Airdrops have come a long way in the last year, most notably starting from Uniswap's 400 UNI token airdrop in September of 2020. From there, we've grown into airdrops that are calculated based on the frequency and volume of interactions with different facets of a protocol. Below is one such example:
We've also seen NFT drops recently that rely on more standardized tools built for quickly setting rules/requirements and rewards/distribution. None of these methodologies are bad, but I do believe there's still a lot of room for improvement. This could come from the distribution model, drop frequency, or even the token rules themselves. In this proposal, I'll be focusing on a new distribution model, one that combines data from user interactions in the Mirror $WRITE race, on Twitter, and in Mirror-related Ethereum transactions.
The Mirror $WRITE race is a vote-based competition that occurs once a week, where the top ten writers get 1 $WRITE token. This gives them access to the platform as well as 1000 votes for the future rounds of the race. The structure is not dissimilar from most Sybil-resistant approaches where a validated party votes in a new party, however, the propagation of rounds is a lot slower as it only happens once a week. This means it takes a lot longer to really diversify away from the friends/communities of the genesis writers of the $WRITE race. For new participants who aren't very close to that initial circle, it becomes harder and harder to win as the top 10 vote floor continues to rise:
While increasing the # of winners and base vote allocation or gamifying the prompt system could incrementally improve the race, an airdrop of $WRITE tokens would offer a much faster method of reducing the influence of the starter group and increase the diversity of writers (winners) on the platform.
A key first decision here is that airdropped tokens should not affect the current vote allocation for each participant in the $WRITE race. But, they can still be redeemed for publications**, at 1 $WRITE token per publication.
My first thoughts when structuring this airdrop model were around "what should an airdrop really be targeting?" The three pillars that came to mind were:
From there, I set three goals for the token formula:
We know that for Mirror to thrive long-term, there needs to be diversity in creators with an equally diverse set of contributors. However, with over 7000 users it can be hard to choose who gets what allocation off of usage alone. This is where the social graphs enter the picture, as we can use that data to identify who might be best from a community perspective to allocate greater or fewer airdrop tokens to.
For all of the following, $W$ stands for a weight between 0-1 and $T$ stands for $WRITE token.
The results of the airdrop can be found in the following CSV file.
The data dictionary for this file can be found below:
I believe this airdrop has iterated upon everything we built in web2 and web3, mainly due to its combined use of multiple social graphs alongside tokenized ownership. As I've covered before, betweenness centrality is a measure that helps us target a more resilient and diverse network. Tokens are a great way to reward those who have fulfilled that behavior historically, and also as an incentive mechanism to further that diversity and resilience (support) in the future.
This proposal indirectly tackles the issue of long-term ownership of tokens, where many receivers (other than core investors and the product team) sell the tokens soon after the drop. My hope is that if the tokens are distributed to an aligned subset of the community, we won't see this issue appear as strongly. I think the Ohmies are a great example of this done well.
While this airdrop is at a protocol level, there's no reason why we couldn't go more micro in our approach and provide creators and DAOs betweenness scores for their specific social graph of contributors, voters, and Twitter interactors. They could leverage that data to then airdrop their own tokens as well. Ultimately, I think that what has been done here can be further expanded and productized to help all of us gain better visibility into and reward/incentivize each step of the community flywheel created by the team at 0xSTATION: