Solana has seen its SOL token price surge by over 26% in the past week, making it one of the best-performing cryptocurrencies in the top 10. The network’s token had reached its all-time high back in November of 2022 before dropping to less than $10 in June 2023. Now, SOL is about to surpass the $100 mark.
Despite only having been around for three years, Solana is widely considered to be one of the potential “Ethereum killers” thanks to its high speeds and low frees. The recent spree mirrors that of the entirety of the crypto market and has been boosted by news of a new stablecoin joining the network, as well as the revival of meme coins and NFTs.
NY Regulator Approval Allows First Solana Stablecoin
According to Fortune, Paxos has been approved by New York’s financial regulator to expand its services to Solana. The approval means that Ethereum would no longer be the only network capable of operating with USDP natively. With a market capitalization of over $370M, the news of USDP’s expansion to Solana quickly contributed to its performance.
A major difference between Paxos and other major stablecoins is the company’s decision to collaborate with regulators, which prevented it from expanding as rapidly as its competitors. Up until this point, New York’s Department of Financial Services had only authorized Paxos to operate in the Ethereum network.
Paxos’ decision to expand to Solana comes at a time when the firm is also collaborating with PayPal to issue a new stablecoin: PYUSD. According to Walter Hessert, Paxos’ Head of Strategy, PayPal would also have an interest in cementing a presence in the Solana network, which could further increase the adoption of the protocol.
Memecoin Mania Boosts Solana
Another key driver of Solana’s price surge is the popularity of Bonk Inu ($BONK), a memecoin created as a direct response to FTX’s downfall. Similarly to DogeCoin and Shiba Inu, BONK lacks any purpose beyond that of being transactable and a parody of other coins. This, however, hasn’t stopped the coin from rising in value by more than 300% over the past month.
With a market capitalization of more than $1.1B and $304M in trading volume, the token’s virality has further boosted Solana’s growth. The token was also linked to Solana’s Saga Smartphone, as an exclusive airdrop of 30 million BONK was made available to those who owned the phone.
Binance’s recent decision to launch a BONK futures offering has also contributed to the popularity of the memecoin. This comes less than two weeks after the listing of BONK in the world’s biggest exchange, which has a 24-hour trading volume of over 120M USDT in the platform at the time of writing.
NFT Volume Flows Back to Solana
With NFTs also making a comeback over the past months as major names launch new collections, Solana has also benefited from its share in the ecosystem. Tensor, Solana’s most popular NFT marketplace at this time, has allowed Solana to attract an increasing number of collectors from other networks.
While Tensor co-founder Ilja Moisejevs told Bloomberg that VCs would rather see the marketplace move to another network in its early days, opinions seem to have changed already. Tensos surpassed Magic Eden in trading volume earlier this month after rumors of airdrops became common among members of the NFT community. Today, Tensos accounts for 75% of all NFT trading volume in the Solana network according to its own data.
Solana has also emerged as one of the top 5 gaming blockchains by transaction count, according to DappRadar and the Blockchain Gaming Alliance’s Q3 Report. This is despite a quarter-to-quarter change of -42% that saw the network lose its dominance to Wax.