The massive token airdrop on the Solana (SOL) blockchain, one of the largest ever, proceeded smoothly as Jupiter commenced the distribution of approximately $700 million worth of its JUP token to nearly a million wallets. The JUP token experienced an immediate price climb, starting at $0.41 and reaching $0.72 at the time of writing, resulting in a fully diluted market cap exceeding $6 billion.
Equally noteworthy was the performance of the Solana blockchain during the airdrop, with the network efficiently handling the influx of activity around JUP. Validators and operators praised the blockchain’s resilience, stating that it withstood the surge in user activity, including claim attempts and decentralized exchange (DEX) trading, without significant issues.
Despite the overall success, there were minor hiccups during the launch. Some RPC nodes, acting as intermediaries between wallets and the network, experienced difficulties keeping up with user demands, particularly in the initial 30 minutes of the airdrop. Validators acknowledged that the average end user encountered challenges during this period, emphasizing the importance of addressing user experience concerns.
Within the first hour of the launch, over 20% of the 1 billion JUP tokens allocated for the airdrop had been claimed. Jupiter had allocated a substantial portion of its tokens for distribution to users who traded through its routing service, a key player in on-chain swaps on Solana.
Jupiter’s developers, mindful of the potential impact on their systems and Solana, had conducted extensive testing throughout January, overseeing two prior airdrops—mockJUP and WEN. These earlier events provided insights into on-chain liquidity pools and the new Launchpad infrastructure, called LFG, which informed the successful execution of Wednesday’s airdrop.
While the January airdrop proved lucrative for many participants, validators emerged as significant beneficiaries. Validators earning MEV (maximal extractable value) priority fees reaped substantial rewards. Notably, the validators running the Jito-Solana client, facilitating MEV bots to tip validators for including their arbitrage trades, were singled out as the real winners.
During the airdrop’s initiation, a trading bot named roobot.sol generously tipped validators $50,000 to process its substantial $625,000 trade—1.56 million JUP at approximately $0.42 each. At the time of reporting, this trade was showing a significant gain of around 69%.