Blockchain News

Unusual Activity on zkSync Era: Airdrop Hunters and Sybil Attacks

zkSync Era has recently risen to prominence as the leading Layer 2 solution in terms of transaction volume, but its newfound success appears to be closely tied to opportunistic airdrop hunters looking to capitalize on the much-anticipated zkSync token. However, a peculiar development on the network has raised eyebrows and concerns among the crypto community.

Many airdrop hunters are known to use multiple wallets to maximize their chances of receiving extra tokens during airdrop events. This practice is not uncommon and is often viewed as a legitimate strategy within the crypto space. However, on September 10th, Lingland, a community manager at DeFi Land, an NFT game, identified a startling anomaly on zkSync Era.

Lingland flagged a staggering 21,877 wallets associated with a single entity engaged in unusual behavior on zkSync Era. On-chain data revealed that this user was distributing GEM, a closed-source token, to accounts funded with small amounts of ETH. What set this activity apart was the creation of a closed decentralized exchange, exclusively used for trading tokens between these wallets.

In Lingland’s words, “He created a non-open sourced DEX for himself [to execute] transactions between his wallets indirectly.” This behavior goes beyond the typical airdrop hunting strategy and is referred to as a sybil attack, where one entity manipulates the network by controlling numerous identities or nodes.

Despite zkSync Era’s impressive performance, boasting an average of 11.1 transactions per second (TPS) over the past 24 hours, as reported by L2beat, questions arise regarding the authenticity of this activity. It’s worth noting that zkSync Era’s 30-day throughput of 29.6 million transactions is only slightly behind the Ethereum mainnet’s 30.2 million. However, the prevalence of airdrop speculators raises doubts about the organic nature of these transactions on the Layer 2 solution.

In terms of total value locked (TVL), zkSync Era currently ranks third among Layer 2 solutions with a TVL of $399 million. This figure represents a significant decline from its early July high of nearly $736 million. zkSync Era lags behind established players like Arbitrum with a TVL of $5 billion and Optimism with $2.4 billion.

As zkSync Era continues to evolve and attract attention within the crypto ecosystem, the presence of opportunistic airdrop hunters and Sybil attacks serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by emerging Layer 2 solutions in maintaining the integrity and authenticity of their ecosystems. It remains to be seen how zkSync Era will address and mitigate such activities while striving to establish itself as a reliable and sustainable Layer 2 platform.


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