ZkSync to distribute 21 billion ZK tokens

The developers of Ethereum layer-2 zkSync Era and the ZK Stack, are preparing to airdrop a token: ZK

Following in the footsteps of dozens of protocols, the team at Matter Labs has looked to avoid some of the pitfalls that have tripped up competitors in the public’s eye.

For starters, the scale: Two-thirds allocated to community distribution, including a 17.5% allocation for an airdrop.

 “A 17.5% airdrop to 695,232 wallets is the largest distribution of tokens to users amongst major L2s,” Matter Labs said in a blog post.

All airdropped tokens will be unlocked and transferable from day one, with no vesting period. That had been a point of contention following EigenLayer’s EIGEN token release, for example.

Read more: Empire Newsletter: What’s wrong with EigenLayer’s airdrop

The rest of the community allocation are to be administered by the ZKsync Foundation and an onchain governance process dubbed ZK Nation.

The remaining one-third of the 21 billion total ZK will go to investors and the Matter Labs team, over a four-year vesting period with a one-year cliff. That means no team and investor tokens should be expected to hit the market en masse until June 2025.

Previously, StarkWare postponed its team unlock date in response to criticism following the release of the STRK token in February.

Read more: StarkWare revises STRK token lockup schedule after criticism

“When the governance system launches in the coming weeks, the community will have the largest supply of liquid tokens to direct protocol governance upgrades,” Matter Labs said.

A wallet eligibility checker is now live and tokens are expected to be claimable sometime next week, and will remain so until January 3, 2025 — for those recipients who’s rather push their airdrop into the next tax year.

Gas fees are no issue, since zkSync’s native account abstraction makes claiming the tokens free.

Anti-Sybil measures

Matter Lab’s took a snapshot of all activity on ZKsync Era and its forerunner ZKsync Lite on March 24, 2024, the one-year anniversary of ZKsync Era mainnet launch, and is dolling out tokens to active, “risk-taking” and preferably human participants.

A combination of activity markers and multipliers have been used to calculate individual eligibility.

Points criteria based on a March 24, 2024 snapshot date | Source: blog.zknation.io/zk-token

When all was said and done, the minimum allocation turned out to be 917 ZK, and Matter Labs set a max cap of 100,000 ZK.

Within the airdrop group, 11% will go to “individuals, developers, researchers, communities, and companies who contributed to the ZKsync ecosystem and protocol through development, advocacy or education, regardless of network usage,” and about 0.5% to “a small group of experimental onchain communities for exploring novel ways to organize using tokens and NFTs.”

Recipients of Farcaster tipping coin $DEGEN and Lens equivalent $BONSAI are among those, alongside Crypto the Game players and holders of NFTs from Pudgy Penguins and Milady collections.

Read more: Lens Network to migrate to zkSync

Matter Labs representatives said they were “quite proud of [the airdrop design],” calling it a “human-forward airdrop,” and noting that only about 1% of addresses that passed activity criteria needed to be filtered out based on Sybil markers.

Given the challenges of equitably eliminating bot-driven airdrop farms without penalizing normal users, “we erred on the side of conservatism,” Matter Labs CEO Alex Gluchovski told Blockworks.

“If you’re a real user, you’ve been around, and are willing to take risk, it’s pretty easy to [qualify],” he said.

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