AUG 24, 2023
Unveiling the Airdrop Hunting Studios: Over Ten Thousand Accounts, Highest Earnings on Arbitrum
by 吴说猫弟, WuBlockchain
Original Article Link:
In this article, both the interviewed individual, Mr. Dong (pseudonym), and the Web3 BlueSky Studio are early participants with extensive experience in airdrop hunting.
Mr. Dong joined the airdrop hunting community in 2018 due to Dfinity ($ICP) and established his studio in early 2020. Mr. Dong‘s studio currently consists of around thirty to forty members. Apart from Chengdu and Vietnam, a Singapore team is also under development. In their operations, activities like airdrop arbitrage are categorized as execution-type business, including interactive airdrops, testnet nodes, and new token offerings. These three major categories are further divided into numerous subcategories.
According to Mr. Dong's introduction, his studio was an active participant on the CoinList token sale platform in its early stages, being among the first batch of participants. "At its peak, we had over ten thousand accounts queued up." Among the projects they participated in, Mr. Dong revealed that during the period from 2020 to 2022, there were relatively high probabilities of airdrops. Typically, after receiving airdrops, they would sell directly to profit. The project with the highest returns was Aptos ($APT), "Since we applied for the testnet and received NFTs, apart from manual and server costs, we didn't have any other participation costs. The average earnings per account were around 1500U."
Similarly, Web3 BlueSky Studio was also an early participant on the CoinList platform, with a small team of six members. Currently, they mainly focus on deep interactions with 4000 zkSync wallets. Starting from 2021, the studio has been participating in new token offerings, with over ten thousand accounts at that time. After receiving airdrops, they usually sell directly for cash, with an overall profit of approximately 10 million RMB. Among their gains, they earned the most from Arbitrum and Aptos, amounting to $2 million and $400,000, respectively.
Based on years of airdrop hunting experience, Mr. Dong emphasized that their main costs are related to manpower and servers. Time costs are also high since the airdrop cycles for many projects are quite lengthy, and they might receive the rewards two or three years after participation. Similarly, Web3 BlueSky Studio expressed that airdrop hunting doesn't yield short-term visible gains, and many people find it difficult to persist.
With increasingly strict anti-sybil regulations, the likelihood of gaining profits through airdrop hunting is decreasing. To address this, Web3 BlueSky Studio is opting for participation in mainnet airdrop projects and reducing investment costs by assessing certain projects. " The cost of on-chain airdrop will increase in the future, and the anti-sybil rules won't be limited to on-chain data alone; facial recognition will also become a trend."
"For studios to survive, they need not only money but also the infrastructure required for airdrop hunting. There's no reliable third-party, self-development is the key." Mr. Dong's studio has launched a technology department responsible for developing their own cloud system, independent fingerprints, devices, and IPs, all stored in the cloud for online operation anytime, anywhere.
Recently, with the weak cryptocurrency market and inadequate airdrop benefits from several projects, many studios are facing the risk of transformation or closure, leading some to criticize the airdrop hunting industry. In response, Mr. Dong stated that under FOMO sentiments, the lack of patience, funds, and luck resulting in difficulty earning money and closure is a normal phenomenon.
"In an unknown situation, studios don't need to blindly expand, but should focus on wallet isolation and anti-sybil measures. Especially at this stage, it's not recommended for ordinary users to enter, as IPs, fingerprint browsers, Twitter, Gmail, etc., all involve considerable costs," noted Web3 BlueSky Studio during the interview.
In fact, as the airdrop industry is becoming increasingly competitive, "Airdrop Hunter" are becoming more professional, and their services are diversifying, even including professional airdrop representatives and training programs.
Recently, the administrator of the Benmo community, Super4DeFI, tweeted, "A few friends' airdrop hunting studios around me are not only not closing down, but also becoming more professional. On one hand, they have gained handsomely from projects like ARB and SUI; on the other hand, they also engage in DeFi and arbitrage to support the studio, and there are no major issues." Mr. Dong also revealed that entering the second half of 2022, his studio has ceased widespread project participation, only focusing on airdrops with higher probabilities. Furthermore, they've started to seek new directions with some initial success. According to Mr. Dong, their main business has expanded beyond just airdrops, now including a SaaS system service division for airdrop-specific platforms, a KYC division, and an upcoming MCN division.
At the same time, Mr. Dong also mentioned during the interview that the threshold for airdrop hunting will become higher in the future, requiring not only funds but also talent and infrastructure. Hence, during the bear market, it's best for everyone to learn more and act less while cultivating talent. However, he also pointed out that airdrops, testnet rewards, various ID0s, etc., are all ways of distributing tokens for projects. As long as new projects are launched, these behaviors will continue, and there will always be arbitrage opportunities. The airdrop hunting industry won't disappear or halt; only the high enthusiasm and the cries of newly established studios will subside.