An alternative distribution model: $SUI

An analysis on the alternative $SUI token distribution model chosen by the Sui Foundation for their mainnet launch.

Table of Contents

Degens just wanna have airdrops – Introduction

In the last couple of months, Web3 users interest in airdrops have been reignited by two conspicous aidrops: $APT and $ARB.

Both airdrops rewarded early networks’ users with considerable amount of tokens, in most cases worth hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars.

After then, a lot of users have tried to predict and intercept the next big airdrops, by interacting with large scale projects which have not yet launched their tokens, such as zkSync, Sei or LayerZero.

Especially in zkSync’s case, the aidrop hunting considerably boosted the network’s TVL, which grew consistently from the zkSync Era mainnet launch.


zkSync Era’s TVL. Source: DefiLlama


While this kind of mercenary liquidity usually drains rapidly after the airdrop distribution, it can surely help bootstrapping the network’s liquidity in its early stage.

It’s important to remember that however, in the long run, ecosystems survive and prosper thanks to solid fundamentals, such as well-designed UX, useful partnerships that unlocks composability and disruptive tech.


$SUI Community Access Program: no airdrop, no party?

Today, one of the projects that were in every degen’s watchlist announced its distribution model, clearly stating that no tokens will be aidropped.

Instead, the Sui team designed a Community Access Program, which will allocate $SUI to final users and builders in several different ways.

According to the Sui Foundation, this model was designed to maximize geographic coverage while ensuring a robust and fair participation.

Part of the tokens will be reserved for early supporters of the Sui ecosystem, such as testers, community managers, contributors and builders.
In this case, the token distribution will follow different methods, including grants and a dedicated sale ($SUI Recognition Sale).

Regarding final users, the $SUI token will be accessible through a general sale via three selected exchanges: Bybit, KuCoin and OKX.

Let’s now analyze the distribution terms for each exchange.


$SUI General Sale: how will it work?

The first Sui selected partner exchange is Bybit. The Bybit’s dynamics are a little bit different from the KuCoin and OKX ones, since this sale is reserved for users that were active on the Sui Discord before February 1, 2023.

Eligible users will be able to purchase $SUI at $0,03, which is a way lower price if compared to the price ($0.10) that non-eligible users will have to pay on the other selected exchanges.

On Kucoin, tokens will be launched through the KuCoin Spotlight Launchpad.
The total allocation is 225,000,000 $SUI (50% of the initial circulating supply), with a maximum individual allocation of 10.000 $SUI.
Users will have until April 23 to sign up for the sale, and will require $USDT to pay for the tokens.

Regarding vesting, users will receive 1/13 of their allocation at the Token Generation Event, while the rest will be unlocked monthly after a 30 days cliff.
That means that users will receive their full allocation after 1 year from the mainnet launch.

Finally, OKX share the same KuCoin conditions regarding subscription date, price, individual cap and vesting, but instead of requiring $USDT to buy $SUI, they will require $OKB, the platform’s utility token.

Since OKX use a lottery tickets model for their launchpad, the amount of lottery tickets that each users can subscribe to depends on the average of $OKB held for the 3 days before the subscription date, with daily snapshots of users’ holding. For hack $OKB held, an user can get 4 ticket. If it is a winning ticket, the user will receive 100 $SUI, while if it is a losing ticket, the $OKB spent will be refudend.



The Sui Foundation decided to explore a different distribution model for its token, leveraging CEXs’ userbase instead of indiscriminately reward all its network testers.

Will it be a more effective  and fair token distribution model?
Time will tell.

Fun fact: US citizens and residents are not eligible for the $SUI Generale Sale, and the Sui Foundation didn’t really explain why.
Are they scared of potential legal consenqueces? Who knows…

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