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Solana in May 2024: SOL Price and TVL Surged, What’s Next?

Veronika Rinecker
Last updated: | 14 min read

In this report, we explore Solana’s ecosystem surge and the SOL price action in May 2024. What are the reasons for its rise, and what lies ahead for Solana?

Key takeaways:

  • SOL price rallied in May, reaching a high of $188 before falling back to $161. This decline is partly attributed to Ether (ETH) ETF approval in the U.S.
  • Total value locked (TVL) in the Solana ecosystem increased significantly, reaching $5 billion on May 21.
  • The Solana community voted to reward validators with 100% of priority fees, potentially impacting token inflation.
  • PayPal integrated its stablecoin PYUSD on Solana for faster and cheaper transactions.
  • Solana emerged as a leader in meme coin activity, with platforms like Pump.fun playing a key role. Meme coins like GameStop (GME) surged to a market capitalization exceeding $100 million due to trader activity and nostalgia.
  • Robinhood expanded SOL staking to European markets.
  • Solana NFT sales volume dropped 63% compared to April, reaching $93.3 million. However, some NFT collections like DogeZuki and Solana Monkey Business experienced growth.

What You’ll Find in This May Solana Analysis:

    1. What is Solana?
    2. Solana On-Chain Data Analysis and SOL Price Performance
    3. Solana Ecosystem Updates
    4. Solana Meme Coins
    5. Solana DEXs
    6. Solana NFTs and Gaming Updates
    7. What lies ahead for Solana?

What is Solana?


Solana is an open-source blockchain platform founded in 2017, emphasizing scalability and speed. With its unique Layer 1 network architecture, it processes over 710,000 transactions per second, enabling the creation of smart contracts and decentralized applications (DApps) for various use cases, such as decentralized finance (DeFi) and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) marketplaces. Unlike Ethereum, Solana does not require additional scaling solutions, relying on powerful computers for network maintenance and data storage. Its native cryptocurrency, SOL, is essential for transactions and network security through staking.

Solana On-Chain Data Analysis and SOL Price Performance


Solana’s native token, SOL, experienced a 53% increase in May, trading up from $122,7 on May 1 to $188 on May 21. However, SOL failed to break through the $190 mark and fell to $166 on May 31.

SOL/USD price index. Source: TradingView

Some analysts believe that SOL’s recent price adjustment is a response to a decline caused by the approval of an Ether (ETH) exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the U.S. The SEC’s approval on May 23 pushed ETH to $3,975 on May 27, just shy of its $4,090 peak in 2024. However, it remains uncertain how much of SOL’s decline to $161 on May 26 was triggered by speculation around Ether’s ETF approval.

The price decline comes alongside a 40% drop in Solana’s open interest (OI) over the past 30 days, down to $1.78 billion on May 9, according to CoinGlass data, which typically signals that traders are uncertain about the cryptocurrency and are not confident in taking positions on the asset’s price. But after that, it comes in at $2.53 billion on May 21, up by 43%.

SOL open interest and volume in April and May 2024. Source: Coinglass

On May 25, Solana saw a high increase in daily active users, reaching 2.2 million. By the end of the month, however, this figure had fallen to 1.9 million on May 31.

Solana daily transactions in May 2024. Source: Artemis

Growth in Solana’s network usage remains sluggish, especially when compared to Ethereum and its Layer 2 solutions.

Top 5 blockchains ranked by 30-day DApps volumes vs Solana, USD. Source: DappRadar

The total value locked (TVL) in the Solana ecosystem increased significantly in May. On May 1, it was $3.6 billion, and on May 21, it reached $5 billion.

Solana TVL in May 2024. Source: Artemis

Solana Ecosystem Updates


May 2024 was a dynamic month for the Solana ecosystem, marked by significant developments ranging from new collaborations and technological advancements to notable market activity.

Solana Tweaks Fee System to Reward Validators

On May 27, the Solana community voted in favor of giving network validators 100% of priority fees generated by network users. In the past, these fees were split evenly between rewarding Solana’s validators and the Solana network’s token-burning mechanism.

