How the Arbitrum Foundation designed the distribution strategy for their token airdrop

How the Arbitrum Foundation designed the distribution strategy for their token airdrop

Learn how the Arbitrum Foundation leveraged Nansen Query to design their airdrop distribution strategy.

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Arbitrum has emerged as the largest and most active Ethereum Layer-2 network, consistently processing more than 800k transactions daily with a substantial user base. The Arbitrum Foundation wanted to design an airdrop that would distribute governance to active participants and genuine network users. To do so, they needed a reliable data partner with accurate blockchain data, support to create customized datasets and help with detailed on-chain analyses.


Customizability and support

To conduct the analyses, the team required customized and enriched blockchain datasets that extended beyond the scope of basic blockchain data. Additionally, they required a partner with expertise in conducting detailed analyses of user behavior and activity across the entire network. This offering is not widely available, and developing it in-house would demand significant engineering effort and resources, which would not only be expensive but also cause substantial delays to the project's timeline.

Platform reliability and speed

Due to the complexity of the analyses and the vast amount of data being processed, the speed and reliability of the blockchain data platform were of paramount importance. High query latencies would have slowed the team, reducing productivity and efficiency.


The Arbitrum Foundation, Offchain Labs, and Nansen worked together to design the ARB token airdrop distribution strategy and eligibility criteria. Nansen provided a solution to all the challenges mentioned above and the insights needed to design their airdrop.

The team at Nansen conducted a deep dive into the activity patterns of users on the network and carried out sensitivity analyses to narrow down the exact parameters. Additionally, Nansen created customized datasets that included user segmentation and behavioral profiles of wallets and entities on the network, based on the parameters set by the Arbitrum Foundation.


Unique insights at a fraction of the time and cost

The customized datasets and research conducted by Nansen to analyze user behavior gave the Arbitrum Foundation key insights that enabled them to design their airdrop within their desired timeframe. Conducting the same analysis without the expertise and proprietary datasets that Nansen has would be difficult, and creating the customized datasets in-house would have required significant time and resources. 

The models ran on Nansen Query processed daily data for millions of wallet addresses on Arbitrum One and Nova, over more than one year, and for different parameters (traces, token transfers, transactions).

The primary goal for the airdrop was to fairly distribute governance to the Arbitrum community. Nansen provided reliable data, streamlined workflows, and served as a true partner in designing the airdrop. Their team was able to assist with in-depth analyses, offer curated insights, and create customized on-chain datasets. Nansen’s contributions played a key role in the overall success of the airdrop. – A.J. Warner, Chief Strategy Officer at Offchain Labs

Researchers from the Offchain labs were also able to run clustering algorithms to detect Sybil activity by combining Nansen’s datasets with their own internal datasets and other external datasets. 

More details on the specificities of the on-chain analyses and research carried out for the airdrop can be found in "All for One and One for All" - An on-chain distribution model for the Arbitrum community

We've also done up an analysis on Arbitrum's ecosystem performance post-airdrop.

Looking to design your protocol's token airdrop? We'll be happy to help!


The authors of this content and members of Nansen may be participating or invested in some of the protocols or tokens mentioned herein. The foregoing statement acts as a disclosure of potential conflicts of interest and is not a recommendation to purchase or invest in any token or participate in any protocol. Nansen does not recommend any particular course of action in relation to any token or protocol. The content herein is meant purely for educational and informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as financial, investment, legal, tax or any other professional or other advice. None of the content and information herein is presented to induce or to attempt to induce any reader or other person to buy, sell or hold any token or participate in any protocol or enter into, or offer to enter into, any agreement for or with a view to buying or selling any token or participating in any protocol. Statements made herein (including statements of opinion, if any) are wholly generic and not tailored to take into account the personal needs and unique circumstances of any reader or any other person. Readers are strongly urged to exercise caution and have regard to their own personal needs and circumstances before making any decision to buy or sell any token or participate in any protocol. Observations and views expressed herein may be changed by Nansen at any time without notice. Nansen accepts no liability whatsoever for any losses or liabilities arising from the use of or reliance on any of this content.

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