The How of Airdrops

Posted on May 18, 2019

By Natalie Lord

Airdrops are free coins that fall from the crypto skies into your wallet. Last week we explored what airdrops are and why crypto enterprises use them. This week we look at the different styles and types of airdrops currently available.

Fundamentally, there are two styles of airdrop: the surprise and the pre-meditated. Blockchain-based companies that are already established will more than likely opt for surprise. Users will suddenly receive coins into their wallets without any idea of where they came from. They will then post information on online forums within the crypto community.

Blockchain start-ups will probably announce their intention ahead of time to get the community talking about it. The aim is to bootstrap the project, and because of this the airdrop process will usually require a series of tasks to be performed by the user in order for he or she to qualify. When the date of the airdrop comes around the company will release the tokens to users who have qualified.

There are several different types of airdrop that each require a different set of actions to be undertaken for users to qualify.

The “Standard Airdrop” requires a user to sign up for a newsletter or updates. The user will register with his or her name and email address and will then qualify for the airdrop.

The “Bounty Airdrop” requires a user to perform an activity to qualify for the airdrop. This might be tweeting about the project. It’s a reward-based system where the user is rewarded with free coins for his or her actions.

“Exclusive Airdrops” happen if you are a VIP member of a specific project or website or club. In this situation, a user could qualify for exclusive airdrops that other parties might not be eligible for. The airdrop will cater for a particular community only, as the name implies.

The “Holder Airdrop” happens when you hold specific tokens in your wallet. For example, an EOS-based crypto will airdrop some free tokens to you provided you hold that cryptocurrency in your wallet.

A “Hardfork Airdrop” happens when a coin hardforks from its original protocol and the holders of the original coin qualify for the new coin’s airdrop as well.

A fork is basically a divergence in the perspective of the state of the blockchain. There are two different types of fork: a soft fork and a hard fork.

A soft fork is comparable to a software update that is backward compatible, meaning that if you are running a MS Word 2008 on your laptop and want to open a document built in MS Word 2017, you are still able to open it. That said, the updates that are available to you in the newer version won’t be visible to you in the older version.

The key difference between a soft fork and a hard fork is that a hard fork isn’t backwards compatible. Once it is implemented there is no going back. This is like the PlayStation model. You can’t play PS3 games in PS4 and you can’t play PS4 games on PS3.

When you have a hard fork airdrop, users of the original coin can get new coins as a result of an airdrop. This happened previously with the Bitcoin Cash airdrop, where holders of Bitcoin currency were rewarded by receiving Bitcoin Cash tokens through a hardfork airdrop.

In summary, there are enough different types of airdrop that any user is sure to find a suitable method for trying to increase their cryptocurrency holding and potentially receive free coins. It seems that, where airdrops are concerned, there is nothing to lose and only cryptocurrency to gain.

 

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