Are Crypto Airdrops a Missed Online Gambling Opportunity?

Published August 25, 2023 by Shane

Are Crypto Airdrops a Missed Online Gambling Opportunity?

We delve into the interesting but little-spoken-of world of crypto airdrops to learn how they work, what their use is, and how they could be used to enhance online gambling promotional offers.

User behaviour in the cryptocurrency space often parallels that of online gamblers, which is why the two markets work so well together. Given the popularity of no-deposit bonuses, wager-free bonuses, and lucky prize draws at online casinos, it is no surprise that the crypto-community has its own version of these offers, the airdrop.

What is a Crypto Airdrop?

An airdrop is a marketing campaign to raise awareness of a specific crypto project. These campaigns are geared towards sharing a fixed number of crypto assets among a large base of users to gain market share.

Participants in airdrop campaigns stand to gain one of two things:

  • Free crypto tokens
  • Free non-fungible tokens (NFT)

Given that there is generally no financial purchase required to participate, the crypto assets literally “fall into your lap”, which is the best kind of “airdrop” one can imagine, given the potential for crypto assets to grow in value. However, much like with online gambling, there are no guarantees that your NFT or coinage will be the one that delivers the most significant returns.

Three Types of Crypto Token Airdrops

Given the hype around high-value cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and meme-driven tokens like PepeCoin, new decentralised currencies are the most sought-after airdrop rewards. Here are the three most common ways these token drops are facilitated.

The Standard Airdrop

Standard airdrops function much like no-deposit casino bonuses in that no cost-inducing actions need to take place for a customer to claim their tokens. In most cases, a would-be crypto holder only needs to open an account with the relevant token distributor and provide the wallet address so the coins can be airdropped into their account.

As with any promotion, these free crypto reward campaigns are incredibly popular, which can cause frustration should there be more claimants than the airdrop allows for. This is why some airdrops are done via pre-qualifying lucky draws, with winners receiving the full airdrop and others receiving smaller prizes to ease the sting of missing out.

Bounty-Based Airdrops

As these promotions are intended to help a cryptocurrency gain traction, the most common airdrop you find online is bounty or activity-focused. These bounties do not require the participant to spend money but rather engage with the new token on social media to share the good news of its arrival.

Once again, online casino fans are used to sites offering promotions on social media where you need to follow an account, share it with your friends, leave comments and other innocuous if not slightly time-consuming activities.

The only activity not common to the online casino experience but is prevalent in this type of airdrop is requiring the customer to be active on a message forum like a Discord server during the draw to qualify for a prize.

Holder-Friendly Airdrops

The final and less common type of airdrop offers free tokens to hodlers based on the amount of another cryptocurrency they hold. The best example of this type of promotion was the launch of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in 2017.

There was a hard fork on 1 August 2017, which created BCH. The new coin was designed to encourage decentralisation through lower fees and faster processing times. However, to kickstart its use, the developers promoted BCH by offering Bitcoin holders 1 BCH as a free bonus for every 1 BTC they owned.

The result was a near-instant network of crypto investors who held more than 16 million BCH worldwide, valued at around $11 billion at the time. This large block of value resulted in exchanges being “forced” to add BCH support to their platforms or risk their users moving to competitors who did.

The Why and How of NFT Airdrops

When it comes to the highly erratic world of NFTs, they have found their use for airdrops, delayed gratification. Rather than offer an upfront free NFT, a new campaign will promise a free NFT via an airdrop to all participants of its initial offering.

This allows the creators to generate interest in their project and sell out its first phase, both of which drive up its value. They then generate a unique limited-scope NFT collection solely for its initial customers. Based on RNG, these investors stand to receive a high-value variant, which means these are essentially games of chance but only on a bigger scale.

While this aligns closely with holder airdrops, the main difference is that you need to gamble new money to enter the NFT Airdrop, whereas the former is based on crypto you already own.

The only exception to this format to date has been the Bored Apes Yacht Club (BAYC) airdrop which gave all BAYC holders a special “serum”. When the injection-themed NFT was exposed to a Bored Ape NFT, it transformed into a new Mutant Ape NFT (MAYC). This clever use of theme and storytelling made the airdrop a massive success, but it has not been replicated.

Airdrops as Online Gambling Promotions

As we've already discussed, the value proposition and user participation inherent to airdrop campaigns mirror those of the online gambling space, making it the ideal gateway for crypto-gambling promotions and special events.

While a small number of crypto casinos and betting sites offer airdrop promotions, they are few and far between. With the potential to grow a user base and encourage engagement, here are some ways we feel they could be used better:

  • New crypto site launch: New crypto-first gambling sites should mint NFTs which can be airdropped to players who register new accounts. Add-ons like the BAYC serum concept could be added for additional engagement to add ongoing layers of value to customers and create newsworthy marketing material.
  • Launching new tokens: Exclusive airdrops to crypto-casino customers. This creates new users for the casino and the new token, in an environment that encourages the coins to be used, creating liquidity.
  • Promote new games: Players who engage with new crypto casino games stand to win a prize in a lucky draw. Creates interest in the title, encourages engagement, and offers the chance to win a prize both on and off the “casino floor”.

Airdrops could also be used as the engine for crypto-gambling loyalty programs where users with birthdays, longstanding active player accounts and other key touchpoints are rewarded via airdrop for their patronage.

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