Gnosis DEX CowSwap May Be Readying an Airdrop

Key Takeaways

  • It appears that CowSwap, a Gnosis DEX, will be launching an airdrop for its token.
  • A Github repository surrounding a token drop has sparked a flurry CowSwap participation.
  • While airdrops create a lot of excitement, it seems the excitement often precedes severe drops in price.

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CowSwap, a decentralized exchange built on top of the Gnosis V2 Protocol, seems like it might be preparing an airdrop for its token. 

Airdrop Season

A Gnosis decentralized exchange called CowSwap appears likely to launch a token airdrop, having updated a Github repository showing code for a token drop. It includes statements like “emits token generation event” and “cannot be claimed after deadline.” 

The Gnosis Protocol V2 uses batch auctions to help protect users from MEV, a scenario in which miners or arbitrageurs extract value from users by reordering, adding, or even censoring transactions. The Gnosis Protocol V2 also integrates liquidity sources across various decentralized exchanges.

CowSwap is the Gnosis V2 Protocol’s first decentralized exchange. Among other things, it utilizes a mechanism called the “Coincidence of Wants”—if one user holds an asset that another user wants and that user owns an asset the first user wants, then CowSwap will match these two users and directly settle the trade without using an automated market maker.

It is unclear if the snapshot determining airdrop eligibility for the CowSwap token has already take place, though some have still interacted with the CowSwap protocol today in the hopes of qualifying for the airdrop. 

CowSwap’s alpha was launched in April on the same day that a major partnership between Gnosis and Balancer, an Ethereum automated market maker, was announced. Crypto Briefing highlighted CowSwap as a potential contender in its recent article detailing 10 promising candidates for token airdrops in 2022.

Several airdrops have taken place over the last few days. On Christmas Eve, OpenDAO airdropped its SOS token to OpenSea users. Earlier today, Gas DAO launched a token airdrop to 643,000 Ethereum network participants. However, that token is already down roughly 70% from its all-time high, and the SOS token has done nearly as poorly. This is a common trend for major airdrops this year, as all of the major Ethereum token airdrops of 2021 are down at least 50% from their highs. 

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned ETH and several other cryptocurrencies.

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Balancer v2 and Gnosis’ ‘CowSwap’ take aim at MEV with planned integration

Decentralized exchange Balancer and DeFi platform Gnosis have announced today a planned integration dubbed the Balancer-Gnosis-Protocol (BGP), a collaboration that will combine Balancer’s v2 pool mechanisms with Gnosis’s DEX aggregation and batch auctions designed to mitigate miner extractable value (MEV). 

Balancer’s v2, which is currently live for developer testing, was announced in February and boasts a host of new features: all liquidity will be pooled into a single vault for gas efficiency, unused liquidity will be put to work on lending platform Aave for additional yield, and users will be able to build their own AMMs with customizable curves.

Gnosis, meanwhile, is set to release the proof-of-concept for their forthcoming Cowswap DEX today. Cowswap integrates “all liquidity sources on Ethereum” as an aggregator similar to 1inch, and also offers a partially-offchain system that may lead to gasless transactions, as well as tight slippage and MEV protection.

MEV is a phenomenon where bots frontrun transactions on DEXes, exploiting arbitrages and causing slippage. The demand to find ways to mitigate MEV has been growing in recent months, and according to MEV-Explore over $420 million in value has been extracted from traders on DEXes since 1 Jan 2020.

The collaboration between the protocols is designed to combine the best of pool and curvature mechanics with a next-generation liquidity aggregator and MEV-deterrent exchange platform. The current target date for the full integration is “mid-June,” and the teams noted that there will be a “incentive program,” presumably some form of liquidity mining, coinciding with the release.

“By collaboration, we can out-cooperate the competition—traditional finance—and bring traders unparalleled decentralization, transparency, and value,” said Balancer CEO Fernando Martinelli of the integration.

Balancer has been particularly active with integrating with other protocols as of late, highlighted by the collaboration with Aave in their v2 design. These integrations appear to be part of a larger movement of collaborations heating up across the DeFi space.