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Airdrops
TABLE OF CONTENTS

50 Biggest Crypto Airdrops: $26.6B In 'Free Money'

4.4
| by
Nicholas Boey
-

What Is the Biggest Crypto Airdrop?

Uniswap (UNI) is the biggest crypto airdrop, distributing $6.43 billion worth of $UNI on September 16, 2020, valued at its all-time high (ATH) token price of $42.88. Uniswap’s airdrop was one of DeFi Summer’s biggest events, reigniting enthusiasm for the crypto airdrop model that was first introduced in 2014, when ‘Iceland’s Bitcoin’ Auroracoin, was airdropped to the country’s citizens. Since then, hundreds of crypto airdrops followed suit, airdropping tokens to users of their protocols.

Apecoin (APE) had the second biggest crypto airdrop, distributing $3.54 billion worth of $APE on March 17, 2022, valued at its ATH token price of $23.63. Apecoin's airdrop rewards Yuga Labs ecosystem owners with up to 10,950 tokens, worth $258,737. By claiming and selling the tokens at $23.63, recipients could essentially obtain a free Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT, which had an average floor price around $200,099 leading up to the $APE crypto airdrop.

dYdX (DYDX) is the third biggest crypto airdrop, distributing $2.00 billion worth of $DYDX on September 8, 2021, valued at its ATH token price of $26.80. That said, the complete $DYDX airdrop value is only unlocked over a span of five years, with portions released incrementally. Thus, while the initial distribution appears substantial, its full value can only be realized through the extended vesting period.

Uniswap, Apecoin, and dYdX airdrops combined have a total value of $11.99 billion, comprising 45.1% of the top 50 biggest crypto airdrops. The remaining crypto airdrops among the top 50 biggest crypto airdrops range from $0.05 billion to $1.97 billion.

When Did the Biggest Crypto Airdrops Happen?

18 out of the top 50 crypto airdrops happened in 2021, up from only 5 major airdrops in 2020. 2022 and 2023 saw fewer major crypto airdrops, with 14 and 13 crypto airdrops making it into the top 50 rankings respectively. This decrease can be attributed to the crypto winter bear market, which might discourage projects from performing a crypto airdrop.

The total value of crypto airdrops valued at their ATH prices have increased from 2020 to 2022, from $7.28 billion to $7.46 billion. Notably, Bonk (BONK), launched in late 2022, surged to its ATH of $0.000025 in December 2023, swiftly securing a spot in the top 10 of the largest crypto airdrops.

In 2023, the total value of crypto airdrops hit $4.56 billion at their ATH, or only 61.1% of the value of crypto airdrops in 2022. However, it's crucial to consider that many tokens introduced during this period are relatively new to the market. Unlike tokens launched from 2020 to 2022, these newer tokens in 2023 have yet to experience a significant bull market surge in prices, such as the 2021 bull market followed by the 2022 NFT bull market.

Crypto Airdrops in 2023

13 crypto airdrops in 2023 made it to the top 50, distributing $4.56 billion worth of tokens valued at their ATH prices.

Arbitrum (ARB) is the biggest crypto airdrop in 2023, distributing $1.97 billion worth of $ARB on March 23, 2023, valued at its ATH token price of $1.69. Notably, Arbitrum's crypto airdrop is 2.9 times bigger than its closest competitor, Optimism (OP), which distributed $0.67 billion worth of $OP on May 31, 2022. The Arbitrum ecosystem thrived in anticipation of $ARB crypto airdrop, where its total value locked (TVL) increased by 147.2% from $1.49 billion on January 1, 2023, to its peak of $3.68 billion on May 6, 2023.

Celestia (TIA) is the second biggest crypto airdrop in 2023, distributing $0.73 billion worth of $TIA on October 31, 2023, valued at its ATH token price of $13.99. In contrast to other crypto airdrops, the $TIA crypto airdrop did not include ‘farming’ mechanisms. Instead, the $TIA crypto airdrop targeted specific beneficiaries: developers and researchers contributing to public goods and essential protocol infrastructure, the most active users on Ethereum rollups, and stakers and IBC relayers associated with Cosmos Hub and Osmosis.

