Second (Third, Fourth, …) User Airdrop - Making Starknet Happen


Taking stock of Starknet’s position in the L2 ecosystem: Starknet has not shown growth numbers on par with its competitors Base/OP, zkSync, Arbitrum, etc.

source: Active Addresses - growthepie

When I started building on Starknet in May, about a year ago, I took a bet on the impressive technology and I believed the airdrop would be the catalyst for more users to try Starknet. However after seeing the design of the user airdrop, I think the chances for Starknet to reach product market fit have diminished: many real users were neglected by this airdrop, and the successful sybils were heavily rewarded. I also shared this opinion before it went live.

Since then, the user sentiment towards Starknet has been very negative–every tweet about Starknet gets comments about the lack of community, tags for #scamnet, references to the unfairness of the distribution, etc. This thread is a good example. Meanwhile, the sybils who extracted millions have completely stopped using the chain and moved on to the next farm–as early as December around when the snapshot details were leaked–leaving Starknet’s user and activity numbers at a small fraction of the peak. Now, people even genuinely believe (or supposedly joke) that Starknet has 8 DAUs.

- All of Crypto Twitter

It’s clear we do not see many new users interested in trying out the chain, even when high quality innovative Dapps are available and incentives on the order of 1% per week are paid out to users. I expect experienced developers are reluctant to invest in Cairo because there is little reward to be had. I worry that eventually we will see divestment from Starknet as well if there is not an improvement in the narrative and the activity numbers.

How does it affect the protocols?

The low activity directly affects the success of protocols building on Starknet. E.g. for Ekubo Protocol, because of the low user activity, the volume numbers are so low that APRs inclusive of the Starknet DeFi Spring incentives are not much higher than on other chains, which means the products receiving these incentives today will not be sustainable when the incentives end later this year.

Growing these products by increasing the amount of incentives is not be an efficient use of capital. We need a resolution to the perception problem so that users and developers feel that Starknet has a strong future and is a good place to deploy their assets. Otherwise Starknet will be irrelevant, and the technology will go under-utilized–at least until someone else decides to fork it and do a better job with marketing and distribution. It could take many years longer for Starknet’s vision to be achieved.

Stop focusing on developers

The ecosystem is eager to play a big role here, but it’s a challenge to make big moves when the community is so small. It is also not realistic to expect the best developers, memecoiners to take on the challenge of building products on a new stack just for grants, which are small relative to the potential reward of deploying on another more popular chain–especially while activity stats are going in the wrong direction and the sentiment is poor.

The opportunity cost of building for Starknet vs. all-other-EVM-based-L2s is currently too great. If additional user airdrops succeed in changing the narrative, devs that chose to build on Starknet already will reap the rewards of their efforts. So for the short term, the growth of the developer ecosystem should not be prioritized.


We should define a framework for subsequent user airdrops that is aimed at diluting the issues in the first user airdrop. To meaningfully improve the distribution, the scale of the STRK distributed in these subsequent airdrops should be on par with the original user airdrop. It should be designed in public, subject to criticism and review from the community, and importantly be validated by a snapshot vote. Below are the some tenets by which this framework should be designed:

  • MUST be based on the amount that a user risked by using the chain
  • MUST NOT reward sybils
  • MUST NOT punish deployment of capital to Dapps
  • SHOULD stimulate activity on the chain over time
  • SHOULD make early users rich

Here is a rough outline of how this airdrop could work to satisfy these tenets:

  • A fixed amount of STRK is distributed per-second since a specific date
    • E.g.: 1 STRK per second since the day the bridge was live
  • The fixed amount is split amongst all the accounts on the chain per-second
    • Each account receives STRK in proportion to the total value locked on the chain it held each second
  • “Accounts” includes protocols
    • MUST be a process to determine the sub-allocation to a protocol’s users, e.g.:
      • Developers of protocols SHOULD be tasked to determine the allocation of STRK for their protocol’s users
      • If they do not provide the sub-allocation for public review within a certain timeline, their portion is forfeited
      • This sub-allocation may be computed in parallel to the other work, since all that matters is the TVL-seconds per address
      • Sub-allocation should follow the same principles of the original airdrop, and undergo a review period by the community to validate the result
  • “Account” value SHOULD include popular NFTs and in-game assets for the top collections and games
    • Use the floor price of the popular collections at snapshot time to measure their value
    • Value of in-game assets determined by average time-to-acquisition, gas cost of acquisition, and rarity
  • The airdrop amount SHOULD be vested at a rate of O(6 months)
    • It’s important to have users coming back to the chain to use it as it creates longer term activity and habits
    • It also avoids creating a supply shock for STRK
  • Subtract amounts already received in the first user drop
    • Avoids rewarding sybils that held only a minority of the chain’s bridged TVL
  • SHOULD exclude STRK
    • Users that received STRK should not be permitted to double dip

This proposal is meant to be a starting place for the discussion. This example implementation is based on how 4.9% of the UNI was distributed with the Uniswap airdrop to early liquidity providers.

Delegate to help!

I am a Starknet delegate. Please delegate to me if you wish to help push this idea forward.

is there any chance, some competitor hire the tons of accounts at first time to trash everywhere , when starknet did nothing at all? even long time before airdrop?

This is an important proposal,and i agree.there is only hate and toxic on every Tweet following Starknet tweets.
Even in the ecosystem where people are just trying to build something awesome they are getting hammered with hate.

I agree with Moody’s assessment that Starknet needs a strategic shift to incentivize user participation and improve public perception. Although developers are building incredible technology on Starknet, a lack of focus on user sentiment poses a significant risk to the ecosystem.

Dismissing this as something that will resolve itself with time could turn out to be a dangerous approach. Starknet ecosystem need a proactive, user-centric approach to correct this.

The airdrop revision could be a step in the right direction, especially with the vesting option mentioned. But we also need to consider more strategies for sustainable engagement aside from just multiple airdrops.

What are other competing chains doing better than Starknet regarding user growth and retention?

Yes, Starknet is built different, but we can always learn what is working on other chains and try to adopt this lessons for user growth on Starknet. This way new adopters ( aside developers ) are incentivized to stay.

For example, although the initiative of Starknet devonomics is quite impressive, the scope should be modified to benefit more than just developers. Similar to OP public good fund, it can be used to reward the entire community that provides value beyond just development.

I think this is well stated and I like the airdrop guidelines. There are some innovative ideas in there.

Anecdotally I’d like to share my own experience.

I bridged to Starknet 6 months ago at the end of October. I did this because I was excited to try Ekbuo, excited to use Argent, excited to try Starknet and figured I’d probably end up with some airdrop.

I quickly became one of the top 50 liquidity providers on Ekubo, I bought my Starknet ID, I bought LORDS tokens, I bought the LORDS gaming NFT and attempted to play the game, I deposited on zkLend. I actively promoted starknet to friends.

When the airdrop came I got nothing. I’m still not even really sure why.

I know this is an anecdote but I think it’s fair to say any reasonably constructed airdrop should not have left a user like me with nothing.


Something I want to add to @sendmoodz post is narrative. Ultimately a second airdrop is downstream of fixing this most urgent problem.

Starknet today has no positive narrative. It unfortunately does have a very strong negative narrative. The negative narrative is that the airdrop sucked, it has no users, and leadership is too defense to admit mistakes.

The first thing that needs to be corrected is the narrative. What is the positive narrative for Starknet?

Base = builders / consumer chain
Optimism = super chain / retro active public goods
Zora = creators
Arbitrum = DeFi
Starknet = ???

This is anecdotal but I think one issue is that right now starknet is not capable of producing a strong narrative because the key leadership are playing defense / reactive mode. The first step I think is needed is Starknet leadership admit mistakes and do whatever is needed to change the culture. This change should be about instilling whatever the core idea of starknet is and living that out positively rather than trying to defend decisions that should just be admitted where mistakes.


Crypto loves comeback stories. We’ve seen time and time again how “dead projects” can come back stronger than ever (think about Solana this time last year when it was trading at $10). But comebacks happen because committed people iterate and work. I believe a very bright future is possible for Starknet but the current trajectory is wrong.

Let me emphasize the feeling I had when a real user like me didn’t receive the airdrop while sybils clearly received hundreds of thousands. I love Starknet and Cairo, but I can’t understand how this airdrop could have been designed this way. It is true Starknet didn’t owe me any tokens, but they gave thousands to sybilors. Why ? The community is hurt.

