Airdrops have been deployed by Clams, Byteball and Stellar and are an equitable token distribution method comprising issuing tokens to each address on protocols such as Bitcoin on a particular date. They are traded on the open market and Bitcoin owners who prefer using networks can receive a dividend.
Airdrops exhibit similar characteristics to forks despite forks competing for the same network, however forks constitute a code edit vying with the parent code for attention and can subsequently be launched with universal consent or only a small fragment of users within the parent network.
Forks consist of new code implementations, experimental projects and arduous contests for a network’s supremacy, consequently for contested hard forks incompatible with previous networks there’s no single arbiter of what constitutes the underlying chain.
The contracts may be arbitrarily complicated and comprise the ether balance, they can transfer ether and call other contracts such as users implementing contracts to further users.
A large proportion of crypto asset projects are currencies or platforms subject to network effects and don’t coexist easily and therefore it may be laborious for multiple similar virtual currencies to achieve widespread usage. If different usage criterion is adhered to, they can exist simultaneously such as Bitcoin’s concurrent use alongside a fully anonymous currency to penetrate alternative markets.
Bitcoin has forked multiple times comprising weathered repetitive alternative adoptions implemented by competing developers including BitcoinXT, Bitcoin Classic, Bitcoin Unlimited and Bitcoin Cash. The Bitcoin protocol established one megabyte as the maximum size of a transactions’ block limiting transaction validation speed and the network’s development.
Bitcoin Cash increased block size from 1MB to 8MB increasing the processing of substantial amounts of transactions within the 10-minute period to further develop efficiency and cost efficiency.
Bitcoin has clearly defined network peer consensus rules including miners and relay nodes agreeing to deterministically validate scripts, transactions and blocks. The rules state a transaction’s format, scripting language semantics, new coin forecasted growth and parameters including maximum block size.
Yet Ethereum Classic and Bitcoin Cash indicated a serious threat to parent networks as the forked source code is disruptively identical to the original, referred to as hostile spinoffs. Antithetically neutral airdrops provide reserve currency holders with periodic passive income.
All hardforks require peers to upgrade software and continue network participation. The DAO’s hardfork precipitated Ethereum Classic’s launch which has consequently executed 2 hard forks such as GasReprice replicating Ethereum’s hardfork to increase costs for under-priced EVM operation codes and prevent future spam attacks.
Airdrops are a novel paradigm in crypto asset distribution and can potentially address ICO concerns including hyper concentrated ownership in capped sales. A few token holders controlling a large proportion of the tokens within a pseudonymous network detracts from voting significance, compromises decentralization and precipitates a wealth transfer to a small minority particularly if staking is involved.