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BONK is a dog-themed cryptocurrency built on the Solana blockchain.
What is BONK?

BONK (sometimes called “Bonk Inu”) is a memecoin that was designed to support the Solana community, and it has grown to have a broad userbase and integrations into decentralized finance (DeFi), cross-chain messaging protocols, non-fungible token (NFT) marketplaces, and more.

In December 2022, the price of SOL, Solana’s native cryptocurrency hit its lowest valuation in nearly two years. This came in the aftermath of the collapse of FTX and Alameda Research, as Sam Bankman-Fried’s (SBF) empire rapidly crumbled. Among all major blockchains, Solana relied perhaps the most heavily on the backing of SBF’s ventures, and SOL’s crash reflected the community’s concern about the network’s sustainability without some of its main financial support.

However, within a week of SOL’s lowest valuation since February 2021, a new memecoin launched: BONK. Sporting the face of a familiar breed, the Shiba Inu dog-themed memecoin was released on the Solana blockchain at a time when the community needed something lighthearted—and BONK’s immediate popularity speaks to how it achieved that goal.

How was BONK developed?

There is not much information available about BONK’s development or the people behind its creation. Its whitepaper (“BONK paper”) only references the currency’s intention to “flip the script” on tokens backed by venture capitalists and “bring power back to … the people.” Its verbiage implicitly calls out Sam Bankman-Fried and other VCs for their roles in the damage caused to the Solana ecosystem.

Multiple memecoins have launched with a similar mysterious background, including one of Ethereum’s main dog-themed memecoins, Shiba Inu (SHIB). SHIB and BONK share many attributes beyond their anonymous creators. Both draw inspiration from a common ancestor, Dogecoin (DOGE), and are intended for use entirely by a community, without centralized entities controlling large portions of the supply.

BONK launched on Christmas Day 2022, when SOL was priced around $11.40 (about 96% down from its $260 peak). For its launch, the token was airdroped to various NFT projects, artists, and collectors, which drew a significant amount of attention to the token and helped it gain instant popularity. Nearly 300,000 wallets were estimated to receive BONK through the airdrop. In the week after its launch, BONK’s price gained more than 2000%, though it has had a variable and volatile trend since then. In fact, after rising so much, it reached an all-time low of $0.00000009197 in December 2022.

Similarly to SHIB, the community that embraced BONK quickly brought utility to its memecoin. In the years since its launch, BONK has been incorporated into NFT marketplaces, DeFi protocols, crypto games, and even social media platforms.

How does BONK work?

BONK is primarily a Solana-based SPL (Solana Primary Library) token, meaning it can be used seamlessly across the Solana ecosystem. However, through third-party cross-chain messaging protocols (e.g., Wormhole), users can bridge their BONK to other blockchains.

As a memecoin, there is no inherent complexity to how BONK works. It was created for the simple purpose of existing and being traded. However, the Solana and BONK communities have found ways to incorporate the token into various protocols. Some examples include:

  • DeFi – Several Solana DeFi protocols incorporate BONK, including decentralized exchanges and BONKbot’s Telegram-based trading bot, which incorporates a burn mechanism to destroy a percentage of BONK’s supply.
  • NFTs – One of the most common ways to use BONK is in buying, selling, renting and minting NFTs.
  • Gaming – In blockchain-based games, BONK can be used either as in-game tokens or rewards.
  • Payments – Just as users can exchange dollars, euros, bitcoins, or ether, they can transfer BONK between wallets to pay each other.

How is the BONK token used?

BONK is used just as any other SPL token on Solana can be used. It can be sent from one user to another as a medium of exchange, held as a store of value (though this use is limited by its high volatility), or used in one of BONK’s many integrations listed in the section above. For many, the BONK memecoin is a speculative asset which is traded by users to attempt to make a profit.

Token economics and distribution

According to the project’s whitepaper, 21% of BONK was distributed to 40 active Solana NFT projects, 21% to 22 individual early contributors to the project (vesting over three years), 16% to the BONK decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), 16% to Solana market participants, 10% to artists/collectors of 1-of-1 digital art, and 5% each to Solana developers, initial liquidity efforts, and marketing promotions.

Although there were originally 100 trillion BONK created, multiple projects fostered by the community have found ways to decrease the supply through burning (destroying) tokens, ostensibly in an effort to boost the value through increased scarcity. By April 2024, more than 6 trillion BONK had been burned. Much of this was in one single event, when developers of the project were said to have burned their 5% of the total supply in January 2023.


  • BONK is a Shiba Inu dog-themed memecoin, similar to Dogecoin (DOGE) and Shiba Inu coin (SHIB).
  • The token was launched on Solana in December 2022 in an attempt to bolster a community shaken by FTX’s collapse.
  • Although inherently BONK has no utility, its community has found ways to incorporate it into DeFi, gaming, NFTs, and other spaces.

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