ZKsync’s $2.5B ZK Airdrop Coming Next Week, 89% for Active Users

ZKsync to Airdrop 3.7 Billion Tokens Next Week, Valued at Over $2.5 Billion

By Max Weldon

6/11, 03:16 EDT
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Key Takeaway

  • Matter Labs will airdrop 17.5% of ZKsync's 21 billion tokens next week, valuing the airdrop at over $2.5 billion.
  • 89% of the airdrop targets active ZKsync users, with caps to prevent large traders from dominating.
  • The remaining tokens support ecosystem contributors and governance, emphasizing community involvement in protocol upgrades.

ZKsync Era's Major Airdrop Announcement

Matter Labs, the primary development firm behind the layer-2 network ZKsync Era, has officially unveiled the distribution criteria for its highly anticipated ZK token airdrop. According to the plan released on Tuesday, 17.5% of ZK's total token supply of 21 billion will be airdropped to users starting "next week." This translates to nearly 3.7 billion tokens being distributed, making it the "largest distribution of tokens to users amongst major L2s," according to Matter Labs.

Pre-market prices from Aevo, a crypto perpetuals exchange, currently value ZK at $0.66. This valuation places the airdrop's fully diluted value (FDV) above $2.5 billion, which is nearly triple ZKsync Era's current total value locked (TVL) of $815 million. The airdrop will see 89% of the tokens going to ZKsync users who have met a certain threshold of activity, while the remaining 11% will be allocated to ecosystem contributors, including zkSync native projects (5.8%), on-chain communities (2.8%), and builders (2.4%).

Addressing Community and Compliance

Matter Labs has taken steps to ensure a fair distribution by capping the amount any given address can receive at 100,000 tokens. "By capping whales, the ZK airdrop fairly rewards community members that contribute to ZKsync in different ways," Matter Labs stated in a press release. The term "whales" refers to large-scale traders with significant holdings.

The team also disclosed that Matter Labs employees will receive 16.1% of ZK tokens, and Matter Labs investors will get 17.2%. These tokens will be locked for a year and then gradually unlocked over the next three years. The remaining token supply will be allocated to ZKsync’s new "Token Assembly" (29.3%) and various Ecosystem Initiatives (19.9%).

"Awarding more tokens in the airdrop than to the Matter Labs team and investors is more than a symbolic decision for the community," Matter Labs wrote in a statement. "When the ZKsync governance system launches in the coming weeks, the community will have the largest supply of liquid tokens to direct protocol governance upgrades."

Trademark Controversy and Community Backlash

The airdrop announcement comes amid ongoing controversy surrounding Matter Labs' attempt to trademark the term "ZK," shorthand for "zero-knowledge" cryptography. This move drew criticism from the crypto community and competitors like Polygon and Starkware, who viewed it as an attempt to monopolize a widely-used public good. Matter Labs eventually withdrew the trademark application, citing community feedback.

“The guys who have accused us registered 'STARK' as a trademark,” said Alex Gluchowski, CEO of Matter Labs, in an interview with CoinDesk. He was referring to Starkware, whose co-founder Eli Ben-Sasson created the "STARK" zero-knowledge proof. "I mean what are we talking about? Everyone has registered trademarks for their products, for their tokens, for whatever," Gluchowski added. Despite the controversy, Gluchowski emphasized that the decision to withdraw the trademark application was to avoid any perception of manipulating the system.

Street Views

  • Alex Gluchowski, CEO of Matter Labs (Cautiously Optimistic on ZKsync):

    "We have put a lot of thought into the design of the airdrop. No matter what you do, some people are going to be disappointed, but we have looked into others."

  • Alex Gluchowski, CEO of Matter Labs (Neutral on regulatory compliance for ZKsync):

    "Certain jurisdictions are excluded because they are either banned by sanctioned regimes or are just not welcome, unfortunately for crypto projects doing airdrops, so we have to be compliant and respect those laws."