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The Solana (SOL-USD) the network’s bad news spell continues to worsen. The project is already embroiled in a lawsuit, and this week faced a multi-million dollar hack. Today’s news, however, could be the worst. Ultimately, someone was artificially inflating the chain’s activity massively, and investors are wondering if any of the network’s positive catalysts last fall were legit.
While the crypto crash certainly wasn’t kind to Solana, the network’s own custom woes began last month. A group of investors has launched a class action lawsuit against the project with big charges. The lawsuit alleges both insider trading and unregistered securities offerings made possible by the network’s “highly centralized” development core.
Then, in addition to this lawsuit, the network also became one of the largest Layer 1 networks to be hacked. This week, a bad actor was able to access thousands of Solana wallets and steal millions of dollars from SOL and other Solana tokens. The multi-day operation is also a big mystery, as analysts are still unsure exactly how the scheme was carried out.
The woes continue to pile up for Solana today thanks to a scathing report courtesy of CoinDesk. While network users thought he was building a massive network of DeFi protocols last fall, that doesn’t seem to be the case. One person was impersonating nearly a dozen different developers.
By crafting an entire ecosystem of projects on the Solana channel, this user was able to create a noticeable effect on the Total Value Locked (TVL) on the channel. In turn, this regime is part of the reason for SOL’s price soaring to its all-time high.
Solana Developer Artificially Boosted the Value of SOL Crypto
The CoinDesk report makes public a previously private blog post by Ian Macalinao, the author of this ruse. Macalinao was impersonating 11 different developers, building an ecosystem that would inflate TVL on the network. The project then gave artificial boosts to SOL crypto values.
At the time of SOL’s charge to its all-time high of $260, Solana was growing organically, of course. But Macalinao was working hard to amplify this bullish momentum through illegitimate means. He has built over 20 DeFi projects on Solana while impersonating this developer community. Through its network, Macalinao contributed $7.5 billion of Solana’s $10.5 billion TVL to the network’s all-time high.
Macalinao operated a TVL calculation feature. When projects exist on top of each other, networks can inadvertently double or even triple deposits. This artificially inflates a channel’s TVL to better compete Ethereum (ETH-USD), which he says also counts twice towards his TVL.
Macalinao’s project has largely disappeared, but this news has an extremely detrimental effect on Solana’s legitimacy. The fact that much of the network’s TVL is fraudulent leaves one wondering if any of the crypto SOL gains last fall were organic.
The news also prompts DeFi Llama to stop automatically adding double counting to channel TVLs. Users must now enable double counting when viewing this metric. Right now, Solana’s true TVL is just under $2 billion; with double counting enabled, that figure climbs north of $2.5 billion.
As of the date of publication, Brenden Rearick has not held (directly or indirectly) any position in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, subject to InvestorPlace.com publishing guidelines.