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SOL and BNB Neck and Neck For Top Altcoin Crown

Last Updated December 22, 2023 1:54 PM
James Morales
Last Updated December 22, 2023 1:54 PM

Key Takeaways

  • Solana briefly flipped BNB to become the top altcoin by market capitalization.
  • At the time of writing, less than $1 billion separates the two.
  • With the price of SOL touching $100, it is nearly halfway toward reclaiming its previous all-time high.

After more than 2 years as king of the altcoins, BNB’s reign as the third largest non-stablecoin cryptocurrency is now threatened by SOL.

Having overtaken XRP’s market capitalization on Wednesday, December 20, Solana briefly claimed the throne early on Friday morning. The usurper’s time at the top didn’t last long, but with Solana snapping at its heels, BNB’s razor-thin lead is increasingly threatened.

Late-December Rally Propels Solana to Top of the Table 

Topping off a year of phenomenal gains for Solana, from around $67.3 on Monday, the price of Solana surged 40% to highs of over $42 on Friday morning. At the peak of the 5-day rally, just before 2:00 (UTC), Solana’s market cap surpassed BNB’s for the first time since 2021.

SOL held the title for around 4 hours before BNB staged a comeback. At the time of writing, the 2 coins were separated by less than $1 billion in market capitalization.

Sol vs BNB market cap
  In the battle of the altcoins, SOL has been closing in on BNB since June.

As recently as June this year, BNB’s market cap was nearly $40 billion more than Solana’s. But when the SEC sued Binance in June, it triggered a BNB market crash that the token still hasn’t recovered from. Meanwhile, BNB has been dramatically outperformed by SOL during the bull market of late 2023, effectively closing the gap between the rival altcoins.

SOL Traders Eye $100 And Beyond

During Friday morning’s market peak, SOL briefly traded at over $0.99, posing the prospect of a $100 price tag before the end of the day. 

The last time Solana was valued at over $100 was around 20 months ago in April 2022. Back then, the token entered double-figure trading midway through a year-long bear run that wiped over $70 billion from the SOL market. 

From a low point of just over $3 billion in December 2022, Solana’s market cap has rebounded to around $40 billion at the time of writing. In other words, it is approximately halfway toward making a full recovery to its all-time high of over $78 billion, recorded in November 2021. 

Between the looming Bitcoin halving in April and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) anticipated approval of spot Bitcoin Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), crypto market analysts are increasingly bullish that the highs of fall 2021 will be revisited by the end of 2024.  

If the traditional 4-year cycle repeats itself, that means Solana could be on course to more than double in price during the next 11 months.

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