A Phantastic developmentSolana-based wallet Phantom is looking ready to take on MetaMask by adding compatibility for new blockchains.
- Phantom, the most popular wallet on Solana, has announced integration with Ethereum and Polygon, in a new push to compete with market leader MetaMask. The service already boasts more than 3m users, gaining popularity through its ability to display NFTs.
- The project only has a 53-person team, but brings in revenues in the tens of millions of dollars. That being said, it's not going to be an easy task to overtake MetaMask, which has roughly ten times the number of users and much wider recognition throughout the industry.
- The whole thing’s got people wondering if the project will launch its own token. MetaMask has confirmed that it will launch a token of its own, but doing so can be risky. Phantom’s CEO Brandon Millman said a badly timed token can “kill a company”, and they have no plans to do so for the time being.
Subscribe to Snaps
See the market snapshots that matter and nothing else – sent to your inbox daily. Designed to be read in 20 seconds or less.
Sunshine beginning to fade?Its close association with FTX has made the last few weeks hell for Solana, and exchanges are worried the storm has only just begun.
- Binance has temporarily suspended deposits of USDT and USDC on the Solana blockchain, with other exchanges including OKX and Crypto.com following suit. The exchange has since resumed Solana-based USDT deposits, with Circle CEO saying Solana USDC is “functioning fine”.
- The Solana community was confused as to what tf was going on, with none of the exchanges explaining their intentions. Although it seems pretty likely it's something to do with SOL’s association with FTX and Alameda, which were major investors in the ecosystem.
- SOL has been one of the hardest hit tokens by the collapse of FTX, with the token falling by more than 60% since the collapse began. The SRM token of Solana’s main decentralized exchange Serum also fell by almost 70%.
GuerrillaBuzz Blockchain PR Agency/ Unsplash
SOL struggles to find the bright sideIt was a dark day in the world of Solana on Monday, with the collapse of FTX causing the token to break records (and not the good kind).
Tyler van der Hoeven / Unsplash
The great unlockSolana has been having one of its worst weeks on record, with an upcoming token unlock making things even more complicated.
- Almost $1bn worth of SOL tokens are scheduled to be unlocked today by Solana validators in the second largest token unlock in the history of the network. The unlock also represents 13% of current token supply and will likely affect its price.
- The unlock comes during a time of heavy declines for Solana. The token has plummeted by more than 50% since the start of the week, largely due to its association with Alameda Research – the sister firm of FTX, which ICYMI is not having much fun right now.
- Alameda and FTX’s insolvency issues mean that many SOL projects have just lost their funding. And to top it all off, the network’s also been experiencing more of its infamous performance issues. All in all – it’s not a great week to be a Solana investor.
GuerrillaBuzz Blockchain PR Agency / Unsplash
Head in the clouds…Twitter’s influence over the crypto market has been shown once again, this time with Solana as the beneficiary.
- Solana enjoyed gains of 15% over the weekend after a tweet made by Google Cloud suggested that an important deal had been made between the two. The tweet tagged Solana cofounder Anatoly Yakovenko, asking: “should we tell our followers the big news?”.
- The news in question was the fact that Google Cloud has begun running a Solana validator node, with some wondering whether a price-pump causing tweet such as this could be in breach of financial regulations.
- The excitement however was short lived as SOL dropped back down by almost 12% on Sunday, with investors probably hoping for a more significant partnership between the two. Regardless, the last two weeks have been kind to the token with gains of around 11%.
The first crypto smartphoneWeb 3 looks ready to go mobile, with the specifications and features of Solana’s ‘crypto smartphone’ finally unveiled.
- Solana is preparing for the release of the ‘Solana Saga’, which claims to be the first ever crypto smartphone. Developed in collaboration with OSOM, the ‘web 3’ smartphone will use the Android operating system and will come equipped with a ‘dApp store’.
- Solana first announced the Saga back in June, but few details about the device had been unveiled until now. The smartphone, which will have full integration with the Solana network, will reportedly be released in Q1 2023 for a price of $1k.
- It might be a hard sell to users concerned about security however. In August, the wallets of thousands of Solana users were compromised in a security breach that saw over $5m stolen, and the Solana network itself has a reputation for instability.
GuerrillaBuzz Blockchain PR Agency / Unsplash
Will Aptos block Solana’s shine?A Solana competitor has officially entered the ring, and given SOL’s history till now has hardly been flawless, there might be something to worry about.
- Layer 1 blockchain Aptos has launched its mainnet after four years of technical development and support from some pretty big VC investors including Andreessen Horowitz. The network, which was developed by Meta alumni, is often dubbed a ‘Solana Killer’ bc of its similar focus on scalability and smart contract functionality.
