We are all used to thinking that there is no such thing as “free.” If anyone is offering something for free, it’s either a bait, a scam, or you’ll need to barter it for something else, or it is something of substandard quality that has little value anyway. And definitely, there is no such thing in our world as “free money.”

There is, though, free money in the cryptocurrency world. Because it follows no rules, regulations, or standards of the traditional market. It has its own values, systems, set of ethics, and ecosystem.

The cryptocurrency world has its unique lingo which is expanding as we speak, as the market doesn’t stop evolving. In this post, we will talk about one crypto term, “airdrop.”

How is this possible

We all know that companies like organizing marketing campaigns to raise awareness about their services or products.

Cryptocurrency airdrops are exactly that – distribution of coins for free done by blockchain-based startups which realized this way they can generate more interest and exposure for their products. The word about the Airdrop and that particular token spreads among the community, raising the awareness, which in turn increases the trading volume of a particular coin when it gets listed on an exchange.

So-called tokens play the role of money here. These can be in most cases exchanged to Bitcoin/Ethereum or other coin of choice, or directly cashed out.

Compared to an ICO or Initial Coin Offering, which involves a private sale (for big investors purchase tokens), often followed by a public sale round (small investors purchase tokens), airdrops doesn’t involve any purchasing and are really giveaways.

How to get free coins

Participating in an Airdrop is simple. You sign up for an Airdrop by filling out a form, give your wallet’s address for receiving coins, and free tokens land in your wallet a few weeks later.

The only requirement may be that a recipient has coins from the relevant blockchain (most often Bitcoin or Ethereum) stored in their wallet. Sometimes the process involves completion of tasks by the user in order to qualify for the airdrop (often a tweet or a post share).

As an example, in 2017, the cryptocurrency exchange platform Binance carried out an airdrop of 500 TRX. In order to qualify, an account holder had to have at least 0.003 BTC, or the equivalent in other cryptocurrencies, and to have completed at least one transaction on the account.

There are two types of airdrops. The surprise ones and the ones that are announced beforehand. Already established blockchain-based enterprises sometimes like to reward loyal members of their community by sending free coins randomly. In the second type of Airdrops, smaller blockchain-based startups make airdrop announcements beforehand to get the buzz going.

The first step is to sign up for online services that provide timely information about cryptocurrency airdrops. There are services that will send you such alert, see websites like Airdropalert.com or Airdropaddict.com. Also follow the respective coin’s Twitter accounts, Telegram groups, as well as online cryptocurrency airdrop forums to be in the know about new airdrops.

The second step is cryptocurrency wallets. It is a good idea to get an ERC20 compatible multicurrency wallet (any wallet that supports the Ethereum blockchain) since the majority of the cryptocurrency tokens in the market are ERC20 tokens. Additionally, a Bitcoin wallet, it will be handy for many airdrops too. An airdrop will sometimes require a specific wallet called “a non-exchange wallet.” This is simply a wallet that isn’t located on exchange sites such Binance or Coinbase. Reputable non-exchange wallets include Exodus and Jaxx.

The third step is your contact details. You’ll most likely need a Telegram account on your smartphone. And a phone number: if you want to avoid giving out private information, set up a free one on Google Voice.

Be vigilant!

Be aware of scams when considering participating in airdrops. Because the cryptocurrency industry is poorly regulated at the moment, there are many actors who set up whole new crypto startups just for the purpose of scamming users out of their money.

It is important to be on the lookout, so as not to fall a victim of fraudulent airdrop campaigns. Some airdrops are designed to hack wallets and steal private keys. Always confirm the authenticity of a cryptocurrency airdrop campaign by doing your research before participating in it.

Another great idea, which is also pricier, is to store all your crypto assets in a hardware wallet (both BTH and ETH supported).