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Get Airdrop Optionality on Arbitrum and Optimism

Exclusive Research

  • Arbitrum One and Optimism PBC are Ethereum L2 solutions, that just might retroactively airdrop a token in the future.
  • Avalanche paved the way with $GB. Arbitrum or OE tokens would add fortunes to the pockets of early adopters.
  • Transaction volumes on these chains have stalled lately. And both networks are still in their infancy.
  • Pursuing this optionality is a gamble, albeit one with low, fixed downside and a big potential upside.

Schroedinger’s Airdrop

Burning in the minds of Ethereum treasure hunters worldwide is the question of an eventual Arbitrum or Optimism token. Avalanche dropping the Good Bridging $GB token retroactively to users of its Avalanche bridge has further fanned the flames of desire.

Neither Arbitrum One nor Optimism have a token, and neither of the Ethereum L2 solutions announced plans to release one. This is natural since ETH is the token of all Ethereums. Pursuing airdrop optionality here is a highly speculative play. Considering the low cost, it could be worth pursuing, depending on the volume involved.

Bridging is easy and cheap. Just head over to the Arbitrum or Optimism bridge, or use Hop and send the desired amount of ETH to the L2 of your choice. Add the network to your wallet and see your bridged ETH there.

While you are on L2, you might want to see how cheap and fast swaps and staking are. Curve, Uniswap and many more are already deployed and working on these chains.

Sweet, sweet tokens of Arbitrum and Optimism

The potential upside of this idea is in the tokens that Arbitrum One or Optimism PBC will retroactively airdrop to early adopters in a possible future.

This is a long shot since neither of them announced plans to do so. If there will ever be any token, it would likely be an ERC20 version like WAETH for wrapped Arbitrum ETH.

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The cost to pursue this option is the cost of two transactions on the bridges: One from and one to mainnet.

Should a token come out, it could be distributed corresponding to the amount an address had on the chain, or to the volume of transactions. There’s no way to know, so playing around with some DeFi activity is encouraged, and profitable. Staking USDC on Curve x Arbitrum yields more than 33% APY at the time of this writing, October 2021.

It’s so hard to leave

Going back to mainnet takes one week on the official bridges, but can be done as a regular swap on Hop, and usually for smaller fees.

Both Optimism and Arbitrum are in their infancy, with Arbitrum declaring itself as beta explicitly. Expect occasional network outages and unannounced updates.

Arbitrum daily transactions have stalled lately, which makes the network expensive compared to Polygon and Solana. This exacerbates the chicken and egg problem of adoption.

When staking or yield farming on L2s the same caveats as on L1 apply.

It is advisable not to move too small of an amount around, as layer 1 gas fees will most likely exceed any possible profit.

Conclusion

A cheap gamble, but still a gamble.

ETH is Ethereum’s token. But distributing tokens is a sure-fire way to bind investors and developers to a network. So it wouldn’t be a big surprise if an Arbitrum or Optimism token should surface in the future.

Bridging is easy and (relatively) cheap. Apart from any future tokens, you’ll get a glimpse into Ethereum’s “broadband moment”.

Nothing in this article constitutes professional and/or financial advice. The content is provided exclusively for informational and/or educational purposes. Nothing is to be construed as an offer or a recommendation to buy or sell any type of asset. Seek independent professional advice in regards to financial, tax, legal and other matters.

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