- Solana has a bit of an unfortunate track record for going offline, despite impressing investors with its super-fast transaction speeds. This year alone, the Solana network has gone down five times so it might lose some of its shine if Aptos is more stable – it’s already gaining momentum too, with FTX agreeing to list the token on Wednesday.
- There’s a ton of so-called token killers out there, and Solana itself has long been dubbed the Ethereum Killer. But, SOL founder Anatoly Yakovenko wishes we could all get along like we used to in middle school (iykyk) and spoke out against that title earlier this week to say the blockchain is more meant to complement Ethereum rather than kill it.
Jongsun Lee / Unsplash
It takes two to MangoThe Mango Markets hack is turning into one of the craziest stories in the history of Solana. Stay tuned folks cus it’s getting interesting.
- The $100m hack of Mango Markets this week has sent Solana TVL tumbling by a whopping 23% over the last two days. SOL is also feeling the pressure, dropping by almost 7% since the attack. The silver lining (if there is one) is that the hacker might have been identified.
- Things have gotten pretty weird since then however, as the attacker is now saying he’ll return some of the funds if Mango uses the money still in their treasury to repay its bad debt and make its users whole, and has demanded not be prosecuted for the hack. No prizes for guessing who has the leverage here.
- The attacker didn’t stop at just proposing the deal either, using their increased voting power with the stolen governance tokens to vote "yes" on the proposal, which now has a 99.9% approval rate. What happens now is anyone’s guess, but it’ll be interesting to see whether the community turns on SOL’s developers here.
Jason Dent / Unsplash
A hacker eats Mango for breakfastIt’s another manic week in crypto, punctuated by a hat-trick of DeFi exploits that’re shaking people’s confidence.
- Solana’s Mango Markets DeFi platform has been drained of $100m worth of assets in the second $100m crypto hack of the week – and it’s only Wednesday. The hacker was able to manipulate the price data oracle, allowing them to take out loans much larger than the value of their collateral, and sending Mango’s native MNGO token plunging over 50% on Tuesday.
- It follows a huge attack on BNB chain earlier this week, which had the potential to be one of the biggest hacks in crypto history (if the exploit wasn’t stopped). To prevent further attacks, BNB Chain is set to undergo a hard fork that'll supposedly prevent anyone being able to exploit the same weaknesses – though we’ve all heard that before.
- QANplatform was yet another victim this week. The supposedly attack-resistant chain (is there such a thing in crypto?) saw its Ethereum bridge exploited yesterday causing just over $1m to be stolen. As it stands, the platform’s QANX has lost practically all of its value, and deposits and withdrawals on exchanges have been paused.
Avinash Kumar / Unsplash
Where the sun don’t shineSolana may have serious competition to overtake Ethereum, but in the network instability department – it’s second to none.
- Solana suffered a major network outage on Friday after a misconfigured node made the blockchain unable to process transactions. After the mainnet was restarted the issue was resolved, but not without further harming already damaged confidence in the stability of the chain.
- Outages are the Solana “curse”, according to founder Anatoly Yakovenko, with the network enduring no less than four major outages since January. Its frequent offline stints might be what’s got the token down 81% YTD and 3.5% over the weekend – although tbf, both BTC and ETH both also spent the weekend moping about a bit after closing September in the red. Uptober, anyone (she writes cautiously)?
- Solana’s often dubbed a potential ‘Ethereum killer’, but if it’s to have any hope of living up to that title it’ll have to figure out how to stabilize its network somehow. Competitors like Avalanche and Polkadot don’t seem to have the same issue, but it hasn’t stopped Solana having a higher market cap than both of those chains at a pretty impressive $11.4bn.
GuerrillaBuzz Blockchain PR Agency / Unsplash
The sun shines on Solana NFTsSolana’s showing the haters that it can do NFTs too, with the number of tokens minted on the chain skyrocketing.
- The number of NFTs minted on Solana reached 312k on September 7th – a whopping 700% increase from the 39k minted just three days before. Solana Foundation ‘head of developer ecosystem’ Chase Barker said “I remember once upon a time, some people laughed at Solana NFTs”.
- Solana NFT trading volumes have been on the rise too, with volume hitting $11.5m on September 6th. Magic Eden – the equivalent of OpenSea for Solana NFTs – has also seen its share of the Solana NFT trading market reach 36%, despite only sitting at 12% at the beginning of September.
