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Selling airdrops on launch day is “almost always” the best move, data suggests

The X user identified as Aylo highlighted two surprise meme coin airdrops were among the outliers.

Selling airdrops on launch day is

Key Takeaways

  • 23 out of 31 airdropped tokens have declined in value since their launch day.
  • Two surprise meme coin airdrops with low initial valuations showed the best returns for holders.

Among the 31 airdropped tokens that are within the Top 500 in market cap, only 8 are up compared to their price on launch day, according to data gathered by the X user identified as Aylo. This trend suggests that selling airdrops on launch day for dollars or Bitcoin (BTC) is often the most profitable strategy.

While some tokens may experience initial post-launch gains, long-term holding typically results in worse performance. Notably, out of the 31 tokens analyzed by Aylo, only 4 have beaten BTC in performance, and only one of them was launched this year.

Performance of 31 airdropped tokens within the Top 500 in market cap. Image: Aylo

Projects often set their initial valuations too high, and user sell-offs quickly expose these “unrealistic valuations.” According to Aylo, the data analyzed indicates that fully diluted valuation (FDV) is a crucial factor to consider.

Yield farmers consistently sell tokens regardless of price, focusing on extracting yield before moving on. Although tokens should theoretically recover after these exits, the data suggests this rarely occurs.

Interestingly, Bonk (BONK) and Degen (DEGEN) were two surprise meme coin airdrops with low starting valuations that have shown the best returns for holders. These were designed to support growth in the Solana and Farcaster ecosystems respectively.

Despite the bad overall performance of airdropped tokens, points programs are likely to persist as they contribute to user engagement and retention. However, the future of airdrops may evolve based on the performance data of current distributions.

This analysis suggests that projects should carefully consider the structure of their airdrops or whether to conduct them at all, given the observed trends in token performance post-launch.


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