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News/Solana's 2023 Surge: Airdrops Fueling Unprecedented Growth

Solana's 2023 Surge: Airdrops Fueling Unprecedented Growth

Van Thanh Le

Dec 8 2023

8 months ago5 minutes read
Cute chibi cubic-styled humanoid robot in Solana costume, joyfully leaping against a bright blue sky with fluffy clouds

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Jito Airdrop and Market Impact

Jito, a DeFi platform operating on the Solana blockchain, has recently shaken up the crypto world with a notable airdrop. The company dispersed JTO tokens worth a staggering $225 million to Solana users. This strategic move was closely linked to Jito's new listings on eminent exchanges such as Coinbase and Binance

The initial release of JTO tokens was valued at $6.01 per token, bringing the worth of the entire batch of 90 million tokens to an estimated $540.9 million. Following the launch, the price of JTO underwent a significant decrease of 58%, dropping to $2.50. Variations did occur across different platforms, with outlets like Coinbase recording less pricing instability and initial values of under $2.

The first day of the launch saw a robust demand for JTO tokens with over 54 million claimed by users. Selected claimants for this token distribution included holders of JitoSOL, validators of Solana using Jito MEV clients, and those using Jito's MEV services.

The airdrop's structure faced criticism from some Solana whales, who felt disadvantaged due to a bias towards those holding lesser amounts of JitoSOL. In contrast, this approach was defended as driving broader benefits for the Solana DeFi ecosystem. 

The launch was not entirely smooth, however. The Jito website was hit by a Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack, causing disruptive effects during the airdrop event. 

Despite the hurdles, Jito's market performance was impressive. The DeFi platform saw its fully diluted valuation briefly surpass $2 billion following the launch, transiently exceeding the valuation of Lido, a top-tier Ethereum liquid staking project. 

A qualifying feature of the airdrop was the payout structure. Eligible users were awarded a minimum of 4,941 JTO tokens, equivalent to nearly $10,000. At the top end of the scale, the highest tier airdrop landed at around $210,000. 

Futuristic digital marketplace on Solana blockchain with animated characters and neon-lit cityscape at dusk.webp

The airdrop saw 80 million tokens allocated by Jito, with a rapid market response. The value of JTO surged by up to 75% shortly after the launch, with around 30% of the airdrop claimed within a strikingly short 45-minute window. Notably, none of the leading claimants sold their tokens immediately.

Jito imposed a relatively extensive claim window for recipients, allowing 18 months as opposed to the shorter timeframes usually seen in airdrops. The market capitalization of JTO was recorded at approximately $211 million in the reporting period.

Kamino Finance Points Program and Potential Airdrop Analysis

In an interesting twist, the SOL token of Solana experienced a massive surge. Its value has more than tripled since mid-October. DeFi traders returning to Solana's on-chain trading, lending, borrowing, and yield-generating projects, especially Kamino Finance, fueled this surge.

Kamino Finance is planning a points program, which indicates the likelihood of another token airdrop in the future. However, the specifics of this points system are yet to be disclosed. Such points programs have gained traction among Solana protocols. 

They aim to reward staunch users and potentially sway future airdrop distributions. A case in point is the recent JTO token airdrop by Jito, where early adopters received sizable token shares based on their accumulated Jito points.

Kamino Finance, aside from its points program, provides vault products. These maximize yields for liquidity providers on Solana-based DeFi trading venues. Additionally, a borrow-and-lend facility is currently in the works.

There's been noteworthy growth in the total value locked (TVL) on Kamino Finance. It shot up by 257% in just a month, making it the leading Solana-based protocol with a TVL above $10 million. As of the latest update on December 8, Kamino Finance's TVL already hit the $76.5 million mark. (1).png
Source: DefiLlama

The BONK Airdrop Phenomenon and Solana's Market Dynamics

Despite the recent success of Solana's SOL token, not everything within the Solana ecosystem shares the same prosperity. Saga, a mobile device developed by Solana, has been struggling with disappointing sales, igniting discussions about its future.

Polar opposite to Saga's struggles, the BONK token, a canine-themed coin on Solana, embarked on a remarkable growth journey. The token experienced an extraordinary price increase of 10,338.75%, swinging from $0.0000004 to $0.000013.

chart (2).webp

Interestingly, the Saga phone was linked to the BONK token through an airdrop. The mobile device, priced at $1000, included a $10 BONK token airdrop. The value of this airdrop as a percentage of the phone's cost is tracked by the Saga Book index.

Solana's founder, Anatoly Yakovenko, offered some insight into Saga's predicament. Remarkably, he admitted his preference for an iPhone over the Saga phone for daily activities. This admission triggered speculation on potential shifts in Solana's focus towards a more affordable "smart wallet" if Saga's sales continue to underperform.

The saga of Saga stirs discussions about the broader challenges faced by crypto-focused smartphones. Major attempts to break into the niche market by tech giants such as HTC and Sirin Labs have not met with significant success, signifying the difficulty of coupling smartphones with crypto functionality.

Pyth Network's Token Launch and Governance Evolution

It’s worth noting that Pyth Network introduced its token, named PYTH, which debuted last week. The token entered the market with a solid market capitalization of approximately $468 million. Around the initial days of trading, the token value fluctuated between $0.32 and a peak at $0.51. 

The airdrop process managed to reach 90,000 wallets, allowing recipients 90 days to claim their PYTH tokens. The initial circulating stockpile of tokens came in at 1.5 billion, while 85% of the complete supply has a lock-in period that ranges between 6 to 42 months. 

