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From my understanding of an Airdrop, it is a distribution method for a certain token based on stake holding of another currency (EOS in this case).

On a more technical perspective, what exactly happens in an Airdrop? I'm assuming that the token is a smart contract following a certain standard.

Is an Airdrop simply an event written in the smart contract before its launch where a snapshot is taken at a set date and time to update the stake holding of the token?

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An airdrop is a token that is generated on the chain. The drop can have many differences such as the amount of tokens to eos token ,e.g., 6 to 1, as well as a threshold to qualify for the drop (say holding at least 100 EOS).

To generate a token, first there needs to be an account to host that token. Once that's done, the account can then push the contract to the chain and stake EOS for bandwith on the contract, essentially to support the API-like calls to the contract.

In order for the airdrop to exist, the airdroper must also pay for the RAM to store the option for the EOS token holder to redeem the drop.

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