Ethena, a $1.3B Yield-Earning Protocol, to Debut Governance Token Next Week

The DeFi protocol, which generates yield from ether derivative funding rates, is set to airdrop 750 million ENA tokens, 5% of the total supply.

AccessTimeIconMar 27, 2024 at 8:53 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 27, 2024 at 9:55 p.m. UTC
  • Ethena's ENA governance tokens will be distributed to users who hold the protocol's "synthetic dollar" USDe, and they will start trading on exchanges on April 2.
  • USDe grew to $1.3 billion from $85 million at the start of this year, bolstered by its high yield and anticipation of the airdrop.

Decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol Ethena, which offers the $1.3 billion USDe token, unveiled plans Wednesday to debut its governance token by airdropping tokens to users on April 2, according to a blog post.

The protocol is set to airdrop 750 million ENA tokens, or 5% of the total supply. The campaign to earn "shards," which qualify users for the token airdrop, will end on April 1. Those who unstake, unlock or sell all their USDe before this date will not be eligible for the airdrop.

Users will be able to claim tokens starting the next day, when ENA will be listed on centralized exchanges, per the blog post. After the airdrop, Ethena will start a campaign with new incentives for the next phase of the airdrop.

Ethena's USDe token, often referred to as "synthetic dollar," offers steady yields to investors by using ether (ETH) liquid staking tokens such as Lido's stETH as backing assets, pairing them with an equal value of short ETH perpetual futures position on derivatives exchanges to keep a "rough target" of $1 price. This is also known as a "cash and carry" trade, which harvests derivatives funding rates for a yield.

The protocol's USDe token mushroomed recently, growing to over $1.3 billion from $85 million at the start of the year, per DefiLlama data, propelled by its lofty yield due to frothy crypto markets and in anticipation of the airdrop.

Edited by Nick Baker.


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Krisztian  Sandor

Krisztian Sandor is a reporter on the U.S. markets team focusing on stablecoins and institutional investment. He holds BTC and ETH.

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