ZK Token FAQs

1. How could someone qualify for this airdrop?

At the highest level, there were two ways in which a wallet address qualified for the 17.5% airdrop:

  1. Users (89%): ZKsync users who bridged crypto-assets onto ZKsync Era and met at least one of the seven eligibility criteria.

  2. Contributors (11%): Individuals, developers, researchers, communities, and companies who contributed to the ZKsync protocol and ecosystem through development, advocacy, education, or participation regardless of their ZKsync network usage.

For wallets in the 11% Contributor category, ZKsync Era activity was optional. The contributor allocation focused, for example, on people and communities who built early projects on ZKsync, contributed to relevant GitHub repositories, performed security research, served as Discord moderators, or participated in communities such as Degen, Bonsai, Crypto the Game, Pudgy, and Milady.

2. When you say this is a usage-based airdrop, what does that mean?

The user-based allocation (89% of the total airdrop) was all about identifying and rewarding a diverse group of users on ZKsync Era who will help govern and grow ZKsync for the long haul. The goal was to find folks who were bridging crypto-assets to ZKsync Era, and give them a multiplier bonus for doing things that are indicative of being an organic user. Such people are very likely to become a valuable member of the ZKsync community.

A wallet's history across chains can reveal a lot about its owner. Real users tend to be more risk-on, especially when they feel part of a community. They spend time exploring, trying out new protocols, and holding onto speculative assets. On the flip side, bots and opportunists play it safe, putting in minimal effort while trying to blend in and extract value.

3. I met some of the eligibility criteria, but did not get an allocation, why not?

ZKsync user airdrop allocations (89% of the total airdrop) were based on a combination of:

  1. How many of the seven eligibility criteria were met.

  2. The amount bridged and held on ZKsync Era - either in your wallet or DeFi protocols -- based on a time-weighted average balance (TWAB) over 12 months ending on the snapshot date. This is characterized as value scaling (see details in question 5).

  3. A bonus multiplier: If the wallet was part of a pre-defined group, such as early ETH adopters, holders of top ZKsync native NFTs/tokens, or holders of an airdrop from ARB, OP, ENS, amongst others, it received an allocation multiplier.

Important: Transaction volume alone had no impact on the size of allocations.

Allocations were calculated for users based on the above criteria. In order to receive an airdrop allocation, the result had to be larger than ZK 450.

This means that even if you hit all seven criteria, but you held a small amount on average over time, or did not qualify for any of the other bonus multipliers, you might not qualify for an allocation.



Eligibility points




Time-weighted Average Balance (TWAB)

50 USD

50 USD

30 USD


Held ZKsync native NFT: Dudiez, Hue, Moody Mights, Webears, ZKPENGZ, zkSkulls, or zkVeggies






340 0 (did not meet ZK 450 threshold)

4. I met four eligibility criteria and got less than someone I saw on X who only met two eligibility criteria. Why?

The number of eligibility criteria met was only one of three factors that determined the size of an allocation. The ZKsync airdrop allocation is a combination of eligibility criteria, your time-weighted-average-balance (TWAB) on ZKsync Era, and your bonus multiplier.

In this case, the other person might have bridged a larger amount of crypto-assets into ZKsync Era and/or held them there for a longer period of time. Alternatively, the other person might have qualified for one of the bonus multipliers or be part of the contributor-based airdrop, while you were not.

5. How does “value scaling” work?

To identify and reward users putting crypto-assets into the ZKsync Era platform, allocations were based, in part, on a value-scaling formula. This formula adjusted an address’s allocation based on amounts sent to ZKsync Era and how long those crypto-assets were in the wallet.

For example, an address with $100 sent to ZKsync Era at mainnet launch (March 2023) and held since then will be weighted more than an address that only put $100 on a month before the snapshot.

Value Scaling = Time-Weighted Average Balance (TWAB) = Scaling allocations based on how much value in crypto-assets someone bridged and for how long they held them.

Reminder: Transaction volume alone has no impact on value scaling.

For more, see these examples.

6. What if I only used ZKsync Lite? Why was I excluded?

To be eligible for the airdrop, addresses had to meet one eligibility criteria and bridge crypto-assets onto ZKsync Era. The focus of the airdrop was on ZKsync Era, the first ZK chain, as it is poised to become the decentralized hub for the entire ZKsync ecosystem.

ZKsync Lite users, as the OGs of the ZKsync ecosystem, were able to receive up to two eligibility points for using ZKsync Lite. But they also needed to, at some point, have crypto-assets on ZKsync Era.

For the usage-based airdrop: If a user only used ZKsync Lite and not ZKsync Era, unfortunately, they were not eligible to receive any user airdrop allocation.

*Gitcoin provided us with a list of users that had donated through Gitcoin on ZKsync Lite. This list contained donations starting from September 2022.

