Multiple problems with Stake DAO’s token airdrop have left some users on the outside looking in
Active decentralized finance (DeFi) users woke up yesterday to yet another “airdrop” of governance tokens, this time courtesy of self-described “multi-service platform” Stake DAO — but, due to the unique distribution method and some bugs in the rollout, eligible users might want to claim their tokens sooner rather than later.
In an introductory post to the project, Stake DAO laid out the parameters for the SDT token distribution, which set aside an initial 1.5% of tokens for “active members” of a long list of popular DeFi projects. Among those members, the two largest allocations at 39% and 45% respectively were reserved for addresses which had donated to Gitcoin’s Round 8, as well as participants in DAO governance for the listed projects.
Per reports from social media, users who participated in governance were eligible to receive 68.35 tokens, worth as much as $500 prior to an SDT price drop earlier today.
The airdrop is reminiscent of larger token distribution instances that took place throughout 2020, including Uniswap’s distribution of nearly $1,400 in tokens to exchange users — an event hailed as ‘DeFi’s stimulus check’ — as well as Badger DAO’s airdrop to addresses which had provided liquidity to wrapped BTC pools.
Focusing on ecosystem governance participants and donators as initial token recipients is a somewhat novel decision, however — and one that comes with additional technical complexity. In an interview with Cointelegraph, Quentin Milne, one of Stake DAO’s 60 current contributors, said that those populations were targeted in order to attract a wide range of DeFi’s most diligent users.
“Taking part in protocol governance suggests that a user has a deeper level of involvement and more meaningful contribution to the industry than most,” he said. “However, that doesn’t mean that they are more valued than any other active user or subscriber, so we wanted to include a wide range of the community and encourage them to use our protocol.”
The distribution has not gone off without a hitch, however. Since-fixed UI hiccups yesterday led to claims not displaying, and Gitcoin donators who used privacy-preserving tools like zksnarks have also been unable to claim their tokens:
If you have donated to the Gitcoin Round 8 using zksync, please bear with us. We are currently investigating! — Stake DAO (@StakedaoHQ) January 21, 2021
Users are especially up-in-arms about being left out given some unique parameters of the airdrop: starting tomorrow at 22:37:13 GMT, the quantity of claimable SDT tokens allocated to each address will decrease 10% until reaching zero after 10 days.
Those who have successfully claimed tokens may be in line to shortly receive even more as well. Unclaimed tokens at the end of the distribution period will be awarded to SDT holders who participate in governance and supply their tokens to liquidity pools and vaults, meaning users who can’t claim in the next ten days may be cut out of even greater rewards.
Milne cautions that there will be plenty more opportunities for interested parties to earn tokens, however. The total distribution of 100 million SDT tokens allocates 40% to contributors over a two-year vesting period, but a full 60% to the community — of which only 1.5% has been airdropped.
While they certainly didn’t help, Milne also says that even without the technical problems the rollout would have been a stressful one. “It is always difficult to deploy a new platform and a token. You have to arrange the end of timelock, try to inject liquidity at the right time to avoid massive price swings, handle the community and then roll the UI all at the same time.”
When it comes to community building and distribution, he referred to airdrops as an “imperfect tool,” but said he hopes the community embraces the attempt to “kick start the micro-economy within the DAO.”
Given where Stake DAO is headed, the rocky rollout may end up being just a short chapter in a much longer story.
The Stake DAO website lists a broad range of current and planned integration partners, allowing for staking, yield vaults, liquidity pooling, portfolio tracking and management, and single-transaction smart contract zaps. Vault strategies include input from developers on leading projects like Yearn and BadgerDAO, and Milne teased that some novel features and products could be on the way.
Planned products include “fiat gateways, email logins, and new and exotic strategies such as exposure to bots using flash loan or liquidation,” he said. “We will also be looking at adding a strategy in collaboration with BlackpoolHQ, the first hedge fund dedicated to NFTs,” as well as cross-chain staking and vault strategies.
It’s a larger plan that lucky recipients of SDT tokens can now be a part of. The direction of Stake DAO will ultimately be decided by the SDT holders, who will vote and contribute as Stake DAO grows over time.