A breakdown of Solana’s SIMD-0096 vote. Source: Dune Analytics

Maximal extractable value (MEV) refers to the profits block producers can make by determining the order of transaction processing on a blockchain. Each block has a limited number of transactions, allowing validators to choose which pending transactions to include. This practice can disadvantage regular users, who might face poorer execution prices in DeFi applications.

However, the SIMD-0096 proposal may negatively impact the Solana network by making SOL more inflationary.

PayPal’s Integration of PYUSD Stablecoin on Solana

One of the most prominent updates is PayPal’s decision on May 29 to expand its stablecoin, PayPal USD (PYUSD), to the Solana blockchain. This move aims to leverage Solana’s high-speed, low-cost transactions for payment use cases, positioning PYUSD as a viable option for confidential transfers.

LayerZero Adds Solana to Its Cross-chain Bridge Network

Similarly, on the same day, interoperability protocol LayerZero announced the addition of Solana to its network of more than 70 chains. The integration is now live, enabling developers to create applications that can send assets and data to and from Solana via rollups, Layer 1s, Layer 2s, and other non-EVM chains.

Firedancer Rollout and DePIN Activity

Solana’s growth is not without challenges. Concerns over the network’s resilience after a series of outages during previous months still persist around the ecosystem.

To solve this problem, Solana is preparing for the rollout of Firedancer, anticipated in 2025. Firedancer is expected to bring significant performance improvements, potentially doubling the network’s throughput and reducing latency. This development coincides with a surge in decentralized physical infrastructure networks (DePIN) activity, signaling a growing interest in applications that merge blockchain technology with real-world infrastructure.

FTX Estate Wrapped up the Third Tranche of Locked SOL

On May 9, the FTX estate finally offloaded the last of its highly discounted SOL tokens to Pantera Capital and Figure Markets. This action is part of the estate’s effort to liquidate assets and repay creditors following FTX’s collapse.

Solana Meme Coins


The meme coin market on the Solana blockchain witnessed significant developments in May 2024, driven by a mix of trader activity, new token launches, and market dynamics.

Roaring Kitty’s Return Ignites GameStop Meme Coin Rally

The unofficial Solana-based GameStop (GME) meme coin surged to a market capitalization exceeding $100 million, capturing the attention of both traders and investors. This surge is partly attributed to the return to X of the famous GameStop stock trader, known as “Roaring Kitty,” who previously played a pivotal role in the 2021 meme coin bull run.

In the 24 hours following Gil’s return to X on May 13, shares of GameStop rallied as much as 111%. Several GameStop-related meme coins, including GME, which has no official affiliation with the company, experienced massive spikes amid ongoing market drama. According to CoinMarketCap data, the GME meme coin surged by over 3,691% in a single day.

Breakout of GME on Solana. Source: CoinMarketCap

The renewed interest in GameStop memecoins indicates that historical market trends might repeat themselves, spurred by the nostalgia and speculative behavior of traders who are often motivated by boredom and the potential for quick profits.

Political Meme Coins Surged in May, Fueled by Trump Support

Political meme coins also gained traction in May, with the Donald Trump-themed MAGA meme coin experiencing a significant rally following pro-crypto comments from the former president. The price of MAGA rose from $3.9 on May 1 to $14.09 on May 31, an increase of 261%.

MAGAUSD price
MAGA/USD price index. Source: CoinMarketCap

The meme coin trader, known as wallet “0x303”, made a $2.7 million profit in just three days trading MAGAs, demonstrating the potential for significant profits in this niche market.

BONK and WIF Price Jumps

The price of Bonk (BONK) skyrocketed from $0.00002272 on May 1 to $0.00004363 on May 29, an increase of over 91%. This rapid appreciation suggests a wave of investor interest, possibly fueled by social media hype and the general meme coin craze.

BONK/USD price index. Source: CoinGecko

Dogwifhat (WIF), another Solana meme coin, also experienced some growth. Its price rose from $2.31 on May 1 to $3.00 on May 29, a more modest increase of about 65%.

WIF/USD price index. Source: CoinGecko

Token Creation Booming on Solana

In May, Solana emerged as a leader in new token creation, with creators launching nearly half a million tokens on the blockchain. The majority of the Solana tokens are meme coins. This surge is likely due to Solana’s lower barriers to entry and the ongoing trend of meme coin creation.

