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NFT Airdrops: Everything You Need to Know

May 18, 2023 - 9 min read

NFT Airdrops Allow Active NFT Enthusiasts to Earn Free NFTs 

NFT airdrops are a popular marketing tactic that involves sending free NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, to select individuals. In many cases, NFT creators or marketers will airdrop NFTs to influencers, active members of their community, or holders of other NFTs in order to generate more interest in their project. NFT airdrops can be a fun way for both casual crypto enthusiasts and more serious investors to get free NFTs and expand their portfolio of virtual assets. 

What is an NFT Airdrop? 

An NFT airdrop is a way to send newly-minted NFTs to multiple wallets simultaneously. There are two ways to receive an NFT airdrop; either it is deposited directly into an individual’s crypto wallet by the sender, or it’s only sent to the individual once they have connected their wallet to a certain site. In many cases, an airdrop is what’s called a “holder airdrop,” which means that only current holders of another NFT are eligible. In essence, this is almost like a reward for holding a specific NFT. In contrast, a “standard airdrop” are generally available to the general public, while “exclusive airdrops” may only be available to select influencers or those involved with or support the project itself. 

In addition, just like other NFTs, airdropped NFTs can have significant utility, allowing people to play exclusive online games, qualify for raffles, rewards, or giveaways, or get whitelisted for future NFT projects. 

How to Find The Best NFT Airdrops

Now that we’ve defined an airdrop, how can you find NFT airdrops? First, you’ll want to act fast. When it comes to NFT airdrops, time is of the essence, as airdrops typically require an individual to go through a certain series of actions to qualify before the day and time of the airdrop. While some projects do multiple rounds of airdrops, in most cases, if you miss an airdrop, you’re out of luck. That’s why NFT enthusiasts interested in getting airdrops should stay informed of upcoming airdrops they might want to get an airdrop from. 

With that being said, here are some of the top resources to find the dates, times, and qualification requirements for upcoming NFT airdrops: 

Twitter

It may sound obvious, but Twitter is a major hub of crypto and NFT activities, and while it may not be as exclusive or community-oriented as Telegram or Discord, almost every major NFT project is highly active on Twitter. Twitter is also an easy place to discover influencers or others who may have inside knowledge of the industry– and many of these individuals have Telegram groups, Discord chats, or email lists that you can sign up to for more information. 

Telegram

Telegram groups are an excellent place to discover new NFT projects and keep up-to-date with existing ones. Many projects release information on Telegram or Discord before making announcements on more traditional social platforms, like Twitter, so checking Telegram can be a great way to get ahead of the crowd. In addition, many influencers will use their public (or private) Telegram chats to discuss their favorite projects and give tips on how to qualify for airdrops. 

Discord

Like Telegram, Discord groups are a great place to find new projects and monitor the progress of existing projects. In addition, NFT projects often need volunteer Discord moderators, so if you really (really) want an airdrop, this could be a good way to potentially qualify. 

NFT Newsletters

Many NFT-focused writers and crypto journalists publish weekly or monthly newsletters discussing their favorite new projects– and many will discuss upcoming airdrops and how to qualify. NFT newsletters often go into the most detail about upcoming projects, so this can be a good way to get a more in-depth look at a specific NFT project. Some of the top NFT newsletters include Overpriced JPEGs and Metaversal, both published by Bankless, as well as the Rarible Newsletter, the official newsletter of the Rarible NFT marketplace.

Airdrop Alert

Airdrop Alert is a popular website that focuses on providing users with the most up-to-date information on crypto and NFT airdrops. They also have a weekly airdrop newsletter with more than 400,000 subscribers. In addition to providing airdrop information, they also provide users with ways to earn (small) amounts of free crypto by completing challenges and other tasks, as well as entering giveaways. NFT projects can also apply to list their project on the site, so users can use the site to review many smaller NFT projects they might not be aware of otherwise. 

Airdrops.io

Airdrops.io is another popular airdrop news service that lists a wide variety of airdrops. Unlike other websites, Airdrops.io also features a list of potential airdrops– projects that may drop a token or NFT in the future but have not yet been confirmed to do so. This can be ideal for more hardcore fans that want to make sure they don’t miss out on the next big thing. 

Coindoo

Coindoo, a crypto and NFT news site, keeps a monthly updated page about the best NFT airdrops for each month. 

DappRadar

DappRadar is a well-known site that features real-time information about most active dApps (decentralized applications) on most blockchains. It provides a wide variety of NFT tools, including an airdrop list, an NFT value estimator, and an NFT explorer, just to name a few. 

The Most Famous NFT Airdrops 

While there have been countless thousands of airdrops, some have been more famous than others. Some of the best-known NFT airdrops include: 

Cryptopunks 

While one of the most popular and expensive NFT collections today, almost 24% of Cryptopunks NFTs were initially issued as an airdrop to around 400 supporters, meaning that users only had to pay gas fees in order to mint their NFTs. Since their June 2017 initial mint, Cryptopunks have exploded in value, and, at their peak, the average Cryptopunk was valued at over $300,000, with the collection experiencing a trading volume of more than $70 million per day.