- The excitement might have something to do with y00ts – an NFT collection by Dust Labs which announced this week that it saw $9.8m in secondary sales. Its backers include FTX and Solana Ventures, with Magic Eden cofounder Zhuoxun Yin saying the project shows the robustness of the Solana NFT ecosystem.
Illustration by TradingView
The worst kind of updateWhat’s the only thing worse than a disappointing update? One that accidentally destroys the entire platform.
- Solana-based DeFi protocol OptiFi accidentally shut down its own platform on Monday after a programming error caused 661k of USDC to become inaccessible. While attempting to update to the platform, a developer accidentally issued the ‘Solana program close’ command in a pretty costly blunder which deactivated the protocol on the mainnet.
- 95% of the funds now locked belonged to the platform – which probably caused a sigh of relief amongst its users. It’s estimated that as little as $33k of the $661k locked might be user-deposited assets, and the platform tweeted all user-funds will be reimbursed within two weeks. That’s easier said than done tho.
- DeFi platforms are often considered to be risky because of their susceptibility to hacking. It’s not often tho that the developers of the platform themselves are responsible for a platform’s demise. The group tweeted they’ll “learn a hard lesson and keep on building” – although they might have a slightly hard time being taken seriously now.
8machine / Unsplash
DeGods have spokenDeGods have been blessed with a massive increase in trading volume and floor price ahead of the y00ts NFT launch.
- DeGods NFT collection became the highest ranked by floor price on the Solana blockchain on Sunday, reaching a floor price of 500 SOL (~$16.4k). It also had the highest trading volume of any Solana-based NFT project on Monday, smiting the previous king Solana Monkey Business.
- The surge of interest was caused by the upcoming y00ts NFT project which shares its creators with DeGods. The project has attracted a slew of celebrities and influencers including soccer legend Wayne Rooney, former NBA player Allen Iverson and rapper Lil Baby – the mint is right around the corner and is set for September 2nd.
- DeGods DAO also purchased the basketball team Killer 3s, but the project will need more than just hype to succeed. NFT artwork collectibles are not having a great year so far, with weekly NFT trading volumes down by a staggering 95% YoY. The crypto space in general hasn’t fared much better, having lost more than 56% YoY after weekend reversals.
Solana hack post-mortemSolana-based hot wallet owners have finally been given some answers as to how a hacker swiftly swiped all their precious crypto earlier this week.
- More than 8k hot wallets were drained of around $8m earlier this week when Solana-based hot wallets like Phantom and Slope were targeted by a hacker. It was a massive blow to the blockchain, which already has a sketchy security rep, but lucky for SOL it doesn't seem to have been all on them.
- Slope wallets is taking the blame for the exploit. An investigation by developers, security auditors found that Slope’s “egregiously bad” security practices were the cause, with security company Otter revealing that the company was sending users’ seed phrases (which are like a key) to a centralized server without any kind of encryption – so like catnip to hackers.
- You’d think a company that specializes in crypto wallets would know that encrypting key info is like basic safety – in fact, some are even questioning whether not doing so could be criminal negligence. Slope hasn’t confirmed all this yet but it’s looking likely, and the standout message here is to stay vigilant no matter the promises made by your custodian.
Smells like hacker spiritA DeFi project running on Solana gets exploited, sending its stablecoin down, down, down.
- Nirvana Finance was exploited for $3.5m on Friday after hacker(s) orchestrated a flash loan attack. The adaptive yield protocol saw its native token ANA tank over 80%, while its algorithmic stablecoin NIRV collapsed under the pressure to fall as low as $0.05.
- The hackers loaned $10m in USDC from the lender Solend, using it artificially hike the price of ANA. With the price up to $24 from $8, a butt-load of the inflated ANA was minted and swapped for 3.5m USDT – paid out by Nirvana’s Treasury wallet. After being basically tricked that the sudden injection of funds wasn’t malicious, its entire liquidity pool was drained and the total value locked on the protocol fell to $0.07.
- Nirvana have put out a $300k bounty, but it’s all gone ominously quiet, with the funds off the blockchain and converted into DAI on Ethereum. Investors will be shocked by the unraveling, but it’s not the first time DeFi has seen this sort of attack: back in April, Beanstalk had $182m siphoned off its books due to flash loans.
ActionVance / Unsplash
The SEC’s ears are prickingThe SEC might soon be beefing with yet another blockchain brand after one investor blew his “unregistered security” whistle.
- Solana Labs has been accused of offering an “unregistered security” in the form of its native SOL token after a team of retail investors filed a class action suit against the firm and its key players, as well as accusing crypto VC firm Multicoin Capital of “relentlessly” promoting the coin in spite of its technical issues.
