ZKsync Community Faces Backlash Over Airdrop Criteria: Detailed Breakdown and Implications for Token Distribution

On June 13, 2024, the ZK Nation community, backing the ZKsync project, addressed numerous questions and concerns regarding the upcoming ZKsync airdrop. This announcement, which shed light on the eligibility criteria and distribution mechanisms, aimed to ensure fairness and reward long-term community members.

This comprehensive article delves into the intricate details of the ZKsync airdrop, exploring the eligibility criteria, the reasoning behind the distribution, and the community’s response to the announcement.

ZKsync Airdrop: An Overview

ZKsync, a layer-2 scaling solution for Ethereum, is gearing up for a significant airdrop on June 14, 2024. The airdrop will distribute 3.675 billion ZK tokens to 695,232 wallets, representing 17.5% of the total token supply of 21 billion. The community’s detailed explanation provided much-needed clarity on the eligibility criteria and the rationale behind the airdrop distribution.

Eligibility Criteria for the ZKsync Airdrop

The eligibility criteria for the ZKsync airdrop are divided into two main categories: users and contributors.

User Category

Users constitute 89% of the airdrop. To qualify, participants must bridge crypto-assets to the ZKsync Era and meet at least one of the seven eligibility criteria. These criteria include various factors such as transaction volume, the duration assets were held in the wallet, and specific behaviors that indicate long-term commitment and organic use of the platform.

Despite meeting all criteria, some users with smaller average holdings might not qualify due to an intricate formula that considers both the amount sent to ZKsync Era and the duration the assets stayed in the wallet. This approach, while aiming to reward genuine and committed users, has led to some discontent within the community.

Contributor Category

Contributors make up 11% of the airdrop. This category includes developers, researchers, communities, and companies that have contributed to the ZKsync protocol and ecosystem. Unlike the user category, contributors are not required to have ZKsync Era activity. Instead, this category rewards individuals and groups who have built early projects on ZKsync, contributed to GitHub repositories, conducted security research, moderated community forums, or participated in significant community initiatives like Degen and Bonsai.

Community Response to the Airdrop Announcement

The detailed breakdown of the airdrop criteria and distribution has generated mixed reactions within the community. While the aim was to ensure fairness and reward long-term commitment, some users have expressed dissatisfaction with the criteria and the resulting allocations.

Loss of Confidence and TVL Decline

The complex eligibility formula and perceived marginalization of certain user segments led to a loss of confidence in the airdrop process. This discontent was reflected in the project’s Total Value Locked (TVL), which dropped from nearly $200 million to $128 million following the announcement.

Clarification from ZK Nation

In response to the community’s concerns, ZK Nation provided an in-depth explanation of the factors influencing the airdrop allocations. The allocations are based on several criteria, including the number of conditions met, the amount bridged and held on ZKsync Era, and a bonus multiplier for specific behaviors and groups.

Key Factors Influencing Airdrop Allocations

ZKsync Eligibility Criteria
ZK sync Eligibility Criteria  | ZKNation

According to ZK Nation, transaction volume alone did not impact the allocation size. Instead, a combination of eligibility criteria, time-weighted average balance (TWAB), and bonus multipliers determined the allocations. For instance, an address holding $100 since the mainnet launch was weighted more favorably than one that deposited $100 shortly before the snapshot.

Addressing Specific Grievances

Some prominent projects and users who felt excluded or under-rewarded expressed their frustrations publicly. For example, Element, the largest NFT marketplace on ZKsync, voiced its discontent on social media, highlighting its significant contribution to the platform’s trading volume. Similar sentiments were echoed by other key participants like ZKApe and DMail.

ZKsync Lite Users and Bridging Requirement

One notable grievance was the requirement for ZKsync Lite users to bridge assets to ZKsync Era to qualify for the airdrop. Despite earning eligibility points, these users needed to take an additional step, which some overlooked, leading to their exclusion from the airdrop.

Matter Labs’ Role and Response

Matter Labs, the development team behind ZKsync, announced the airdrop and provided the initial details. Following the community’s reaction, they worked with ZK Nation to offer further clarification and address specific issues raised by the community.

The Goal of the Airdrop

The primary goal of the ZKsync airdrop is to reward committed, long-term community members who have contributed to the growth and development of the platform. By focusing on organic behaviors and long-term holdings, the airdrop aims to incentivize genuine participation and support for the ZKsync ecosystem.


The upcoming ZKsync airdrop has stirred significant interest and controversy within the crypto community. While the detailed eligibility criteria and distribution mechanisms aim to ensure fairness and reward long-term commitment, the complex formula and perceived marginalization of certain user segments have led to dissatisfaction among some community members. As the airdrop approaches, ZK Nation and Matter Labs continue to address concerns and provide clarifications to ensure a smooth and fair distribution process. The success of the airdrop will ultimately depend on its ability to reward genuine users and contributors, reinforcing the strength and resilience of the ZKsync community.

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