Decentralized exchange Jupiter executed one of the largest cryptocurrency airdrops ever on Wednesday, distributing over $700 million worth of its new governance token JUP to almost 1 million wallets on the Solana blockchain. The event tested the network’s capacity while propelling Jupiter to record trading volumes.
Jupiter distributed around $700 million worth of its new JUP token via a massive airdrop to nearly 1 million Solana wallets
The JUP token price climbed from an initial $0.41 to $0.72 shortly after the airdrop, giving it a market cap over $6 billion
The Solana blockchain remained operational during the airdrop, with validators reporting minimal issues despite heavy activity
Some RPC nodes struggled in the first 30-45 minutes to keep up with user demands to claim and trade the new tokens
Jupiter saw nearly $1.4 billion in trading volume over 24 hours around the JUP launch, making it the top DEX by volume
At 10 am ET, Jupiter began its long-planned token giveaway, sparking a frenzy of activity on Solana as users rushed to claim their free JUP coins. In the first hour, over 20% of the allotted 1 billion tokens — 200 JUP worth around $140 each at the time — were claimed.
The tokens, used to steer decisions on Jupiter through voting and staking, began trading at $0.41 based on the exchange’s automated pricing model. But prices shot up nearly 80% within hours to over $0.70 as speculation drove heavy trading.
Jupiter saw daily volumes surge to $1.38 billion due to JUP trading, more than double its normal activity and making it the top decentralized exchange overnight. The team had conducted two test airdrops earlier in January to prepare systems for the anticipated loads.
Yesterday i was almost in tears over the immense amount of support being shown to us by the Solana ecosystem and jup space catdets after the most intense amount of fud since Dec 2022.
And this morning i woke up w an intense desire to take all the incredible lessons we learnt to… https://t.co/yJsNFF6c75
— meow ???? (@weremeow) February 2, 2024
While Jupiter weathered its biggest day, the Solana blockchain supporting it experienced growing pains from the stress of the massive token distribution. Network validators reported the underlying infrastructure stayed intact, but some critical components grew overloaded under user demand.
Nodes providing wallet connectivity to Solana struggled to maintain performance, especially in the first 45 minutes as people flooded in to get their free money from Jupiter. The bottleneck meant many end users faced problems tracking their newfound JUP riches or trading them.
Developers built temporary solutions like specialized dashboard tools to track JUP claims and warning systems to alert node operators about rising activity. But the increased burden on Solana from the Jupiter promotion offers a reminder of the blockchain’s lingering scalability challenges.
The $700 million JUP giveaway also spotlighted issues around token projects gaining outsized influence over their underlying blockchains. Jupiter’s founders wanted to prove crashing Solana was not their aim. Even so, some critics argued Such “airdrop spam” still poses unintended problems.
Others countered that Solana needs to evolve to handle exponential growth in demand as developers build increasingly popular applications atop it. Jupiter’s record token launch and trading volumes suggest dApps can drive mainstream adoption — if the base layer keeps up.
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