The token is up more than four-fold in 2023 after starting the year at around $10.
Solana almost doubled in price over the past weeks, but gave up some of its gains Thursday.
BitMex co-founder Arthur Hayes said he’s been a buyer during the rush.
Institutional inflows to funds and rising activity supported the trend, but some signs suggest the rally could halt.
Solana’s (SOL) spectacular comeback – up over 300% this year – has captivated crypto market participants after the coin was one of the most beaten-down assets during the bear market.
The seventh-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization hit $46.60 early Wednesday, a 14-month high price. It began the year at around $10.
The momentum captured the attention of widely-followed crypto investor and BitMex exchange co-founder Arthur Hayes, who tweeted earlier this morning that he had purchased some.
After roughly doubling in price over the past two-plus weeks, however, SOL has stumbled a bit since, lower by about 15% since that Wednesday morning peak to the current $40.
Why solana (SOL) rallied.
Solana’s run came after many observers questioned its future following the implosion of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX exchange and Alameda Research trading firm almost a year ago. Bankman-Fried and his companies were large investors in the Solana ecosystem.
It’s been institutional interest and large investment fund inflows helped the price recover, according to David Shuttleworth, research partner at Anagram.
Indeed, crypto funds holding SOL enjoyed nearly $100 million of inflows this year, CoinShares reported, the second largest amount after bitcoin (BTC). Ether (ETH) funds, meanwhile, suffered $125 million of outflows.
Shuttleworth also took note of a recent uptick in developer activity.
A recent upgrade also helped the network to become more decentralized by lowering validator hardware requirements and enabling confidential transactions using zero-knowledge (ZK) tech, asset management firm 21Shares said in a report.
What’s next for solana’s (SOL) price?
Despite the bullish developments, some signs suggest the rally could halt, at least for a while.
Derivatives traders with leveraged short SOL positions – bets on lower prices – endured nearly $10 million of liquidations during the buying rush Wednesday, the most in over the past three months, CoinGlass data shows.
The action of traders forced to capitulate by closing directional bets often mark a local top or bottom for the price, say market observers.
Despite the encouraging signs of rejuvenation for the ecosystem, total value locked (TVL) on the Solana network still lingered at $855 million, down from $10 billion two years ago, per DefiLlama data.
Lookonchain pointed out that the last two Novembers have not been good ones for SOL. While the reasons seem obvious – early November 2021 was the epic top of the entire cryptocurrency market and November 2022 included the FTX meltdown – Lookonchain noted that the Solana Breakpoint conference, an annual gathering for the ecosystem, is an early November event (this year’s version is currently taking place in Amsterdam) and has coincided with local tops in price.
Blockchain data by Lookonchain also shows that crypto wallets of FTX sent a total of 2.1 million SOL worth roughly $90 million to exchanges in the past 10 days, making the company a likely seller as the price soared.
The FTX estate – which held $1.16 billion of SOL as of late August – is benefiting from rising prices. The estate received permission to sell digital assets from the bankruptcy court in September and hired asset investment firm Galaxy Digital to manage its holdings.