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When it comes to increasing awareness and adoption for a cryptocurrency, some of the most effective ways of doing this are through Airdrops and Bounties.

This is particularly relevant in today’s day and age where there are thousands of different cryptocurrencies that are all vying for their time in the spotlight.

In this post, we will take an in-depth look at these methods as well as how someone can participate in them.

Creating Awareness, Spreading Adoption

Many people know that the success of a project often hinges on the amount of people that are using a network as well as how much coverage it gets. One cannot expect a cryptocurrency to naturally be adopted without some help from a community.

Bitcoin is perhaps one of the most notable examples as it was the first of its kind and many early adopters wanted to see it succeed. Other newer cryptocurrencies do not always have this privilege.


Cryptocurrencies airdrops & bounties

ICO concept illustration. Idea of mining and cryptocurrency.

You also need to have awareness for a cryptocurrency before you can have adoption. People need to know what a cryptocurrency is, why it is different and why they should use it beforehand.

Hence, awareness and adoption are often intertwined. But how do you create awareness for a cryptocurrency?

Much like any other product and business, the team needs to be able to promote the cryptocurrency. ICOs usually do this with funds that they have raised initially from large investors in private sales.

These ICOs then use the funds in order to craft a digital marketing strategy. The hope of these projects is to raise enough funds such that they have another lucrative stash of coins for further marketing and promotion post raise.

However, what about those ICOs that do not have such a large war chest of coins prior to raise? What about those projects that are purely developer run and didn’t raise funds at all. How do you even compete in such a high money business?

ICO Bounties

Bounties have actually been derived from the world of digital gaming. These were free tokens and benefits that were given to those who helped in the development of a game.

They have also been used extensively in the penetration testing field. Developers and ethical hackers are given rewards or bounties for the bugs and vulnerabilities that they find in product code.

In the ICO and cryptocurrency realm though, bounties are rewards that the projects will give to you for completing a number of tasks. Some of these tasks are more manual and some are more technical.

However, they are generally quite cheap as they are a way for a project to give you some of the tokens that they currently have. They are tokens the project is going to release in any event so they see it is as a cost effective way for them to pay the community.

Cryptocurrencies airdrops & bounties
These are also a great way for those in the community to get their hands on coins without having to invest anything other than time. Of course, you will only want to back a project with legitimate chances of success as you do not want to waste your time for another low quality project.

When it comes to the types of bounties that are offered, it usually will differ according to what stage the project is in. There are those bounties that are offered prior to the ICO itself and there are those that are offered on an ongoing basis post raise.

Pre-ICO Bounties

These are the bounties that are offered in the initial stages of a project and are given in the hope that people in the community will help getting the word out about the upcoming ICO.

These bounties are what can hopefully incentivize users to spread the word of the project through numerous digital marketing outlets. These include through social media, blog posts and forums.

  • Social Media Bounties: These are bounties that are paid to person who will use their own social media accounts to promote the ICO and spread awareness. The amount of coins that are given out will depend on the reach of the promotions. For example, it will be tied to the number of retweets on Twitter, post shares on Facebook or video views on YouTube. You would probably have the most success on twitter though as that is where most of the promotion actually takes place.
  • Article Writing Bounties: If you own a blog or write on blogging platforms such as Steemit or Medium then this is a great way for you to take part in an article writing bounty. You will get paid for the amount of people that will read your post and the amount of traffic that it brings the ICO project.
  • Bitcoin Talk Signatures: This is also quite a simple bounty that involves merely having a signature of the ICO in your Bitcoin talk profile. Hence, whenever you post a reply in a forum or start a post you will be promoting the ICO. This will have a special tracking code that is attached to it such that the ICO can monitor how much you have actually posted etc. Obviously, the amount of tokens that you will earn in the bounty will depend on the seniority of your profile.

Post-ICO Bounties

These are Bounties that are provided on an ongoing basis that help to expand the project after its initial raise. These also aim to improve the project by taking the views of all of the community into account. There are two generally well known post ICO bounties and these are translation and bug reporting.

  • Translation Bounties: Been able to reach a global audience with the ICO is important. Hence, translation of important documents that can be read by others in another community is helpful. You can also take part by moderating a foreign language forum or Telegram group.
  • Bug Hunting: This is the more traditional form of bounty hunting where you will be rewarded for finding any vulnerabilities in the project’s code. If this project has built a number of smart contracts then you will audit these smart contracts. These can be the most lucrative bounties and there will be defined rules around how they can be claimed.

So these are the ways in which a project can reward a community for completing tasks that help the project grow. But what about the opportunity to earn coins for doing nothing?

