Why Airdrop Cryptocurrency Tokens?
Allen, DWE, Berg, C, Lane, A (forthcoming) 'Why Airdrop Cryptocurrency Tokens?' Journal of Business Research.
33 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2022 Last revised: 8 Apr 2023
Date Written: October 21, 2022
A cryptocurrency token airdrop is a novel means of distributing rights over a blockchain project to a community of users and owners for free. The market value of these airdrop giveaways is often upwards of hundreds of millions of dollars. This paper considers why projects might choose this unusual and costly means of token distribution. It considers a diverse selection of high-profile airdrops as case studies between 2014 and 2022. This is the first comprehensive analysis of the rationales and mechanisms of Web3 token airdrops. We find that two primary rationales for airdrops are marketing (to attract new users and to maintain a community) and decentralisation of ownership and control of a project (building community, providing regulatory protection, and enhancing security). Additional rationales include creating liquid public markets and taxation treatment of token distribution. The paper contributes to an understanding of business practice and strategy in the emerging cryptocurrency and blockchain industry.
Keywords: Airdrops, Cryptocurrency, Tokens, Blockchain, Web3, Marketing
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