As mentioned, blockchain projects give out free tokens in an attempt to gain wider adoption and grow their network. A higher number of holders is often seen as a positive metric, which also makes the project more decentralized in terms of token ownership. Crypto airdrops also motivate recipients to use and promote the project. This can help cultivate an initial user base before the project lists on crypto exchanges.
On the other hand, airdrops might also give a false impression of growth. So, it’s important to consider other factors when evaluating adoption. For example, if hundreds of thousands of addresses are holding a certain token, but no one is really using it, then the project is either a scam or simply failed to captivate the community.