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Farming for Free: Are Solana Airdrops Still Worth It?

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In December 2023, the Jito airdrop, a generous distribution of tokens from a top Solana project, surprised many users. Early adopters who deposited just 1 SOL on the platform for a few months received airdrops exceeding $15,000. However, the landscape has shifted significantly since then. Solana’s total value locked (TVL) has quadrupled, attracting a surge of users, both genuine and automated (bots), eager to explore the ecosystem. This begs the question: with the influx of activity, is chasing Solana airdrops still a worthwhile endeavor? We’ll delve into this by examining five distinct airdrop opportunities within the Solana ecosystem.

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Kanimo Finance
A spokesperson for Kamino, a platform offering liquidity, leverage, and lending services, highlighted the protocol’s recent achievements and its unique points program. Kamino launched in 2022 and has recently surpassed its previous total value locked (TVL) record, reaching $395 million. The representative also noted Kamino’s position as the fourth largest decentralized application (dApp) on Solana by TVL.

The spokesperson further explained the platform’s points program, which launched in January 2024. They emphasized that early users (referred to as “OG users”) received double the daily points on their deposits as a retroactive reward. Additionally, they clarified that information regarding venture capital funding for Kamino is not publicly available.

The representative then detailed how users can earn points on the platform through liquidity provision. They emphasized the dynamic nature of the program, highlighting the ability to gain significant point boosts by performing specific actions or depositing certain tokens. For instance, the spokesperson explained that users currently earn one point per dollar lent or borrowed per day for any asset on Kamino. However, they pointed out that depositing SOL and borrowing specific stablecoins like USDT and USDC currently earns users five times more daily points due to the ongoing point boosts.

Airdrop concept with colorful parachutes and free golden coins Dollar USD on dark digital background. Distribution of free coins concept. Vector illustration.

Drift Protocol
A representative for Drift, the leading perpetual DEX on Solana, touted the platform’s recent developments and its limited-time points program. Drift boasts prominent backers like Polychain Capital, Jump Capital, and Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakavenko, and has secured $23.5 million in funding. Notably, the representative emphasized the program’s short duration of three months, suggesting the imminent launch of the Drift token within the next 2-3 months.

They outlined two primary methods of earning points: providing liquidity through Drift’s DLP (counter-trading Drift users, but with potentially negative returns) and leveraged trading on the platform. They stressed that most points are allocated to active traders, making Drift a potentially lucrative option for them.

However, the representative cautioned about the relatively low weekly point distribution compared to Drift’s trading volume. They advised users to only farm points if they can consistently achieve a weekly trading volume of at least $15,000-$20,000, as lower volumes may yield minimal rewards. Ultimately, the representative concluded, the Drift airdrop is worth pursuing for high-volume traders, especially given the program’s confirmed three-month timeframe.

Tensor
While acknowledging the complexities involved, a prominent airdrop enthusiast expressed their excitement for the potential of the Tensor airdrop, considering it the most promising on this list. They highlighted Tensor’s position as the leading NFT marketplace on Solana, a blockchain with a strong NFT ecosystem and the third-largest NFT sales volume in the past 24 hours. Based on these factors, they predicted a valuation exceeding $1 billion for Tensor’s token upon launch. They emphasized that the ongoing Season 3 program will likely be the last chance to earn points before the airdrop.

The enthusiast outlined several methods for accumulating points, including bidding on NFTs, listing existing NFTs, and engaging in market-making. They acknowledged the potential difficulty for non-NFT enthusiasts, suggesting market-making as the most viable option. While requiring active management, the enthusiast, referencing a guide by a renowned airdrop farmer, Gr3g, ultimately deemed it worthwhile for individuals with limited capital and spare time.

MaginFi
An observer commented on MarginFi, the leading money market on Solana, highlighting its popularity despite its relatively low funding of $3 million. They emphasized MarginFi’s dominance within the Solana DeFi space, boasting the highest TVL of $480 million among all dApps on the chain. However, they expressed concern regarding the program’s extended duration of over seven months, with no official end date announced.

They explained the straightforward point-earning system on MarginFi, where each dollar lent and borrowed earns 1 and 4 points per day, respectively. However, they raised concerns about the airdrop’s potential dilution, given that over 100,000 wallets have already participated in the program. While acknowledging the possibility of a tiered airdrop similar to Jito, potentially leading to a successful outcome, they expressed their preference for Kamino’s airdrop due to its perceived lower participation, despite MarginFi’s potential for a multi-billion dollar valuation upon token launch. They revealed their own participation in both programs while strategically shifting some assets towards Kamino based on their assessment of the relative farming potential.

In conclusion, while the landscape has shifted from the Jito airdrop’s exceptional payouts, I believe Solana airdrops remain a worthwhile endeavor, particularly for individuals with limited capital. Many projects distribute tokens across multiple tiers, offering opportunities for smaller portfolios to accumulate meaningful rewards. However, approaching airdrop farming with realistic expectations and thorough research is crucial for success. Remember, consistent effort and strategic participation across various platforms can translate into a “decent amount of money,” even if it doesn’t reach the heights of the Jito phenomenon.

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