Lockdrop: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Plasm Network token distribution

Hoon Kim
Astar Network
Published in
17 min readSep 1, 2020


Hello, everyone developer from Plasm Network here!

It’s been less than a day since our 2nd lockdrop has started, and we’ve received so much support from so many different people. We are happy to see the community grow. But this also means that there will be people who are totally new to the Polkadot ecosystem or the crypto space in general.

To reduce the confusion that some people may have, we wrote an all-in-one article that (hopefully) answers everyone’s questions and concerns. This will be a mega-post so please feel free to skip to the parts that you want to know.

What is Plasm Network?

Plasm Network is a blockchain developed with the Substrate framework made by Parity Technologies. Plasm Network is also part of the Polkadot ecosystem, particularly one that is planned to be a Parachain. You can learn more about Polkadot from this article (https://medium.com/polkadot-network/what-is-polkadot-a-brief-introduction-ca3eac9ddca5) and our progress of becoming a Parachain from this article (https://medium.com/stake-technologies/plasm-network-successfully-became-the-first-polkadot-testnet-parachain-75514820b36f). And yes, our mainnet has been launched for a while (https://medium.com/stake-technologies/plasm-network-mainnet-launch-6c0372842625)

What is Dusty Plasm Network

Dusty Plasm Network is our testnet blockchain. It is used for developers to create smart contracts, test new features that will be added to the main network beforehand. For developers and early adopters of the network or blockchain technology in general, Dusty is what you would interact with the most. But for people who are interested in the overall network value/growth and the new tech, you are more likely to be interested in the main net and not Dusty.

TL;DR: Dusty is our Ropsten.

What is PLM token and PLD?

Plasm Network has a native token called PLM (pronounced “plum”). This will be the token that incentivizes the network validators and the dApp developers (I’m referring to the rewards system https://medium.com/stake-technologies/stake-technologies-received-a-web3-open-grant-from-web3-foundation-d26f4b7fc3e0). The main network PLM token will be the main medium of exchange that is planned to have value to it.

PLD is our testnet token. It does not have any value and it is only used to test features on the network before you release them on the main network. We have a faucet in the form of a Dusty real-time lockdrop. You lock Ethereum Ropsten tokens in exchange for PLD (https://lockdrop.plasmnet.io/#/lock-form/dusty-eth).

Any wallets or ways I can handle my tokens?

Currently, we are working with another team in developing a Plasm Network layer 2 wallets. Because Plasm Network is a blockchain made from the Substrate framework, Enzyme does work. However, Plasm Network also supports ECDSA scheme addresses as well, while Enzyme does not. So it won’t be fully compatible (however, it will be just enough to use it).

For the time being, we recommend using a browser-based solution on our network portal.

Account creation modal

What is the total supply for PLM?

At the time of writing this article, we don’t know.

Plasm Network’s token is minted and distributed via a multi-lockdrop, which will be done in a total of three times. So until the final — 3rd lockdrop ends, no one will ever know the total supply for Plasm Network, and no one will ever be able to give out a realistic estimation as well. Because of this, you can say that until the 3rd lockdrop, PLM tokens will have no practical value to it, therefore, no incentive to transfer as well.

But for token distribution, the team will be holding 15% of what the final supply is for each lockdrop. From here, the 5% is expected to be spent on various things while the remaining 10% will be distributed amongst the team members as compensation assuming that the tokens will eventually gain value.

Are PLM tokens transferrable?

In a technical sense, yes they are. You can make transactions with PLM with any account no problem.

Listings or Trading?

So Having said that, what makes people prevent from OTC trading or being listed on an exchange? I mean, everything is tradable, right? Well… We don’t have a total supply at this stage. Also, the team will not comment on any questions related to pricing or exchanges from now on. Plasm Network is all about the next generation blockchain innovation, we are geeks not financial guys in suits!!

Now we got the basic info about the network, let’s talk about the good stuff — Lockdrops.

What is a Lockdrop?

Lockdrop is a new token distribution method first publicly demonstrated by Edgeware. The premise is simple, you time lock a certain token (ex: BTC) for a given amount of duration. The blockchain that is issuing the tokens will confirm that the lockdrop participants have locked their tokens in various ways with a specific event parameter and distribute the newly minted tokens based on the locked amount immediately. In Plasm Network, we use an oracle that is built into the Plasm nodes to parse through the other blockchain networks (like Ethereum or Bitcoin) and confirm the lock transactions. All the locks are managed via a smart contract to ensure safety.

