Is ZkSync’s Airdrop and Governance Fair? Here’s What We Know

Experts warn that zkSync’s token airdrop may be exploited due to insufficient Sybil attack protections.

Little boy sitting on the floor throwing a tantrum as he is not recieving any airdrops.
Created by Gabor Kovacs from DailyCoin
  • Experts zkSync’s Sybil filtering in the upcoming airdrop.
  • Security concerns arise over potential exploitation by fake identities.
  • ZkSync’s new governance model faces similar risks. 

Known as a popular Ethereum scaling solution, zkSync recently grabbed attention with its upcoming airdrop. Promoted as a fair way to distribute the tokens, the team has decided to give away most of its tokens to the users. In addition, they introduced a new governance model, aimed to put the users in charge of the protocol. 

However, several critics have pointed out some major flaws with the airdrop. In particular, they called out flaws with how ZkSync ensures users can’t create multiple eligible wallets. The practice, known as the Sybil attack, risks undermining both the zkSync airdrop and the governance model. 

ZkSync Airdrop Faces Concerns Over Sybil Attack

On Wednesday, June 12, Mudit Gupta, Chief Information Security Officer at Polygon, publicly criticized zkSync’s forthcoming token airdrop. According to Gupta, the airdrop could potentially become one of the most exploited events in the history of DeFi. 


In particular, Gupta highlighted significant concerns regarding the airdrop’s susceptibility to Sybil attacks. He claims that the protocol has virtually no protection against this type of attack, in which malicious actors create multiple identities to claim a disproportionate share of the tokens. 

Similarly, Adam Cochran, partner at Cinneamhain Ventures, also shared his concerns, stating that the criteria set up by the zkSync team are not easy to hit by a real user. They are easy to hit by a “farmer” engaging in a Sybil attack. 

The problem with Sybil attacks is that while creating impressive engagement metrics, they siphon off tokens intended for real users. This ultimately hurts the airdrop’s intended goal of boosting engagement. What is more, it also creates an unfair distribution of tokens, which hurts governance in the long run. 

ZkSync’s New Governance Model Under Threat

Ahead of the token airdrop, zkSync has introduced ZK Nation, a community-driven governance framework. Comprised of three main bodies: the Token Assembly, Security Council, and Guardians, its stated goal is to decentralize the protocol’s decision-making processes. 


Specifically, zkSync hopes to empower all stakeholders in decision-making, including real users. This approach is in contrast to most blockchain projects, which give users control in proportion to the tokens they own. 

A critical part of this decentralized governance model is a decentralized identity system, proposed by zkSync in its documentation. This system would verify real users, ensuring they have a say in the governance.

However, unless zkSync manages to tackle Sybil attacks, these can also undermine its governance, and leave voting power in the hands of the few. 

On the Flipside

  • Sybil attacks are surprisingly common in crypto. In 2023, Binance warned Justin Sun against going forward with an apparent Sybil attack in the SUI token airdrop. Facing pressure from the world’s largest exchange, the Tron founder relented. 
  • One of the primary selling points for decentralized identity projects like Worldcoin is that they prevent Sybil attacks. 

Why This Matters

Ensuring fair token distribution is crucial for the success and integrity of DeFi projects. The zkSync controversy shows the importance of robust security measures to protect against exploitation and maintain community trust. 

Read more about one of the most high-profile Sybil attack attempts: 
Crypto Twitter Reacts as Binance Warns Justin Sun Against Farming SUI Tokens

Read more about the latest tap-to-pay app for the Solana blockchain: 
Solana Gets TipLink App For Easier Payments on Mobile

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

David Marsanic

David Marsanic is a journalist for DailyCoin who covers the intersection of crypto, traditional finance, and government. He focuses on institutionalized crypto entities like major cryptocurrency exchanges and Solana, breaking down complex topics into easy-to-understand writing. David's prior experience as a business journalist at various crypto and traditional news sites has enabled him to maintain a critical approach to news while adhering to high journalistic integrity standards.