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SOL Traffic Jam

Weekly Recap: SOL stutters, BTC versus the Feds.
David C David C Apr 6, 20243 min read
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SOL Traffic Jam

1️⃣ Solana Faces Major Congestion

Solana is experiencing severe congestion, with ~75% of transactions failing last week. While many culprits exist, one in particular, the new PoW token Ore, is certainly not doing anything to remedy the problem. Solana's founder Anatoly and Helius Labs co-founder Mert acknowledged the issues across the network on Twitter, citing the QUIC feature as a key issue. TL;DR on what's next? Fixes will come, but it will take time.

2️⃣ Bitcoin Down Despite Inflows

Bitcoin's anticipated “Upril” looks delayed, with a ~5% dip this week despite its highest monthly close ever. A healthy chunk of the $2B in BTC that the US Gov seized from the Silk Road is being transferred to Coinbase. That, alongside more GBTC outflows, contributed to the dip.

However, the trend looks to be reversing, with consecutive daily net ETF inflows and only one day of outflows last week. Further, today BlackRock announced they had added Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Citadel, and UBS as participants to their IBIT ETF. This expansion, despite Goldman Sachs saying their clients had no interest in the assets, speaks volumes.

3️⃣ Ethena's Big Week

Following an airdrop of ~$1.4B this week and widespread adoption that has caused some of crypto's largest DeFi protocols to enter a blood feud over it, Ethena is just looking toward the future. Ethena's second season, the Sats Campaign, kicked off officially on Thursday, introducing Bitcoin as collateral in the protocol. Adding Bitcoin not only expands Ethena's total addressable market but also aligns with the original vision from Arthur Hayes in March ‘23.

4️⃣ Pendle Winning Airdrop Season

We may all be feeling some wonderful effects of Airdrop April, but Pendle has been the biggest winner. The yield splitting protocol continues to grow exponentially, with its total value locked jumping 40% to ~$4B in just two weeks. A strong proponent of this surge comes from the airdrop hunting for restaking protocols and Ethena — exposure to all of which can be multiplied using Pendle. Consequently, Pendle achieved a record $530M in daily trades this past week, mainly from new USDe pools.

5️⃣ Layer 2s to $1 Trillion?

Whether or not Arbitrum had its market cap flipped by WIF, layer 2s continue to play a significant role in the ecosystem overall. VanEck projects the L2 market to be valued at at least $1T by 2030. Issues like those going on with Solana, as well as with L2s like Base even in the wake of Dencun, signify a demand and need for inexpensive, scalable solutions for blockchains — which VanEck believes will drive this growth, an outlook based on analysis of transaction revenues, maximal extractable value, and the ecosystem's overall health. Yet, they caution that fierce competition will likely mean only a few Layer 2s dominate.

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David C

Written by David C

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David is a writer/analyst at Bankless. Prior to joining Bankless, he worked for a series of early-stage crypto startups and on grants from the Ethereum, Solana, and Urbit Foundations. He graduated from Skidmore College in New York. He currently lives in the Midwest and enjoys NFTs, but no longer participates in them.

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