7. Why are there addresses with 0 transactions that still got an allocation?

The airdrop was separated into a user-based allocation (89% of airdrop) and a contributor-based allocation (11% of airdrop). Wallets in the contributor category did not need to show activity on ZKsync Era. The contributor allocation focused, for example, on people and communities who built early projects on ZKsync, contributed to relevant Github repositories, performed security research, moderated the community on Discord, or participated in communities such as Degen, Bonsai, Crypto the Game, Pudgy, and Milady.

There are 184 addresses which meet eligibility criteria on ZKsync Lite and bridged assets on ZKsync Era, but have no other transactions. These wallets are eligible for the airdrop.

Additionally, 11 test addresses were added to the allocation for internal quality assurance and testing. These addresses were allocated the minimum allocation of 917 tokens. Once they are claimed, these tokens will be sent to the burn address.

0x6adb27812220f1ff5df618e3273d83c430705eec 0xb1ded8ff2f7a45f436951f082dda770e1dcee84d 0x07528fba97b02bba1aaa03a8ffe51d3fda86b585 0xc527a57ebcc7af699055bb8a3aca917a00a235ed 0x358291b1ea089437a9b16fb8c23d8a035ea7c358 0x023e3e6d98d7a5c7209910ab4ab9f91713dbdc1d 0x65f8dfc419b418ae82f289059d038428d038cd9a 0x6cc3a7f20f0f2f3d3fb5e07f89f7449e6a2537d6 0xae757f4c8aad55712018e6fef0612a091279517a 0x5f66edefd2d3d228244d5801911cdccb87df92bc 0x0e602a94192f9da3db92f159a724ea8442916987 0x1bf7C517AFF73AD03C28C243ea800E3A7a443Fb9

8. Why are external groups like Degen and Bonsai rewarded instead of ZKsync users?

A small portion (2.8%) of the total airdrop was reserved for experimental onchain communities: Degen and Bonsai recipients, Crypto The Game, Pudgy, and Milady. These communities are known to be advocates and fervent defenders of their ecosystem and share the same cypherpunk values as ZK Nation, while also experimenting with innovative ways to self-organize. These positive-sum communities are valuable additions to any network and will hopefully be long-term members and stewards of ZKsync.

9. Why did some people get more than 100K tokens?

100K is the maximum reward for the user-based allocation of the airdrop (again, 89% of airdrop). 155 addresses (0.022%) received an allocation greater than 100K tokens by qualifying for the maximum user reward in addition to qualifying for rewards from the contributors category (11% of total airdrop).

Example groups that are part of the contributors category: ZKsync native projects, GitHub Developers, Security Researchers, Discord Community Moderators, ZK Credo Translators, and more.

10. How did you decide which ecosystem projects were eligible for the airdrop?

The following project categories received retroactive rewards:

  1. Top Defi protocols. Top DeFi protocols on ZKsync Era by TVL that have demonstrated their dedication to building on ZKsync. With over a hundred projects listed on DeFi Llama, the ones that had more than 2M USD in TVL were included. These projects are all dedicated to use their allocation to further the growth of the DeFi ecosystem on ZKsync.

  2. Top community-led growth. Projects that have consistently been building their own communities and collaborating with other communities in the ZKsync ecosystem. These include gaming, NFTs, and meme projects.

The following project categories received proactive allocations for upcoming launches. These projects have committed to redistributing their allocations back to the ZKsync community (see thread of initial announcements):

  1. Upcoming ZK chains. These projects are critical early adopters of the ZKsync hyperscaling vision.

  2. DeFi blue chips. Industry’s leading Defi projects that have recently launched or will launch soon.

Determining the allocation size was based on several factors, including:

  • Loyalty to the ZKsync ecosystem as their main home.

  • Maturity metrics: TVL, size of community, levels of activity.

  • Growth potential.

  • Dedication to growing ZKsync communities.

11. Why did TVL spike in November 2023?

In late November 2023, a single whale deposited roughly 40,000,000 USD into ZKBase. In early January 2024, this same whale removed this amount from the protocol. You can see this activity on DeFiLlama.

The whale’s address is 0x7929a629ba65491d02756c742f9f7b611e891c16.

This address was not eligible for the airdrop and did not receive any allocation. Even though it has a high TWAB, it did not meet any eligibility requirements. If it did meet them, it would have been eligible only for the maximum allocation of 100,000 ZK.

This example showcases how the airdrop prioritized organic users over whales.

12. Why did you allocate tokens to CEXs?

There were four identified CEX wallets that were eligible to receive a total of 93,677 ZK tokens.

All wallets that qualified for the airdrop received the appropriate allocation, based on the eligibility criteria.

It is unlikely they will claim.





