Brian Kelly Forecasts Solana as Next Big ETF Candidate

Brian Kelly, a trader on CNBC's "Fast Money," predicted that Solana might be the next cryptocurrency to feature in a spot ETF in the U.S., sparking debate among industry experts.

Solana's native token, SOL, has been outperforming its peers, suggesting potential for new highs in the crypto market. Meanwhile, the risks associated with extreme online stunts for cryptocurrency clout were highlighted by a Solana developer's dangerous livestream that resulted in severe injuries.

Debate Ignites Over Potential Solana Spot ETF After Brian Kelly's Bold Prediction

In a statement that stirred the cryptocurrency community, Brian Kelly, a well-known crypto investor and CNBC's "Fast Money" trader, predicted that Solana (SOL) could be the next cryptocurrency to be featured in a spot exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the United States. This assertion came during an episode of CNBC's post-market talk show "Fast Money" on May 22, intriguingly timed just a day before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was scheduled to make a decision on a proposed spot Ethereum (ETH) ETF.

Kelly, who also holds the role of founder and CEO of the BKCM Digital Asset Fund, framed his prediction within the broader context of cryptocurrency acceptance and regulation in the U.S. “The trade now is, who’s next,” Kelly posed during the show, adding, “You’ve got to think about Solana as probably the next one. Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Solana are probably the big three for this cycle.”

Industry Observers Express Skepticism

However, not all industry observers share Kelly's optimism. Nate Geraci, President of The ETF Store, argued that the prospects of a spot Solana ETF remain slim until significant regulatory milestones are achieved, such as the listing of Solana futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange or the establishment of a robust cryptocurrency regulatory framework by Congress.

Supporting Geraci's cautious stance, Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart suggested that such a development could be years away, contingent on the establishment of a Commodity Futures Trading Commission-regulated market for Solana. Seyffart also noted that a spot Solana ETF would likely garner significant demand, trailing only behind Bitcoin and Ethereum, but pointed out that SEC Chairman Gary Gensler has previously categorized Solana as a security in litigation against platforms like Coinbase and Kraken, potentially complicating future ETF proposals.

Contrarian Views and Alternative Predictions

In contrast, Adam Cochran, a partner at Cinneamhain Ventures, provided a contrarian perspective, predicting that cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin (LTC) or Dogecoin (DOGE), which use a proof-of-work consensus mechanism similar to Bitcoin, might be more likely candidates for the next spot ETF due to their "cleaner paths" through regulatory landscapes, despite their lower demand compared to Solana.

Speculation from Major Asset Management Firms

Adding to the speculation, the trillion-dollar asset management firm Franklin Templeton made headlines for its commendations of Solana and one of its founders, Anatoly Yakovenko. This praise has fueled rumors about the firm potentially considering a spot Solana ETF application, although no official statements have been made.

Enthusiasm for Solana's Potential

Matt Hougan, Chief Investment Officer at Bitwise, also speculated on the potential of Solana by naming it the "crypto asset of 2024" and highlighting the real-world applications currently being explored on its network that could attract institutional investors.

As the cryptocurrency community awaits the SEC's impending decision on the Ethereum ETF, the discussion around Solana's candidacy for a similar financial product reflects the evolving narrative and excitement surrounding blockchain technology and digital assets. Whether Solana will indeed follow in the footsteps of Bitcoin and Ethereum remains to be seen, but the debate undoubtedly brings attention to the dynamic and speculative nature of the crypto market.

The Dangers of Streaming for Crypto Clout: A Solana Dev's Harrowing Tale

Meanwhile, the crypto world was shaken by a harrowing incident that unfolded during a livestream on the popular meme coin platform, highlighting the dangerous extremes to which some will go for virtual currency fame.

Six days after launching his TruthOrDare token (DARE) on the platform, a Solana developer known as Mikol suffered third-degree burns after a stunt involving isopropyl alcohol and fireworks went disastrously wrong. The event, streamed live, ended with Mikol being rushed to a Miami trauma center, severely injured.

Chasing Clout with Dangerous Stunts

The stunt was part of a growing trend where crypto enthusiasts engage in increasingly risky acts to draw attention to their digital tokens. This phenomenon has seen bizarre and dangerous antics, from a mother performing provocative dances for her son's token to developers engaging in physical fights. However, Mikol's incident, resulting in serious physical harm, marks a disturbing escalation in this trend.

