Jito, the Solana-based DeFi platform, kicked off its hotly anticipated airdrop earlier Thursday, putting some $225 million worth of free tokens in the wallets of Solana users around the world. 

At the airdrop’s launch at 11:00 am EST Thursday, JTO debuted at a price of $6.01, according to CoinGecko—putting the 90 million tokens set to be airdropped by the platform to loyal users at a whopping $540.9 million valuation. Per CoinGecko, the token soon after fell off 58%, to $2.50 at writing. 

Other crypto data aggregators, though, including CoinMarketCap and Coinbase, recorded JTO as experiencing much less initial volatility. Those platforms report the token opened at below $2, suggesting the price has only risen since the Thursday morning drop.

Either way, the airdrop is a noteworthy boon for Solana DeFi users, who have already claimed over 54 million of the 90 million JTO tokens up for grabs today, according to SolScan. JitoSOL holders, Solana validators running Jito MEV clients, and users of Jito’s MEV services are all eligible to claim tokens. Additional tokens will be airdropped in the future, according to Jito’s roadmap.


There has already been some grumbling among Solana whales, however, that the airdrop did not proportionally enrich those who transacted massive sums on Jito. While the airdrop’s mechanics did skew to benefit users holding lesser amounts of JitoSOL, some Jito users defended the strategy by arguing it will encourage retail traders and do more net good for Solana’s burgeoning DeFi ecosystem.

Adding further frenzy to an already hectic day, it appears that Jito’s website experienced a Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack, in which bad actors flooded the site with traffic in order to slow it to a halt.


While the motive behind such an attack is unclear, in recent weeks a number of crypto projects have reported similar attacks on their sites, made by scammers who then ransom the projects to return the site to functionality.

Jito's airdrop comes soon after last month's Pyth Network (PYTH) airdrop, which awarded 250 million tokens to early contributors—collectively worth approximately $77 million on day one, but about $107 million now thanks to a rising crypto market.

Next up for Solana may be an airdrop from DeFi platform Jupiter, which is set to hand out JUP tokens to nearly a million eligible users. No date has been set for the Jupiter airdrop.

Edited by Andrew Hayward

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