Your sharing is very valuable. As one of the open-source developers who unexpectedly received a Starknet airdrop, I at least felt the possibility of starting to pay attention to Starknet due to this kind of “unexpected” wealth. If this attraction can continue and go further, it is undoubtedly a win-win situation for everyone.

  • The Foundation MUST listen to core protocols (Braavos, Argent, Ekubo, Avnu, etc.)
  • Gather all board members, committees, protocols, communities, and all those associated with Starknet to discuss the current circumstances and plan for the future. (please discuss how you PR on the internet and rebuild the community)
  • Can Eric Wall help?
  • ABDEL owes the ecosystem an apology by attracting more users instead of getting defensive and joking around
  • StarkWare should be more humble
  • Clean up the negativity inside Starknet’s Discord server to rebuild community, need a headplace that feel comfy vibings around community, can’t if the place is filled of toxicity. (it is better to have fewer members than many but create an uncomfortable atmosphere)

From the early days of the StarkNet network, users have also accepted using features in the StarkNet ecosystem at a higher cost compared to other Layer 2 solutions. It must be said that StarkNet has greatly underestimated its users. This is the consequence of such disregard.


  1. What’re high quality innovative Dapps on Starknet? Most importanlty, are they irreplaceable on other chains? It’d be lying if we say our dapps are unique and users have to use our dapps for their needs.

  2. What kinds Dapps do you think users are really interested in? Imo they’re those in which users can make profit or have fun. I can list some phenomenal dapps and you can find the clue.

  3. Is really airdropping/rewarding our users the long term way to stop them from leaving Starknet? I’m afraid i don’t think so especially if we consider point 1 and 2.

Fully agree with the questions you raise and the conclusions you have. If I can humbly add few DO’s and DON’T :


  • Tweet like teenagers and get too sensible each time a hater post anything on Starknet
  • Make fun of people publicly and/or be arrogant
  • Be aware that your real (early) users are as much important as your dev. Sorry but in business it’s “Client first”
  • Chase the past. Those who are gone are gone. Focus on the future and current users


  • Be joyful
  • Build elite dapps
  • Be grateful to devs and beyond (users and all the others)
  • Build an aggressive marketing, branding et PR masterplan

Just sharing my humble opinion on what I see !

Cheers !

Stop focusing on devs

Some devs were farming $STRK before the airdrop. After the airdrop, where are the devs?
You want to motivate developers to promote ecological development, but in reality, developers just want to get your airdrop and leave. Real developers don’t care about your STRK airdrop, a protocol that can attract users earns far more money than what you give.

spend funds wisely
DeFi spring was a good idea but at a bad time.
It didn’t bring new users but instead gave more STRK for people who already using the chain.

Focus on a new airdrop for the true users left behind during initial drop (I used Starknet since march 23’ with hundreds of TX through different protocol but I got peanuts).

Hey Moody, very thoughtful post, and I’m thankful that you raised these points

The proposition you’re making very much looks like liquidity mining at the protocol level rather than an airdrop, and I can’t really see the difference with the goal of the DeFi spring program.

That being said, I 100% agree with your starting point: public sentiment around Starknet is overall bad (at least from my CT echo chamber). Will making another airdrop help? Maybe, but I’m not 100% convinced - the criteria will matter a lot, and I’d say that’s a valid direction to look into.

I feel that it is still worth exploring alternatives. So let’s divide the problem into two parts: the general bad sentiment, and the overall growth. On the former, I’m not sure an airdrop would help, as I saw some people recieving the airdrop and still expressing contrary opinions (here in french for example). At this point it looks like pluralistic ignorance, where everyone got to think that the majority thinks Starknet is bad because of a minority of very loud disappointed people, and thus everyone is conforming to this opinion. I think we should invest a lot more on communication and narrative for this, as it is a well documented problem in psychology, and it is something fixeable.

On the pure growth part, it comes down to distribution and there’s thousands of ideas to bring in users and people onchain, but I guess that most of the distribution nowadays happens through CEX (that’s the highest number of active users), so having more assets to on/off ramp through CEX, campaigns and so on would increase the number of users but also the arbitrage which is lacking on Starknet (and brings tx and volume). There’s also a limited number of bridges that have wide distribution that’s something to work on.

