Solana (SOL) tops $150 amid Pantera Capital bid, surge in memecoin and DApp activity

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Solana’s native (SOL) token surged by 19.5% between March 5 and March 7, reaching $150 for the first time since January 2022. The increase gained momentum after Bloomberg reported Pantera Capital’s asset manager’s plans to purchase $250 million worth of SOL tokens from the bankrupt FTX estate. Traders are now questioning whether SOL can sustain its 47% gains over twelve days and the likelihood of the altcoin surpassing $200.

Solana DEXs activity surges as memecoins rally

Regardless of whether Pantera Capital’s proposal is accepted, it represents only a fraction of the $5.9 billion held in SOL tokens by the FTX estate, accounting for nearly 10% of the supply. Therefore, the bullish momentum likely stems from other factors, such as the frenzy surrounding Solana SPL memecoins. For example, on March 6, a collection of tokens inspired by celebrities and poorly drawn tokens like Jeo Boden, Juses crust, and Spooderman, dominated in terms of volume and performance.

Even for those who see no value in the trend, it encourages investors to speculate on newly launched tokens within the Solana network and prompts developers to provide liquidity for their projects. Essentially, the momentary hype positively influences the demand for SOL tokens and the utilization of its decentralized exchanges (DEX) ecosystem. By attracting attention, particularly from newcomers, the Solana network solidifies its appeal to traders who may be less concerned about decentralization and perhaps even lower fees on competing blockchains.

Furthermore, other SPL tokens with functional use or associated applications, such as Jupiter (JUP) and Raydium (RAY), surged by nearly 30% between March 5 and March 7. In addition to the DEX sector, Jito (JTO) rose by 15.5%, and Helium Mobile (MOBILE) traded up by 14.5% during the same period. Additionally, there is anticipation surrounding airdrops, including Wormhole, Kamino, Parcl, and MarginFi, which creates ongoing demand for SOL tokens.

SOL’smomentum largely depends on Solana network activity

One might argue that SOL’s bullish momentum could wane after the airdrop and memecoin hype, or speculate that the FTX bankruptcy estate might further restrict the price upside. However, none of these criticisms hold much weight if volumes continue to surge. Essentially, SOL’s performance isn’t solely reliant on specific SPL token performances as long as new protocols and use cases continue to emerge.

Post by user @0xGumshoe on X social network. Source: X.com

As observed by Gumshoe, current Solana DEX activity far surpasses the peak prior to the FTX-Alameda Research collapse in November 2022. Therefore, rather than fixating on token performance, it’s more prudent to monitor whether the Solana network is expanding in terms of deposits and volumes. After all, SOL’s demand hinges on its ecosystem, which may have been positively influenced by memecoins, liquid staking, and airdrops, but it isn’t limited to them.

The Solana network’s smart contract deposits, gauged by the total value locked (TVL), reached a 16-month high on March 6 at 22.8 million SOL, signifying a 33% increase from the previous month. Notably, competitor BNB Chain’s TVL increased by 2.5% in BNB terms, while Arbitrum decreased by 18% in ETH (ETH) terms during the same period. The surge in deposits for Solana’s decentralized applications (DApps) stemmed from increases in Jito, MarginFi, Kamino, BlazeStake, Jupiter, and Drift.

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Blockchains ranked by 30-day DApps volumes, USD. Source: DappRadar

On a comparative scale, Solana DApps volume surged by 311% in the preceding 30 days, whereas the Ethereum network experienced a 7% decline. No other top-10 competitor managed to match Solana’s growth.

However, in absolute terms, there remains a substantial gap compared to Arbitrum’s $31.1 billion and BNB Chain’s $25.2 billion monthly volumes. Ultimately, whether SOL reclaims the $200 level will hinge on the continued increase in demand for the Solana network, but it undeniably operates within a competitive industry.