In brief

  • OKCoin is giving its customers free AVAX tokens.
  • The structure of the airdrop is similar to that of its airdrop for STX tokens.
  • OKCoin plans to distribute more than $1 million if the airdrop goes well.

Editor's note: This article was updated to clarify details about OKCoin's deal with Avalanche.

Who doesn’t like free money? Well, patch up those holes in your pockets, because crypto exchange OKCoin is giving its customers $10-$50 of Avalanche (AVAX) tokens. Gratis.

The San Francisco crypto exchange plans to distribute $1 million worth of Avalanche among its customers’ wallets. OKCoin will disclose dates for the airdrop in about the next two weeks.

All of OKCoin’s customers are eligible, save for Singaporeans, Bruneians and those living in the European Union. 

Haider Rafique, OKCoin’s CMO, told Decrypt that the company is giving away the crypto because it agrees with Avalanche’s mission to “enable a worldview of true digital ownership.” 

Avalanche supports the Ethereum Virtual Machine and claims to process transactions cheaper and faster than its rival. Last month, TrueUSD announced it would move its US dollar-pegged stablecoin, which has a market cap of $1.3 billion, to the blockchain

But what sweetens the deal for its customers is that Avalanche, which launched its token in September 2020, has increased by 373% since its all-time low of $2.79 on New Year’s Eve. 

OKCoin bought AVAX for the airdrop and Avalanche is providing a small portion. Rafique said the details of OKCoin’s deal with Avalanche, for which discussions only began last Wednesday, are confidential."

AVAX’s main markets are Binance, which late last year gave US customers the boot, and OKEx and Huobi Global, which kicked US customers off several years earlier. 

But starting at 7 PM ET on February 3, OKCoin will list the coin. It will allow withdrawals from February 4. Will McCormick, a spokesperson for OKCoin, told Decrypt, “The token sale was light on US investors since it was only accessible via accredited investors, so now it’s really the first time Americans can get it.” 

Following the beaten path

The structure of the airdrop follows OKCoin’s other airdrop for Stacks (STX), the native token of the Blockstack blockchain. 

OKCoin partnered with Blockstack shortly after the New Jersey company announced that the blockchain network could not be considered a security under US law and was thus eligible for listing on exchanges.

“It's going better than we expected,” said Rafique, who in December told Decrypt he was concerned about fraud and would call the whole thing off if it went belly up. “We did see some early signs of fraud, but we were really clear with our terms and conditions,” he said. 

For the Stacks airdrop, OKCoin only distributed free crypto to customers who had funded accounts, and distributed more to those who had placed several trades and even more to those who staked coins. Rafique said the same rules apply for OKCoin’s AVAX airdrop.

“What we found is, while there's some dissatisfaction from some small percentage of customers, who think that there's a lot of requirement to qualify for this airdrop, what that's shown us is that some type of customer that we don't think is the right customer received the airdrop.”

And, just like the STX airdrop, where OKCoin promised to keep the airdrop program going should things go well, Rafique said that the company would continue to give its customers free AVAX if the airdrop proves popular and progresses without a hitch.

What’s more, OKCoin will also issue prizes as part of the airdrop. “Perhaps we might post a trading competition. Or we might post an educational competition to drive up awareness of what AVAX is able to do both on the developer and the consumer side.”

However OKCoin chooses to give away its money, its customer-base will surely snatch up whatever coins it decides to drop.