The airdrop of BONK on the Solana blockchain network was certainly a valuable one, with users making a pretty penny on their free crypto. With airdrops like BONK presenting many crypto users with free money, you may be wondering what the most valuable airdrops of all time have been within the cryptocurrency sector. That’s why we’ve assembled this list of the top five most valuable airdrops of all time. Did BONK make the list? Let’s find out.
What’s an Airdrop?
An airdrop is a campaign wherein a cryptocurrency project gives their coins or tokens to users for free. Airdrops are used as a marketing strategy to help draw in new potential users/investors. Airdrops can be extremely lucrative depending on the asset you receive and the amount. If you want to learn more about airdrops and how they work, check out this article.
Let’s look at the five most valuable airdrops of all time.
The Five Richest Airdrops of All Time
Below we’ll mention the top 5 most valuable airdrops of all time. In order to assess the value of the airdrops, we’re going to use the all-time high of the asset itself as the price reference point. It’s certainly possible to have gotten some of these airdrops and sold too early, or too late, to have made the maximum return on your free crypto.
We’re not going to include assets that are hard forked (such as Bitcoin splitting into Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash), as those aren’t quite the same as these ones. They were certainly valuable airdrops though.
Let’s start with the fifth most valuable airdrop of all time.
5. Ethereum Naming Service (ENS) – $1.88 Billion
Ethereum Naming Service (ENS) is a blockchain service that allows you to replace complicated wallet addresses with human-readable ones such as CCH.eth. You can tell someone your ENS address and funds will be sent to your wallet automatically without them having to copy and paste a full alphanumeric wallet address.
It was launched through an airdrop in 2021, with all pre-registered users receiving some ENS. The value of the airdrop when taking ENS’ all-time high into account was $1.88 billion.
4. dYdX (DYDX) – $2.01 Billion
dYdX (DYDX) is an Ethereum project designed for trading. It airdropped tokens back in 2021, but with a vesting period, meaning the value of the airdrop is technically changing over time. At its all-time high of over $27 USD, the airdrop had a value of over $2 billion. However, the asset trades at around $2 USD nowadays meaning that despite the vesting schedule, the asset’s airdrop value has likely peaked.
3. Arbitrum (ARB) – $3.06 Billion
Arbitrum (ARB) is an Ethereum layer-2 (L2), designed to enhance network speeds while reducing network costs. It is similar to other Ethereum L2s such as Optimism (OP), Polygon (MATIC), and Base (BASE), and is a direct competitor to them as well.
Arbitrum had its airdrop in March of 2023, with 12.75% of the maximum supply being distributed. At its all time high price of $2.40 USD in mid-January 2024 gives this airdrop a value of over $3 billion dollars and it could be higher if it hits another all-time high.
2. Apecoin (APE) – $3.54 Billion
Apecoin (APE) was airdropped to users of the Yuga Labs (creator of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs) ecosystem. Users could receive over 10k APE tokens, which at an all-time high of over $39 USD was a very lucrative airdrop and in total amounted to over $3.5 billion being distributed.
Much like dYdX though, APE has dropped significantly and now trades at about $1.50 a piece.
1. Uniswap (UNI) – $6.74 Billion
Uniswap (UNI) is the largest and most popular decentralized exchange across all blockchain networks. It started on Ethereum but has expanded to other networks such as Polygon, Solana, and Binance Smart Chain. In September 2020, the project creators airdropped UNI tokens to users of the protocol, with UNI functioning as a governance token for the protocol.
At its all-time high price of just under $45 USD per UNI and with 150k Uniswap airdropped, this airdrop was worth just about $6.75 billion dollars. Of course, much like with APE and dYdX, UNI’s price has dropped significantly and it trades around $6 a piece in early 2024.
Closing Thoughts: Plenty of Value to Be Found
There have certainly been some lucrative airdrops over the past few years within the crypto sector. We didn’t even mention many of the other airdrops that still generated just about a billion in value, or all the ones in the hundreds of millions either. Perhaps the biggest takeaway from lists like this is that it’s probably a good idea to sell an airdrop sooner than later. Otherwise, you may be holding a much less valuable bag.