Crypto has been staging something of a mid-January rally, with Bitcoin blasting up about 24% over the past week. It, and no.2 crypto Ethereum have busted up the middle, but, as per, certain altcoins have taken the ball and run with it into further space.

While caveating that some of these strong-performing coins have potential to be overbought in the short term, let’s try to glean from the Cryptoverse why they’ve been pumping so hard.

Starting with…



One of Ethereum’s main layer 1, smart-contract platform rivals, Solana (SOL) has copped it harder than most over the FTX implosion in early November last year.

The reason is well documented, but in a nutty shell, Sam Bankman-Fried’s now extremely ill-fated FTX and Alameda companies were two of the primary backers of the Solana project.

The SOL token’s chart below tells the superficial price-action side of that story…


However, while the very strong Solana-using community may have been suffering somewhat, they clearly haven’t all been rushing for the exits, as this not-insignificant recovery shows. SOL is now up 62% over the past week and more than 133% over the past fortnight.

In fact, SOL briefly surged past the popular Ethereum-based layer 2 blockchain Polygon (MATIC) into the top 10 cryptos by market cap overnight, but has now dropped back to no.11 at the time of writing.

Solana’s NFT ecosystem has been one of its most powerful narratives over the past year, but some major NFT studios (such as DeGods and y00ts) had recently migrated their business over to the Ethereum and Polygon blockchains, further fuelling confidence loss in the Solana network.

Nevertheless, while cooling inflation news was just about to give the stock markets an end-of-week boost and subsequently, Bitcoin and the crypto market, it seems trading conditions around Solana were ripe for significant short-squeezing action.

According to blockchain analytics firm Santiment, that’s exactly what happened across the weekend, with a SOL pump the result of excessive short selling.

Despite its dreadful end to 2022 and continued negativity being thrown its way from various quarters, Solana has been taking some strength, too, from, erm, BONK – a shiba-inu-themed meme token in the vein of DOGE and SHIB.

The doggy coin has grabbed the Solana ecosytem’s spotlight for the past couple of weeks and has definitely helped reignite interest in the ETH rival’s network and remind of its potency.

Citi Research, for instance, noted a few days ago that activity on Solana remains high, despite roughly 50 million SOL tokens being locked within the FTX bankruptcy proceedings for the moment.

“Several key metrics such as active addresses and daily non-fungible-token volume have returned to pre-FTX-collapse levels, potentially indicating comfort from some users on the chain,” wrote Cito Research analysts.



Why is Aptos (APT), another proof-of-stake layer 1 competitor to Ethereum (and Solana and others), surging more than 104% over the past week?

APT is a much-hyped newcomer to the crypto arena that didn’t necessarily launch at the greatest of times – less than a month before the FTX news.

That said, Aptos has buzz, partly because it’s been developed by former blockchain engineers from Meta’s defunct Diem project and has a very strong reputation as a potentially serious player in the space.

Not having been in the game long, APT is now only down about 41% from its all-time high.

The other thing that may have sent APT into orbit this past week is the popular decentralised exchange PancakeSwap, which recently voted to continue its multichain deployment on Aptos. The APT coin began its recent pump on the back of this news.


Decentraland and The Sandbox

Metaverse tokens have taken a pummelling in the bear market, but two of the leading tokens in this category – Decentraland (MANA) and The Sandbox (SAND) are having a great few days.

At the time of writing, MANA is up 88% over the past seven days and 134% over 14, while SAND is +45.5% across the past week and +85% for the fortnight.

Both projects’ tokens  are still down massively (about 90%) from their all-time highs, but both saw wild success at the height of the metaverse mania that came to the fore in 2021.

Crypto opportunists will be watching buzzy trends, such as metaverse, NFTs and layer 2s extremely closely amid any signs of bullish market continuance.

The fact these two coins have pumped and pumped hard and fast during this spurt of market exuberance, could be telling.

The metaverse, as nebulous a concept as it sometimes seems, is an area that loads of institutions (including big banks) and huge brands/orgs (e.g the Australian Open in Decentraland and Adidas in The Sandbox) have showed increasing interest in over the past couple of years.