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News/Solana Overtakes XRP & BNB: A 2023 Crypto Cinderella Story

Solana Overtakes XRP & BNB: A 2023 Crypto Cinderella Story

Van Thanh Le

Dec 22 2023

6 months ago5 minutes read
A colorful chibi cubic robot in an abstract setting, displaying excitement about cryptocurrency on its screen, evoking the innovation of the Solana Saga Phone

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Solana's Surge in the Crypto Market

Solana's notoriety in the crypto market is on an upward trajectory, beating out XRP to secure fifth place among the largest cryptocurrencies. Recent data on Coin360 reveals that the market cap of Solana, otherwise known as SOL, soared to a striking 20-month peak of $37.69 billion.

This development is not isolated; decentralized exchanges within the Solana network, such as Orca, are also experiencing a surge in trading volume. On December 15 alone, Orca clocked in a staggering trading volume of $746 million.

Solana momentarily surpassed the market capitalization of Binance's BNB coin, fighting fiercely for the fourth spot on Friday, before coming back to its position at #5 later. When Saturday came, its effort to flip Binance's coin was paid off - SOL officially became the 4th largest cryptocurrency by market cap.

Fueling this uptick in Solana's market cap is the frenzied interest in meme coins, with Bonk, a canine-themed token, being a prime example. With a market cap surpassing $1.2 billion, Bonk demonstrates the market's fondness for such tokens, which, in turn, has catalyzed Solana's ascend in market value. 

On Friday, the SOL unit recently recorded a 24-hour surge of 11.5%, bringing its price to around $86.96. The trading volume experienced a similar surge, mounting up by 39% to reach $3.4 billion.

For the first time since May 2022, Solana's price rose beyond the $100-mark, attaining a yearly high of $117 after an 883% advance from January. Not only did Solana exceed XRP in terms of market cap, but it also put an impressive show, escalating by 546% since last year, thereby outpacing the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The enthusiasm surrounding Solana extends to its suite of coins and products. Solana-based tokens such as BONK and Helium’s HNT and MOBILE are seeing significant upsides, as reflected on various cryptocurrency charts. Additionally, the initial production of the Solana Saga smartphone, associated with BONK airdrops, sold out, suggesting robust market interest. (1).png

In the decentralized finance (DeFi) realm, Solana showcased its recovery following the FTX collapse as its total value locked (TVL) surpassed $1 billion. The network's venture into mobile accessibility has contributed significantly to its adoption rate and momentum.

Looking ahead, the Solana community anticipates the launch of new tokens and airdrops, with upcoming projects like Jupiter (JUP) and Bonkwifhat (BIF) underscoring such enthusiasm. The market's new darling, BONK, witnessed a month-over-month surge of over 1,000%, ultimately earning listing on premier exchanges, including Binance and Coinbase.

Solana's Rising Tide in the Crypto Ocean

The last few months of the previous year saw Solana chalk up impressive milestones in the world of cryptocurrencies. From being the talk of the Google search universe to enjoying a substantial price rally, this is a tale of Solana's rising tide in the crypto ocean.

Drawing attention online, Google searches for "Solana" shot up by a staggering 250% between October and December. This growth in online attention mirrored Solana's market performance, underscored further by the emergence of memecoins within its network.

In terms of Google search volume, where a 0 to 100 scale is used, Solana leaped from a humble agility of 14 in October to a significant 49 in early December - a timeframe that also saw Solana's price rally by an extraordinary 224%.

Industry cognoscenti weren't left out of the Solana discussion. ARK Invest's CEO, Cathie Wood, lauded Solana for its speed and cost-effectiveness, stating its service delivery as superior to that of Ethereum. There was also a comparative increase in the Google search trends of "Bitcoin" and "Ethereum", although at a pace slower than Solana's.

Gravity towards Solana wasn't exclusive to individual investors; institutional trust in Solana also grew considerably. It earned the faith of institutional investors, even outstripping Bitcoin and Ethereum on this front. While most other crypto assets suffered investment product outflows, Solana stole the show with a 240% inflow jump.

A futuristic cityscape at dusk, with buildings shaped like cryptocurrencies, glowing with neon lights, symbolizing the dynamic Solana market.webp

This uptick translated into Solana receiving $10.6 million in institutional flows, a crushing 240% increase from the preceding week. It also pushed Solana's year-to-date inflows well above the $156 million mark. All these occurred even as the market consolidated and cryptocurrencies across the board faced profit-taking.

Analysts, weighing in on Solana's price trajectory, have predicted a future price target of $90. Their convictions are backed by continued upward trend Solana has displayed. Considering the recent developments, it's safe to say that Solana's rising tide is set to make more waves in the crypto ocean.

Solana's Expanding Ecosystem - Innovations and Integrations

Within the burgeoning world of cryptocurrency, Solana seems to be innovating and integrating at a relentless pace. Circle Internet Financial has intertwined its EURC stablecoin within Solana's blockchain. The expectation is that this should revitalize peer-to-peer transactions, particularly within European remittance corridors.

