The Solana blockchain was one of the most successful "Ethereum killers" until its close connection to and support by Sam Bankman-Fried undercut trust.
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Crushed late last year by its close association with disgraced FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, the Solana blockchain staged a roaring comeback — rising 60% over the last week and nearly 300% in the past three weeks.
Solana's native SOL token hit $24.75 this week, briefly pushing its market capitalization past competing Ethereum-killer blockchain Polygon's MATIC to enter the top 10.
That's up from a seven-day low of $15.37 and 30-day low of $8.14 on Dec. 29. It closed out the year down almost 95%.
SBF Support Turns Toxic
Bankman-Fried was a strong supporter of the Solana ecosystem, and had backed it heavily. While the Solana Foundation had no more than $1 million locked in the FTX bankruptcy, it nonetheless lost heavily, as its treasury was rich with Bankman-Fried stock and tokens.
That included about 3.25 million shares of FTX Trading's stock, 3.4 million FTT tokens, and almost 135 million SRM tokens from the Project Serum DEX launched by Bankman-Fried on Solana.
On Nov. 1, those FTT tokens were worth almost $90 million; now they're worth less than $9 million. The SRM tokens also collapsed with FTX, down about 80%, but staged a big comeback this weekend, regaining more than half of what it lost on Jan. 14.
Serum was the main liquidity provider in the Solana DeFi ecosystem, but it had to shut down when FTX was hacked for $477 million during its transition into bankruptcy, as it was discovered that a private key that would let hackers introduce code changes was stored at FTX and had to be considered compromised. It was hard-forked, reopening as OpenBook but still using the SRM token.
Already a Bad Year
Solana had already been plagued with problems, most notably a series of major outages dating back more than a year.