Farmers complain of barren fields after Sei airdrop

The latest buzzy layer-one network to launch has run into turbulence in its first few days amid widespread complaints that its airdrops to early users and testers were overly stingy. 

Sei Network, a trading-focused layer-1, announced the launch of its “mainnet beta” stage on Tuesday. The latest base layer to jockey for attention possesses significant backing, having raised $120 million from investors such as Coinbase, Multicoin and GSR. In a recent press release, the team boasted former executives from Goldman Sachs, Robinhood, Google and Nvidia.

Despite the prestige, the network has so far faced a rocky start fueled in part by disgruntled airdrop farmers. 

Airdrops are a common method for new networks to distribute governance tokens to key stakeholders who perform certain useful actions, such as bridging funds to a network, testing dapps, or participating in a testnet. Airdrop farmers, in turn, refer to users who perform those actions aggressively or with multiple wallets in order to reap a disproportionate reward. 

Many of those users are now taking to social media to express dissatisfaction with the terms of the airdrop. 

Read more: Optimized for trading, Sei launches mainnet beta

The trouble began shortly after the launch of the network. In a blog post on Tuesday, company representatives implied that airdrop claims would be open at the launch of the network. However, in a follow-up Tweet from an official account, it was revealed that tokens would be claimable after an indeterminate “warmup” period, leading to widespread complaints. 

Once claims did go live on Thursday, users began to complain about the paltry sums distributed, enough so that the hashtag “SeiScam” was trending for certain users. 

According to airdrop expert CC2, the core of the complaints centered on which parties the Sei Foundation chose to focus on for rewards. 

“Testnet users that diligently filled out their ‘incentivized testnet’ forms on a daily basis for weeks got rewarded with $5 worth of SEI and referrals haven’t been honored,” they wrote in an interview with Blockworks. “Instead, you can bridge $10k in and apparently get over 5k SEI tokens, once again rewarding whale behavior.”

While some early testnet participants reported scant rewards, Sei continues to incentivize users to deposit funds via bridges to the network on an ongoing basis. Today, the Sei Foundation said that it raised the cap for this ongoing program from a half million wallets to 1.5 million due to “fervent demand.”

The popularity of this farming strategy is such that research firm ASXN noticed a price spike for assets that easily bridge over Cosmos, on which Sei is built: 

However, many users report being unable to bridge funds back off the chain after having claimed their airdrop. The Sei Foundation reported earlier today that the Wormhole bridge had reached its “daily limit.”

Sei is down 6.8% on the day to $0.179.

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