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EigenLayer Sparks Controversy With EIGEN Token Airdrop

2 mins
Updated by Ryan Boltman
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In Brief

  • EigenLayer launches EIGEN token airdrop amid high anticipation.
  • Airdrop criticized for excluding US, Canada, and China.
  • EigenLayer manages $14 billion in DeFi assets post-funding.
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EigenLayer will kick off its EIGEN token airdrop this Friday, stirring considerable interest and debate across the cryptocurrency community.

Despite high anticipation, the launch has drawn criticism for excluding participants from the US, Canada, and China and its distribution methods.

EigenLayer Conducts EIGEN Airdrop

Following its recent $165 million funding boost from a16z Crypto, Eigen Labs is now managing an impressive $14 billion in DeFi assets.

Read more: How to Participate in an EigenLayer Airdrop: A Step-by-Step Guide

EigenLayer’s TVL.
EigenLayer’s TVL. Source: DefiLlama

Starting Friday, EigenLayer investors can claim their EIGEN tokens, stake them, and delegate to an EigenDA operator. Initially, EigenDA will serve as the exclusive Autonomous Validator Set (AVS), utilizing an EIGEN quorum, with plans to expand to more AVSs soon.

Participants who have restaked their ETH through an EigenDA operator will receive their EIGEN tokens automatically post-stake. Newcomers are encouraged to stake their EIGEN and select their operator on the EigenDA AVS page.

As a key player in the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector, EigenLayer stands out with its innovative ‘restaking’ feature. This feature allows applications within the Ethereum ecosystem to access a large pool of transaction validators, boosting the yield on staked Ether, typically around 3%. Yet, the excitement over these technical merits has been overshadowed by disputes over the governance of token distribution, sparking intense debates among enthusiasts and critics.

Response to Airdrop Controversy

The controversy centers on a points system that initially rewarded early adopters. But it recently shifted, disqualifying many due to strict regional restrictions. Despite community dissatisfaction, in a recent podcast, Robert Drost, executive director at Eigen Foundation, emphasized the importance of complying with regulation.

“This is about adhering to regulatory frameworks while trying to innovate responsibly,” Robert Drost said.

In response to the backlash, EigenLayer has introduced a revised token distribution plan, adding 28 million EIGEN tokens. The company advises stakers to distribute their EIGEN stakes evenly among operators to maintain a decentralized network balance. This strategy aims to preserve a balanced power dynamic within the network.

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Shota Oba
After interning at a domestic blockchain media company while enrolled at a university in international relations, he worked as an intern trainee at two foreign crypto asset exchanges. Currently, as a journalist, he focuses on the Japanese crypto asset market, both technical and fundamental analysis. He has been trading crypto assets since 2021 and is interested in economic and social affairs.
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