Crypto Traders Put Millions Into Slerf And Other Solana Presales – Scams Or Legit?

Solana meme coins are in high demand during this crypto bull run, spurred by the explosive SOL price rally that saw the Layer-1 token trade as high as $210 yesterday before a correction. 

This has also caused a resurgence of ‘presales’, a controversial fundraising model in which investors can buy meme coins at a discounted price before they are made available on crypto exchanges. The catch, however, is that presale buyers can claim their tokens only after they go live on CEXs or DEXs. 

Popular crypto analyst ZachXBT, who has over 525k followers on X, reveals that a total of over 655,000 SOL tokens, worth over $122.5 million, has been raised from 27 presales. 

While presales aren’t inherently a scam, it does require a certain level of trust in a project and its developers, which could lead to dire consequences. No token highlights this better than the recent meme coin phenomenon, Slerf. 

Slerf Developer Causes Accidental Rugpull – Meme Coin Price Explodes Nevertheless

Slerf – a sloth-inspired Solana meme coin – organized a presale campaign which raised over $10 million. The project also launched an airdrop for the presale buyers.

However, in what he claims to be a mistake, the developer of the project accidentally burned Slerf’s liquidity pool and the tokens that were set aside for the airdrop, along with the SOL tokens sent by the presale buyers.

He claimed that the mint authority for the meme coin has already been revoked, so he cannot create new tokens. Furthermore, he did not have $10 million to refund the presale buyers. 

What should have been a disaster for Slerf, turned out to be a boon. The attention drawn due to the accidental burn, along with the fact that the early buyers can not dump their holdings on the late entrants, resulted in the Slerf price skyrocketing. 

The meme coin, which started trading at just $0.021, reached an all-time high of $1.49, a staggering 7000% price rally in the span of just a day. 

According to the data from LookOnChain, a smart-money trader made $3 million within 12 minutes with Slerf, while another crypto whale invested $32 million in the token. 

15 crypto exchanges including Bitget, LBank, HTX, Blast Futures, Bybit and rushed to list the meme coin on their platform.

As a result, Slerf saw a trading volume of $2.7 billion, similar to that of USDC and more than that of Wrapped Ether ($WETH).

While some analysts such as Alex Krugman have called Slerf the greatest DEX launch in the history of crypto, others have used the term “peak degeneracy”. 

Slerf is not even the biggest Solana presale organized in the past week. Inspired by the success of the Bome meme coin, investors sent over 53 million SOL tokens to crypto influencer Kero, for the presale of his token named SNAP.

Two Hard Lessons From The Slerf Episode

While Slerf’s skyrocketing price printed millions in profits for some investors, the meme coin turned out to be a debacle for others. 

Slerf price chart

Slerf price chart via Bybit

Firstly, presale buyers of Slerf lost all their SOL holdings due to an accidental burn by its developer. They were even the brunt of jokes from other investors who thanked them for their “contribution”. 

This highlights the inherent risks involved in the presale model of crypto fundraising. While some presale tokens such as the Bome coin turned out to be incredible success stories, others are simply scams and rug pulls. 

The only reason why Slerf presale participants could receive refunds is due to the attention drawn to the project. Crypto platforms such as LBANK, BingX and HTX have decided to donate all their trading fees to make the Slerf presale buyers whole.

However, this is not a guarantee for other less-popular presale tokens, as even the Slerf developer initially admitted that there is no fix. 

Secondly, the Slerf mania also teaches a lesson against chasing green candles, a strategy that could lead to significant losses. 

Lookonchain reveals that one trader lost $775k worth of $SOL in just 1 hour by trading Slerf. He swapped 5004 SOL tokens to buy the meme coin at its local top of $1.32. When the price plummeted, he made another purchase worth 2500 $SOL tokens. Unfortunately, the meme coin kept correcting and the trader sold all his $SLERF holdings, only to get 3774 $SOL coins back. 

Much to his chagrin, the Slerf price bounced back again after a local bottom at $0.4 to reach a new all-time high of $1.48. It is currently trading at $0,75, with a market cap of $380 million. 

Why Analysts Trust Fair Launch Tokens Over Presales?

Due to the inherent risks involved with the presale model, analysts prefer fair-launch meme coins, which involve no presales and allow everyone an equitable chance to buy the meme coin. 

Several top Solana meme coins including Bonk and Smog had a fair launch. For instance, Smog (SMOG)- another new Solana meme coin – was launched on the Jupiter Exchange without any presale. 

This launch model does not appear to negatively impact a meme coin’s price prospects. Smog, which started trading at a penny price of $0.001419, skyrocketed to an all-time high of $0.3841, representing a price rally of 27,000%, higher than that of Slerf. 

Furthermore, its airdrop campaign, which aims to reward over 10,000 holders, requires a third-party registration on Zealy. This reduces the risk of project developers ending up being a single point of failure. 

Other meme coins, that do have a presale, conduct smart contract audits to eliminate any security risk.

For instance, Dogecoin20 (DOGE20) has had its smart contract successfully audited by Coinsult, which also ensured that the owner of the contract cannot engage in nefarious activities.

That audit in part has led to the DOGE20 token presale quickly raising over $3 million in the past 72 hours.