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Solana-based DeFi platform Jito has kicked off its highly anticipated airdrop, putting around $225 million worth of free tokens into the hands of Solana users across the globe.
Solana users are extremely excited after the launch of the JTO token, with 90 million tokens up for grabs for eligible users.
The JTO Airdrop
The airdrop began at 11 AM EST on Thursday, with the token debuting at a price of $6.01, according to data from CoinGecko. This price puts the value of the 90 million tokens to be airdropped by the DeFi platform to eligible users at a staggering $540 million. However, CoinGecko data shows that the JTO token price soon dropped by over 55% to $2.50. At the time of writing, the token’s price has increased and is currently at $2.93, down just over 50% from its launch price.
However, other platforms and data aggregators, such as CoinMarketCap, registered the JTO token as experiencing considerably less volatility. Data from CoinMarketCap suggests that the token opened at a price below $2, indicating the price has risen since the airdrop began.
The Jito protocol airdropped tokens based on how much JitoSOL liquid staking token each address held and lent to DeFi protocols, along with rewards for validators and MEV searchers. Jito developers have stated that the JTO token will govern the staking platform’s DAO and treasury.
Jito allows users to stake their SOL tokens in exchange for the JitoSOL token. The JitoSOL token can then be traded or used as collateral, similar to how Lido’s staked ETH (stETH) works.
An Important Airdrop
The airdrop is being viewed as a notable development for Solana DeFi users, who have already claimed over 54 million of the 90 million JTO tokens part of the airdrop. JitoSOL holders, Solana validators who run Jito MEV clients, and users of Jito’s MEV services are all eligible to claim the airdropped JTO tokens. The protocol also stated that it will airdrop additional JTO tokens in the near future. Jito had stated in its announcement,
“It is time to formalize governance of the network in the hands of those who make it thrive—the widespread community of Jito users and contributors.”
Thanks to the airdrop, the Jito DAO now has a governance token and $490 million JTO tokens in its treasury. The JTO drop could further fuel a resurgence of activity on Solana. Solana’s value has surged over the past year, with the SOL token quadrupling in value. The platform’s NFT market has also seen an uptick in activity. At the same time, Solana-based decentralized exchanges have churned out $7.3 billion in trading volume for the month of November, their busiest month so far.
Murmurs Of Discontent
However, there have been some murmurs of discontent among Solana whales, who claimed the airdrop did not adequately enrich users who transacted massive sums using Jito. The airdrop was designed to benefit users who held a lesser amount of JitoSOL tokens. However, users defended this strategy, stating it would encourage participation by retail traders and be good for Solana’s DeFi ecosystem.
To complicate matters further, Jito’s website was targeted by a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. A DDoS attack floods the target website with traffic, slowing down the website or bringing it to a complete halt. While the motive behind the DDoS attack on Jito’s website remains unclear, several crypto projects have been targeted by similar attacks where bad actors hold the project to ransom.
The Jito airdrop comes barely a month after the Pyth Network airdrop that saw early contributors to the project be awarded 250 million tokens worth $77 million at launch.
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