Arbitrum’s ARB Token Airdrop: It’s Happening

A total of 12.6% of ARB token supply will be airdropped

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Arbitrum Foundation, the governing body behind Ethereum layer-2 scaling solution Arbitrum, is making decentralization strides. 

The latest indicator: plans for a token airdrop alongside launching Arbitrum Orbit, its layer-3 development tool.

The move falls in line with a proposal from Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s co-founder, in which he identified necessary steps to allow optimistic rollups to “take off training wheels” — and become fully decentralized in the process. 

Steven Goldfeder, CEO at Offchain Labs, told Blockworks that Arbitrum would be one of the first Ethereum rollups to move from stage zero to one.

“This is a very big milestone, not only for us at off-chain or the Arbitrum Foundation, but also for Ethereum scaling,” Goldfeder said. 

How Arbitrum mapped out its upcoming airdrop

Arbitrum is positioning its airdrop — expected March 23 — as a way to place governance power into community hands, Goldfeder told Blockworks.

“We worked very closely with Nansen over the past few months on designing airdrop eligibility criteria,” Goldfeder said. “We have a point system based on different criteria, such as usage, to help determine the amount of points each user gets.”

The eligibility criteria for the airdrop can be found on gov.arbitrum.foundation.

The user airdrop will make up 11.5% of the total token supply, with an additional 1.1% earmarked for DAOs.

“So, projects on Arbitrum that have their own communities will also be eligible for the DAO to get an airdrop,” Goldfeder said. “Our hope and expectation are that this ends up in the hands of Arbitrum users as well, but it is the DAO who will have the ability to distribute them.”

The remaining governance tokens will be distributed over time to the community through grant programs and other initiatives led by the DAO. 

“We’d like things to have an open and fair process, and I think history has shown us the importance of delegation in the claiming flow,” he said. 

Layer 3 developer tools to boot

Alongside the airdrop announcement, Arbitrum has also released a development kit for those interested in building a layer-3 solution on top of Arbitrum.

The L3 development toolkit, dubbed Arbitrum Orbit, will allow anyone to launch their own L3 on top of the Arbitrum code base.

“The community will have the ability to innovate and build and also modify the code,” Goldfeder said. “The idea is giving the licensing over into the hands of the community.”

In one prominent feature, the ARB token will not be used to pay any fees on the Arbitrum chain, and on-chain fees will remain payable through ETH.

The mechanism is similar to Optimism’s OP token, which operates only as a governance token. Arbitrum’s airdrop has been much anticipated since its competitor Optimism revealed its governance token last May.

“What the Arbitrum Orbit does, it will bring yet another tool into the hands of developers,” Goldfeder said. “You can now build a smart contract with the public Arbitrum chains and get security derived from Ethereum.”


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