Is anyone having fun on Pump.fun?

Memecoin developers are laughing all the way to the bank

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Pump.Fun and Adobe Stock modified by Blockworks

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Howdy! 

Welcome to Lightspeed, the newest addition to the Blockworks Newsletter suite. We are Solana news, analysis and culture, all the time. If that sounds like you, we’re psyched to have you on board. Let’s get into it!


Most traders are unlikely to strike it rich off of memecoins, but it won’t be for a lack of trying.

In the past 24 hours, the memecoin trading platform Pump.fun has brought in around $500,000 in revenue, per DeFiLlama. For context, that’s nearly double Ethereum’s dominant decentralized exchange, Uniswap, and the second highest for protocols writ large — trailing only Ethereum.

Pump.fun lets so-called developers launch tokens without seed liquidity for around $2 in fees. It earns revenue via a 1% swap fee from users buying and selling tokens, and it also nabs 2 SOL when a token draws enough liquidity to be listed on the decentralized exchange Raydium. Pump.fun is closed-source and has closed APIs, a Pump.fun Telegram admin told Blockworks. 

The platform says it prevents rug pulls — or exit scams where founders quietly shut down projects while absconding with investor funds — by keeping all launches under a strict no-presale, no-insider allocation regime. 

But that hasn’t kept traders from losing a whole bunch of money on the platform. After token creators spin up a coin, they’re able to purchase a large allocation before other traders come in. If the token sees a whiff of interest, there’s nothing stopping the “developer” from dumping their supply, crashing the price, and walking away with (let’s be realistic) dozens of dollars in profit. 

Of note however, Pump.fun tokens that reach market caps of $69,000 can be listed on the decentralized exchange Raydium, which has become a rallying cry for users of the platform (let’s send this coin to Raydium!). But even then, there’s no reason a well-stocked developer couldn’t just take the liquidity and run. 

In other words, the average user has the deck stacked against them on Pump.fun, which begs the question of what makes Pump.fun so fun — because clearly, people are using the platform.

People go to casinos where they know they’ll lose to the house, and I suppose the guesswork in trying to identify a winning memecoin could be a good time. 

And sometimes, the grift is itself entertainment.

One developer created a token called “NoHandsNoRug” and live streamed himself several steps away from his computer with his hands behind his back. As the price surged, he ran up to his computer, sold a bunch of tokens, then ran back to his post. 

Never change, crypto.


Zero In

Solana’s transaction success rate has gotten better but it’s still … not great. More than 60% of non-vote transactions are failing, per Blockworks Research. But this figure might not be as bad as it seems. As Blockworks Research’s Dan Smith laid out, the high fail rate is likely more indicative of spam than of poor user experience. Accounts that make over 5,000 transactions a day — either bots or people who really should touch grass — experience a fail rate of 79%. For people making fewer than 50 transactions in a day, the fail rate is closer to 8%.


Plugged In

Ready to have your mind blown? 

Solana’s validators now outpace Ethereum in earning maximal extractible value (MEV), pulling in nearly $7 million last week, largely thanks to Jito. The protocol — which supports 78% of Solana’s validators — enables transaction bundling and tip inclusion for quicker processing. 
However, issues like spam, bot activity, and predatory practices like “sandwich attacks” continue to pose challenges for the Solana ecosystem.

Read more: MEV collected by validators is now higher on Solana than on Ethereum


One Good DM

Jack Kubinec:

What’s the biggest factor preventing crypto payments from catching on more broadly?

Stijn Paumen, founder and CEO of Helio, which runs Shopify’s Solana Pay plugin:

The benchmark is Apple Pay. For crypto payments to go mainstream, they need to match its convenience. While we’re still a few years away from that, the growing adoption of crypto and integration of hidden wallets into mainstream apps bring us closer than ever. With lower costs, enhanced privacy, and faster transactions, crypto payments will ultimately surpass Apple Pay and other traditional payments.

Updated May 9, 2024 at 3:30 pm: Removed a section discussing rug pulls in the Solana ecosystem.


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