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Solana Generates More Total Economic Value (TEV) Than Ethereum & More

Also: Meet Meme Royale, a new pump.fun competitor.

Welcome back!

This is J264G and this week I’ve got these titbits for you:

  • Building Blocks: Exploring Solana’s new payment client & PoW approach. 

  • Profitable Apps: pump.fun generated more revenue than the Solana network. 

  • Royale Competition: Meet Meme Royale, a new pump.fun competitor.

I thought it might be a good time to highlight this Cointelegraph piece from Omid Malekan, adjunct professor at Columbia Business School ⬇️

Recently, Solana’s dark side really showed 😏 Not only did the network generate more total economic value than Ethereum, but Phantom is also increasingly going mainstream. 

Now, let’s jump right into this week’s newsletter!

Click on any underlined heading/hyperlink to learn more.


Insider Threats

We all know the narrative: North Korean APT actors are roaming crypto, just waiting for the next chance to pounce. 

In this context, the United Nations reports that APT actors from North Korea stole approximately $3 billion from various crypto platforms between 2017 and 2023. 

According to Immunefi, however, crypto hacks and scams in general saw a 23% decline in the first quarter of 2024 compared to 2023.

This might suggest that protocol teams are increasingly ramping up their security measures — to the dismay of the Lazarus Group and other threat actors.

But if you think exploits and hacks are behind us, I got news for you.


Well, because it seems as if we now have a new trend to worry about: inside jobs from rogue contributors. 

Just last week, we saw insider jobs at both Cypher and pump.fun.

Inside jobs are, obviously, not new.

Nick Leeson, a rogue trader at Barings Bank, engaged in unauthorised speculative trading — leading to cumulative losses of over £800 million. His actions ultimately led to the collapse of Barings Bank in 1995, which had been one of the oldest and most prestigious banks in the UK.

£800 million seem like peanuts when looking at Jerome Kerviel's case, though. As a trader at Société Générale, he conducted unauthorised trades that resulted in massive losses for the bank in 2008: approximately €4.9 billion.

And then there's Bernie Madoff — of course. His scheme, which lasted for decades, defrauded investors of an estimated $64 billion before collapsing in 2008. 

As you can tell, inside jobs have a storied history — one which seems to be continuing in crypto. And similarly to TradFi, curbing inside jobs in crypto will require a multifaceted approach as well.

For example, thorough background checks — before and during employment — should finally become a staple in crypto. Also, protocol teams should segregate duties, so that critical tasks are divided among multiple contributors to prevent any single person from having too much control. The segregation of duties works even better when it's complemented by role-based access controls that ensure that contributors only have access to the information necessary for their job.

Combining these and other strategies will create a comprehensive defence to reduce the potential damage that can be caused by insider threats. 

In other industries the notion that employees represent a bigger security risk than external threat actors is widely known. 

It's high time that we recognise this in crypto as well and start acting accordingly.

A breach alone is not a disaster, but mishandling it is.

Serene Davis

Number Of The Week

More context here ⬇️

News Bites

Building Blocks: The team behind Tinydancer, the 1st Solana light client, has rolled out its Simplified Payment Verification (SPV) client on testnet. Also, it seems as if the next PoW approach on Solana is headed our way: XEN Crypto.

Profitable Apps: I reckon we all agree that a L1 should generate less revenue than the applications built on top of it. But more often than not, this notion is a pie in the sky — until now! Just recently, pump.fun surpassed the 24h revenue of the entire Solana network 🤯

Royale Competition: Speaking of pump.fun, a new competitor has entered the memecoin launchpad arena: Meme Royale. It will be interesting to see if and how the market values the gamified approach of the platform.

Solana Fuzzer: I'm a big proponent of everything that has to do with on-chain security. So I'm stoked to see the launch of Trident, a Rust-based open-source framework to fuzz test Solana programs written in Anchor.

Robinhood Staking: SOL staking is now available for Robinhood users in the EU. This is a good first step for users new to crypto. Next, we should help these users to custody their SOL themselves and stake it with on-chain platforms — which mostly offer higher APYs anyway.

Restaking Acceleration: Solana restaking protocol Solayer is ramping up its go-to-market rollout. If you'd like to get involved, make sure to read this thread.

Innovative Infrastructure: You've probably heard a lot about the Solana Virtual Machine (SVM). But what is it really, and how should you think about it? Here's a proposal.

Caught In 4K

Weekly Take

Keks & Giggles

And that's a wrap!

If you'd like to reach me, respond to this newsletter or reach out to me on 𝕏.

Talk soon!

None of this is financial advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. Please be careful and do your own research. Lastly, please be advised that we discuss products and services from our partners from which our team members may hold tokens/equity.