Lure of Quick Money Sees $100M Flow to Solana Meme Coin 'Presales'

The trend was fueled by the success of Book of Meme (BOME), which turned a few hundred dollars into hundreds of thousands in paper gains for early investors.

AccessTimeIconMar 18, 2024 at 12:08 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 18, 2024 at 12:10 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now
  • Presales have gained popularity in the crypto market, with many projects raising millions of dollars based on simple X posts even in the absence of a working product.
  • The trend was fueled by the success of Book of Meme (BOME), which turned a few hundred dollars into hundreds of thousands in paper gains for early investors.
  • The frenzy left some market observers warning of the high risks involved in participating in such presales.

Raising millions of dollars appears not to require a working product, a white paper, a long-term plan or even a meme picture in some parts of the crypto market. These days, a simple post on X announcing a so-called presale can attract millions of dollars in Solana’s SOL token.

Presales are events where tokens are nominally sold before the official launch. They are typically conducted by sending funds to a crypto address and receiving, at a later date, a predetermined number of tokens.

Some on-chain watchers estimate that over $100 million worth of tokens were sent to various meme coin presales over the weekend, mainly on the Solana blockchain. The frenzy of handing over funds in return for a promise has left some market observers unimpressed.

“2 years later and everyone is right back to bidding ponzis,” popular Ethereum investor @sassal0x said in a post on X. “People can do what they want with their money but sending money to a 'memecoin presale' that has a 99.9% chance of rugging is actually just dumb as hell.”

“Presale is live,” is the general template for such posts. “To participate send SOL to (contract address). Minimum participation: 0.5 SOL.”

The hype over presales soared after the success of Book of Meme (BOME). Its creator offered a presale last week, and early investors turned a few hundred dollars into hundreds of thousands of dollars in paper gains in a few days.

The token's market capitalization went from zero to $1.6 billion in a few days, with over $100 million in daily trading volume. It was listed on prominent crypto exchanges including Huobi and Binance, much to the surprise of some observers.

BOME’s price action led to other opportunistic developers floating their own presales. Scores of X posts, mainly from influencers – accounts with a large following – are trying to raise capital in return for a promise of a token that may be distributed to funders later on.

For example, one project captured $30 million in a 30-minute period in European morning hours on Monday. The project purports to be an AI-driven application.

Several presale tokens issued since BOME have already turned over millions of dollars in trading volumes in the past 24 hours, hitting market capitalizations of as high as $600 million, Birdeye data shows.

Non- serious Solana presale tokens are attracting serious volumes. (Birdeye)
Non- serious Solana presale tokens are attracting serious volumes. (Birdeye)

The frenzy has contributed to a jump in Solana’s SOL tokens. The SOL price crossed $200 for the first time since November 2021 as network activity continues to grow rapidly.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Shaurya Malwa

Shaurya is the Deputy Managing Editor for the Data & Tokens team, focusing on decentralized finance, markets, on-chain data, and governance across all major and minor blockchains.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.