Auroracoin (AUR): The First Recorded Airdrop Happened Five Years Ago Today
The asset was airdropped in Iceland as an alternative to using the national currency, but has remained obscure ever since.
Auroracoin (AUR) has the distinction of being the first recorded airdrop, happening in March 2014 and marking its five-year anniversary. The Airdrop alert blog, which has since documented multiple campaigns to distribute coins and tokens, recalled the event as a benchmark to measure how far the crypto sector has developed.
Iceland was one of the countries most heavily affected by the liquidity and trust crisis unleashed in 2008, with long-term repercussions for the local financial sector. In 2014, as the Icelandic economy still reeled from the crisis, Auroracoin was launched. On March 25, eligible Icelandic citizens that had signed up for the airdrop received their coins. The Auroracoin Foundation distributed 50% of the coin’s supply during the airdrop events in 2014. AUR is also a minable asset.
The Icelandic krona fluctuated significantly in the past years, and is currently depreciating against a strong dollar, trading near 120 ISK per dollar. The ISK has also lost ground against the euro.
At the same time, the price of AUR has fallen to $0.03, after peaking near the $2 level in March 2018. The coin is ranked on position 1266 based on market capitalization, and only trades on two obscure exchanges.
But despite the lack of success of AUR, the industry of airdrops only expanded in the past years. One of the most notable airdrop programs will involve BitTorrent Token (BTT), which has a six-year horizon to distribute tokens based on the TRON (TRX) network.
"With the first airdrop in 2014, we can conclude the concept of tokenized freebies stayed under the radar for at least 3 years. It's surprising this didn't gain popularity sooner. Everybody likes free tokens right?
When ICO's started implementing airdrops in their marketing plans and user acquisition strategies late 2017, the public became aware of them and it started a small craze for the crypto giveaways.
We now see more dApps, exchanges and established coins like Stellar conducting airdrops to grow their community", said Morten Christensen, CEO of AirdropAlert.
The AUR airdrop follows the pattern where a crypto asset is proposed as an alternative to a national currency. The airdrop was meant to distribute the coin more democratically. At the same time, nations where hyperinflation was a threat, chose crypto assets in an organic manner.
In Venezuela, an attempt was made to create a crypto Bolivar to replace the national coin. Iran and Turkey turned to Bitcoin (BTC) as their national currencies reeled. Other projects, meant to serve as a means of independence for African countries, as in the case of Uwezocoin, also failed as the team disappeared.