ZkSync is facing backlash over its token airdrop controversy

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Ethereum’s zero-knowledge (ZK) Layer 2 scaling solution, zkSync, is facing backlash from the crypto community following the recent announcement of the ZK token airdrop. Community members have raised concerns about the lack of anti-Sybil filtering and “unfair” token distribution.

ZkSync has been met with harsh reactions

On Tuesday, zkSync announced the upcoming airdrop of its ZK token and distribution plan. According to the announcement, 17.5% of the 21 billion ZK tokens will be transferred to 695,000 eligible wallets on June 17.

Additionally, 33.3% of the token supply will be distributed between the project team and investors. The allocation was intended to reward early adopters and long-time supporters of the zkSync community.

Annoucement of the ZK token. Source: ZK Nation on X

Eligible users could receive up to 100,000 ZK tokens per post, depending on the criteria they met before the March 25 snapshot. However, the project faced criticism when users started checking their allocation.

Online reports revealed that some community members were not ecstatic with their rewards. Despite being busy long-term users, many investors claimed to have received a lower token allocation than other less busy investors.

Similarly, several users complained that they were not eligible for the airdrop despite their shipment volume and transaction history and meeting the criteria. One X user common being in the top 0.04% of wallets and receiving only 1023 ZK tokens, while wallets with much less activity recorded after the snapshot received the maximum allocation.

Various leading projects built on the ZkSync platform expressed disappointment when they were not included. zkApes NFT project and part of the NFT marketplace common they received no discharges even though they generated between $15 million and $20 million in gas fees for the network.

Moreover, zkApes, Element NFT and other projects formed a coalition to “keep the pressure” on the zkSync team and negotiate an allocation of tokens that would be distributed among their communities. Critics expressed a desire for “transparency and honesty.”

No anti-Sybyl filtering?

Mudit Gupta, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at Polygon Labs, called a “most cultivateable and cultivated airdrop in history” situation. Gupta emphasized the lack of anti-Sybil filtering and stated that “anyone who knew the criteria could have easily figured it all out.”

Similarly, Adam Cochran, partner at Cinneamhain Ventures, thinks the drop wasn’t well planned from Sybil’s perspective. He emphasized that the criteria “are easy to miss as a real user and easy to miss as a farmer.”

Many users believed that zkSync was not responsible for the controversial criteria, but the blame lies with the Nansen analytics company. However, Nansen clarified that they were not involved in the ZK drop.

In post X company he stated that they have in the past provided data to Matter Labs, the company that develops zkSync. The information provided included details about the wallets of some whales and known fraudsters. Additionally, they explained that they did not employ any anti-Sybiling measures or provide any advice regarding token allocation.

It is worth noting that for the drop it was decided not to apply any anti-Sybil criteria as this was considered an “incomplete approach”.

(…) It is tempting to eliminate bot swarms by applying Sybil’s stringent criteria. However, Sybil detection often eliminates real users using arbitrary filters. This was an incomplete approach to the ZK drop. The ZK dump focuses on identifying real users using a human-centric approach.

According to online reports, Sybil wallets are estimated to receive approximately 135 million ZK tokens worth approximately $135 million from the airdrop, based on an initial list provided by LayerZero Labs. Sybil’s list has since been rejected by Bryan Pellegrino, CEO of LayerZero.

eth, ethusdt, Ethereum, zsync

ETH is trading at $3,591 in the weekly chart. Source: ETHUSDT on TradingView

Featured image from Unsplash.com, chart from TradingView.com


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