The open-source Solana project implements a new, high-performance, permissionless blockchain. It is one of the fastest modern blockchains and the rapidly growing crypto ecosystem, with thousands of projects spanning DeFi, NFTs, Web3, etc. Solana offers developers decentralized applications (dApp) a platform for cost-effectively developing applications. More than 350 Solana projects exist on this open-source blockchain.
Solana project was created in 2017 to host decentralized and scalable applications. In addition to having a higher number of transactions, Solana has lower transaction fees than other blockchains such as Ethereum and Bitcoin. Theoretically, Solana can process more than 50,000 transactions per second, making Solana the world’s fastest blockchain. The Solana blockchain is unique in that it offers a wide variety of niches and applications, from DeFi over GameFi to a significant NFT sector. Solana is emerging as a low-cost, high-speed competitor to Ethereum and other DeFi networks, offering (yet) unmatched transaction speeds. The combination of these qualities, plus its high level of composability, makes the network a good option for both veterans and beginners.
A blockchain is a technology that permits decentralized transactions, which created the world of cryptocurrencies we know today. However, blockchains have one major disadvantage over centralized networks like credit-card companies use: they're slow. Solana is one of many new crypto solutions to make crypto networks faster and more scalable. It uses various clever technologies, including a new mechanism called "proof of history."
The distinctive feature of Solana is that it is the world’s first web-scale, fast-growing smart-contract and open-source blockchain protocol that enables developers to build dApps on its ecosystem. Due to its security, censorship resistance, and cost-efficiency, numerous developers are choosing to develop on Solana ecosystem dApps.
Solana uses the Proof-of-History (PoH) concept that allows a blockchain not to rely on time, with each node running its clock without knowing any other participants' clocks. This model leverages a set of protocols to execute transactions with high throughput – more than 60,000 transactions per second (TPS). PoH helps eliminate the issue of scalability and time needed to reach a consensus on transaction orders. Also, Solana employs a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism to improve throughput and scalability. The PoS and PoH consensus mechanisms are unique compared to Bitcoin’s proof-of-work or Cardano’s proof-of-stake models.
Solana parts ways with other blockchains in how consensus forms among the nodes. Solana’s PoS consensus model does reinforce by Tower BFT (Byzantine fault tolerance). Tower BFT enforces a decentralized, universal source of time across the network via PoH, which is a permanent reference for each node supporting the network. Tower BFT also enables the network to reach consensus, despite potential attacks from malicious node operators.
Gulf Stream – Solana's memory condensing system forwards transactions to validator nodes. This protocol helps maximize transaction confirmation speed and the network’s concurrent and parallel transaction capacity.
Sealevel is Solana’s parallel smart contracts run-time. Sealevel optimizes the network’s resources, and runtime can process the thousands of contracts in parallel, using as many cores as are available to the Validator.
Presently Solana project is the most performant permissionless blockchain. Its architecture satisfies all three desirable properties of a proper blockchain: it is scalable, secure, and decentralized.
Solana is a fast-growing contract cryptocurrency, and it is the second-largest blockchain with the lowest transaction costs. In 2021, it was one of the best-performing cryptocurrencies. It started in the 120th position in terms and finished in 5th, passing Cardano (ADA) and Polkadot (DOT). Investors should remember that Solana is a relative newcomer, so let's discuss what else is worth paying attention to before investing.
Solana's most significant selling point is its transaction speed. Solana may be the best possible Ethereum rival among altcoins because of it. Solana can support tens of thousands of transactions per second compared to only about 13 transactions for Ethereum. Ethereum operates on a proof-of-work model, which requires miners to perform complex calculations to validate transactions. Solana verifies transactions based on coin ownership using the proof-of-history and proof-of-stake combination model. As a result, Solana has lower fees than Ethereum. The average transaction fee for Solana is less than 1 cent.
Solana has smart contract capabilities as an Ethereum. Ethereum was the first cryptocurrency to introduce this type of contract. However, the popularity of smart contracts and dApps has led to congestion on the Ethereum network, opening the door for faster alternatives. Solana is also rapidly gaining market share in the high-growth non-fungible token world. NFT marketplace Solanart runs on the Solana network, allowing NFT buyers to enjoy faster transaction speeds and lower fees than buyers on the Ethereum network. Booming demand for smart contracts and NFTs could open the door for Solana to succeed in the long term.
One of the biggest criticisms of Bitcoin and Ethereum as next-generation technology is their negative environmental impact. The computing power needed for mining and verifying transactions via its Proof-of-Work model currently generates about 60 million tons of carbon dioxide per year. Solana's PoS and PoH verification process is far less energy-intensive, potentially making the crypto a greener alternative to Bitcoin and Ethereum.
One of the biggest reasons investors flocked to cryptocurrencies in 2020 was to seek refuge from inflation. Solana started out increasing its supply by 8% annually. That inflation rate declines by 15% annually until it reaches 1.5%.
Today Solana has helped bring to life over 350 projects; while Solana’s ecosystem isn’t near as big as Ethereum’s, it doesn’t mean it isn’t growing. So, let’s focus on some of Solana's metaverse projects to follow.
The DeFi movement aims to transform old financial products into trusted and transparent protocols that operate independently without intermediaries by leveraging decentralized networks.
