Will Lens Protocol launch its own token, and will there be a $LENS token airdrop?
Lens Protocol is the leading Web3-Social platform. Launched in February 2022, Lens was founded by the team behind Aave, the leading decentralized application for lending and borrowing using cryptocurrency on Ethereum, with nearly $5.8 billion in total value locked, according to data from DefiLlama.
Strictly speaking, Lens is an open-source social graph built using blockchain technology. It is designed to act as an infrastructure layer upon which developers can build their own Web3 social media applications that benefit from Web3-advantages such as follower-portability, censorship resistance, and incentivization mechanisms.
At time of writing, Lens Protocol has made no official announcements to confirm whether or not there will be a LENS token, or a subsequent airdrop, so the community is limited to educated guesswork.
However, to some, the fact that Lens Protocol will launch a token, and distribute said token to its community, is all but confirmed. Below are some indicators that appear to suggest an upcoming LENS token…
Aave – Decentralization Maxis
Founded by Stani Kulechov and the Aave (formerly ETHLend) team, Lens’ builders have demonstrated an affinity for, and belief in, true decentralization. Aave operates via the AAVE token – an ERC-20 token predominantly used for governance of the Aave platform.
On this basis, it seems unlikely that Lens’ team will look to establish a for-profit, centralized company behind Lens. Though initial governance may be controlled by the founding team and trusted parties, the community could be forgiven for assuming that a LENS token, used for governance of Lens Protocol, will eventually manifest itself in the spirit of true decentralization.
Web3 Social and Incentivization
A Web3-based alternative to social media applications comes with myriad advantages. Traditional social platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, maintain and exercise the ability to censor or diminish content, and further create ‘walled-gardens’ in an attempt to make switching to other social platforms difficult for both creators and users.
Web3-Social is well-equipped to deal with both of these problems. However, a further advantage is that, by leveraging tokens and other assets, such platforms can incentivize behavior that is beneficial or has a positive impact on the platform and its community.
In order to do this, some form of exchangeable asset is required. Though there already exist Lens Protocol NFTs, which have currently seen 3,190 ETH in volume, according to OpenSea, these NFTs are used predominantly to denote identity, and a fungible token may therefore be expected.
Lens Protocol Funding Round
Our most recent indicator that Lens Protocol plans to launch a token comes in the form of an institutional funding round, announced to the public in June 2023.
Lens raised $15 million from high-profile crypto venture funds such as IDEO CoLab, General Catalyst, and Blockchain Capital. Until such time, Lens had raised no external capital so the fact that Lens would ever have a value accrual mechanism remained unclear.
However, both the tendency of the aforementioned investors to take positions in cryptocurrency tokens rather than centralized companies, combined with the Lens team’s decentralization-ethos, seems to confirm suspicions that a LENS token is on the horizon.
It seems likely that investors into Lens Protocol’s funding round invested via a Simple Agreement for Future Tokens (SAFT) and did so at a fully-diluted valuation of more than $100 million, in order to ensure that institutional investors did not hold too much of the LENS token’s total supply.
If we accept the thesis that Lens Protocol is very likely to launch a token, the next logical questions are ‘When?’ and ‘How?’.
LENS Token – When?
Lens’ founders, the team behind Aave, know what they’re doing.
They are responsible for one of the leading DeFi applications in the space, the native token for which (AAVE), currently holds a market capitalization of more than $1 billion, with all-time highs reached in May 2021 of more than $8 billion, according to data from CoinMarketCap.
With the next Bitcoin halving arriving in under a year, and thereby some expectations of an ensuing bull market, it seems likely that if there is a LENS token to be launched, Lens will look to do so at the start of any bull-run in order to capitalize on any crypto market momentum.
Conversations with centralized exchanges and market makers about exchange listings have likely already begun, but we might expect launch dates and announcements to be fluid in their timing.
LENS Token – How?
Assuming a LENS token is on the way, it seems fair to reason that Lens’ team will look to distribute this to their community.
A token airdrop campaign would be useful for:
- Distributing ownership of the token across Lens’ community.
- Incentivizing early interactions and usership of the protocol.
- Creating excitement in the space around the Lens Protocol.
The above all seem like phenomena that would make sense for Lens Protocol to pursue, especially in light of its decentralized narrative.
If there is Lens token airdrop, it is possible that access will be acquired via interactions with the Lens platform, much like recent airdrop campaigns executed by Blur and Arbitrum.
Participants will likely require a Lens Profile NFT, as this is in turn required to interact with Lens’ native applications. Interactions with said applications may well boost airdrop entitlements.
As with all of the above, we are waiting on explicit announcements and confirmation from Lens Protocol itself. However, you can stay up to date with Lens’ developments by following BSC News on social media.