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Everything You Need to Know About the Rainbow Points Airdrop

BY Lorepunk

December 13, 2023

If you were around on crypto Twitter yesterday evening (Dec. 13), you may have noticed people from every part of web3 posting that they’d received points from Rainbow Wallet. 

Rainbow, a self-custody Ethereum wallet, has been positioning itself as a challenger to industry leader MetaMask for quite a while—but yesterday, they announced that they’re offering points to everyone in the space. “Every Ethereum user has been dropped points today,” they said yesterday in a post on X.

To claim your points, you need to download Rainbow Wallet and import your existing wallets using the seed phrase or private key. There is an important caveat: if you’re using a hardware wallet like a Ledger, don’t import your seedphrase or private key directlyconnect the hardware wallet to Rainbow using its desktop browser extension instead.

According to Rainbow’s points page, every wallet active on Ethereum will receive points, with more points granted to those with higher balances. Additional points will also go to those who have used MetaMask’s built-in swapping facility over the past year. Rainbow’s existing fans—particularly those who have held balances, swapped using Rainbow, or hold Rainbow NFTs—get a hefty points award.

Rainbow is also diving wholeheartedly into the grinding meta exemplified by tokens like Portalcoin and Memecoin: you can earn weekly points by onboarding people onto the Rainbow app using your unique ref link. Reminiscent of SocialFi apps like friendtech, there’s a leaderboard and a weekly points airdrop to keep the excitement high and degens guessing.

What do the points mean–or do? We don’t know yet, but the Rainbow site refers to getting them as “earning,” which could imply that users can convert them into an upcoming Rainbow token.

“This isn’t a vampire attack—it’s a fox hunt.”

Rainbow Wallet

The phrasing on Rainbow’s X thread explaining the points campaign may also offer insight into their strategy. “This isn’t a vampire attack—it’s a fox hunt,” they wrote yesterday on X.

A vampire attack directly incentivizes users of one product to switch to another, “draining” users and resources of the first product like a vampire sinking their fangs into and sucking blood from an unprotected neck. One well-known vampire attack occurred in Blur’s second farming season when they promised extra Blur points to users who listed NFTs on their marketplace—and nowhere else.

Despite its denial, Rainbow—known for its lighthearted approach to social media—is arguably executing a classic vampire attack, taking advantage of the long-time hope of degens everywhere that MetaMask will eventually drop a token to reward its users. Speculating that this could happen in the future, some MetaMask users have habitually swapped their tokens within the app—even though an extra fee is involved.

By directly rewarding these hopeful MetaMask swappers with extra points, Rainbow has enjoyed a massive influx of users in the last 24 hours. According to the airdrop page on their iOS app, Rainbow’s points leaderboard now has over 400,000 accounts listed. It’s safe to assume that many will have joined because they see these points as a future airdrop likely to have monetary value. But by calling their campaign “a fox hunt,” Rainbow critiques MetaMask’s usability. “Are you a MetaMask user looking to enjoy, not suffer through, Ethereum? We’re here to help,” they wrote.

Rainbow has been reposting the experiences of new users of their wallet; because the app is quite thorough in discovering tokens you might hold, including on EVM L2s, some people are finding out that they hold tokens from events like the September $OP airdrop.

“Anyone else download @rainbowdotme and realize they have a coin they’ve never seen before? Is this legit? And how’d I get it?” one user asked on X. “Just found 1.73 wrapped ETH on Polygon that I didn’t even know I had, thanks to Rainbow Wallet, lol! Trying to remember the last time MM did something cool for me like that,” Adam Hollander wrote.

One long-time Rainbow user (and Punk holder) is excited that the points campaign offers more than a benefit to his bags—it’s spreading awareness of his favorite usability-focused wallet app.

“I first discovered Rainbow sometime in late 2020 and quickly fell in love because it was soooo slick and worked so much better than any wallet available on mobile back then,” he told nft now. “When they added NFT features I was completely sold. I could watch my collection directly on my phone, transfer NFTs, check floor prices, right-click-save my pieces, go to OpenSea with one tap—not a single mobile wallet could do these things,” he said.

gcan’s leaderboard ranking

With a rank of #512 on Rainbow’s leaderboard and over 33,000 initial points, the anonymous user—known as gcan—was astonished with his initial points haul.

“I was actually surprised by how many points I got! I got some points for Rainbow swaps and a Rainbow NFT that I minted during one of my late-night crypto sessions. I’ve been using Rainbow as my main mobile (hot) wallet for over three years now, so maybe it has something to do with that,” he said.

Given the enthusiastic response to the new points campaign, gcan understands that some crypto users, wary after years of scams, may be suspicious of inputting a seed phrase or private key into a new app. While Rainbow has been around for years—and both the main project account and the accounts of its developers have confirmed the new campaign—he advises caution and care with anything new.

“I was super nervous about importing my seed into Rainbow for the first time, just as I was every time I had to do anything with my seed phrase or private key,” gcan told us. “Please be mindful and manage your risk profile, keep your funds and valuable jpegs in cold storage, and don’t let FOMO get the upper hand,” he advised.

Plumferno, a well-known, anonymous security researcher, has used Rainbow since its launch. She offered some advice before you ape into the points grind. “Mostly, I would caution people about importing seed phrases or private keys! Be careful with important assets, and be cautious if you link a Ledger. This is the same with ANY new wallet, to be honest,” she told us in an interview.

She cautioned that users who are familiar with MetaMask and its features may have some learning to do when using a new wallet app. “I may have missed it, but I don’t believe Rainbow [mobile app] has an internal browser in the app like MetaMask does, so you’re limited to whatever [NFTs and tokens] their ‘Search’ feature can procure. This means that you can’t grab a link from some possibly dodgy site and slap it in your phone’s MetaMask app and end up losing your assets. [Rainbow] will be safer,in that newly-created scam sites are harder to reach with Rainbow,” she said.

She warned that while Rainbow’s search feature might be safer, it could confuse users. “I have no clue on how the offerings in the ‘mints’ page are kept safe, or if there is any security checking done on what’s in the descriptions, etc. It’s a multi-chain wallet, so be careful that you pay attention to what chain you’re spending money on,” she cautioned.

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