A Stream That Went Terribly Wrong

Mikol's ordeal began shortly after he doused himself in isopropyl alcohol and was hit by fireworks, a stunt intended to generate interest in DARE. The flames quickly engulfed him, and his friends, unprepared with proper fire safety equipment, scrambled with just gallons of water to extinguish the fire. The desperate and chaotic attempts were livestreamed, with viewers hearing Mikol's agonizing screams and his friends' frantic efforts to help him.

One of the friends, capturing the scene, was told to "stop recording and start helping," highlighting the grave reality of the situation over the desire to capture content. The livestream continued to capture Mikol's pain and his urgent pleas to be taken to the hospital, a stark reminder of the real-world consequences of online stunts.

Community Reaction and Backlash

The community's reaction was mixed, with some expressing concern for Mikol's well-being while others focused more on the financial impact on the DARE token. The insensitivity reached a peak when images of Mikol, bandaged in the hospital, were shared during another livestream, prompting crude remarks about his condition and the token's performance.

Michael Valentine, a viewer with firefighting experience, analyzed Mikol's symptoms during the livestream and later discussions on Telegram, confirming the severity of the burns. He estimated that about 35% of Mikol's body was affected, though he admitted the actual extent could be greater.

A Community Reflects

Prior to the incident, Mikol had built a small, engaged community around his daily livestreamed dares, which ranged from quirky to dangerous. His followers had even funded equipment and were raising money for personal expenses to support his streaming activities. However, this incident has sobered the community, with some members leaving and others calling for more focus on Mikol's recovery rather than the token.

Reflections from Family and Friends

Amid the aftermath, Mikol's brother voiced a poignant message on Telegram, reflecting on the transient nature of internet fame and the lasting impact on their family. He expressed disappointment in how quickly online audiences could disregard the human aspect behind the stunts.

A Call for Safety and Respect

This incident serves as a critical reminder of the need for safety, responsibility, and respect in the pursuit of online fame and financial gain through cryptocurrencies. As the community and observers reflect on these events, there is hope that it will lead to more stringent safety measures and a reevaluation of what is considered acceptable in the pursuit of crypto clout.

Solana Leads Crypto Market Rebound with Potential for New Highs

4-hour chart for SOL/USD (Source: TradingView)

In a related development, SOL has been outshining its peers, leading a significant rebound in digital asset prices. The altcoin reached a peak of $183 throughout the past day of trading. Although it has retraced slightly since, it is still up more than 9% on the weekly timeframe.

Market Optimism from Industry Experts

"Strength on SOL has been incredible on this bounce," remarked Daniel Cheung, co-founder of digital asset hedge fund Syncracy Capital, in a recent social media post. Cheung expressed growing confidence in SOL's potential, suggesting that it could soon retake the $200 level and even target new record highs in the near future. SOL’s previous all-time high was $260 in November 2021, achieved during the peak of the last bull cycle.

Multiple Catalysts Driving Growth

Solana's recent success can be attributed to a variety of factors that have stimulated investor interest and market activity. These include a vibrant trading scene for meme coins, robust volumes in stablecoin transactions, and active participation in decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms. These elements combine to create a dynamic environment conducive to Solana's growth.

Technological Advances and Network Upgrades

Cheung highlighted upcoming network upgrades as pivotal for Solana's performance. Among these is the introduction of Firedancer, a secondary chain client developed by Jump Crypto. This new addition is expected to significantly enhance the network's throughput and overall efficiency, further bolstering SOL's market position.

Growing Interest in Cryptoeconomic Security

David Shuttleworth, a research partner at Anagram, noted an "increasingly growing interest in shared cryptoeconomic security," often referred to as restaking, within the Solana ecosystem. This development is seen as a positive move, potentially attracting more users and investors drawn to the enhanced security features and economic incentives offered by the network.

As Solana continues to advance and capture the attention of the cryptocurrency community, the coming weeks could prove crucial in determining whether it can sustain this momentum and set new records. With its robust technological foundation and the strategic implementation of network enhancements, Solana appears well-positioned to capitalize on current market trends and investor enthusiasm.

Investors and market watchers will be keenly observing Solana's progress, as its journey could set a precedent for performance standards and technological advancements within the broader cryptocurrency landscape.