What is BONK? Solana’s Dog-Themed Community Meme Coin

Born out of the wreckage left behind by the collapse of FTX in November 2022, BONK is a meme coin aimed at bringing together the Solana community.

In December 2023, a BONK boom saw the cryptocurrency’s market cap surge to over $1 billion, causing Solana Saga smartphones to sell out after savvy traders realized that the BONK airdrop bundled with the phones was worth more than the devices themselves.

But what exactly is this dog coin all about? What makes it special? How does it work? And what even is the BONK meme?

What is BONK?

Billed as the “social layer and community meme coin” of Solana, BONK is a Solana-based cryptocurrency with an ecosystem encompassing DEXs, dapps, NFTs, and—of course—a dog mascot.

As of May 2024, Bonk is the sixth largest meme coin, and is the 63rd largest cryptocurrency of any type by market capitalization, according to data from CoinGecko.

Disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried had been a vocal supporter of Solana, so when his fraud began to unravel in 2022, the Solana community was looking for a way to distance itself from the collapse of FTX.

With sentiment around Solana’s price “at an all-time low,” 22 Solana developers joined forces to create a “community coin” with a useful (and dog-themed) ecosystem surrounding it.

While the BONK core team remains anonymous, they claim to have prior experience building DeFi, NFT, and other products on Solana. They also explained that there isn’t a leader within the group, instead working together as equals.

Shortly after the token launched in December 2022, Solana developers and community members were airdropped around $300 worth of BONK for Christmas. This was done in an attempt to unite and reward the community for pushing through the hard year. According to CoinGecko, as of May 2024 this airdrop is worth over $550,000.

In January 2023, BONK’s developers burned 5 trillion BONK that was allocated to them, in a bid to stop the cryptocurrency’s value from dropping. This burn shrunk BONK’s circulating supply by 5% to 94.2 trillion, but its value continued to fall in the immediate aftermath of the burn.

What is the BONK ecosystem?

According to its official website, BONK has 129 integrations, but lists seven key projects in its ecosystem.

They include BONKbot, a Telegram trading bot that allows Solana users to trade using the messaging service, and BONKSwap, an automatic market maker (AMM).

Other projects in the BONK ecosystem include a gamified fitness platform (Moonwalk), a cross-chain bridge to buy BONK (imaginatively called BuyBONK), and a decentralized exchange (OpenBONK).

There are many other BONK-inspired Solana integrations spanning DeFi, gaming, and social, but we don’t have enough ink to go through all of them one-by-one.

It is, however, important to highlight BONK’s continuous engagement with Solana NFT projects. For starters, the project distributed 21% of its token supply to 40 active Solana NFT projects. On top of this, a BONK-inspired NFT collection called BONKz was released in 2023.

What’s in a name?

BONK’s name references a series of comic memes, in which dogs—mostly the meme-friendly Shiba Inu breed—were hit on the head with hammers with a ‘bonk’ sound effect (obviously, no dogs were harmed in the making of the meme).

According to KnowYourMeme, the ‘bonk’ meme originates from a 2019 Instagram post which features a “humorously malformed” Shiba Inu being struck by a hand holding a hammer, with a ‘bonk’ clip art and sound.

This soon spread across Twitter and Reddit with other dogs getting bonked too. This meme later evolved into the ‘go to horny jail’ reaction meme, sent to users that were—as the cool kids say—being horny on main.

Unlike many meme coins, the BONK token uses its own proprietary logo instead of the original meme. That’s helped it to avoid the legal battles over copyright that have affected some projects, like BONK’s Solana meme coin stablemate Shark Cat.

What are the future plans for BONK?

Since its initial Christmas Day airdrop in 2022, BONK has been all about bolstering the Solana community. Its distribution strategy going forward is no different.

The BONKDAO decentralized autonomous organization has been assigned 15.8% of the total supply of BONK, in a bid to empower the community to choose where the BONK ecosystem goes next. The DAO has voted on proposals including the creation of a voting tutorial video, funding a marketing campaign, and burning treasury tokens.

On top of this, any contributor who is given BONK tokens to fund their project is given a three year long vesting schedule. This means, in theory, that integrations are less likely to rug the funding as they are incentivized to stick around for at least three years.

The best place to keep up with BONK community announcements is the BONK Inu Twitter account or the official Discord community.

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