According to data from The Block Pro, a whopping 455,000 tokens were created on Solana in May. This compares to 177,000 tokens on Ethereum Layer 2 Base and 39,000 tokens on BNB Chain. The Ethereum mainnet and Layer 2 networks Arbitrum and Optimism each saw fewer than 20,000 tokens created.

Pump.fun Fuels Meme Coin Boom Despite Exploit

Solana’s ecosystem has become a hub for meme coin activity, with platforms like Pump.fun playing a significant role. Despite suffering a flash loan exploit that resulted in a $1.9 million loss, Pump.fun remains influential and contributes to Solana’s newfound dominance in the meme coin space.

Pump.fun and Fantasy.top, another Solana-based protocol, were among the top ten crypto protocols in terms of fees generated in May. On May 30, daily fee revenue on Pump.fun reached an all-time high of over 1.48 million. This achievement demonstrates the high level of user engagement and transaction volume driven by meme coins on Solana.

Pump.fun daily revenue. Source: DefiLlama

Solana DEXs


In May, Solana’s DEX ecosystem saw a surge in user activity, integration with established players and the emergence of innovative new projects.

Phantom Wallet Climbs Apple App Store Charts

Solana wallet Phantom Wallet secured the third position on the Apple App Store in the utility category, just behind Google and Google Chrome Apps. This development is seen as a bullish sign for Solana, reflecting increasing user confidence and interest in the platform.

In a strategic move to bolster its ecosystem, Phantom also acquired Bitski, a wallet-as-a-service platform backed by high-profile investors, including Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and Galaxy Digital. This acquisition aims to enhance Phantom’s capabilities and user base, integrating Bitski’s infrastructure to provide a more robust and versatile wallet solution.

DeBridge’s DBR Governance Token

On May 21, deBridge introduced its DBR governance token ahead of a potential offering on Jupiter’s launchpad. This move is part of deBridge’s efforts to decentralize its governance and incentivize community participation. The DBR token is expected to play a critical role in the deBridge ecosystem, enhancing its cross-chain bridging services.

Robinhood Expands SOL Staking to Europe

On May 15, Robinhood launched Solana staking services in European markets alongside a new customer rewards program. This expansion is significant as it introduces Solana staking to a broader audience, potentially increasing the staking participation rate and network security.

Cross-Chain Bridge and Interoperability

Solana-to-Bitcoin cross-chain bridge Zeus Network will launch its Zeus Program Library (ZPL) that connects the two ecosystems by Q3 2024.

ZPL, a set of Solana Virtual Machine (SVM) programs, empowers developers to integrate native Solana support into decentralized applications (DApps). This functionality allows for transactions involving various digital assets, both fungible (like cryptocurrencies) and non-fungible (like NFTs), across multiple blockchains.

Drift Protocol Airdrop

Drift, a Solana DEX, initiated a significant airdrop on May 16, distributing 120 million tokens with additional bonuses. This airdrop is designed to incentivize user participation and liquidity provision on the Drift platform.

Jito Network’s Dominance

Jito Network became the largest protocol on Solana on May 2, boasting $1.4 billion in TVL. At the equivalent of around 10 million SOL, Jito accounts for some 38% of the Solana ecosystem’s $3.7 billion TVL, according to DefiLlama data. Staking protocol Marinade is second with $1.37 billion in TVL, followed by Kamino, Raydium, and Marginfi at $1 billion, $613 million, and $424 million, respectively.

Fundraising Activities

Several DeFi Solana-based projects secured substantial funding rounds in May, reflecting strong investor interest and confidence in the Solana ecosystem:

  1. Zeta Markets raised $5 million in a token round led by Electric Capital.
  2. AgriDex, a Solana-based company focused on tokenizing agricultural commodities, also raised $5 million and announced plans for a token airdrop, focusing on revolutionizing agricultural finance through blockchain technology.
  3. Ambient, a Solana DePIN project, raised $2 million in a round led by Borderless Capital and also acquired the network of PlanetWatch, an Algorand-based DePIN, to migrate to Solana.

Solana NFTs and Gaming Updates


NFT sales fell from $1 billion in April to $624 million in May (a 54% drop), with Bitcoin, Ethereum and Solana-based digital collectibles down significantly.

