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CoinGecko Analysis Reveals $26.6 Billion in Crypto Airdrops Over 4 Years

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According to an analysis from CoinGecko, the period from 2020 to 2023 has witnessed a surge in crypto airdrops.

Led by giants like Uniswap, Apecoin, and dYdX, the top 50 airdrops have distributed $26.6 billion in tokens in that period.

Uniswap’s Historic $6.43 Billion Airdrop

Uniswap (UNI) led the pack, which made headlines with its historic $6.43 billion airdrop on September 16, 2020.

Uniswap’s distribution, calculated at its all-time high (ATH) token price of $42.88, became a cornerstone event of DeFi Summer, revitalizing the crypto airdrop model first seen with Auroracoin in 2014.

This distribution rewarded its user base and rekindled interest in decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms.

Not far behind, Apecoin (APE) executed the second-largest airdrop, handing out $3.54 billion in tokens on March 17, 2022.

This move was especially significant for Yuga Labs ecosystem participants, as it equated to receiving a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT for free, given its then-floor price.

Following closely, dYdX (DYDX) distributed $2.00 billion in tokens on September 8, 2021, though its total value is subject to a five-year vesting period.

The Rise and Evolution of Crypto Airdrops

2021 emerged as a notable year, with 18 of the top 50 airdrops reflecting a significant increase from the five major ones in 2020. However, the trend saw a downturn in 2022 and 2023, likely due to the prevailing crypto winter.

Despite this, the total value of airdrops at their ATH grew from $7.28 billion in 2020 to $7.46 billion in 2022, with newer entrants like Bonk (BONK) making a swift entry into the top 10.

In 2023, the total value of airdrops amounted to $4.56 billion, dominated by major players like Arbitrum (ARB), which distributed $1.97 billion worth of tokens.

Celestia (TIA) and Blur’s first airdrop followed, focusing on rewarding contributors to their ecosystems rather than broad user bases. This strategy shifted from the earlier trend of wide-scale token distribution to more targeted approaches.

Meanwhile, Blur’s two airdrops in 2023, particularly the second one valued at $0.19 billion, demonstrated the potential of consecutive airdrops in sustaining platform engagement.

This approach has brought a new dimension to the airdrop strategy, underlining the importance of continuous user engagement.

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