Why is this integration so significant? For starters, it may entice institutional interest by offering an alternative to classic banking for holding euro savings. Despite EURC being operational on networks such as Avalanche, Ethereum, and Stellar, the addition to Solana pushes its influence further.

A group of diverse individuals in a park, animatedly discussing cryptocurrency, symbolizing community engagement in Solana.webp

Jupiter, Solana's decentralized exchange aggregator, is particularly poised to benefit by providing enhanced liquidity for exchanges and DeFi applications. Moreover, the low fees and efficiency associated with Solana make it an attractive option for swift trade settlements - an integral factor for institutions looking to adopt this technology.

Due to compliance with the Markets-in-Crypto Assets laws, Circle's Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol (CCTP) could propel institutional investment into euro stablecoins. Tempo France anticipates that within three years, euro-backed stablecoins will account for 0.5% of the volume share - a remarkable growth from the current 0.007%.

In synergy with this, the crypto hardware manufacturer Trezor has started supporting Solana SOL tokens and Solana Program Library (SPL) tokens. The move aligns with the impressive price rally that Solana has been witnessing. Now, the SOL and SPL tokens find their place among the more than 8,000 coins and tokens supported by Trezor's Model T and Safe 3 hardware wallets.

Metaplex, pioneering two cutting-edge features on Solana – Inscriptions and Engravings, is further fostering the development of the Solana NFT ecosystem. Inscriptions allow for on-chain NFT storage, bolstering security and maintaining the asset's integrity. 

On the other hand, Engravings cement the originality and uniqueness of NFTs. Already deployed on Solana's devnet, these features permit users to mint new NFTs or modify existing ones.

Source: Flipside

The number of inscriptions minted on Solana hit a record high on December 16th, with a total of 287,000. In turn, Solana gained value from transaction fees, as 50% of the revenue is burned. By December 17th, the cumulative count of inscriptions on Solana reached an impressive one million. 

This growth led to a surge in the number of creators on Solana, which went beyond 50,000, with 15,000 new entries. Solana’s fee revenue witnessed a significant 77% increase in December, hitting a year-to-date peak. This solidifies Solana's expanding ecosystem as a force to be reckoned with in the cryptocurrency sphere.

Solana's Ascendancy in the Cryptocurrency Ecosystem

Solana's Market Valuation Skyrockets

The storming success of Solana doesn’t stop at trading volume or market capitalization; it is equally evident in its token valuation. Solana's native token, SOL, experienced a whopping increase of $4.8 billion within just 24 hours. Consequently, this surge drove Solana's market valuation beyond $37 billion, soaring above major corporations like Spotify and Electronic Arts. 

Despite a remarkable 250% spike since mid-October, SOL has added an extra 21% to its price in the past week, consolidating at an astounding $86 ahead per token. Influential crypto enthusiasts, like Arthur Hayes, envisage a brighter future where Solana’s price crosses the triple-digit threshold.

Messari's Annual Report Highlights Solana

Predicting cryptocurrency trends can be a daunting task. However, analysts at Messari are betting big on Solana, anticipating it to maintain its bullish momentum. 

Post FTX debacle, Solana is making a noteworthy comeback, with numerous Messari analysts proudly selecting SOL in their portfolios. The report also underscores the rise of AI tokens, prophesying a significant role for them in assisting Solana next year.
Source: Messari report

Ethereum vs. Solana: A Comparative Analysis 

While Solana surpasses Ethereum in different aspects, Ethereum's price has been plunging against Bitcoin and Solana. The ETH/BTC ratio has dwindled to its lowest in two years, sparking a looming concern for Ethereum enthusiasts. Critics argue that Ethereum's escalating transaction fees could be a critical factor behind this trend, especially compared to Solana's lower transaction costs. 

However, Ethereum supporters dismiss these claims, assertively iterating their belief in Ethereum's imminent resurgence in 2024. Despite Ethereum's arduous journey, it still clinches the lead in terms of TVL, with a substantial $28 billion, whereas Solana is lagging in the fifth spot with $1.15 billion.

The Solana Saga and the BONK Phenomenon 

Before the gigantic SOL value escalation, a Solana Saga phone was auctioned for $5,000 on eBay. This came on the heels of escalated public excitement around the BONK token. The initial price was in the proximity of $2,000 which soon multiplied due to the popularity of the BONK meme coin.

Solana Saga phones enabled owners to avail tokens that were prerequisites for airdrops, including the notorious BONK meme coin. Despite initial sales falling short of expectations, the phones began to attract buyout prices exceeding $2,000 on platforms like eBay. Some even soared to $5,000. The cause of the spike was the phone's inclusion of 30 million BONK tokens. The value of the tokens even exceeded the phone's original cost.

A hyper-realistic depiction of a hand holding a futuristic phone with a Solana-centric trading app, highlighting the role of Solana investment firms.webp

An added icing was the one-month free Helium Mobile access for the Saga phone owners and special rewards unlocked from Saga's dApp Store.