Blur’s first airdrop ranks as the third biggest crypto airdrop in 2023, distributing $0.45 billion worth of $BLUR on February 14, 2023 at its ATH token price of $1.24. This crypto airdrop was distributed to users based on their engagement with the Blur platform, which serves as an aggregator for NFT listings from various marketplaces. Following the success of its initial crypto airdrop, Blur attracted significant liquidity and garnered interest from crypto airdrop farmers, setting the stage for a highly anticipated second crypto airdrop.

Notably, $BLUR only reached its ATH price of $0.64 after its second crypto airdrop, bringing the total value of its second crypto airdrop to $0.19 billion.

Arbitrum, Celestia and Blur’s first airdrop combined contributed to 69.9% of the total crypto airdrop distributed in 2023, or $4.56 billion worth of tokens. The remaining biggest crypto airdrops in 2023 range from $16 million to $372 million in value.

Top 50 Biggest Crypto Airdrops 

Ranking the top 50 crypto airdrops, valued at the token all-time high prices as of December 21, 2023:

Rank Project Total Airdrop Value
1 Uniswap $6,432,614,493
2 Apecoin $3,544,345,703
3 dYdX $2,009,935,493
4 Arbitrum $1,969,296,101
5 Ethereum Name Service $1,878,605,813
6 Internet Computer $1,737,391,583
7 Bonk $1,325,428,015
8 Celestia $728,380,235
9 LooksRare $712,335,336
10 1inch Network (Airdrop 1) $670,872,722
11 Optimism (Airdrop 1) $666,493,792
12 Blur (Airdrop 1) $446,197,003
13 Aptos $431,977,140
14 Loot $387,786,055
15 Blur (Airdrop 2) $371,830,836
16 Jito $311,634,115
17 Gitcoin $283,807,338
18 ParaSwap $232,604,859
19 Tornado Cash $204,072,778
20 CoW Protocol $193,484,442
21 WorldCoin $181,911,990
22 Aidoge $174,850,390
23 The Graph $172,286,023
24 Memecoin $146,564,771
25 HashFlow $144,334,654
26 ZigZag $139,767,571
27 Instadapp $138,611,088
28 Ribbon Finance $132,370,223
29 Pyth Finance $124,533,425
30 1inch Network (Airdrop 2) $111,812,120
31 Botto $111,695,841
32 Dogechain $95,542,882
33 Galxe $62,420,883
34 Optimism (Airdrop 3) $60,240,246
35 Bank (Airdrop 1) $46,784,703
36 Space ID $44,391,466
37 Sweat $38,863,539
38 Optimism (Airdrop 2) $36,440,485
39 CyberConnect $28,358,596
40 Arkham $18,983,672
41 Maverick Protocol $15,688,404
42 Notional Finance $14,846,311
43 Unlock Protocol $14,802,806
44 Forefront $14,799,284
45 Bank (Airdrop 2) $13,567,564
46 Hop Protocol $12,454,044
47 Index Cooperative $6,703,150
48 Spectra $3,188,386
49 Snowswap $2,307,087
50 DappRadar $500,814

Methodology

The study analyzed the top 50 biggest crypto airdrops occurring between January 1, 2020 and December 16, 2023, evaluating their value based on their respective all-time high prices. On-chain data related to crypto airdrops was based on Dune Analytics, while off-chain data was obtained from individual project documentation. All-time high price data was collected from CoinGecko. Total value locked (TVL) data was obtained from DefiLlama.

This study is for illustrative and informational purposes only, and is not financial advice. Always do your own research and be careful when putting your money into any crypto or financial asset.


If you use these insights, we would appreciate a link credit to this article on CoinGecko. A link credit allows us to keep supplying you with data-led content that you may find useful.

Curious to find out more about our previous research studies & statistics? Check out our latest GameFi Report 2023!

 

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Nicholas Boey
Nicholas Boey
Nicholas is a Market Research Intern at CoinGecko. He can be seen crawling around the vast crypto space, be it NFTs, crypto or memecoins from time to time. People in web3 call him picnicmou. Follow the author on Twitter @picnicmou

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