Pragmatic investors may scoff at volatile meme coins, but when they take off, they make fools of us all—at least until they crash. But lately, Solana meme coin BONK has been pretty much up only, blasting off to new heights as SOL itself rebounds after a rough year. And anyone who was airdropped a stack of free BONK last year might be sitting pretty right about now.

BONK has jumped 821% over the last 30 days, per data from CoinGecko, consistently setting new all-time high prices and blasting above a $1 billion market cap. Each token isn’t worth a whole lot at the current price of $0.00002006, but when you have millions or billions of them stashed in a wallet, it can really add up.

Some Solana developers might know this well—if they held, that is.

AD

Last Christmas, shortly after BONK launched, Solana developers who filled out a form in the LamportDAO community received a holiday gift in their wallets: 25 billion BONK tokens, worth about $300 at the time of the drop and more than double that by the end of the day.

Solana’s top meme coin debuted in the depths of the ecosystem’s misery, around the same time that SOL dipped down to around $8—from a November 2021 peak of nearly $260. The entire crypto market was down late last year, but Solana’s close association with collapsed exchange FTX appeared to have an especially rough impact on the space.

But the dog-themed meme coin helped bring good vibes back to the Solana community in the following weeks, with many Solana network participants benefitting from the airdrop. From Solana DeFi traders to NFT collectors and even artists minting on the chain, BONK was spread far and wide. And LamportDAO devs collectively got about 5% of the total token supply.

Soon after the airdrop was deployed, developers shared their thanks. Some said that selling it would help them pay essential bills after struggling through a brutal bear market—one that had arguably hit Solana harder than other major chains.

AD

“Wow, thank you so much fren! $800 is two months of rent for me,” wrote developer zkTuring in the LamportDAO Discord. “It’s by far the best Xmas gift I received. You are my secret Santa.”

However, any developer who held onto that 25 billion BONK is now sitting on more than $500,000 worth of Solana tokens, based on the current price as of this writing.

Mert Mumtaz, co-founder and CEO of Helius and founder of LamportDAO, told Decrypt that approximately 173 developers received the same-sized airdrop last Christmas.

For those who sold, it might be a shock to the system to see such a surge in price—and to “paperhand generational wealth,” as crypto die-hards are wont to joke. But for at least some Solana devs, the drop may have helped them survive to see the other side of a tough crypto winter and live to build another day.

Edited by Guillermo Jimenez

Editor's note: This story was updated after publication to add the number of developers that received the BONK airdrop.

Stay on top of crypto news, get daily updates in your inbox.