This Week in Crypto Twitter: Turbulent Token Launches for WEN and JUP, Plus Vitalik’s Retreat

By Decrypt February 05, 2024 In Airdrop, Jupiter, Twitter
This Week on Crypto Twitter
Illustration by Mitchell Preffer for Decrypt

Crypto Twitter was in classic form this week, with a cycle of minor controversies, dramatic u-turns, and splashy token launches culminating in Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin announcing that he doesn’t want to be the face of the industry any longer.

It all started last weekend when WEN, a Solana meme coin launched via decentralized exchange (DEX) aggregator Jupiter, got off to a frenzied start, with the token fluctuating wildly in price on its first day.

By the time the volatile airdrop concluded on Monday, the token’s creators ended up having to burn billions of WEN tokens that went unclaimed by eligible holders—a sum, constituting nearly 39% of the airdrop, worth over $35 million.

That saga was only prologue to the main event of the week: Jupiter’s own much-anticipated airdrop. For months, Solana DeFi users eagerly awaited the launch of a JUP coin, which promised to enrich nearly a million Solana wallets with billions of free tokens.

However on Wednesday, when JUP finally launched, the loudest voices on Twitter were those lambasting the token’s allocation structure, which established a 250 million JUP launch liquidity pool created by the Jupiter team using tokens pulled from the team’s half of the total 10 billion JUP supply.

Some Crypto Twitter users argued that due to such structuring, the JUP airdrop was really an implicit initial coin offering (ICO), designed principally to enrich the Jupiter team.

It didn’t take long for Jupiter’s anonymous founder, Meow, to fervently push back against the snowballing negative narrative by deriding it as “FUD” and emphasizing that any JUP holder can sell into the token’s liquidity pool for a seven-day period following launch—in a structure Meow said was designed to benefit the JUP community.

Adding to the tumult, social media influencer, self-proclaimed misogynist, and accused human trafficker Andrew Tate shortly thereafter decided the moment was ripe to proclaim that if he received 50,000 retweets, he would launch his own meme coin—months after deriding and disavowing crypto last year.

Immediately, crypto degens jumped on the perceived hypocrisy, lambasting Tate and prompting the controversial internet personality within hours to delete the tweet and post a new video attacking crypto as “complete garbage” and asserting that he would never “sell my soul to the god of geekdom.”

Perhaps it was a fitting week, then, for crypto’s most prominent icon, Vitalik Buterin, to announce in a lengthy blog post that he has moved on to a new phase of his life, and no longer wants to be considered the face of the ever-hectic industry.

“The end of my childhood,” the Ethereum co-founder Tweeted.

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