When the lock duration is over, the lockdrop participants are simply able to unlock their tokens which are kept inside the smart contract. Because participants are able to unlock 100% the exact amount that they locked after a certain duration, this has practically no risk for the participants and a very low entry barrier. But the act of locking means that you are not able to do anything with your tokens. This is why we also like to refer to this method as “pay it with our opportunity costs”. Plasm Network will repeat this lockdrop three times. But most importantly, the team does not receive any tokens from this method. All locked tokens are exactly (minus the transaction fees) returned to the person who locked it.

Why Lockdrops?

Lockdrops are a great alternative to ICOs as it does not have any legal issues that an ICO might have, but also better than an AirDrop because you are locking your tokens, the recipient of this new token will take the token more seriously because of the opportunity costs that are involved in this action. Furthermore, the low entry barrier with the fact that we are distributing our tokens three times means that we can prevent whales from taking the majority share of the network from the beginning, and even if that happens, this system gives us a chance to prevent this.

If you’re interested in the inner workings of Plasm Network’s Lockdrop, please refer to this document (https://docs.plasmnet.io/learn/lockdrop), and this part of the source code of our node (https://github.com/staketechnologies/Plasm/blob/dusty/frame/plasm-lockdrop/src/lib.rs).

How are the Lockdrop rewards calculated?

Real-time lockdrop rewards are calculated based on the following formula:

lockdrop alpha * locked token amount (ex: ETH) * token USD rate * lock duration bonus => lockdrop reward PLM

lock duration bonus

The network lockdrop alpha value is determined by the results of our first lockdrop. You can see this value directly from the Plasm node via its chain state.

The current alpha value is 0.446981087 so let’s say the current ETH exchange rate is 300 USD per ETH and I lock 5 ETH for 30 days, what’s my return?

0.4469 * 5 (ETH) * 300 (USD) * 24 (30 days lock bonus) = 16,088.4 PLM.

You can try out different numbers by using our lockdrop calculator:

Any risks for long-term locking?

One of the great things about blockchains is that it has absolutely stunning data integrity. Once the data is on there, nothing can touch it. So you can say that the risk of long-term locks are essentially the same as the entirety of Ethereum of Bitcoin going down and destroyed to an unrecoverable state.

But having said this, because you can’t access your tokens until your lock is over, there will be price risks, like when you wanted to sell at a certain price but your eth was locked, or something like that. But that is obvious.

What about ETH 2.0?

I hear you say. Yeah, what about ETH 2.0?

Ethereum 2.0 is just a network upgrade for Ethereum, albeit one that adds shards. Ethereum 2.0 will have the exact same chain history. In fact, the existing Ethereum chain will be one of the shards of Ethereum 2.0. So every lock history and information will be preserved. One potential risk is that if your token unlock time is exactly the same as Ethereum 2.0’s phase 1.5, then unlocking your tokens may take about an hour to a day. But nothing else.


How does the team stay funded?

Stake Technologies, the company behind Plasm Network, is a company that is funded via venture capitals and angel investors. We work in implementing blockchain infrastructure for huge companies, and because we are already funded, there is no reason for us to raise capital via ICO. We are just here for the tech.

Furthermore, ICO or any trading of initial blockchain network assets is considered to be illegal, or heavily regulated at the very least. We believe that in order for society to finally move on to the age of Web 3.0, anyone should have the right to participate and everyone should have the right to take ownership of their information. We don’t want any KYC or other intermediaries to take ownership of who you are. You have the right to be you.

Our vision is to realize Web 3.0, and we can do it with fewer resources than the other guys with ICO. Because we are that good ;) (also less paperwork for us, but don’t say that).

Can I join the Lockdrop? What is the requirement?

The second lockdrop is be held from August 31st 00:00 till September 30th 00:00 GMT. This lockdrop will be distributing Plasm Network mainnet tokens.

Plasm Network lockdrop does not have any KYC, you do not have to be registered somewhere and there is no minimum or a maximum number of participants or tokens lockable. As long as our servers don’t crash, the sky is the limit!

What you need:

  • Enough tokens to pay the gas fee (at least 1 Wei + gas fee in your wallet)
  • A good dApp browser. Our development team has tested on MetaMask (both browser and mobile) and status.im (mobile). But most web3 injected browsers should work.
  • A place with good internet
  • The excitement for the start of a decentralized web

No token limit? What about too much supply?

So what happens if the lockdrop mints too many PLM tokens to the point where it makes the old Germans and Zimbabwe proud?

We simply change the token denomination. Similar to what Polkadot did with DOT, we will change the token denomination by multiplying or dividing the entire token supply (at the end of the 3rd lockdrop) by 10 ~ 100,000 depending on how we want the inflation rate to be.

