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Crypto Airdrop: marketing or scam? - The Cryptonomist

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2 months ago

In recent years, one of the techniques to introduce a crypto to the world involves organizing an airdrop, which is a system that allows receiving a quantity of tokens or crypto in a completely free way and with a few simple operations carried out by the user.

This form of marketing is often included during ICOs (Initial Coin Offering): basically, there is a fixed amount of tokens or crypto to distribute, a period within which people can participate in the campaign and tasks to be completed by users to obtain the tokens, as for example happened for the 1 million token airdrop of the K-tune project.

There are obviously some basic prerequisites to participate in airdrops, such as having a proper wallet that supports the crypto or token, a Telegram account, several social media like Twitter and even an email address. In fact, if the goal of an airdrop is to make known the name of the company, the tasks involved to obtain the tokens are often to share the project’s message.

The airdrop scams

Not all the airdrops are the same or require the same actions; moreover, it is essential to check all the information about the project and also to consult some websites dedicated to airdrops (airdropbob, coinairdrops, airdropalert, airdropter and so on) which allow understanding which ones are worth doing and what they require, because sometimes they can be airdrop scams.

Unfortunately, when we find ourselves in the presence of an airdrop or when a new project is being launched or is about to be launched, often criminals come forward and create artful imitations of websites and services.

In these situations, there is very little to do and the only solution is to keep at hand the various official channels of the companies and in case of doubt contact the administrators asking and linking the page with the dubious airdrop.

For example, even the Voice project has been the victim of several false airdrops with the creation of a website that redirected to a page imitating the original project by requesting users’ private keys to steal their funds.

Considering the size of the airdrops, which usually do not exceed a few tens of dollars/euro, it’s strongly advised not to use your main address and not to provide personal data: in some countries and for some airdrops it’s necessary to perform a real KYC (Know Your Customer), which for such a small amount is not a very sensible move.

Airdrops will probably last a long time (with some exceptions as in the case of Stellar) even if there are already other forms of sending tokens that can be used and without user intervention, think for example of those blockchains that every now and then decide to make the account snapshot to distribute to users a number of tokens in proportion to the balance of their account or address, like the one that happens with BitTorrent (BTT) on the 11th of each month.

The birth of airdrops

When Bitcoin was born, faucets were very fashionable. The first of this kind was launched in 2010 and it was The Bitcoin Faucet, which gave 5 BTC to those who completed some operations, such as the resolution of a captcha or other similar and different systems.

Since then, the tools and techniques to spread a crypto have been refined to the present day with airdrops.

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