Shimmer: How the “1 million dollar airdrop” turned into a debacle

The IOTA side project Shimmer (SMR) is accounting for its “1 million dollar airdrop” campaign from the beginning of the year. The results are sobering, as only 325,000 US dollars are now being distributed due to Shimmer’s price drop. Participants are frustrated.

The “1 million dollar airdrop” on Shimmer has turned into a failure in the IOTA ecosystem. The advertising campaign for decentralized finance (DeFi) was launched on Shimmer at the beginning of January, and IOTA has now presented the results in a blog post. The most important thing to note first: the fact that only around 325,000 dollars of the widely announced 1 million US dollars in SMR remained is concealed here, as Shimmer’s price curve has been on a downward trend since January and is currently only just above an all-time low. However, the airdrop is still officially considered a success. Up to 8,000 new users have been attracted to Shimmer and, at times, capital of over 13 million US dollars has been deposited in the EVM.

From the participants’ side, however, the story sounds quite different. On X, they complain about their suffering and say that they lost money on the Shimmer airdrop. At least 1,000 US dollars had to be contributed to the Shimmer EVM and held there for at least 30 days, and a rule change during the campaign also caused outrage. According to the summary, 830 participants in the campaign have now qualified for payouts. Lolo, for example, has now been allocated 30 dollars in SMR, Jack.dun 82 dollars and Holzbein simply concludes that if he had simply sold all his SMR before the campaign, he would at least have remained in the black. The fact that the top 200 of the airdrop will only receive their SMR in tranches over the next six weeks has also been criticized. This was not communicated in advance, or only in a hidden manner, and could mean a further loss in value.

IOTA side project Shimmer a fiasco despite EVM

From an external perspective, the Shimmer airdrop campaign can also be classified as a resounding failure. An interim summary from mid-February had already identified a number of problems. In the DeFi sector, the data from DeFiLlama is hard currency – and in the case of Shimmer, the capital invested in EVM has now even fallen back to levels that are lower than before the campaign. To put it plainly: the bottom line for Shimmer is that none of the hoped-for advertising effects have been achieved and the current airdrop is backfiring due to frustrated participants. The fact that an additional 70 IOTA T-shirts are being given away as a surprise is unlikely to help.

IOTA Foundation head Dominik Schiener is probably watching the debacle with concern. This is because the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which was advertised on Shimmer, is also supposed to come to IOTA and initiate a turnaround there. However, the launch has to be postponed further and further and one reason seems to be that IOTA is no longer attracting interest in the crypto industry. In any case, on average not even five smart contracts are set in motion in the EVM at Shimmer every day; the project is basically dead.

Conclusion: Shimmer EVM is a bad harbinger for IOTA

Schiener has proclaimed IOTA’s EVM as the starting point for a return to the top 10 cryptocurrencies. Shimmer is designed as a testnet worth money in the ecosystem and the EVM there has proven to be a pipe-drop despite an elaborate airdrop campaign. Our archive contains plenty of examples of IOTA plans and promises that did not materialize or were not kept. The Shimmer “1 million dollar airdrop” now deserves its own chapter. What Schiener suppresses or conceals: More than 150 crypto projects have already integrated the EVM, the market is largely divided between Ethereum itself and other big names such as TRON or the Binance Smart Chain. After the experience with Shimmer, it is more questionable than ever before where IOTA will find its place if the EVM does eventually get off the ground.


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