Analysis

Countdown to Blast's Airdrop

How is the Blast L2 developing ahead of its much-hyped airdrop? Let's dig in.
David C David C Apr 22, 20243 min read
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Countdown to Blast's Airdrop

Few projects have seen as much criticism and controversy as Blast this cycle.

Soon after going live, complaints from depositors started populating Twitter about the opportunity cost of locking their ETH for the airdrop. Effects of this could be seen immediately after launch, with TVL dipping substantially before recovering. Then, the Munchables NFT project hack came not a month after going live, throwing the network into an existential crisis over the $64M hack (though funds were later returned). Still, Blast has carried on, attracting a handful of quality projects to promote the network as an exciting and experimental DeFi hub for crypto-natives. 

As we approach May, the fated month when Blast will conduct its airdrop, checking in with the ecosystem proves important to see whether the network built a strong enough hub that will continue to grow following the airdrop or fade into the background.


The State of Blast

Impressively resilient, analyzing the current state of the network shows Blast has demonstrated notable recovery and expansion. 

While not growing exponentially, its TVL has grown from an initial point of $2.11B to $3B twice before and after the Munchables hack. It's stabilizing at ~$2.5B amid the market’s recent sell-off, though a ~59% increase over the past month places it comfortably within the top ten chains by size and in the top five for rollups

Analyzing TVL, though, may not provide the best information about the actual activity as much as Transactions per second (TPS), which reached 9.4 post-launch but has moderated now to a steady 5 TPS. This puts Blast well behind chains like Base, Degen Chain, and Arbitrum. However, it could be explained by the fact that most activity on Blast comes from locking assets to maximize yield rather than executing frequent transactions.

While activity numbers may be low by comparison, many projects in Blast’s ecosystem have experienced significant growth this past month. Forging towards its goal of being a DeFi degen hub, Blast has established a strong foundation equipped with all the verticals it needs to make this happen.

Juice Finance provides lending/borrowing facilities, turbo-charged with functionality to maximize yield and points farming. Thruster supplies the ecosystem with deep token liquidity needed for swaps, augmented by high-yield projects like Hyperlock Finance building on top of it. Particle Trade’s growth shows demand for their “Uniswap for leverage,” and Renzo, one of the largest LRT protocols, seeds the network with restaking liquidity. 

Together, these projects have laid the foundation for Blast as it strives to become a robust DeFi hub.


Potential Catalysts

By catering to crypto-native individuals and embracing a degen ethos, Blast's ecosystem established a culture and population already well-versed in crypto's intricacies and predisposed to exploring new forms of it. 

New projects can leverage this community to guide their protocol designs. It works particularly well for SocialFi projects, those looking to build at the intersection of social networks and DeFi, several of which have recently sprung up on Blast.

  • Fantasy Top, where users "draft" teams of their favorite crypto personalities to compete in tournaments based on rankings like Twitter engagement, is on the brink of its mainnet after launching its airdrop claim.
  • EarlyFans, a SocialFi platform that further monetizes the relationship between content creators and their audiences with speculative upside, just launched its Beta ahead of an upcoming airdrop.
  • DistrictOne monetizes group chats with money games featuring stealing, sharing, investing, and jackpots, catering to communities and influencers looking to expand and capitalize on their reach.

Overall, Blast’s intentional alignment with crypto-native and degen cultures not only consolidates its position in the DeFi space but also sets the stage for expansion into developing trends like SocialFi, potentially capturing greater market traction by further intertwining DeFi and culture.


Going Forward

May holds a particular significance for Blast with the arrival of its airdrop. 

The network's activities, particularly in DeFi, have partly turned on its anticipation. Remember, not only are there points, but Gold too — a resource comprising 50% of the airdrop, allocated to Dapps for incentivizing and rewarding their communities how they see fit.

As Blast approaches its crucial airdrop event in May, the network stands at a significant junction. With a resilient base, evident from its recovery post-Munchables hack and steady TVL, Blast has a chance to become an integral DeFi hub. Yet, given how much activity on the network turns on farming, the success of its airdrop will be critical in determining whether Blast cements its status as a pioneering network or recedes into becoming just another L2. 

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David C

Written by David C

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David is a writer/analyst at Bankless. Prior to joining Bankless, he worked for a series of early-stage crypto startups and on grants from the Ethereum, Solana, and Urbit Foundations. He graduated from Skidmore College in New York. He currently lives in the Midwest and enjoys NFTs, but no longer participates in them.

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