Airdrops?! Bounties!? Giveaways?! With the recent extreme insurgence of free cryptocurrencies the entire community has, as you might expect, been going quite bonkers and would-be investors have been going pretty insane trying to lap up all the free digital money they can fit in their digital wallets.
Now, I won't lie, I have personally probably played a part in causing this absolute cluster fuck of so-called 'airdrops' by promoting pretty much all of them via my Twitter and then posting them on this-here website. I am sorry for that. It hasn't helped the crypto industry at all and has lead to this weirdly peculiar scenario where crypto investors have become the equivalent of Black Friday shoppers, trampling on everything and anyone in their path to get free cryptocurrencies which, ultimately, end up being worthless.
Genuinely, some people would sell their mothers for the chance to grab some free worthless shit-coin and many developers have caught-wind of this and, ultimately, capitalised on the current trend, as you may expect.
With all this talk of airdrops, giveaways and bounties being thrown about constantly the words have somewhat lost their meaning and people are starting to see everything labelled as an airdrop, even when it isn't.
So, in an attempt to right a wrong, and assist the readers of Something Decent, I have decided to make this post dedicated to informing you all of the differences between three of the most talked about crypto distribution methods of the year so far: airdrops, bounties and giveaways.
First I am going to talk about the infamous, the enigmatic, the most misused label of them all, the airdrop. As briefly mentioned above, nowadays pretty much every crypto distribution which isn't an ICO is wrongly labelled as an airdrop by pretty much everyone.
Whether you're a developer, marketer, engineer or simply a punter, this is going to be a term you have seen banded about (probably incorrectly) and used yourself a number of times, but what does it actually mean?
This is something which I feel quite strongly about personally so I will explain, an airdrop is meant to be an absolutely free distribution of a token. It's meant to be a method of distributing a token to somebody, without making them jump through hoops to get it. Airdrops are literally meant to be conducted via a simple registration form or snapshot.
They are meant to be distributed equally to all participants or on a scale which is publicly available. For example, the recent Ethereum Zero fork which took place in January was an entirely free airdrop which saw all holders of Ethereum receive an equal amount of Ethereum Zero.
How did you enter the airdrop? By simply having Ethereum in a wallet which you held the private keys for. No signing up to this, that, or the other. No following everyone and their dog. No referring 50 million people to receive 2 tokens of unknown value. That is an airdrop. Free coins with little to no effort.
Another example of an actual airdrop is the recent Enumivo drop which saw users simply send 0 (yes, zero) Ethereum to a smart contract address which automatically sent you a set amount of ENU tokens. Simple, right?
To give a more common example of an airdrop which has successfully been distributed I'll use the infamous eBTC distribution in which all users had to do was simply fill in a form with their email, and an Eth address they owned, and then confirm their email by clicking a link. Easy, right?
My final example of an airdrop distribution method is the Alvalor distribution method which, again, is easy enough for users and costs nothing at all. The way in which this airdrop is being carried out is by rewarding holders of Ethereum with a set amount of TVAL tokens. The way in which holders of Eth attained their tokens was by simply signing a message in their wallet and submitting the response in an online form. Job done.
Next on the list, as the sub-heading may suggest, is the prolific 'giveaway'. Now, before starting, I feel I need to explain that my interpretation of the giveaway concept comes from the traditional, conventional, meaning of "a thing which is given away for free".
Due to the fact that it has always meant one thing or a limited supply of things I always treat a giveaway as a sort of random lottery or competition whereby the person who gets the 'prize' doesn't have to do much more than buy a ticket for the metaphorical raffle.
For example, the 'giveaways' which I conduct via my Twitter account. For those absolutely anyone can enter and entry is as easy as it can possibly be (follow me on Twitter), however, the prize is not something which everybody who enters will receive. The winner of the prize is randomly selected and the number of winners is stated prior to participation.
You can see from my explanation how a giveaway is so inherently different to an airdrop. An airdrop would imply that everyone who enters will receive the same amount of tokens or, at least, tokens distributed on a publicly viewable scale whereas a giveaway would imply that the number of winners is considerably less than the number of people who entered.
Finally, bounties (not the chocolate). The most common type of distribution of crypto which is disguised as an airdrop. Once again, my definition of a bounty comes from the traditional meaning of the word which is "a sum paid by the state to encourage trade.". In the example of cryptocurrencies the developers are the state and the holders are the ones being paid to encourage trade.
This is the category where the majority of recent airdrops actually fall under as they all require you to do so many tasks to get an insignificant share of their tokens. There are many that try to call themselves an airdrop as they give you a small supply of tokens for signing up to their forum, website, telegram etc etc. However they're not actually airdrops.
To see where I am coming from you need to ask yourself why these companies want you to send out a tweet or join their Telegram channel. The answer is simple, the more Twitter or Telegram followers their social media channels have the more legitimate they look as a business. By looking like a more legitimate business trading is essentially encouraged and they then start to receive more bids in their ICO stage.
That's it. All these cryptocurrencies which are asking you to jump through the metaphorical flaming hoop with a banner promoting their company are literally using you as a tool to promote their company prior to actually opening their ICO. Nothing more.
This is my biggest gripe. When I see bounties listed as airdrops I literally sit here thinking "don't piss on my head and tell me it's raining" because that's what they're doing.
So, to give this whole rant a tidy little conclusion, airdrops should never require you to do much more than signup in order to receive your tokes, giveaways shouldn't require you to do much more than signup either, however, they will generally only have a set number of winners which is usually lower than the number of participants, and bounties require you to actively promote the currency which is being offered.
There you have it, a handy-dandy explanation of airdrops, bounties and giveaways. Feel free to share this article to promoters who are incorrectly labelling their token distributions as we need to unite and stop this madness.