Solana fans suddenly BONKers over the Saga phone

After months of lackluster sales, the Solana Saga gets a boost thanks to BONK

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Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko | Permisionless II by Blockworks

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Solana mobile announced Friday that it had sold out of its Saga phones in the US market.

The sudden burst of demand represents a surprising turnaround from just a few months ago when the startup phone maker slashed prices due to low sales volume.

Virtually all Saga owners will mint the “Saga Genesis NFT” the first time they boot up the phone. That’s because it unlocks half a dozen free rewards, such as a “welcome pack” with $20 in USDC stablecoins.

A dashboard tracking these NFTs from Flipside Crypto shows that since the end of July, only around 300 new Sagas have minted these assets.

That means the flood of new sales is very recent.

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As recently as a Dec. 5 interview, Solana founder Anatoly Yakovenko acknowledged only about 2,500 units sold, and described the need to hit a critical mass of 25,000 to 50,000 sales to be considered a success and attract sufficient developer interest.

Read more: Solana cuts price of its Saga phone by 40% four months after launch

So the question is, why did sales 10x seemingly overnight?

The answer appears to involve the Solana memecoin, BONK.

Among the rewards available to new Solana phone owners is an allocation of 30 million BONK tokens. These were first offered as an airdrop in June via an app in the Saga’s dapp store. That may sound like a lot, but at 0.0000003 per token, it came to roughly $10 at the time.

Fast-forward to today, and BONK has skyrocketed to a price that has would-be owners salivating — up about 900% over the past month, 8,000% since June and a hair-raising 34,000% since trading debuted in December 2022.

Read more: Dog coins are back: BONK leads Dogecoin, Floki and Shiba with 1400% rally

That essentially opened up an arbitrage opportunity for potential Saga buyers; the cost of the phone could be fully offset by the value of the BONK the Genesis NFT would unlock.

When new owners receive and set up their phone, they’ll face a choice of whether to cash out their BONK, or hold on to it hoping for more. That is, assuming the price holds and doesn’t crash before the hopeful users receive their new phones. 

But just getting the phone in fresh hands potentially gives the project new life. Yakovenko said Friday, “I think we might have just overcome the first hurdle. But there’s still a tremendous amount of work to be done.”

Read more: Solana’s Yakovenko advises aspiring founders: If you seek stress, it’s awesome

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“Once developers start releasing crypto-incentivized apps to all Saga users, it should kickstart the flywheel. Users interested in crypto incentives will adopt the phone, giving developers a concentrated distribution channel filled with users seeking those incentives, and all without any app fees.”

If so, we should see evidence of a raft of new Genesis NFT mints once users receive their newly purchased phones.


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