This is where airdrops come in…


Airdrops are exactly as they sound. A project will release these coins to a community of users for free. They are usually used by developers to increase adoption of the project and garner interest.

Although airdrops are usually viewed as free coins, there are circumstances where an airdrop will be tied to a bounty. In other words, you will only qualify for an airdrop if you have completed a range of tasks that may apply to an ICO as per the bounty.

Cryptocurrencies airdrops & bounties
The simplest form of an airdrop is when a blockchain is forked and all of the holders of a particular coin will also have an equal amount of the new coin. The most famous of airdrops was the Bitcoin cash one that happened in October of 2017.

If the Aidrop is through a hardfork and new coins are minted then the developer will usually keep a small percentage of these coins in order pay for development costs at a later stage.

Now that you know what an airdrop is, you may be curious as to how you can claim these airdropped coins.

Claiming Airdropped Coins

The most popular way to distribute these airdropped coins is through an ERC20 wallet making use of the ERC20 protocol. The most popular of these is MyEtherWallet and in most cases, once an airdrop commences you will merely be sent the tokens to your address.

The coins will usually be sent in a ratio according to how much Ethereum is already in your wallet. Hence, you will have to make sure that you have at least the minimum amount of ETH in order to participate.

However, there have been airdrops that have sent a fixed amount of coins to Ethereum wallets assuming that they have a non-zero balance in them. These make sure that an equitable number of coins are spread across the community.

The blockchain project that is completing the Airdrop will send the coins based on a particular “snapshot” of the blockchain at a specific point in time. This is what they base the distribution on.

If you wanted to keep a look out for all of the upcoming airdrops that you could participate in then there are a number of sites and mediums that you could try. For example, you could join a Telegram channel that is devoted to news of potential releases.

You could also follow sites such as AirDropAlert, CoinAirdrops or even on a forum such as Bitcointalk.

Previous Airdrops

Examples of recent ERC20 airdrops that were released like this include the OmiseGo airdrop that was given to all Ethereum holders last year. As long as you had at least 0.1 ETH in your ERC20 address you were valid for the OMG tokens.

In the case of this Airdrop, the snapshot for the OMG token release was taken at block height 3988888 which happened at round about 7th of July 2017.

If you wanted to check whether you were eligible for the airdropped coins then you could always look into a block explorer such as Ehterscan.io which will show you the amount of any airdropped coins that have been sent to your ERC20 address.

There have also been airdrops that have occurred on competing smart contract platforms. One of the most notable is probably the Ontolgy airdrop (ONG) that was distributed to all holders of NEO tokens in their NEP 5 compliant addresses.

Cryptocurrencies airdrops & bounties
Another really interesting airdrop is the Bitcoin Private BTCP one. This was an airdrop to those people who held Bitcoin and ZClassic (a fork of ZCash). Many Bitcoin holders were scrambling to get their hands on Zclassic before the fork date in order to claim their Bitcoin Private.

A Word of Caution

It is important to lay out a word of caution when it comes to dealing with Airdrops. As with many things in cryptocurrency, there are scammers who are looking to take advantage of naive first time users.

Here are a few things that you should never do when it comes to claiming an airdrop:

  • Never hand over private keys. This is perhaps one of the most important security lessons when it comes to cryptocurrencies. With your private keys a hacker is able to steal all of your coins. As such, be very careful with Airdrop websites that ask you to insert your private keys. This is not needed as most of the airdrops will go straight to your wallet and you can monitor them on a blockchain explorer.
  • Make sure the Airdrop is authentic. Scammers may attempt to fool you by claiming an airdrop is occurring when it is not. You need to double check with the actual project and cross reference on sites like bitcointalk
  • Airdrops are free, never send coins to partake in one
  • Watch out for proprietary wallets. You should be especially careful of those airdrops that require you to download one. These could be Trojans that are laced with malware. They could steal everything on your PC and use your hardware to mine cryptocurrency. Make sure that the wallets they want you to use are fully tested and checked for viruses.


Bounties and Airdrops are great tools for projects that want to create a buzz around their token as well as increase adoption. They are also a great way for users to partake with relatively “free” awards. A true win-win.

Bounties will require some time and effort so you will need to decide how much your time is worth. Of course, if you are learning something new about cryptocurrencies then the time is not really “wasted” per se.

Airdrops are a great way to get your hands on truly free coins. As long as you practice basic crypto security 101 then you are unlikely to fall for any scams.

In conclusion, keep your eyes on the forums and your ears to the ground. Lucrative bounties / airdrops are abound.

Nic's imageNic is the founder of Coin Bureau and is an Ex-Goldman Sachs Banker. He has worked on many online businesses and is passionate about cryptocurrencies and decentralised technology.



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