Arkham’s airdrop choppy as traders eye ‘intelligence’ bounty odds

After claiming $15 million in airdropped tokens, what are ARKM recipients doing with their tokens?

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Months of market teases ended when blockchain analytics platform Arkham released its long-awaited ARKM token today. 

Arkham airdropped tokens in varying amounts to early entrants and beta testers of the new bounty platform. The token was also made available via Binance.  

As expected, the airdrop proved to be enormously popular, with over 47,000 addresses having claimed 23.7 million tokens worth over $15 million at press time. Both the token contract address, as well as the claims contract, have been among the largest gas guzzlers on the Ethereum chain for the day, per Nansen data. 

While the new asset has exceeded its initial exchange offering (IEO) price of $.50 and its fully diluted valuation ran as high as $800 million in the opening hours of trading, it has since retreated in the face of significant sell pressure from airdrop recipients. 

Arkham’s token launch represents a bet on the development of a marketplace focused on the  purchase and sale of crypto intelligence. Its formation — perhaps controversial to those opposed to payments for personal data, for example — has resulted in a bounty system through which analysts are paid for uncovering valuable data and information. 

In the hours since launch, ARKM has seen more than $150 million in trade volume, only $8.2 million of which comes from on-chain liquidity. Uniswap v3’s ARKM/WETH pool is by far the most popular. 

Binance floated ARKM with a token purchase hard cap of $15,000. Indications were that before the launch, would-be buyers staked significant amounts of BNB, Binance’s native token, in a bid to hit that maximum. 

ARKM, an ERC-20 token, grants its holders some say in Arkham Intelligence Exchange’s governance. It also provides discounts for using the core functions of the marketplace — including setting and fulfilling bounties, as well as exchanging corresponding data.   

The launch drew criticism from some crypto quarters, however. 

Andrew Smith, the founder of VRRB Labs, told Blockworks Arkham definitely has the “right to roll out a service that unmasks owners of digital wallets, as it’s public information.”

But Smith said “providing financial incentive to users to unveil the identities behind wallet addresses is an unsavory practice, and a bad look.”

Though Arkham has said it will monitor submissions and vet incoming information, industry participants suggest there is little limitation in terms of what is for sale. The Arkham Foundation is overseeing the process. 

The intelligence market launch has landed Arkham in some public hot water, particularly because of a bug that allowed users’ email addresses to be identified. Arkham later said it had fixed the problem.

“We’re very excited about the launch of the Arkham Intel Exchange and the Arkham Oracle,” Arkham representatives told Blockworks in a statement. “These are the kinds of products that will take on-chain analysis to the next level of usability and utility.” The firm declined to comment further.

Arkham also rolled out an AI-enabled oracle product on Tuesday that ties into its new intelligence platform. The product appears to be designed to allow a user to input a prompt into the oracle, which would return on-chain results, including wallet addresses.

Market moves, thus far

While the comparative dearth of on-chain data makes it difficult to measure precisely how many ARKM claimants have sold their tokens and how many are buying, some details do provide insight into how the market views the new token. 

Notably, while the claims contract has been interacted with over 47,000 times, there are roughly 31,000 token holders. Per a Dune Analytics dashboard from analyst Chris Lee, over 70% of claimants received fewer than 200 tokens. Five addresses received more than 100,000 ARKM tokens. 

Liquidity has, thus far, remained robust. Blockchain analysis indicates that Wintermute has been retained as a market maker. According to Nansen data, Wintermute received roughly 15 million ARKM tokens, the majority of which was sent to Binance and the rest were retained in trading addresses. 

Of the five addresses that received over 100,000 tokens, all appear to have moved their stakes to market. One sent over 180,000 tokens to Binance and received $137,000 USDT shortly after; another sold their claim for ETH over a period of an hour; two others sent tokens to Binance; and the last sold directly on-chain via 1inch for USDT. 

Despite the sell pressure from both smaller and larger holders, the asset remains up nearly 25% from its IEO price at $.66 at the time of publication. 

Binance previously said that to “protect users from high volatility,” the exchange took an unorthodox step in capping the price limit at a multiple of ten of the initial purchase price — $0.05. The move may have been designed as a measure to ward off traders looking to drive up the price.


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