PancakeSwap

The popular decentralized exchange (DEX) PancakeSwap has done multiple rounds of NFT airdrops over the last few years. For example, in May 2022, they partnered with Project Galaxy, a Web3 credential data network, to do an exclusive co-marketing campaign and NFT airdrop, and, in April 2023, airdropped exclusive PancakeSwap NFTs to supporters to promote the launch of PancakeSwap v3. 

Bored Ape Yacht Club

The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), perhaps the world’s most famous NFT collection, did what some might call a “reverse NFT airdrop” in March 2022. Instead of giving out new NFTs, it airdropped the collection’s new Apecoin token (a fungible token, not an NFT) to current holders of BAYC NFTs. 

Are Airdrops Worth It For Investors? 

For NFT enthusiasts, airdrops may or may not be worth it, depending on your individual circumstances. It’s important to realize that the vast majority of NFT collections never make anyone money, so if you’re constantly hunting airdrops as a get-rich-quick scheme, you’re in the wrong business. However, if you’re truly passionate about NFTs and you’re selective about the projects you try to get airdrops from, NFT airdrop hunting can be a fun hobby– and you just might make some money along the way.

In addition, it’s also important to look at how difficult an airdrop is to get when deciding whether it’s worth it. Sometimes, all you need to do is to sign up or even simply just hold a different NFT in your wallet. In contrast, other airdrops may require you to personally promote or volunteer to help a project– and, unless you’re a co-founder (or simply in love with the project), this kind of ‘free work’ may not be worth it in the end. 

Are Airdrops Worth It For NFT Projects?

In contrast, for NFT creators and projects, airdrops can be a valuable marketing tool, though they’re not always necessary. Like any other marketing tactic, airdrops will not work well unless the project already has some type of audience and unless the airdrop is sufficiently promoted. It’s also important to realize that if airdrops are overused by an NFT project, it could potentially devalue the project’s main NFTs, which may not be ideal. 

In addition, airdrops can also be used non-NFT crypto or DeFi projects in to promote their main product. In addition, projects may want to be selective when choosing who to airdrop to, since airdropping to influencers and active NFT enthusiasts will likely be far more effective than simply airdropping to random people. 

Watch Out For NFT Airdrop Scams 

Unfortunately, like the broader crypto industry, the NFT sector can be rife with scams, including NFT airdrop scams– and sometimes, it can be hard to determine if a project is legit. However, there are a few things that you can do to protect yourself against airdrop scams, including: 

  • No Upfront Payments: If anyone asks you to transfer crypto to a wallet to become eligible for an airdrop, this is most likely a scam and should be avoided at all costs. 
  • Never Reveal Your Private Key: While it sounds incredibly obvious, you might be surprised by the number of people who give away their private keys to scammers. There is no reason to do this under any circumstances– any NFT creator or promoter can send you an NFT using only your public key/wallet address, and the only reason they want your private key is to drain funds from your wallet. 
  • Don’t Do Anything Sketchy: While unlikely, there have been some instances of individuals doing “favors” for people in order to get on an NFT airdrop whitelist. This could include transferring money to and from different accounts for strangers, especially if it involves using cryptocurrency mixers. If you do this, you are likely helping someone launder money– and that’s not worth it, even if you do get a sick NFT drop in exchange. 

Final Thoughts On NFT Airdrops 

NFT airdrops can be a fun way for collectors to get free NFTs, as well as a great way to promote a project launch and build hype around a project. NFT airdrop distribution methods can vary– from being fully available to the general public to limited NFTs, which may only be sent to influencers or known collectors. While airdrops can be fun, they can be costly in terms of both time and effort for collectors, so they’re not always worth pursuing. As previously mentioned, try to avoid scams, and, most importantly, when it comes to NFTs, have fun! 

References: 

  1. Overpriced JPEGs. Overpriced JPEGs.
  2. Metaversal. Metaversal.
  3. Rarible Newsletter. Substack: Rarible Newsletter.
  4. Earn crypto & join the best airdrops, giveaways and more! Airdrop Alert
  5. Aidrops.io. Airdrops.io
  6. Best NFT Airdrops and Giveaways for May 2023. Coindoo. 
  7. Moore, D. (Sep. 2021) This Rare Cryptopunk Was Given Away For Free. ConsenSys Media
  8. (Mar. 2023) PancakeSwap Prepare V3 Release with $135K Airdrop and Exclusive NFTs. BSC News. 
  9. Locke, T. (Mar. 2022) Bored Ape Yacht Club just dropped an ‘ApeCoin’ token to its NFT holders. Some made tens of thousands of dollars in hours. Fortune.

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