- They claim the company’s leaders have illegally profited from selling the token at the expense of the retail traders that bought in, and that the way it's created and sold meets the three requirements of a security. Neither firm has responded yet to the claims.
- The “unregistered security” argument is an old one. Ripple Labs has been embroiled in a fight with the SEC since 2020 over similar accusations regarding its XRP token, and if the many twists and turns in that case tell us anything, it’s that there’s no telling who could come out on top – though it’ll be a big deal for the whole industry either way.
The storming of the Solend PalaceSolana lending platform Solend seizes control of a whale wallet due “extremely large” vulnerable margin positions, only to reverse the decision hours later.
- A governance vote on Solend to take control of a whale’s wallet was approved on Sunday, allowing the lending service to liquidate vulnerable margin positions over-the-counter (OTC). While Solend justified the emergency intervention as a way to mitigate the danger of a DeFi implosion, backlash was deft and cutting: did this undermine the entire purpose of decentralization?
- In a second vote, however, 99.8% of users approved a U-turn, leaving Solend in somewhat of a PR disaster and stuck with a highly-risky wallet on its blockchain. The wallet in question has deposited 95% of Solend’s entire SOL pool worth $20m and takes up 88% of USDC borrowings. Unfortunately for Solend, if Solana was ever to drop to $22.30, it would have to liquidate 20% of the whale’s collateral, potentially sparking a liquidation cascade.
- SOL closed Sunday at a price of $34.14, so the liquidation trigger is currently being kept at arm’s length. However, as Bitcoin dropped beneath its 2017 all-time high of $19.6k over the weekend, and the panic of DeFi lending platforms continues to curdle in the stomach of crypto, Solana fans will be hoping for the markets to take a chill pill for a sec.
Ussama Azam / Unsplash
Solana’s need for solitude?Solana decides it wants to spend some time alone again, halting its blockchain to fix a bug that hit its network.
- Solana went offline on Wednesday, this time for over four hours as a bug in its transaction system forced the blockchain to halt. Not only was this obvs a big concern to SOL fans, it also meant peeps were unable to buy SOL-based NFTs – overall sales on Solana plummeted 61% thanks to the hiccup.
- So, what happened? Apparently, something called a “durable nonce instruction” fell victim to a bug that caused nodes to generate different outputs – resulting in the blockchain not being able to continue till it was fixed.
- SOL fell over 12% thanks to the outage – which can’t come to investors as a completely out-of-the-blue surprise given this is certainly not the first time the network has gone down. It also went offline on May 1st, which makes one wonder… what’s gonna happen on July 1st?
Illustration by TradingView
A new NFT paradise?Solana’s NFT marketplace Magic Eden climbs the apple and pears (stairs), taking on Ethereum’s OpenSea.
- Magic Eden is killing it rn, boasting 2m weekly transactions in comparison to OpenSea’s 340k. While Magic Eden’s volume was around $60m short of OpenSea’s last week, the gulf in transactions between the two reflects Solana’s cost-effectiveness for casual users looking to buy an NFT here and there.
- No, it’s not a trick spread by a serpent, Solana really does have super cheap transaction fees. SOL’s gas prices usually cost no more than a cent, while Ethereum’s come in at an average of $10. However, ETH will be sorting that out with its upcoming shift to a proof-of-stake model.
- What’s Solana up to these days? After Terra bit the apple and got expelled from the DeFi tokens, SOL will be hoping to take some of the limelight LUNA stole. However, it suffered its sixth straight weekly close in the red on Sunday, down a whopping 60% in that time. It’s still trending at #9 in the rankings, though, so no divine intervention is needed just yet.
Mo / Unsplash
Solana’s Saturday night blackoutRoses are red, violets are blue. Solana's down again? Tell us something new.
- Solana’s network had an outage for seven hours on Saturday after an onslaught of bots broke its NFT minting program Candy Machine. The bots caused a mega spike in volume, making 4m transactions in a short space of time – resulting in 100GB of data being pumped through the network. Solana eventually cracked under the pressure, spending Saturday night in the dark.
- It’s the seventh time this year the crypto has suffered a blackout. Solana went down for 18 hours in January, beating its former record of 17 hours in September last year. These outages have proven particularly bad for investors wanting to buy or sell tokens on the blockchain, with many missing key price moves due to the downtime.
- A charge of 0.01 SOL ($0.89) will now be made for invalid transactions. Candy Machine’s operator Metaplex said the charge will aim to curb crazy traffic by flagging up wallets run by mint-greedy bots. Sounds like pest control to us. And it’s needed – these bots would prolly auction themselves as an NFT on OpenSea if they could.
Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash