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The Next Friend.tech? Avalanche’s Arena Sets Token Airdrop Plans

The Arena, a blockchain-based social token platform, said on Wednesday that a cryptocurrency tied to its project will go live in less than two weeks.

“It’s time to lock in,” the project announced in a post on Twitter, adding that its ARENA token is slated to launch “the week of June 10.”

Built on Avalanche, Arena lets users trade “tickets” that are tied to individual Twitter accounts. Priced in Avalanche’s native AVAX token, the tickets grant holders benefits like access to private chat rooms or viewing certain posts.

The project is comparable to friend.tech as an attempt to merge social media and decentralized finance in a seamless yet sticky way. Under the umbrella of SocialFi, both projects place value on users’ ability to exert influence or capture attention online.

Much like the points-based rewards system popularized by the NFT marketplace Blur, Arena user stats are tracked to determine their eligibility for the eventual airdrop. That process considers aspects like referrals, trading, and general activity.

Rewarding a crypto project’s early users and contributors with a portion of newly launched tokens, airdrops can also serve as a way to drum up interest in emerging protocols. As of this writing, the breadth or size of Arena’s airdrop was unclear.

One differentiator between Arena and friend.tech is the introduction of a public feed, which allows Arena users to publish and view social posts without owning anything. On the public feed, users can also tip each other for posts in various cryptocurrencies—Avalanche-based assets, of course, but also some Solana meme coins.

As of this writing, Arena’s total value locked (TVL) was over 32,000 AVAX, worth around $1.1 million. That’s one-tenth of the assets locked on friend.tech, which has a TVL of $11 million, according to DefiLllama.

Launched on the layer-2 network Base last summer, the number of daily transactions exploded on friend.tech as it grew in popularity—hitting the 500,000 mark in September. However, as attention toward friend.tech has cooled, daily transactions on the protocol have ranged above 60,000 only twice, so far this year, according to data on Dune.

Amid friend.tech’s so-called V2 launch, adding several new features, the project faced backlash for its rollout of its native FRIEND token. Panicked and confused, some users reported issues claiming the token as its value tanked not long after FRIEND launched.

Since FRIEND’s debut earlier this month, the cryptocurrency hasn’t recovered from its initial price of $3.03, according to CoinGecko. Instead, the coin has fallen 37% over the past two weeks—hovering around $1.08 on Thursday.

Though Arena is likely aiming for comparatively smoother user experience, the protocol has encountered technical headwinds of its own—technically under a different name.

Previously known as Stars Arena, the project rebranded itself in late 2023, not long after the protocol was hacked for $2.9 million worth of Avalanche tokens. According to the blockchain security firm Halborn, the issue involved an unidentified reentrance vulnerability. (According to DefiLlama, $2.34 million worth of funds were eventually returned.)

The Arena did not immediately respond to a request to comment from Decrypt.

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

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