News - It's moonseason in the Solana ecosystem - is there more to it than greed?

By Mike Hesp

It's moonseason in the Solana ecosystem - is there more to it than greed?

Solana (SOL)

Airdrops bring users thousands of US dollars, memecoins shoot up by thousands of percent, tokens boom. Some facts behind the rally.

The numbers are staggering: The Jito network airdropped users tokens worth $10,000 to US$100,000, the memecoin Bonk is up 10,000 percent since the beginning of the year, tokens such as Helium and Render ended the year with hundreds of percent increases. Wherever you look in the Solana ecosystem: It's raining profits. At least in terms of prices. Greed has long since struck, everyone is chasing the next hype: what's the next big airdrop, the next Bonk? And Solana himself is now being hailed as the outperformer for the next bull market - with predictions of astronomical proportions. Raoul Pal, for example, the popular crypto investor, sees more than 1,000 percent growth on the horizon. Is this hype still justified or is the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO for short) slowly clouding people's minds? The data says so.

Solana was nearly dead in 2022

Just a few months ago, Solana was mainly one thing: the sick man of the crypto industry. The collapse of FTX damaged his image and caused prices to plummet. The now-convicted fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried was Solana's main sponsor, making 2022 a fight for survival for the blockchain. Projects migrated, the network failed fourteen times, network participants (validators) suffered losses, the price plummeted to nine dollars and the protocols DeFi and NFT almost fell into insignificance.

Now the signs point to a comeback. Solana's price is over $70. On the NFT market, it briefly overtook Ethereum with a daily trading volume of $16 million. Also in terms of users: Solana listed 16,000 buyers at the time of the NFT sale flipping, Ethereum only 9,000. In addition, new top collections such as Mad Labs have been steadily increasing in value for months - with innovative approaches. Activity is still higher at the time of writing, although trading volumes are not currently at the same level as the ETH NFT sales.

DeFi, gaming, airdrops and co.

DeFi grows again to more than 1 billion - although it is still far from its all-time high of nearly 10 billion in November 2021. Looking at the data, it can generally be said that largely organic growth meets speculative hype.

A comparison with the all-time high of November 2021 shows that there were only a third more trades then, but 10 times more trading volume. In other words, it was either manipulated or strongly driven by Whales. The number of regularly active addresses is slightly higher than then, at nearly 300,000.

Noteworthy: the extreme growth of Orca, Solana's leading decentralized exchange (DEX). As recently as October 2023, daily trading volume was seven million dollars; now it is approaching 300 million dollars. If Orca keeps up this pace, in a few months it could even overtake Uniswap, Ethereum's top DEX (currently just under $1.2 billion in daily trading volume, including Arbitrum).

A look at Kamino Finance shows how much the current airdrop hype is fueling this activity: after the Jito airdrop, it is seen as a good candidate for the next windfall and has announced a points system. To be eligible for this, you will likely have to interact with the protocol to collect points. The amount of money (TVL) on the platform skyrocketed from $20 million to nearly $120 million - in just one month.

Why different Solana tokens are on the rise

Solana celebrated several milestones this year. The release of Saga, the first Web3 cell phone. Although it sold only moderately, with about 3,000 units, it gets constant updates and its price was reduced to $600. In addition: a collaboration with VISA for payment with USDC, Circle's stablecoin, a promising adoption driver. Solana is also integrated as a payment method with Shopify, an e-commerce store with four million merchants - and completely free.

In addition, some projects are celebrating great success, most notably Helium (300 percent annual growth) and Render (10,000 percent), both of which migrated from Ethereum to Solana this year because of their well-known advantages: more speed, hardly any cost.

Render claims to revolutionize video rendering and artificial intelligence training with a decentralized GPU network. And is already being used by stars like Lil Nas and companies like NASA. Helium aims for mobile Internet for all, generated by its users. It is the largest network of its kind and works with Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile, among others. In the U.S., you can now get unlimited data volume for $20 - provided the Helium network is available.

Solana also has a high-caliber blockchain game in the works, Star Atlas. A 3D space epic from Singapore, featuring space combat, spaceship racing and shooter battles - and NFT economics. The alpha version is already available on the Epic Store.

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