Just to conclude this, I don’t think an airdrop is the answer to every problem of adoption in crypto, and there’s still hundreds of integrations and campaigns that we can pursue to bring in users and activity. All of this should be worked on in parrallel, as time is opportunity, we need to move fast in any way.

Quick thoughts:

  • Moody is a valuable core contributor to Starknet and his words should be heard loud and clear. I am listening intently.
  • We made mistakes in the past and we will surely make mistakes in the future. That’s the nature of being trailblazers. We actively try to learn and fix the mistakes. Some fixes require a lot of internal thinking and processing, as well as listening. To give context - whatever you think of Provisions, it’s pros and cons, it was the largest such event ever, and it took many many months of many people, smart and dilligent, to execute. It was also executed flawlessly. So, whatever happens in the future will also involve a lot of thinking and consultation, followed by many man months of building and shipping. This is stuff you don’t see from the outside, but it is taking place.
  • Our vision has never wavered. We believe that Free Society means Integrity should never be assumed but rather demonstrated publicly, to all. With all due respect to speculation, fun, and memecoins, our mission is to build the Integrity Web to support Free Society at a global scale.
  • Just as Bitcion is the Mother of all Blockchains, so Starknet is the Mother of all Validity Tech. And like Bitcoin and Ethereum, we are courageous enough to chart a new path, picking the very best technology, the only one that will reach global scale (10K TPS, 100K TPS, and more) safely and without compromising blockchain principles in ways that so many of our competitors now do.
  • We care deeply about end users. It’s all about end users. Developers are important only to the extent they are the ones building for the end users. Starknet will be the best Integrity Web for safe mass usage, the one that your Mom and Dad will use.
  • To set expectations, things will take time. Even if we could role back the clock and do a completely different Provisions event, one that all would agree is perfect on all fronts, we would still face the reality that Starknet is completely new infrastructure (a better one). Everything - from native account abstraction to the Cairo programming language - is new and better. But being new, it’ll take time for the UX and DevX to match that found on older toolchains. THAT’S FINE. We’re running a marathon, not a sprint. We are building for global adoption, and it won’t come overnight. So, which ensuring early adopters and users feel proud and welcome, which is definitely something I’d like to achieve, we’ll still be working diligently for a very long time to achieve our vision - that Integrity should be never assumed but rather exhibited publicly.
  • I want to end where I started: Huge respect for Moody and all the other amazing Builders out there. Huge respect for our early testers and believers. We are constantly listening and working to improve things, and improving UX, DevX and User narrative is top priority.

All due respect @elibensasson. I just want to address what I think is exaggerated or plainly wrong in your post.

  • Starkware is trailblazing on the validity rollup tech, but the airdrop criteria were a simplified version of Arbitrum’s user airdrop criteria, with less diligence regarding sybil detection. It also came almost a full year after Arbitrum’s airdrop, allowing sybils to follow the Arbitrum rubric to extract the maximum reward, which is evidenced by the massive drop-off in activity after the snapshot date was leaked.
    • Many learnings to be had from past airdrops: “At the time we said to ourselves “no one can ever replicate this” because every future airdrop will be gamed” - Hayden Adams
  • The execution of provisions was far from ‘flawless’:
    • We were misinformed at Ekubo that the transaction backlog would be limited to ~10 seconds, when it was instead 10 minutes. This led to many expensive failed swap transactions
    • As a direct result, Ekubo did around $20m in STRK pair volume on the day of provisions with $2.5m in TVL. For comparison, Uniswap mainnet had $300k in STRK/ETH liquidity and did $30m STRK/ETH volume on the day of provisions, which led to better returns for LPs on mainnet
    • Users had trouble claiming due to slowness in clearing the provisions queue, and subsequently had trouble transacting due to a full backlog.
    • We had to add a ‘max’ slippage option of 10% on the day of provisions to deal with the backlog, and users were swapping blind just to get their transaction to execute.
  • In terms of size, it seems a rather dubious claim that this was the largest such event ever: Arbitrum airdropped 1.162B tokens just to users, valued at $1.5B on March 23rd, 2023. If you mean in terms of number of recipients, I hope we’ve learned better than to count 1 wallet as 1 user by now.

