Five to six-figure-size airdrops have become the new norm in the crypto sector and a growing number of analysts believe there are more to come. In September dYdX distributed a massive airdrop to early users and last week the Ethereum Name Service gave out roughly $17,000 to $30,000 in ENS tokens to platform users. Anticipation of additional “helicopter money” has also led to a flurry of airdrop hunters seeking out the next big score.
The mad dash to engage with protocols and qualify for possible token drops led to an uptick in activity on Polygon, a popular layer-2 platform, and MetaMask. Since last week rumors that MetaMask may release its own token have been circulating and this is reflected in the increased engagement on MetaMask Swap.
According to data from Delphi Digital, activity through MetaMask Swap “has seen a huge usage increase in recent days” as the rumors of a possible airdrop are spread by influencers like Chico Crypto and a range of crypto Twitter entities.
As shown in the graph above, the volume of Ether transacted through MetaMask Swap has seen a significant increase since late October and the daily active users (DAU) of MetaMask Swap on Polygon has surged from 2,000 on Nov. 6 to 9,000 on Nov. 12.
As a result of the increased swap volume and the 0.875% fee that MetaMask takes from each swap, the protocol has amassed $200 million in revenue in 2021. This figure is impressive, especially compared to competitors like SushiSwap, which has earned $70 million year-to-date and Curve which pulled in $12 million.
High Ether fees push airdrop hunters to Polygon
High fees on the Ethereum network are the likely culprit behind the outsized jump in users on Polygon.
Evidence of the pickup in activity on Polygon can also be found when looking at the average gas cost of transactions on the network, which has been on the rise since the middle of October when the network saw a significant increase in the average transaction cost.
According to data from Dapp Radar, the 30-day average number of transactions on MetaMask swap has increased by 13.95% while the number of active users has risen 18.25%.
The historical activity chart above also shows a large spike in volume on Nov. 11 right as rumors about a potential airdrop were widely circulating on crypto social media channels.
Whether or not the spike in activity will pay off for those seeking an airdrop remains to be seen and it’s possible that MetaMask will employ some measures to counteract those trying to game the system with Sybil attacks similar to what was seen with Ribbon Finance.
The recent airdrop from ParaSwap provides a good example of some of these “anti-airdrop hunter” counter measures that could be taken to thwart those looking to game the system. The ParaSwap team made sure that only 1.5% of unique addresses that engaged with the protocol received the airdrop, much to the chagrin of airdrop hunters and honest early users of the platform.
At the moment, it’s not confirmed whether or not the team at MetaMask will release its own native token or whether an airdrop will occur. This means that all of the suggested methods for interacting with the platform in order to receive this rumored airdrop are nothing more than speculation, for now.
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Ray Schuetz received a Masters Degree in computer science from The University of Texas (Austin). Ray has been working as a full-time blockchain consultant for the past 3 years. In his spare time, Ray enjoys writing for EthereumCryptocurrency.com and other crypto news publications.