In May, Solana was the third most traded blockchain network in the NFT ecosystem.

Data from CryptoSlam showed that sales volume of Solana-based NFTs reached $93.3 million in May, a 63% decrease from April’s sales volume and a 167% decrease from March’s sales volume. The data also showed that the Solana network attracted approximately 594k buyers and 346k sellers in May, an increase of 22% and 37% respectively over April. The number of NFT transactions on Solana reached over 2.4 million in May.

Sales volume for Solana-based NFTs reached $93.3 million in May. Source: CryptoSlam

Among the top 10 NFT collections, Solana-based Mad Lads was the biggest loser with a 44% decline.

While overall NFT sales were down in May, some NFT collections saw growth. On Solana, the DogeZuki Collection and Solana Monkey Business were the biggest gainers, with 130% and 74% growth, respectively.

StepN Go Goes Social

Innovative projects continue to emerge within Solana’s ecosystem. Almost three years after its launch, the popular Solana-based move-to-earn game StepN is getting a social makeover. The gaming studio FSL announced on May 23 a new app called StepN Go. This social lifestyle app will reward users for both their daily exercise and social interactions, adding a whole new dimension to the StepN experience.

Notable NFT launches in May:

  • Gloomers (May 4 – May 11): Gloomers is an NFT project featuring 10,000 profile picture (PFP) NFTs with various distinctive characteristics. This collection breaks the mold by launching across three blockchains: Bitcoin, Solana and Base. The NFTs will also grant holders access to The Gloomiverse, a decentralized app with different products and services.
  • To The Moon! (May 15 – May 22): Pioneering a new frontier, “To the Moon!” isn’t just an NFT – it’s a comic book experience. Landing on OpenSea in early May, this NFT collection tells the story of two young explorers venturing into the mysteries of the blockchain.
  • Footies (May 23 – May 30): Footies combines the thrill of football arcade gaming with cutting-edge AI technology. The NFT collection was created by Hello Moon and the developers cleverly managed to create a bot that analyzes human emotions through social platforms.
  • Coingames Rising Legends (May 29 – June 5): The CoinGames Rising Legends NFT collection is a set of 2500 unique digital collectibles. Each NFT represents a “Rising Legend,” a visually captivating character with undetermined rarity and utility within the CoinGames ecosystem.

What Lies Ahead for Solana?


As Solana continues to navigate the volatile crypto landscape, several key factors and developments will shape its future performance.

Market Sensitivity and Regulation: Solana’s price has shown sensitivity to broader trends in the cryptocurrency market and to regulatory decisions. For example, the Ethereum ETF’s approval has shown how closely connected major digital assets like Solana can be to each other. The future of Solana will be heavily influenced by new regulations, especially in the United States, which investors and traders are watching closely. Stabilizing trading interest and user numbers will also be crucial in regaining trust among those investing and trading in Solana.

Network Enhancements and Ecosystem Growth: Solana has shown strong growth and resilience, with an increase in both the total value locked within its system and the number of active users. Future network upgrades, such as the planned Firedancer rollout in 2025, aim to enhance Solana’s performance and reliability. New partnerships and integrations, such as the introduction of PayPal’s PYUSD stablecoin and LayerZero’s cross-chain bridge, are expected to boost Solana’s functionality, making it more attractive to developers and users.

Speculative Trading and Meme Coin Popularity: There has been a notable rise in trading activity around meme coins on Solana, with tokens like GameStop and MAGA drawing significant attention. This trend shows that Solana is becoming a popular platform for trading these types of coins. While this can be profitable, it also introduces risks of market volatility and increased regulatory attention, which Solana will need to manage carefully.

DeFi Sector Development: The DeFi sector on Solana is bustling with activity, highlighted by initiatives like Jito Network and Robinhood’s expansion into European markets. New technologies that allow Solana to connect with other blockchains, like Zeus Network’s ZPL, are improving its functionality. This is expected to lead to more innovation and attract more users to Solana’s DeFi offerings.

Overall, Solana appears to have a bright future with many opportunities for growth and innovation. Its success will depend on its ability to continue introducing new technologies, draw in users and developers, and adapt to changes in the regulatory landscape.