The Saga phones, as per eBay listings, touched a high of $5,403 indicating robust demand. When juxtaposed with Apple's iPhone 15 Pro priced at $999, the Solana Saga was an evident winner.

The co-founder of Solana, Anatoly Yakovenko could not contain his excitement. There were two reasons - the remarkable success of the Saga phone, and SOL's trading volume surpassing Ethereum's for the first-ever time.

The Solana community also saw a surge in the value of the native meme coin, BONK, thanks to additional exchange availability and higher sales volume of the Saga phone.

Unless otherwise specified, everything has a flip side and the Solana Saga smartphone was no exception. Marques Brownlee, a known name on YouTube, went ahead to declare the phone as the "failure of 2023". The irony lies in the fact that demand for the phone was on an uptrend. 

Brownlee was appreciative of the phone build but discouraged its purchase. The phone was designed to incorporate blockchain technology, aimed at enhancing user experience for cryptocurrency traders and developers.

Solana Mobile echoed the increase in demand with the sell-out announcement of their Saga smartphone. The catalyst being the free BONK coin initiative. Despite a massive price drop to $599 in August, the phone's value has multiplied given the increase in the BONK token's value.

Talking about volatility, the meme coin BONK (based on Solana) surged nearly 1,000% in weeks but soon fell 44% after reaching an unprecedented high. Notwithstanding the drop, BONK is still up nearly 400% over the last 30 days. As of now, BONK's market cap is $1.16 billion, positioning it as the 61th largest cryptocurrency.


Half the supply of the BONK coin was air-dropped to the Solana community, which left developers, artists, NFT collectors and other demography in the beneficial ambit.

The soaring popularity of Solana is well mirrored in the high demand for its associated products. Among them, the Solana Saga phone, which came packaged with exciting airdrops and rewards, saw a burst of interest. However, a hiccup in inventory management threw a wrench into the works.

The Saga phone orders hit a snag, with an inventory mishap causing a debacle. The miscommunication between Solana and a third-party distributor resulted in an inaccurate representation of available stock. Consequently, several customer orders were canceled, much to their disappointment. 

The phone's skyrocketing popularity was largely driven by the price increase of BONK tokens, an integral part of the Saga package. At one point, the value of the included 30 million BONK tokens surpassed the phone's price itself! 

Customers affected by the cancellations are being refunded. Notably, some orders were flagged and eventually canceled due to suspicions of excessive orders or potential payment risks. Despite these hiccups, the BONK airdrop proved to be a strong motivator for Saga buyers. Saga owners were entitled to claim 30 million BONK tokens, worth approximately $575 at the time of writing.

A cosmic scene where the Solana ecosystem is depicted as a vibrant galaxy.webp

Other enticing rewards accompanying the Saga phone included offerings from Access Protocol and Honeyland. Access Protocol wooed buyers by providing 100,000 ACS tokens per phone owner. In contrast, Honeyland sweetened the deal with 50 HXD tokens and an in-game upgrade. 

Anticipation build-up was also pushed by other airdrops and additional perks announced for the near future. Samoyedcoin and Solend announced fresh airdrops for the privileged Saga owners, along with added benefits from ShdwDrive and Helium Mobile. The latter included opportunities for token mining and a free trial of a crypto-powered 5G service.

Initial holders of the Saga phone also enjoyed exclusive NFTs, bolstering the appeal of being among the early adopters. 

While the Saga phone journey may have hit a speed bump, it's clear that Solana's ecosystem and associated products remain in high demand. The mixture of BONK's surge, coupled with exciting airdrops and rewards, solidifies Solana's place in the hearts of crypto enthusiasts. Solana’s saga continues – with its highs and lows. But one thing is certain – it’s here to command its space in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.


Solana's surge in 2023 is a testament to its technological advancements, rising popularity, and adaptability in the ever-evolving crypto landscape. Whether this surge paves the way for lasting dominance or a temporary wave remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: Solana's momentum has captured the attention of crypto enthusiasts worldwide.


1. What's driving Solana's recent surge?

A confluence of factors is fueling Solana's ascent: growing DeFi activity, meme coin buzz (especially BONK), improved network stability, and expanding mobile access.

2. How does Solana compare to Ethereum in terms of performance?

Solana boasts faster transaction speeds and lower fees than Ethereum, but Ethereum currently holds a larger lead in total value locked (TVL).

3. What's the deal with the Solana Saga phone and BONK airdrops?

The Solana Saga phone attracted initial excitement due to its bundled BONK tokens, contributing to both phone sales and the meme coin's price surge.

4. Is Solana worth investing in now?

While Solana's recent performance is strong, the crypto market remains volatile. Consider your risk tolerance and research thoroughly before making investment decisions.

5. What's next for Solana's ecosystem?

Upcoming token launches and airdrops, coupled with continued platform enhancements and mobile initiatives, are likely to keep Solana on investors' radars.

This article has been refined and enhanced by ChatGPT.

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