Airdrops were meant to be a way for projects to reward and motivate their communities.
However, they can also be seen as greedy attempts to exploit naive investors.
After the recent failures of the Sei and Sui projects, I will discuss their community backlash and the problems with project founders and Web3 users in this article.
Sei and Sui Community Response About Their Airdrop.
Negative Opinions About SEI Blockchain
The recent airdrop has sparked mixed reactions among the Sei Community on Crypto X (the former Twitter).
Some community members are enthusiastic about the project and the airdrop as an opportunity to participate.
Others are skeptical of these new ecosystems and think their airdrops are just a scheme to pump up the value of these tokens.
The Sei team had promised the airdrop would be ready for the claim at the public mainnet launch. But when the network went live on Tuesday, August 15, 2023, users could not claim tokens, which led to disappointment and confusion among early Sei supporters who wanted to get their share.
The status of the airdrop was still uncertain after 24 hours of Sei’s mainnet launch.
In a post a day later, Sei Labs explained that “airdrop rewards will be claimable after an initial warmup period” but did not give a specific timeline.
The SEI airdrop was only opened to users later that day after some observers had labeled it a “total failure.”
Before that, many community members claimed that the SEI project was overhyped from the start; users could not claim the airdrop tokens before or after the TGE; no clear airdrop criteria had been revealed; and many other reasons.
When the airdrop claims finally went live, participants were unhappy with the low number of tokens they got. The hashtag “SeiScam” started trending among some users, showing their frustration with what they saw as a poor allocation of rewards.
Many users on X accuse the SEI project team of being inexperienced in Web3, and some call the project the worst L1 blockchain airdrop ever. They even mock it as the “first L1 meme blockchain.”
One user went further and created a dedicated Twitter account called “Sei-Scam” and filled their bio, profile, and posts with the hashtag “#SeiScam.”
Many complaints were about the SEI Foundation’s choice of reward to users.
Critics complained about the difference in rewards between active testnet users and those who transferred large amounts of money into the network.
This difference led to allegations of favoring “whale behavior” over unfair distribution.
Sui Network (SUI) “Disappoints” the Community
Sui Network is a layer one blockchain that created much buzz when it was in development. The crypto community was intrigued by the opportunity to own SUI tokens.
However, some community members were disappointed by the project’s decision to launch a community access plan instead of an SUI token airdrop.
594 million SUI tokens were allocated for the “community access plan” program, leaving early supporters without the expected free token reward.
Meanwhile, Sui Network was one of the most awaited projects to airdrop in 2023, following Arbitrum’s successful airdrop.
Despite the project’s constant denial that there would be no airdrop, many participants said they expected one, which the project rejected.
Some users claim to have done the required steps on the testnet, but the Sui team says they have never mentioned airdrops, and they are not on the testnet. This suggests that fake accounts, influencers, or Threadoors may have deceived some users.
Some users even said that if Sui does not do an airdrop, they will not invest in the project again. The project says they do not care if short-term investors ignore them.
“That’s fine because we’re focusing on those building with us for the long term,” Sui says.
Interestingly, Adeniyi Abiodun, co-founder and chief product officer of the Sui development team Mysten Labs, replied to a Twitter user’s tweets about the airdrop.
Despite official statements that say otherwise, the community still hopes the project will give users an airdrop.
Those who expect an airdrop say they have seen many projects deny having any plans but then do it anyway.
Positive Perspectives Amidst Skepticism
The Sei and Sui blockchain networks have faced much criticism, but many community members are still excited about them.
One reason for their optimism is that experienced teams back the projects.
For example, SUI was created by Mysten Labs, which several former senior executives lead from Meta (formerly Facebook).
These executives have a lot of expertise in the blockchain industry, and their involvement in this project has given it a lot of trust.
This agrees with a supporter’s tweet who said they did not care about getting Sui airdrops and were only there to learn and create new things.
Another reason for their optimism is the potential applications of the projects.
Both SEI and SUI are made to be general-purpose blockchains, meaning they can be used to build various applications. Their fast and other features attracted developers who want to develop new and innovative blockchain-based products and services.
The Sei Mainnet, also called ‘Pacific-1,’ is optimized for trading and designed to handle the pressure of huge volumes and liquidity issues related to trading volatile assets.
Issues With Crypto Projects.
The initial confusion of the Sei airdrop can be blamed on a lack of clear communication.
Meanwhile, the delay and dissatisfaction with the rewards show the importance of setting realistic expectations and specific criteria for airdrop campaigns.
As seen, an airdrop that is not well planned can cause disappointment and negative opinions among the community.
One of the purposes of creating cryptocurrency in the blockchain industry is to reward network participants and motivate them to keep supporting the network.
Without rewards, an investor would not spend thousands of dollars to build a Bitcoin mining farm.
A validator would not invest thousands of dollars in staking up to 32 Ethereum to validate the network.
However, people are expected to participate in your network for a reward. If The Sei and Sui team have no plans for an airdrop, why make their community test their network without rewarding them?
It would be fair to say that relationships are mutual. If you want people to use and test your network, you have to reward them; if you have no intention of rewarding them, you should not lure them into wasting their time testing your network.
Build what you want to build, organize some people, or let the public test it if they want to. But most importantly, tell them that there will be no future reward.
Projects hinting at an airdrop are wrong, but they only want to profit from users’ gas fees.
As the crypto industry grows, projects need to do airdrops with strategic planning, honest communication, and a real commitment to their communities. Airdrops can be a powerful tool to boost engagement and growth with integrity and a clear vision for the future.
Issues with Community
Many people spend time, energy, and money interacting with these protocols.
Web3 community members should realize that no project owes them any reward. If you enjoy a project, use it sincerely without expecting a reward.
If the reward comes, that is great.
But if it doesn’t, life goes on, and it’s unfair to insult team members on X. It’s important to note that while there is a lot of doubt and dissatisfaction, a loyal group of supporters still appreciate these projects’ value and potential.
The skilled teams behind the Sei and Sui networks and their flexible blockchain features have inspired confidence among many supporters.
Their optimism reflects the understanding that the success of a blockchain ecosystem goes beyond immediate profits to include long-term development and innovation.
Another important point I can not ignore is that “a crypto project will not have users on their platform because they didn’t do an airdrop.” This is a wrong perspective. A lot of crypto users say this proudly.
Doing an airdrop for the community is not a measure of whether a project will succeed.
Airdrop is a marketing strategy to create awareness for a project, but it doesn’t mean there are no other effective strategies to create awareness around a Web3 project besides airdrop.
What determines the success of a project is if they are solving problems in the blockchain industry.
Ethereum, Binance, Polygon, etc., didn’t do an airdrop, but they’ve been among the leading projects in their niches.