Airdrops farmers - sybil sinks

I think it’s becoming clear that aidrop farming won’t just go away and strategies to just make it harder are a missed opportunity. Why?

Airdrop farmers still perform some work but they are only loyal to their profits. We perceive this as malicious behavior. I think we perceive it that way because they are breaking the rules of our game. However, why not design better game/s? I mean we are in crypto. We should be able to create systems that can align incentives for different groups of people.

Do we perceive Bitcoin miners as malicious? No. There is a game designed for them where they can focus on maximizing their profit and still do something productive for others.
Why not do the same thing with airdrop farmers?

Do you want to stress test the network? Ask farmers to do as many transactions in a given time frame. Then reward them for it.
Do you want to raise awareness of some projects on the network? Send farmers there.
Do you want to help with public goods? Reward people who donate.

You can even create more complex games with more parties. One side is incentivized to win the game, the other side is incentivized to make sure rules are not broken. All is recorded and some samples are reviewed by someone trusted high in Starknet ecosystem. If there is something missing, punish rule managers.

You could create these “sinks” and then still try to define “real” early adopters and reward them separately.

What do you think?

You can support me as a delegate


in principle it sounds good. Now what is the game and the incentives for all the players?


Agree with your point, we can reward in batches, so that users can really experience the product multiple times, and then try to attract them


It is a big question to define farmers, in my opinion, farmers contributes to the community in some way, so no need to hate them, we should welcome them, and try to design a better game to keep all of them in.


That is a good idea, and to design a smart game is more important than just killing the farmers.


Focus first on rewarding builders of the ecosystem, and discuss other possibilities after the network has developed and grown stronger.


Totally agree , airdrop farmers jeopardize ecosystem long term development. Agree to categorize and incentivize different community with different rule & methods to make sure network can toward sustainable development. Airdrop farmers in Arb or OP gather 10-20x more than normal community by open tens of hundreds of account, some will be identified sybil but most of the account will not, there’s no cost of getting identified as sybil account. I think a fair game with clear rule of incentive for early community member/ contributor, developer, ecosystem users, tester…etc is a sustainable way for network development


Air drop has a significant impact on the project and needs to be treated with caution.


Can you share the data on Arb and OP airdrops and how sybils gathered 10-20x more? It sounds interesting.


I have outlined a couple of these mini-games above. We don’t need to make it perfect as the market corrects this “problem” eventually. Currently, we have a game with unknown rules and unknown individual rewards. You don’t know what action to perform to get a reward and you can’t calculate how much you can get.

We could split it into two buckets.

Bucket 1 - known rules and rewards
I assume many farmers just follow the advice of some Twitter influencer who tells them what actions are good to do. Why not make the rules public? For example, people who donate money (or stress test network) will get a portion of X% of the total supply. You are guaranteed to receive some aidrop and do some work for it.

Bucket 2 - unknown rules and rewards
Here you can still leave it as is. Let people guess what will yield them the most profits. Some will try to game it but it will require much more effort on their part. So they will be closer to being (short-term) users anyway.

At the moment we have those two buckets merged together in bucket 2. All farmers are trying to guess the rules of the game. I would say that the majority of them just follow simple rules that they read somewhere and that’s it. By creating official rules we could make them useful.


OMG, someone finally says something good to the farmers. I do not hate farmers, and I do not like them, so we think we should keep a objective perspective on farmers. :grinning:


The idea is creative and gives us a new way to look at farmers. I believe all sides need to work together to find a new way to create more smart games.


There are too many criteria. I see the removal of fraud should use KYC.


Using KYC would be a mistake in my opinion. It’s the opposite of the crypto ethos of permissionless accessibility. Imagine that citizen from an evil government is discovered by said government and punished for participating in a forbidden activity - cryptocurrencies.


I see, thanks for sharing!. So you are suggesting to have the rules clear for bucket 1. If that happens then we will have people creating scripts and doing other things that could make them eligible for the airdrop. I’m not so sure this is the outcome wanted.

Bucket 2 is basically following the forever trend of not knowing anything which could also be good. If we take a look at Optimism for example doing the retroactive airdrop it has created a lot of activity in the network which could be good and bad. Good for metrics, bad because basically the activity is just because of the incentives and not because those transacting or doing actions are doing it genuinely.


Sybil attacks can be difficult to detect, even with sophisticated algorithms and data sources. As such, it may not be possible to completely prevent these types of attacks, no matter how much effort is put into detection and prevention mechanisms. It’s also worth noting that some users may inadvertently engage in Sybil behavior without realizing it, making it difficult to distinguish between malicious and unintentional activity.


Exactly. They would perform the work we want them to do more efficiently. We don’t care if they create scripts when the goal is to have for example most transactions in a given time period.
Or if they create scripts to donate the most money. That is still the work we want them to do.
We want them to “trap” them in these sinks - to incentivize them to do the work we want them to instead of creating sybil networks and doing random transactions.

Bucket two yes. But in 2 bucket system, some people would be trapped in bucket 1. And at least those “gamed” metrics would be called tests. For example, you can test the already mentioned max tps. You can test weird transactions. Most deployed smart contracts (with self-destruct function). I don’t know what needs to be tested at the moment but there surely is some work that needs to be done. And airdrop farmers could be perfect for this.


I’m not so sure I support what you are saying. I don’t think we should give incentivise for those that hit vanity fakeable metrics. The distribution should rather be to those having genuine interactions. What you are suggesting reminds me of web2 companies faking their KPIs to look good. With your suggestion Starknet would be incentivising those faking the metrics.


create something like BABT token as Binance used for kyced or maybe use web3 kyc application, or maybe give proper proportions/ value bracket , the more transaction volume the higher the possible reward.


Hard to pull it off. Airdrop Farming has became an industry and they’re evloving fast.