13. I participated in ZK Quest, why didn’t I get as many ZK tokens as other participants?

Within ZK Quest, participants received allocations based on the difficulty of the quests and the maturity of the ZK Quest platform. There were three tiers of allocations:

  • Highest tier: Completed all the quests at ETHDenver 2024

  • Middle tier: Completed at least one coding quest at ETHDenver 2024

  • Lowest tier: Completed at least one quest in ETHDenver 2024 or DevConnect Istanbul

14. Why was I not eligible despite performing well in the various airdrop checkers?

Many airdrop checkers are focused on the activity metrics that previous airdrops used—such as the transaction volume or the amount of gas spent. But this is also well known and exploited by the industrial sybils, which made an activity-based airdrop no longer feasible for ZKsync. No statements were ever made implying that activity metrics were relevant for a potential airdrop. The approach was designed to reward organic users: those who used the network because it was valuable to them, not those who tried to game the system and extract value.

Activity metrics are easily gameable by industrial bot farms. Aggressive sybil filtering can be effective at eliminating naive sybils, at the expense of falsely flagging many organic users. However, professional industrial farms employ sophisticated algorithmic strategies that are indistinguishable from real people. They fund accounts from many distinct exchange addresses, never interact with each other, use randomized amounts, and use software to randomize daily patterns of human behavior, and even perform activities unique to the project (for example, using ZKsync paymasters).

Such programmatic sybil accounts will always outnumber the accounts of real people with a huge ratio. Thus, an activity-based approach would have left organic users at a colossal disadvantage. By far the largest part of the airdrop allocation would have gone to professional sybils.

15. Did you use sybil detection?

Yes. Explicit sybil detection was used in addition to the unique airdrop design that created a natural advantage for organic users. Here is the full overview of our anti-sybil philosophy.

The problem

Aggressive sybil filtering can be effective at eliminating naive sybils, at the expense of falsely flagging many organic users. However, professional industrial farms employ sophisticated algorithmic strategies that are indistinguishable from real people. They fund accounts from many distinct exchange addresses, never interact with each other, use randomized amounts, and use software to randomize daily patterns of human behavior, and even perform activities unique to the project (for example, using ZKsync paymasters).

The majority of such bots are completely undetectable, even with the most advanced anti-sybil methodology. Thus, any traditional airdrop design anticipated by sybils would lead to the absolute majority of the allocation ending up in the hands of bot farms.

Our strategy

That’s why we chose an alternative path: prioritizing accounts that belong to the organic users with high likelihood. This strategy was implemented through value scaling and multipliers.

Value scaling

The idea behind value scaling is to exploit the asymmetry between sybils and humans, and to invert it to the advantage of humans. It is based on the following insight. Sybils expected allocations to be distributed more or less evenly between all accounts, so they took advantage of having programmable bots to create more accounts than a real person will do in their whole life. But since they want to operate in a capital efficient manner, they used very small amounts of crypto-assets to fund each of those accounts. Real people, on the other hand, tend to concentrate most of their wealth in just a few accounts, making their balances much larger compared to bots.

By focusing on balances, value-scaling eliminated most bots and opportunists, leaving a large majority of organic people intact.


Value-scaling alone is far from perfect, since it would still falsely eliminate some real people with less capital onchain.

To improve upon this, allocations were boosted with onchain behavior that strongly signals true human behavior and stack eligibility points or directly through multipliers.

Explicit sybil detection

At the final step of the process, an explicit sybil detection was applied. You can review the methodology here using industry standard heuristics.

Conventional sybil detection was configured to lower the rate of false positives. This means that a larger number of sybils could pass through the filter, but less people were falsely flagged as bots. For the same reason we relied on our own methodology, and not on unvalidated third party data sets. This was a conscious trade-off.

There will be sybils in every airdrop. However, for every example of sybil that can be identified, there are hundreds that were excluded.

16. Has the eligibility list changed since the checker was released?

The following are the only changes that have been made to the airdrop eligibility list since the checker opened and the CSV file was posted on June 10, 2024:

Additions: Security researchers and Crypto The Game participants were included as part of the Contribution-based allocations. However, 56 Cantina researchers and 25 Crypto The Game participants were mistakenly omitted from the final eligibility list. To rectify this oversight, Cantina security researchers were included for claiming starting Monday, June 17 and Crypto The Game participants were included for claiming starting Monday, June 24. It is important to note that the allocations for other security researchers and Crypto The Game participants were not reduced to accommodate the newly eligible wallet addresses.

Removals: Matter Labs team members are not eligible for this airdrop. The majority of team member wallet addresses were excluded from the original eligibility list. However, between eligibility and claim, 29 more team member wallet addresses were collected. These addresses are now removed from the CSV.

Replacements: An incorrect wallet address was submitted for the AAVE DAO as part of the ZKsync Native Project allocation. This wallet was updated to reflect the correct address.

These are the only changes made to the airdrop eligibility list. No other alterations or exceptions were made.

17. How were ZKsync native project and external project allocations determined?

As determined by each project, contributors were placed into different tiers based on their level of contribution. Additionally, allocations to contributors of ZKsync native projects were weighted higher than those of external projects. Contributors across the ZKsync native projects and external projects were only eligible for one allocation. When a contributor was submitted for multiple projects, they were assigned to the project type and tier, resulting in the highest allocation.

Disclaimer: Addresses are published in accordance with the Privacy Policy.

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