Airdrop frenzy drives Zircuit’s $2.5bn in deposits. Here are five other projects to watch

Airdrop frenzy drives Zircuit’s $2.5bn in deposits. Here are five other projects to watch
DeFi
Airdrop hopefuls continue to deposit crypto into tokenless projects in hopes of future rewards. Credit: Darren Joseph
  • Airdrop hopefuls continue to farm tokenless projects.
  • Crypto farming activity is driving investor deposits.
  • Airdrop farmers are not swayed by project teams’ attempts to deny the possibility of token distributions.

April has been a big month for airdrops as several major crypto protocols have launched their native tokens and rewarded early adopters.

Buzzy stablecoin protocol Ethena kicked things off with a $500 million airdrop distributed among 90,000 eligible users. Others including crypto bridge Wormhole and Solana-based real estate futures marketplace Parcl followed suit.

As April wraps up, airdrop chasers are moving onto other targets ― DeFi protocols without native tokens.

While tokenless projects like interoperability protocol LayerZero have assured users of future airdrops, others like Ethereum restaking giant EigenLayer have been coy in committing to possible token distribution events.

Nevertheless, airdrop chasers can look to points programmes launched by some of these projects as possible indicators, especially as projects including Parcl and liquid restaking protocol Ether.fi have converted their points into airdrops.

That expectation often leads to an influx of liquidity into platforms as users position themselves for airdrops. Here are some of the projects attracting hopefuls despite the current market slowdown that interrupted the price gains for crypto tokens earlier this year.

Zircuit

Zircuit is an Ethereum rollup that uses zero-knowledge proofs ― a cryptographic technique used to validate transactions without revealing all the data they contain.

Zircuit hasn’t launched its mainnet. That’s expected to happen in the summer, but it hasn’t stopped airdrop hopefuls from piling into the protocol’s test network with almost $2.5 billion in deposits into Zircuit staking this month.

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Early adopters who deposit funds in Zircuit receive points for doing so. As usual, there’s the expectation that those points will be converted into Zircuit’s native token in the future but the project team hasn’t announced such plans yet.

Apart from Zircuit points, depositors also receive points from the project’s partners, including Renzo, EigenLayer, and eOracle ― the latter two are still tokenless.

Users have staked $2.5 billion in crypto on Zircuit hoping to secure airdrop

EigenLayer

EigenLayer is DeFi’s second-largest protocol in terms of investor deposits as it holds $15.4 billion.

The protocol is at the centre of the restaking hype ― a buzzy, new crypto meta that involves staking already staked Ether.

These deposits are fueled by the widespread assumption that EigenLayer will airdrop its token to early adopters.

In recent months, Eigen Labs, developers of the protocol, have refused to say whether an airdrop is forthcoming, simply telling users on Discord, “there is no token.”

Still, this denial might be a tactic by the developers to avoid scrutiny from US regulators.

Karak

Karak is another player in the restaking sector. The budding protocol is by no means a major competitor to EigenLayer ― at least not yet, but it’s valued at $1 billion. It has managed to attract $400 million in investor deposits since its private launch earlier in April.

Unlike EigenLayer, which works exclusively on Ethereum, Karak supports restaking on Arbitrum and its native blockchain Karak Network. The protocol also allows restaking of assets apart from Ether, including stablecoins and various forms of liquid-staked ETH

Karak has a points programme as well ― a campaign where users are rewarded with XP for depositing funds and referring others. XP is similar to points and the expectation is that it will culminate in a token airdrop for early adopters.

The protocol hasn’t announced plans to convert the XP to an airdrop.

Airdrop points farming catapult Karak deposits reach to $400 million barely a week after private launch.

friend.tech

Socialfi platform friend.tech has experienced something of a renaissance this month with the launch of its second version, called V2, and the possibility of an airdrop.

Earlier this month, the platform saw $7.4 million in user deposits in one day, the largest single-day volume since its heyday in late October.

A buzzing market for friend.tech points has emerged amid reports the project will airdrop 100% its total token supply.

That’s an outlier for crypto airdrops as the freely given tokens are usually only a small proportion of the project’s total supply.

LayerZero and zkSync

LayerZero and zkSync are two of the most highly anticipated crypto airdrops.

Both have attracted significant farming activity over the last two years. Farming means registering activity on a protocol or blockchain to qualify for a possible airdrop.

The developers behind both projects have confirmed airdrops of their planned native tokens. LayerZero is expected before the end of the first half of the year, but little is known about the timing for zkSync’s token distribution.

Osato Avan-Nomayo is our Nigeria-based DeFi correspondent. He covers DeFi and tech. To share tips or information about stories, please contact him at osato@dlnews.com.