Pyth Network secured a total of $1.92 billion across 126 protocols, gaining the slot as the fourth-largest pricing oracle. Yet, when compared to Chainlink, which secures a sizable $17.12 billion, Pyth trails significantly. (2).png
Source: DefiLlama

Unlike Chainlink, which aggregates data from several sources, Pyth chooses to source first-party pricing data directly from exchanges and institutional traders. This decision has helped shape Pyth's unique market position as it services 25% of all applications using oracles with a focus on integrating real-world data. 

The PYTH token holders are empowered with the ability to cast votes on-chain and participate in Pyth Governance. Post-airdrop, the network attracted significant players in the crypto industry through strategic fundraising. 

Abstract visualization of Solana network as a web of glowing nodes in a cosmic setting.webp

As part of this initiative, Castle Island Ventures, Multicoin Capital, Wintermute Ventures, and others joined in as strategic partners. These new partners, now holding PYTH tokens, could potentially steer the platform's development. 

Aiming for efficiency, Pyth's structure prioritizes speed, recognized as a pivotal element in modern finance. Initially sprouting from Jump Crypto, Pyth demonstrated noticeable progress since its launch in 2021, expanding its reach across 45 blockchains.

Jupiter's Retroactive Airdrop to Over 950,000 Solana Wallets

Last mid-November, Jupiter, the decentralized exchange aggregator on Solana, announced a retrospective airdrop as a token of appreciation for its early users. The airdrop will include a substantial 40% of Jupiter's 10 billion tokens, scheduled for distribution in four phases.

Focusing on the first phase of the airdrop, one billion Jupiter tokens are set to be released to users who have achieved a minimum swap volume of $1,000 on the protocol. The eligibility covers a significant 955,000 wallets, determined by a snapshot captured on November 2nd. 

The airdrop keenly incorporates a tiered reward system based on the volume of user swaps. It's worth also noting that upcoming rounds of the airdrop are expected to extend rewards to new users of the platform.

An official airdrop allocation website will soon be operational, proposing an avenue for users to verify their allocation amount amongst other details. 

Despite its newcomer status, Jupiter has witnessed remarkable success. By consolidating liquidity from multiple decentralized exchanges on Solana, it recorded a substantial trading volume nearing $1 billion in October. The implementation of this retrospective token airdrop is a part of Jupiter's broader initiative to nurture a community-focused environment.

Solana's Market Dynamics and Network Activity

In the recent surge in the crypto market, Solana (SOL) managed to achieve significant growth. The native token of Solana skyrocketed, reaching over $70. This marked a pinnacle not achieved since May 2022 and represented a dramatic increase of more than 550% year-to-date. During the same period, the altcoin trade volume also swelled, comprising 67% of the total crypto trade volume, the highest since March 2022.

solana ytd price.png

Interestingly, while Bitcoin's rally stalled, slipping to just above $43,000, Ethereum surged to $2,372. This Ethereum rally seems to have positively impacted the prices of Solana and other ETH-adjacent cryptocurrencies.

In line with this bullish market trend, Arthur Hayes, the founder of BitMex, speculated that SOL could reach near $100. This projection provides an optimistic outlook for the altcoin market.

Conversely, the Bitcoin market is facing apprehension. A growing sentiment of a potential "bull trap" among traders may drive Bitcoin towards breaking the $50,000 mark.

Airdrops on the Solana network have played a role in the overall market dynamics. These distribution events contributed to a surge in key metrics. For instance, Solana's trading volume recorded a significant rise, hitting an all-time high of around $746 million as of December 7, 2023.
Source: DefiLlama

Likewise, Solana's network fees surged as well, exceeding $130,000 in total. Simultaneously, the platform observed a boost in new token accounts with more than 595,000 added by December 7, 2023.

New Token Acc Chart (1).png
New Token Accounts. Source: Solscan

Apart from these fluctuations, network stability has remained consistent over the past three months, keeping significant downtimes at bay. 

At the time of writing, Solana's value had escalated 13.75%, trading at approximately $73.3, reflecting the continued interest and confidence in Solana's prosperous dynamic.



As 2023 is coming to an end, Solana's strategic airdrops, including Jito and Kamino, have significantly influenced the crypto market. These events not only boosted Solana's SOL value but also highlighted the growing importance of airdrops in shaping the dynamics of the blockchain ecosystem, marking a pivotal year in cryptocurrency evolution.


1. What impact did Jito's airdrop have on Solana's ecosystem?

Jito's airdrop played a crucial role in enhancing Solana's DeFi ecosystem, distributing significant JTO tokens and attracting widespread attention.

2. How did Solana's SOL token perform in 2023?

Solana's SOL experienced a remarkable surge, more than tripling its value, driven by increased DeFi activity and strategic airdrops.

3. What is unique about Kamino Finance's upcoming points program?

Kamino Finance's points program is anticipated to reward loyal users and potentially influence future airdrop distributions, a novel approach in the Solana network.

4. How did the BONK token airdrop affect Solana's market?

The BONK token airdrop, with its significant price increase, added to the vibrancy of Solana's market, showcasing the impact of thematic tokens.

5. What role do airdrops play in Solana's network activity?

Airdrops on Solana play a pivotal role in boosting trading volume, network fees, and user engagement, significantly influencing the network's overall dynamics.

This article has been refined and enhanced by ChatGPT.

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