Back in July, now popular Ethereum-based platform OmiseGo had a large scale airdrop, releasing five percent of all tokens out into the wild at no cost.
Today, OmiseGo or OMG tokens are trading for up to $20 each at press time. However, this airdrop was met with large amounts of confusion, and many scammers used the opportunity to target unsuspecting victims who don’t understand how airdrops work.
Since the airdrop finished several months ago, let’s go over what happened, and what you should do if you think you were entitled to receive something from the airdrop.
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OMG and the Future of Peer to Peer Exchanges
So what is OmiseGo (pronounced Oh-Me-Seh-Go)? It will be a plasma network powered, fast and affordable peer to peer system to exchange almost any kind of value instantly. This could include fiat currency, crypto currency, airline miles, or anything else that the network will eventually support.
What is an Airdrop?
Since there is a lot of confusion about what an airdrop actually is, let’s go over what they are and how they work.
An airdrop is a method of giving away ERC-20 tokens to people that hold Ethereum in a proper wallet. Typically, airdrops will require a minimum balance in order to be eligible. Usually, this is 0.1 Ether. The reason why they have a minimum is to reduce the risk of sending tokens to addresses that are effectively dead.
The group giving out an airdrop will scan the blockchain for all addresses holding enough Ether. Then, based on the amount of Ether they hold, usually, they will give out a certain number of tokens per Ether.
Other airdrops just send a fixed amount of tokens to each address that is eligible. For example, recently the INSP project gave every eligible address 777 tokens each.
In order to receive airdrop, you are not required to enter your public address, or most importantly, private keys into any website. Airdrops are done automatically through scanning the blockchain for eligible addresses.
Many fraudsters like to take advantage of the confusion that airdrops can bring and will create phishing websites aimed at stealing victims private keys, in order to “sign up“ for the airdrop. It goes without saying that you should never give your private keys to any website or person.
Are You Eligible for the Airdrop?
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In order to qualify for the OMG airdrop, you would have needed to have at least 0.1 Ether in a valid Ether wallet. This means that if you held money in an exchange or something like Coinbase, then you will not receive the airdrop. Instead, the exchange holding your Ether would get it and you would not.
Secondly, airdrops usually rely on what’s called a snapshot. This means that they will set a very specific block or time on which to base their airdrop on.
Hence in order to qualify, you will need to hold the minimum amount of Ether at that specific block. If you then sold or traded your Ether after that block, you would still qualify for the airdrop.
The snapshot for OMG was taken at block height 3988888. That block occurred on July 7, 2017 at 4:36 PM UTC.
How to Check if You Received the Airdrop
If you aren’t sure if you received the airdrop or not but want to check, the easiest way to do that is to open your wallet on a service like myetherwallet.com (if you want access to the tokens) or Etherscan.io (if you just want to see the balance). Note that using a site like MyEtherWallet, you will need to submit your private keys or 12-word passphrase.
Make absolutely sure that you are on the correct site and not a phishing or scam site. Once you are sure you are on the correct site, you can enter your information and access your wallet. Once you have logged into the service, you can check your token balances.
There you should see the OMG balance and any other airdrops you may have received. For example, Streamr did an airdrop not long ago, and so you may have DATAcoins among others that have occurred last year.
Always be Careful When Dealing With Airdrops
One important message to take away from all this is that airdrops are always done automatically. You should never, ever, give out your private keys or private information to anyone claiming to be in charge of an airdrop.
Phishing sites are everywhere, as the cryptocurrency space is still largely unregulated. Therefore, it is up to you to ensure the safety of your investments.
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