A key point of my post is that this should not be happening internally. Many issues occurred because of central planning by Starkware & Starknet Foundation. There are hundreds of delegates that never had any opportunity to give feedback.

In general I would like to see less inflation of past accomplishments, defensiveness, platitudes, e.g.:

  • “things will take time”
  • “we’re running a marathon, not a sprint”
  • “we are building for global adoption”
  • “I am listening intently”
  • “we made mistakes in the past and we will surely make mistakes in the future”

I think we’re all more interested in the details, e.g.: if you disagree with this approach, what is your strategy to bring more activity to the chain? Or specifics about what you think went wrong, what went well, and what you think is important to fix? Do you have any learnings from internal retros you could share?

Hi ser,
Please consider how many retail investors come here to make money. Although I dislike being called a speculator, an e-beggar, or any other name,that’s why I came for. (if I can code then i won’t say this shit, sorry ).
Developers are very great. Without them, there would be nothing now. However, in the ecosystem, it’s not enough to have only hardworking developers. It depends on what developers are doing.

What kind of fruits can be produced in Starknet? Defi dapp? NFT? Meme? It seems that they are all homogeneous, and it makes no sense to repeat making wheels. First is defi, then NFT, gamefi; Each track has rewarded early participants handsomely. What we want is a new idea, a special one that excellent technology can realize. I noticed the full-chain games on Starknet, but it seems that support for them has not yet materialized.

I hope starknet can be that guy who leads focg.

I find Moody’s post extremely relevant and would like to add another consideration.
For that, we need to go back even further.
To the time when Starknet hadn’t communicated anything about tokens yet, when the whole unspeakable topic didn’t exist.
Who were the enthusiastic people wanting to learn back then?
Back then, Starknet was exciting precisely because of the new approach. Other L2s were saying, “we want to be 10 Ethereums.”
But with Starknet, it was clear that a different game was being played because real scalability doesn’t happen by simply enlarging existing means.
For a different game, you need different tools, hence Cairo, etc.

With the announcement of a token, the number of users skyrocketed, and later, with the mainnet, the old familiar story unfolded.
My suggestion, which I would like to put forward for further contemplation, is to go back to the time before the token announcement, etc., and check who was doing things like tutorials to get to know Cairo back then. I think there were points, so it would be easy to trace on-chain. Back then, it was about genuinely getting to know the new. Because anyone who had read up on Starknet understood that real scalability was being pursued with the necessary new means. Curiosity then invited playful experimentation without any expectations.
Well, that’s just a thought on how to perhaps reach people who were very interested in the matter itself very early on, before any announcements.

I agree with @matteo that there is a much bigger public relations and perception problem that needs to be resolved. That being said, I think correcting the mistakes made in the last airdrop, either via the strategy moody suggests which sounds reasonable to me or via a different route, would go a long way to appeasing the most critical voices.

As a side note, I don’t want to derail the conversation as the proposal is about a new airdrop rather then a general conversation about public relations but I do want to add a heavy plus one to @RG9’s comments in terms of professionalism in our online interactions. The wolf pack and 8 user memes aren’t helpful and can come across as arrogant.

Be humble, be professional, be polite, be grateful.

As I trader and farmer I got ZERO after one year of FULL activity on Starknet. I started March 5th 2023, have 220 tx, countless Galxe campaigns for Starknet, completed and minted everything possible on the Starknet including some Crown, etc. Unfortunately I hadnt required minimum on my wallet. Why? Cos my money working and I am farming one year maybe 50 plus protocols across all networks. I got some dust for my previous activities on DYDX. I deleted all discord channels except Nostra and that is empty project with zero sense with amateur marketing. The true is that nobody pushed me “to farm”, it was my risk, your rules and my fuck off to this ecosystem with many other people. We paid high fees before upgrade but StarkWare didnt care. Now, we dont care about the network. That’s fair. “Only 8 people” is not funny, it’s awkwardness, even if not true. Devs are builders, we are users and customers. Somebody understand only the first part of this game called crypto.