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News/Memecoin Madness: How Solana's Viral Tokens Sparked $100M Presale Rush

Memecoin Madness: How Solana's Viral Tokens Sparked $100M Presale Rush

Van Thanh Le

Mar 18 2024

3 months ago4 minutes read
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Solana's Remarkable Surge Sets New Records and Tests Network Limits

The Solana network witnessed an unprecedented surge, setting new records and igniting a frenzy of activity. The decentralized exchange (DEX) volume soared to a staggering $3.802 billion, overshadowing previous milestones. 

Paralleling this spike, the total value locked (TVL) within Solana's DeFi ecosystem reached a towering $4.034 billion, signaling robust growth and heightened engagement. Notably, Solana's DeFi TVL witnessed an 80% increase, indicative of a surge in decentralized finance activities, even outstripping Ethereum's network activity during this period.

volume.png
Source: DefiLlama

A driving force behind this surge was the explosive popularity of several memecoins on the Solana blockchain, with Book of Meme (BOME), Dogwifhat (WIF), and BONK leading the charge. BOME, in particular, achieved a remarkable feat, amassing over $907 million in volume within 24 hours of its launch, demonstrating the significant impact of viral tokens on network activity. Amidst this frenzy, Solana-based DEX aggregator Jupiter (JUP) outperformed Ethereum's Uniswap (UNI) V3 in terms of volume.

The price of Solana (SOL) itself witnessed a substantial increase, surging 58% to surpass $200 in correlation with the network's heightened activity. This surge coincided with a peak in Solana search interest on Google Trends, hitting a 5-year high, reflecting broader market acknowledgment of Solana's potential. 

solana.png
Source: Google Trends

Further validating this sentiment, Solana's market capitalization overtook BNB, making it the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap.

chart.webp

The Solana ecosystem, particularly SOL and BOME, dominated discussions across various social media platforms, reflecting the community's optimism and the speculative excitement surrounding new memecoin launches on Solana. However, this exuberance was tempered by a notable price correction following BOME's rapid ascent.

While the influx of transactions spurred by memecoin trading fueled the network's growth, it also led to significant congestion. Users reported delays and a high failure rate of transactions, with ping times reaching between 20-40 seconds and transaction success rates plummeting to 50-80% during peak congestion periods. 

The Stratospheric Gains of a Solana Memecoin Trader

Before the rise of Solana memecoins this weekend, crypto traders witnessed an unprecedented trading phenomenon centered around the memecoin "Book of Meme" (BOME). A trader, utilizing the Solana address "sundayfunday.sol," astonishingly transformed a $72,000 investment into a staggering $30 million within just three days, capitalizing on the frenzy surrounding the latest memecoin trend. This event was initially spotlighted by Lookonchain, a blockchain tracking firm.

The strategic trading unfolded on the Solana blockchain, where the trader became the largest BOME pre-sale participant by investing 421 SOL ($72,000) and receiving 1.43 billion BOME in return, valued at approximately $30.6 million. To secure profits, the trader sold 190 million BOME for 19,646 SOL ($3.66 million), retaining over $26 million worth of BOME.

Following its launch, BOME's visibility and trading volume skyrocketed as it was listed on major cryptocurrency exchanges such as Binance and Kucoin. The listing of BOME on Binance, with trading pairs like BOME/BTC and BOME/USDT, led to a 320% price surge for the token. 

Another trader was reported by Lookonchain to have made a 340x return on their investment, turning a $19,000 investment into $6.58 million by selling 347 million BOME.

While some traders realized monumental gains, others missed out on potential profits. For instance, a trader sold their BOME holdings for $131,000; had they waited approximately 48 more hours, they could have made $3.5 million, underscoring the risk and reward dynamics in memecoin trading.

Amidst the frenzy, allegations of insider trading involving BOME emerged, prompting Binance, a leading cryptocurrency exchange, to launch a comprehensive investigation, emphasizing its commitment to market integrity and transparency. 

Binance has taken a strong stance against insider trading and corruption, offering monetary rewards ranging from $100,000 to $5 million for verified reports of misconduct, thereby reinforcing the exchange's dedication to maintaining a fair and transparent trading environment.

BOME Triggers Memecoin Mania and Solana's Meteoric Rise

The cryptocurrency world has been abuzz with the meteoric rise of the Solana-based memecoin, Book of Meme (BOME). Its unprecedented success triggered an inflow of over $100 million in Solana memecoin presales during the weekend, significantly contributing to Solana's elevation as the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. This achievement spurred market-wide positive momentum, enhancing the value of Bitcoin and Ethereum after a temporary weekend dip.

BOME, launched by the artist Darkfarm1, witnessed a staggering 36,000% rally within 56 hours, reaching a $1.45 billion peak market capitalization. The memecoin's success is primarily attributed to its unique presale model, where investors send funds to a wallet address in exchange for tokens, akin to crowdfunding, albeit with substantial risk due to the lack of guaranteed returns. 

This trend has seen several projects raising significant amounts without a working product, a white paper, or a long-term plan, with presale announcements attracting millions in SOL tokens. 

An unnamed AI project on Solana initiated a 24-hour presale, accumulating over $33 million worth of SOL tokens in under an hour. Despite the project's secrecy, the early investment window incentivized rapid participation. 

Such significant capital influx amid a period of heightened investor greed, as indicated by the Crypto Fear and Greed Index, reflects substantial market enthusiasm.  However, this has drawn criticism due to the high risks involved.

