SOLANA: BOOM TIMES OR BLIP? Solana's SOL token, which crashed in price from over $200 in 2021 to under $10 in 2022, has buoyed back above $100 in recent months, making it one one the biggest beneficiaries of the recent crypto market surge. The Solana blockchain was pilloried last cycle for its close ties to Sam Bankman-Fried and its spotty track record of network outages. SOL's latest price gains have been viewed by some as a signal of wider confidence in the ecosystem – an indication that traders see sordid company and performance issues as problems of the past. But the gains to SOL were accelerated in large part by auxiliary memes and airdrops, with a frenzy towards a few Solana-based tokens driving much of the hype. The biggest winner was BONK, a meme coin that has lept in price by over 200% in the past 30 days. (A funny side-plot to the BONK boom is that it was airdropped to owners of the Solana phone, which suffered from dismal sales until people realized they could buy it to nab BONK tokens, which were for a time worth more than the device itself.) Other winners included Pyth, a Solana-focused oracle network that recently launched a token; and Jito, a liquid-staking service whose just-airdropped JTO token marked a huge payday for some unsuspecting users. The Solana network has seen some technical improvements in the past couple of years, but, as is often the case in the world of blockchains, it remains to be seen whether the positive market developments were driven by genuine adoption of the speed-focused blockchain ecosystem, or by traders that will soon leave in favor of other buzzy bets.