You can read more about DOT denomination from here:

Now, people who have been following the Polkadot Network may know that changing the token denomination came with a bunch of controversies as well. So how are we going to deal with that? Even if mathematically, changing the token denomination will not affect the value of your tokens, behavioral economics says otherwise. People will freak out when they can. But you might recall that Plasm Network’s PLM token is not on the exchange. Meaning that we have no practical value until a few days (or months) after the 3rd lockdrop. This means that changing our token denomination will have absolutely no effect on the token value in any sense. Now you see why we are not rushing out to be listed.

Where are my PLMs sent when I lock ETH?

Once you lock your tokens (for any duration), your PLM tokens will be given to you immediately. Where? Currently, we have two options;

  1. The Plasm Network address that derived from the public key of the Ethereum address that you used to lock your tokens. This is a Plasm Network ECDSA address that only you (the person who controls the private key for the Ethereum account used to lock the tokens) have control over this, and as long as you don’t lose your Ethereum account, there is a way to recover it, so no need to worry. This is the exact code that is used to create that Plasm address;

2. Choose your custom Plasm Network address that you want to redirect the lockdrop rewards. This can be any Plasm address that you made from our official network portal.

We’ll talk about both of them in detail later.

How can I join the Lockdrop?

First, ensure that you have a dApp browser extension installed (if you’re on mobile, ensure that you’re using status.im or metamask mobile) with an account that has enough funds.

clearly I don’t have enough funds to participate…

Next, visit our lockdrop web application page: https://lockdrop.plasmnet.io/

Click on either of the buttons to open the lock page. You’ll be prompt to give access to this page from your extension. Please allow it to interact with it.

If done correctly, now you should be able to interact with the lock page. The upper section of the page will contain the lockdrop countdown, which is based on the contract timestamp in unix epoch, meaning that it is not exactly the same as real human time. But it is generally similar enough for users to care about.

Under that is the lock form, which is where you, the participant will provide the number of ETH locking, the lock duration, and the introducer address who is part of the affiliation program. The introducer address is optional, but if you input a valid introducer’s address, you’ll both receive an additional 1% of your total lock rewards (details can be found from this article https://medium.com/stake-technologies/lockdrop-with-friends-the-plasm-network-affiliation-program-b385c1cd800d)

On the second panel, you’ll see the “Real-time Lockdrop Status” panel. This is where the actual token claiming, i.e. receiving the PLM token from your lock is handled. Once you provide the page with your public key (either by submitting a transaction or clicking on the blue button), it will display more information.

The last panel is all about the ETH locks. You can see who locked how much, the lock contract address, and your locks which are later needed to unlock your locked tokens.

Now let’s try locking one.

This is the panel that you’ll input the lock information.

Because I’m poor, I’ll be using the Dusty lockdrop, which is for our testnet. But the function is exactly the same. The only thing that is different is the lock duration.

When you first submit a transaction, you’ll be asked to sign a message. This is required to recover the participant’s public key, which is used to create the lockdrop claim data and your ECDSA Plasm Network address (as mentioned in the previous section).

After that, you are asked to confirm this transaction. This is where the ETH tokens are actually sent to our smart contract, and locked for the duration. Make sure that you are sending it to the correct address https://etherscan.io/address/0xa4803f17607B7cDC3dC579083d9a14089E87502b. If all information is clear, simply click confirm.

If you see any errors when making a transaction other then the contract compilation error, try clearing your

From here, the page will show a loading circle, and you can wait until your transaction is confirmed on the chain. Because the page waits until the transaction is confirmed, this process will take from anywhere to a minute to a day (Ethereum is slow, that’s why we need Plasm Network).

But don’t worry, the confirmation is handled by the node from here so you can close the browser or do whatever you want until it has been confirmed. No funds will be lost.

If the transaction is on Ethereum, congratulations, you have now safely locked your tokens.

Claiming your lockdrop rewards (PLM tokens)

Because I was locking several times, you can see a lot of claimable rewards

If you look at the Real-time Lockdrop Status panel, you can see a list of claimable lockdrop rewards.

So what locks are claimable?

  • A transaction that interacts with the lock contract (i.e. what we did on the above section)
  • A lock transaction that is confirmed and is on the Ethereum blockchain (you can confirm that either from metamask or from etherscan)
  • A lock transaction with the confirmation block that is below 5 blocks the latest ethereum block. (in lamen terms, a transaction that’s been confirmed for about a minute or so)

TL;DR: any lock transaction that appears on the page can be claimed.

Let’s look at this panel carefully and see what it has.

  1. The Plasm Network that will receive the lockdrop reward tokens. It will default to the address that is based on the ECDSA public key that you used to send the lock transaction. As long as you have access to that Ethereum account, you have access to this address.
  2. Change the receiving address button. If you want to use your own Plasm Network address, you can use it by clicking that button and pasting your address. This is the recommended method for claiming your tokens.
  3. Send claim request. This simply tells the Plasm node that “hey, I locked this amount of ETH for this long, can you check it?”. This will not give you the reward tokens right away. It simply allows the node to check if you actually did it.

Let’s send a claim request! Just click on the blue arrow button on the right side of your claimable item. This is where the ETH exchange rate applies to your token reward!

If you click it, you can see that there is a loading icon and the button becomes disabled. Because we are sending the entire lock information to the Plasm node, this process will take a while (usually about 10 minutes at max).

If the button turns into an hourglass and you suddenly see a thumbs up and down icon on it, then that means you have successfully sent your claim request to our chains. Now you just let the validator chains confirm if the requested lock is indeed valid or not. The number on top of the thumb icon refers to the validator note votes. There are a total of 5 validators and if you get 4 more positives (thumbs up) votes for your request, you are allowed to claim your lockdrop reward. This will take a while so just sit down and have a cup of coffee.

Once, you get enough votes, the icon on the right will change into a blue checkmark. This means that you are good to claim this reward. Clicking the checkmark will send your tokens.

But wait!

The question is, which address do I want it to be sent to? You have two options.

  1. Send it to the default address.
  2. Send it to a custom Plasm address.

If you’re planning on sending it to your default address, you can use the guide mentioned in here to access your funds. However, this requires the users to expose their private key and that may sound risky to most people. And for people using Hardware wallets like Ledger or Trezor, it is impossible to view your private keys. So the team has decided to add a feature to MetaMask that will allow it to support Plasm addresses! You can read more about it here https://medium.com/stake-technologies/stake-technologies-received-a-web3-open-grant-from-web3-foundation-d26f4b7fc3e0

TL;DR: if your tokens are sent to your Plasm address, now you just have to wait until the last lockdrop ends.

The other option is the send it to a different address. This can be done by clicking on the pencil icon and pasting your Plasm address in the input field.

Once you’ve pasted your Plasm address, you can click on the checkmark. There will be a message box confirming your address and amount. Click on the claim button to proceed.

Before you claim, your dApp browser will ask you to sign this. This signature will be used to prove that the locker and the send is the same individual within Plasm Network.

If everything went well, you should see the checkmark greyed-out and the message on the left saying “Claimed Lockdrop”. You should also notice that your total funds have increased as well!

To recap this entire process, you can watch this video: https://streamable.com/rcnkaa

What is the affiliate program?

People reading this guide may have noticed that we have an affiliate program, where if you provide a valid introducer on the lock form, both participants will receive 1% of their total lock. You can read about it from this article: https://medium.com/stake-technologies/lockdrop-with-friends-the-plasm-network-affiliation-program-b385c1cd800d.

So, the question is, can I become one?

Yes, and no.

Valid introducers are people who participated in the first lockdrop plus other community contributions. But the good news is that if you participate in the second lockdrop, your Ethereum address will be a valid introducer for our third lockdrop! So please feel free to be part of our community.

How to unlock your tokens

So far we have successfully locked and claimed your lockdrop rewards, now let’s fast forward a 1000 days and it’s time for us to unlock your ETH. Unlocking will be done manually.

Remember that the unlock countdown starts as soon as you lock your ETH, it has nothing to do with claiming PLM.

Everything that you want to know about your lock is in the “Unlock Tokens” tab. Here, you can see your lock contract’s address which is where your locked funds are stored.

There are two methods to unlock this, one is to send a 0 ETH empty transaction to your lock address, (ex: 0xA2e536573f7c6Bf8fc979edBe8bc361ff6ac1116) and the other method is to use the lockdrop web app page to unlock it. The principle is the same, basically you’re sending an empty transaction to your contract. But the page will keep track of all the locks you have and how much left until you can unlock them.

From the web page, when the unlock time is up, the lock icon will turn blue, simply click the button.

Your wallet will ask you to sign a contract that sends 0 ETH + some gas fees. Press confirm, and you will notice that you have successfully unlocked your funds!

Great, now you have completed your lockdrop!

Why should I believe you guys?

Great question! The answer is, don’t!

Don’t believe it, verify it! That is the Web 3.0 spirit we are looking for.

All of our public projects such as the lockdrop and the Plasm Network node are open source. Anyone is allowed to look into the code and verify it themselves.

Furthermore, we also received an audit for the lockdrop smart contract: https://github.com/staketechnologies/lockdrop-ui/blob/16a2d495d85f2d311957b9cf366204fbfabadeaa/audit/quantstamp-audit.pdf

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If you have any more questions, please feel free to get in touch with us!




Hoon Kim
Astar Network