shard) can independently process transactions and properly record them on the individual and general ledger. This lets Quai Network boast a general transaction speed of up to 50,000TPS. 

Improving Your Airdrop Eligibility

Quai Network has a social media reward program, which incentivizes the crypto community to engage with the project socially, distributing Quai tokens to enthusiasts who successfully complete the social task. Rewards are yet to be distributed but will likely happen after the mainnet launch.

Thinking of participating in the Social Media Rewards Program? Find out how you can participate and the rewards here.

Thetanuts Finance: Generating Yield With Options Strategies

Feeling lucky for the new year? Another project to take a look at for a potential drop is Thetanuts. Thetanuts offer organic yield opportunities for institutions and individual investors by offering aggregated options trading solutions. Thetanuts generate income by trading options contracts for a premium, and distributing the generated premium to investors who commit their assets to the Thetanuts options trading vault. Assets committed to the vault are used to fuel the options system and investors are rewarded through the premium distribution.

The Thetanuts team has stated that their protocol can properly run without facilitating income generation through a native token or other income generation that uses native tokens, but it's still worth a try.

Improving Your Airdrop Eligibility

While an airdrop is unconfirmed, investors who commit their assets to the Thetanuts vault are more likely to receive rewards if the project decides to run an airdrop program. If you’re interested in a potential Thetanuts airdrop, consider connecting to the project’s platform and contributing to the vault. 

Atlendis: Enabling Uncollateralized Crypto Loans 

Atlendis lets borrowers obtain loans from lenders without collateral while compensating lenders with attractive returns due to the risk. Atlendis serves institutions, protocols, and individuals in the finance sector by offering a flexible way of obtaining capital from the lending markets. Lenders on the other hand will receive improved rewards and benefit from risk-management facilities offered by Atlendis.

Improving Your Airdrop Eligibility

While an Atlendis airdrop is speculation at this point in time, you can try your luck by interacting with the Atlendis protocol and depositing supported assets into the protocol’s staking pools.

Shardeum: EVM-Compatible Shareded Blockchain

While you search for the next big airdrop, Shardeum is exploring the best possible way to deliver the best blockchain experience on a  Layer 1 network. Shardeum claims to be developing a super-fast new-generation smart contract blockchain by utilizing sharding technology. 

Shardeum, an EVM-based blockchain network, will employ this technology to develop a network of split chains that are capable of executing transactions. User requests are hence split across the shards as the network processes them. Shardeum’s projected speed is up to 2,000 transactions per second, and the blockchain runs on the Proof-of-Stake and Proof-of-Quorum consensus mechanism.

Why an Airdrop is Likely

If anything is certain, it is that fact that Shardeum will inevitably issue a native token. Another certainty is that a portion of this token will be allocated to the community. Shardeum has announced that 5% of its total token supply will be allocated to the community for airdrops. 

Improving Your Airdrop Eligibility

As Aptos did, Shardeum is likely to reward early testers. You can try your hands on the Shardeum network by running the testnet and carrying out transactions on the platform. To use the Shardeum testnet, you can add the Shardeum network to your MetaMask wallet, claim faucet tokens and tweet your experience, with social engagements and testnet activities being likely to form the eligibility criteria.

ZetaChain: Enabling Messaging Across Blockchains

Interoperability protocols built on Omnichain are on the rise and ZetaChain is one of those projects working on a safer and more efficient communication system between different blockchain networks. The smart contract platform supports the exchange of data between smart contracts and other blockchain networks. ZetaChain moves ahead of similar projects by offering support for its own smart contracts and extensive interaction facilities for applications built using its protocols.

Why an Airdrop is Likely

ZetaChain is yet to launch a token. The testnet is live and users can try out the platform’s numerous features. However, it is almost certain that the project will be issuing its native token once the platform is fully functional. In the meantime, users can accrue testnet points by running certain activities. These points are expected to translate into token rewards at some point.

Improving Your Airdrop Eligibility

ZetaChain Earn Points Potential Airdrop

Zeta Points can be earned by connecting to the ZetaChain platform and performing regular activities like testnet token transfers and swapping. Social activities like referring new testers also earn the referrer Zeta Points and even more points when the invitee performs transactions on the platform. The ZetaChain bug bounty program also rewards testers with Zeta points for finding and reporting issues. Completing these tasks may increase your probability of being eligible for the ZetaChain airdrop (if it happens).

Final thoughts

We’ve gone through some likely drops for 2023, however, this list is non-exhaustive and there are no guarantees that the drops listed here will eventually happen. That said, there are recurring trends in what you can do to improve your eligibility, such as staying active in the space and interacting with the project. 

Finally, this content is provided for educational purposes and should not be taken as financial advice. Always do your own research before choosing to interact with any protocols or decentralized applications.

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Joel Agbo

Joel Agbo

Joel loves discussing cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. He is the founder of CryptocurrencyScripts. Follow the author on Twitter @agboifesinachi

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