Solana's preference as a platform for meme coins is evident, with a 45% surge driven by investors pouring $100 million into new Solana meme coins over 72 hours. This trend is partly due to Solana's low transaction costs, attracting a plethora of new coins and leading to significant market capitalization gains for memecoins like Shiba Inu (SHIB), DogWifHat (WIF), and others. 

Following Elon Musk's St. Patrick's Day post, which mimicked Dogwifhat's (WIF) logo, WIF's price surged over 40%, highlighting Musk's continued indirect support for memecoins and their susceptibility to celebrity influences.

Influential trader GCR, known for market insights, has just purchased the original meme image of Dogwifhat for $4 million worth of ether (ETH) at a Foundation auction. GCR's involvement led to a 10% surge in WIF prices. 

High-profile figures like David Sacks and Elon Musk have indirectly influenced the memecoin market through comments and actions, despite warnings from experts like Anthony Sassano and Nick from Web3Alert about the inherent risks and the teaching of instant gratification through meme coins.

Amid the memecoin frenzy, cautionary tales have emerged, such as an investor losing 754 SOL (approximately $147,000) across 11 transactions due to FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), underscoring the volatile and risky nature of trading in this sector. 

Another trader lost 3,731 SOL ($775K) in just 1 hour trading SLERF. He bought 1st at $1.32, then again at $0.8, selling all SLERF, but only got back 3,774 SOL.  

In a distressing event for Turkish investors, the Slerf (SLERF) team inadvertently burned Solana worth $10 million collected for a presale. Despite efforts to make amends, the incident led to significant losses for presale participants, with the developer expressing remorse and pledging to rectify the situation.

Despite the incident, the support from various exchanges towards SLERF has been robust. BingX committed to donating all trading fees from SLERF transactions on their platform, along with plans to airdrop future tokens to eligible participants from the SLERF private sale. 

Similarly, Bitget's managing director, Gracy Chen, announced their decision to donate all SLERF trading fees to the SLERF, intending to reveal the donation details on a weekly basis. 

Furthermore, HTX (formerly Huobi Global) has pledged to donate all Slerf trading revenue on HTX_Global to users who participated in private sales, in addition to allocating HTX for Slerf's trading fee mining.

Solana's Memecoin Frenzy: Echoes of Ethereum's ICO Bubble

The Solana blockchain has emerged as a hotbed for the rapid creation and growth of memecoins, drawing parallels to the Ethereum ICO bubble of 2017. Memecoins, often inspired by internet memes or pop culture references, lack substantial real-world applications but garner significant attention and speculative investment. 

Comparisons have been drawn between the current memecoin frenzy on Solana and the Ethereum ICO era of 2017, when numerous projects raised substantial funds through initial coin offerings, yet a significant portion failed to deliver on their promises, leading to a bubble that eventually burst. A 2018 report revealed that over 90% of ICO projects from that time were unsuccessful, echoing concerns about the sustainability and integrity of rapidly emerging memecoins.

The allure of quick profits has driven many to invest in these high-risk cryptocurrencies. Stories of individuals becoming millionaires overnight can tempt others to speculate in these volatile markets. However, the majority of participants are likely to experience substantial financial losses, as these investments lack a foundational utility or value proposition. 

Influencers and creators behind some memecoins have been accused of conducting scams, either by disappearing with presale funds or dumping their holdings immediately after launch, further undermining trust in these digital assets.

Golden bull crowned with Solana, surrounded by memecoin frenzy.webp

While some community members argue that the current memecoin mania represents a more transparent form of speculation compared to previous crypto bubbles, as it doesn't pretend to offer real value beyond the speculative interest, crypto advocates warn that the memecoin bubble, like its predecessors, will inevitably burst, potentially liquidating the investments of many who poured funds into these projects without a clear understanding of their speculative nature and lack of utility.

A proliferation of racist memecoins on the Solana blockchain has prompted DEX Screener, a real-time DeFi analytics platform, to reconsider its token profile moderation policy, ensuring they do not become gatekeepers while refusing to spread hate. This reaction follows a surge in tokens with derogatory and offensive names, including symbols based on race and religion. 

Solana's CEO, Anatoly Yakovenko, condemned these tokens, highlighting the challenge of real-time moderation without human oversight. Despite the initial flood of offensive tokens, few remain visible, replaced by tokens condemning the racism. 

The episode illustrates the balance blockchain platforms must strike between openness and responsibility, amid the broader context of a memecoin frenzy significantly involving Solana due to its low fees and high transaction speeds, with the network reporting over 20,000 new tokens created daily.

Earlier this week, Yakovenko also discouraged investing in Solana-based memecoins due to substantial SOL funds sent to pre-sales.

Conclusion 

The rise of memecoins on Solana mirrored the Ethereum ICO bubble, raising concerns about their legitimacy and long-term viability. While some investors profited immensely, many faced financial losses due to the tokens' speculative nature and potential for scams.

FAQs

What caused Solana's network congestion?

Solana's network became congested due to the surge in memecoin trading activity. This resulted in slow transaction processing times and high failure rates.

How did the BOME trader make a profit?

The BOME trader participated in the memecoin's presale, buying a large amount of tokens at a low price. When the token's value exploded after launch, they sold a portion of their holdings for a significant profit.

What is the risk of investing in memecoins?

Memecoins often lack real-world applications and their value is primarily driven by speculation. This makes them highly volatile and risky investments, with a high chance of financial losses.

How is the Solana memecoin frenzy similar to the Ethereum ICO bubble?

Both periods witnessed a surge in speculative investment in projects with questionable long-term value. The Ethereum ICO bubble eventually burst, leading to significant financial losses for many investors. There is a concern that the same might happen with memecoins.

This article has been refined and enhanced by ChatGPT. 

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