What Previous Crypto Airdrops Tell Us About Where BLUR May Be Headed

Blur has rewarded its NFT traders with a brand new token airdrop and it’s already seeing some trademark crypto volatility


Shutterstock.com/Thx4Stock, modified by Blockworks


Tuesday witnessed the final airdrop and launch of BLUR, the native crypto of the upstart NFT marketplace of the same name, which saw one trader clinching close to $2 million.

Some NFT traders who scooped the BLUR airdrop sold as the asset’s price began in free-fall. BLUR was last trading around $0.76, down nearly 90% from prices beyond $6 briefly seen on some exchanges.

The token is listed on Coinbase and OKX, among other centralized platforms, as well as decentralized exchanges Uniswap.

Over time, airdrops have pivoted from paying new users for completing social tasks to rewarding early adopters.

Blur, for example, scaled its crypto airdrops to NFT trading activity on its platform, which serves as both a NFT marketplace and aggregator.

As Blockworks previously reported, Blur’s incentives often inspired more trade volumes on the platform than market leader OpenSea over the past few months.

BLUR’s short-term volatility is to be expected. But the longer-term performance of other airdropped tokens may shed light on its potential future. 

Blockworks analyzed the performance of 11 tokens issued via airdrops and found they’ve fallen 43.4% on average.

UNI is a notable outlier alongside optimism (OP), the governance token used to help steward the Layer-2 Ethereum network of the same name. OP is up 74% since its first trading price recorded on CoinGecko, jumping from $1.40 on May 31, 2022 to $2.43 today.

Popular decentralized exchange Uniswap’s UNI airdropped on Sept. 17, 2020. Two days later, it had risen 160%, from $2.97 to $7.82, per CoinGecko.

UNI had shed significant value after 40 days, eventually bottoming out at $1.70 before running up alongside the broader crypto market throughout 2021, to a peak of $45 on May 3. 

UNI is basically even over the past 30 days and down 36% on a yearly basis. It’s performed well since launch, comparatively, practically tracking bitcoin to more than double.

Blur rival LooksRare also airdropped crypto

DYDX, the token of its namesake decentralized crypto derivatives exchange, shot up 35% after its retroactive airdrop on Sept. 8, 2021. DYDX jumped a further 70% over a three-week period to an all-time high of $26.80.

The token has since lost more than 95% of its value, dropping to a low of $1 last June. DYDX has enjoyed a 70% bounce over the last 30 days but it remains 60% down from prices one year ago.

Ethereum Name Service’s ENS token, whose first price on CoinGecko was $39.31 on Nov. 10, 2021, spiked 107% to a high of $81.61 on Nov. 11, before halving to $39 only eight days later. 

ENS is now trending down, sans a brief pump to $75. It has lost 14% on a yearly basis to reach $14.40, 63% below its first recorded price.

The native token of Blur rival LooksRare has fared much worse since its airdrop.

uniswap and optimism stand as some of the best performing airdrop tokens

After airdropping 120 million LOOKS to certain OpenSea users on Jan. 10 last year, prices jumped 250% in the following nine days to an all-time high of $7.10. 

Price action failed to hold up throughout 2022 as the token shed 98% of its value — dropping to a low of $0.11 on Nov. 21. The token is down 89% over the past year.

Over the past few years, airdrops have proven successful in incentivizing user participation, particularly over the short term. But maintaining valuations seems difficult.

Smaller cryptocurrencies almost always correlate with bitcoin, so poor performances post-airdrop should be considered with this in mind.

Still, their histories show they tend to suffer from intense volatility, especially in the days directly following their initial distributions.

David Canellis contributed reporting.

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