Upstart NFT marketplace Blur, the largest rival to market leader OpenSea in recent months, is set to begin its delayed airdrop of BLUR tokens today to reward Ethereum NFT traders.
Blur launched its marketplace last October with the promise of token rewards for traders, and has granted users “care packages” that represent coming token allotments. Users can finally open up their care packages today and claim the Ethereum-based tokens, with an estimated start around 1:30pm ET following a late morning delay.
The marketplace has awarded the token allotments in three waves to date. The first wave was offered up to eligible Ethereum NFT traders who used a competing marketplace in the six months prior to Blur’s own launch. The second wave was for Blur users who listed their NFTs for sale on the marketplace through November, while the final wave is for traders who bid on NFTs through Blur.
IT'S TIME FOR $BLUR
Care Packages can be opened on Feb 14 at 12PM EST, 1AM HKG, 6PM CET.
Make sure the launch announcement comes from our official @BLUR_io account tomorrow and double check all URLs before claiming. pic.twitter.com/tSbOPLqYTW
— Blur (@blur_io) February 13, 2023
Blur initially planned to drop the governance token to eligible users in January, but then delayed the airdrop to today. “We’re trying new things,” the marketplace tweeted on January 19, “and the extra two weeks will allow us to deliver a launch that hasn’t been done before.”
Billing itself the “marketplace for pro traders,” Blur raised $11 million in a seed round led by Paradigm and announced in March 2022. Like LooksRare and other marketplaces that have emerged following the rise of the NFT market, Blur is trying to build up an audience by offering potentially valuable token rewards to traders.
Anticipation for the pending token drop has apparently fueled Blur’s rise over the last few months, with the marketplace sometimes topping OpenSea in terms of NFT trading volume.
However, the hype around token rewards has also prompted suspicion over how much “wash trading” is taking place on the platform as users potentially manipulate trades to boost rewards. That’s what happened with LooksRare in early 2022, as users traded NFTs back and forth between their own wallets at artificially inflated prices to manipulate the rewards model.
Blur hasn’t yielded billions of dollars’ worth of suspicious-looking trades, however, unlike LooksRare did last year. But data shows that Blur has far fewer active traders and transactions than OpenSea over the past week, despite posting more overall trading volume.
Data from analytics platform Dune suggests that about 13% of Blur trades are classified as suspected wash trading, compared to about 2% for OpenSea.
We’ll see whether Blur’s surging momentum in recent months continues after users stop trading with airdrop incentives in mind. Notable crypto exchanges like Coinbase and Huobi have already announced plans to support the BLUR token once it starts trading today.
Editor's note: This article was updated after publication to reflect the changed airdrop timing.