There Was 60% Less "Free Money" From Token Airdrops in 2023 Versus a Year Earlier

Total value of crypto airdrops this year reached $4.5 billion, compared with $7.4 billion in 2022.

By: Pedro Solimano Loading...

There Was 60% Less "Free Money" From Token Airdrops in 2023 Versus a Year Earlier

Cryptocurrencies have rebounded this year versus last year’s bear market, but airdrops are still lagging.

Web3 projects have distributed $4.56 billion worth of tokens, valued at their all-time high, a 40% drop from 2022, according to Coingecko.

Despite this year’s drop, 13 of the top 50 airdrops took place in 2023, with Arbitrum leading this year’s airdrop ranking at $1.9 billion, landing in 4th place all-time.


The ARB token was distributed to users of the Arbitrum network in March, with its all-time high peaking at $8.67 during the same month. The token has dropped 85% since the airdrop trading today for $1.36, with a market capitalization of $1.37 billion.

The second-largest airdrop was Celestia’s token launch. The Layer 1 chain distributed $728 million of TIA tokens this year. The TIA token has gained 480% since its airdrop, from $2.08 to $12.17 today and $1.77 billion in market cap.

Last year saw the most “free money” given away, with $7.46B distributed, according to Coingecko. The figure is only slightly higher than previous years, with $7.43B and $7.28B airdropped in 2021 and 2020, respectively.

Apecoin and BONK

The biggest airdrop last year was Apecoin, which gave away $3.54 billion in APE tokens, ranking second for most value distributed. Since the airdrop, APE has dropped 80% in price, trading today for $1.72, with a $630 million market cap.

BONK, a token that has been enjoying a recent surge in price amid ongoing Solana season, commanded second for most value distributed. It gave away $1.32 billion, and the token is up 22,000% this year.

Automated market maker Uniswap has been the biggest airdrop in history, with $6.4B worth of UNI distributed on Sep. 16.

Other notable airdrops this year were Blur’s, although the project produced two different airdrops handing out $818M total; and Jito, a project that distributed $312M, briefly overtaking Lido’s valuation on launch.

For those on the lookout for upcoming airdrops, points have become the main bellwether. Rainbow, a non-custodial wallet, has announced a points system to reward MetaMask users. Jito has also recently announced a points system, as well as MarginFi, and Orbiter.