Mango Markets is open-source trading, borrowing, decentralized cross-trading, and lending platform. So users can take earnings from one transaction and use them to place orders for another without needing to exit the first order.
Mango Markets stated mission is to create a decentralized trading platform with benefits for both market participants and market makers alike. Mango Markets intends to challenge centralized exchanges in trading volume with its platform eventually. In the future, Mango Markets hopes to achieve latency delays of 400 milliseconds or less using Solana's blockchain.
Orca is one of the top decentralized exchanges built on Solana; that can boast a large traded volume with an impressive $516.6 million in total value locked. The exchange was first introduced when Solana's infrastructure was minimal.
Orca also stands out for its ‘human-centered’ unique design because the UI design process involves interviewing users. They observe how users use existing products to identify pain points and areas for improvement.
The Solana platform is a decentralized platform that gives you access to Coinbase, Binance, and Bilaxy exchanges. The Solana protocol is frequently used for NFTs, Defi, and staking, and there are some great hardware wallets to manage your SOL and your crypto funds. For trading on the Solana network, the following wallets are highly recommended.
NFT Phantom Wallet is a top-performing project in 2021. The Solana Phantom wallet is a next-generation multi-cryptocurrency payment gateway that accepts Solana as a payment method. Though Phantom accepts only Solana as payment, it has a token swap feature.
By the way, it supports NFTs and collectibles, making the Phantom app more beneficial for users. Users can see them on their app along with trade them. If we talk about the security of wallets, it's considered the best and most secured wallet available. Solana Phantom wallet users also can swap tokens in the app. In addition, with network fees as low as $0.01 per transaction, users can make hundreds of transactions with a single USD. The phantom wallet is available as a mobile download application or browser extension tool for various desktop web browsers. Phantom maintains private keys on behalf of its users by allowing them to generate them.
Solflare is another one of the Solana ecosystem’s most popular wallets. Solflare is an all-in-one digital wallet solution for Solana.
It is user-experience-focused and NFT-friendly, enabling safe storage, transactions, token swaps, and staking on the Solana ecosystem. One of the top features of the Solаlare wallet is having full access to your funds at all times and the option of investing in both audio-based and visual NFTs. This wallet is highly compatible with Solana and is considered an "all-in-one" option for crypto investing. Solflafe's target audience is individuals looking for a crypto wallet solution to store, stake, swap, and send their cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrencies pegged to another currency, commodity, or financial instrument are called stablecoins. Popular cryptocurrencies have high volatility, making them less suitable for wide use in transactions.
By market capitalization, Tether is the most popular and largest stablecoin. Integrated with the Solana ecosystem to deliver unmatched transaction speed and cost efficiency to its customers. After the technical integration is complete, Tether will benefit from Solana's +50,000 TPS throughput and transaction fees as low as US$0.00001. The Tether currency is used by investors who want to hold funds within the cryptosystem without experiencing the volatility characteristic of cryptocurrencies.
USD Coin (USDC)
Solana USDC launched in January 2021 and already has extensive adoption across leading crypto exchanges. Circle’s USD Coin, the second-largest stablecoin by market capitalization, is natively integrated on the Solana mainnet — enabling fast and cost-effective transactions via Solana’s blockchain. USDC is a key component of crypto capital markets, where blockchain-based smart contracts automate the process of matching buyers, sellers, borrowers and lenders, enabling more people to access financial services.
The non-fungible token (NFT) is a cryptographic asset on a blockchain with unique identification codes and metadata that distinguishes it from other cryptographic assets. They cannot be traded or exchanged at equivalence with cryptocurrencies.
Solanart is the first fully-fledged NFT open marketplace in the Solana ecosystem. With user-friendliness at the forefront, Solanart enables users to connect their SPL wallets and seamlessly explore, buy, and sell digital collectibles. While the platform remains in open beta, Solanart is home to the most prominent Solana-based NFT collections, such as Moonrock Capital, Aurory, and Degenerate Ape Academy. There is significant trading volume, as well as strong institutional interest.
NFTs can be created and minted using Metaplex's open-source protocol, which uses a standardized format across wallets and applications. Metaplex enables artists and creators to launch self-hosted NFT storefronts quickly as building a website. Ultra-fast NFTs with insanely low minting fees. Metaplex is a viable alternative to the existing NFT ecosystem. Developers, token holders, and validators can leverage Solana's open-source infrastructure.
As part of its new NFT marketplace, Solsea introduced several groundbreaking features in August 2021. Solsea claims to be the first NFT marketplace that enables creators to choose and embed copyright licenses when they mint NFTs.
NFTs with embedded licenses, a rarity index for NFT collections, wallet funding through FTX, and integrated NFT minting. Users could also track upcoming NFT drops with Solsea's marketplace calendar. Solsea benefits from the same low-cost, high-speed transactions as the rest of the Solana ecosystem. Solsea is undergoing its most significant update yet. We will see if Solsea can maintain and grow its user base and platform and the growing Solana NFT ecosystem. Nevertheless, it is one of Solana's top NFT marketplaces.
New trends in the game dev industry are blockchain games built using blockchain technology. They usually involve non-fungible tokens in some element of the gameplay. A majority of the characters, cards, creatures, or items in blockchain games are NFTs because they are unique on the blockchain, owned by a single person at a time, and transferable with and without the game. Discover the most popular Solana gaming projects.
Star Atlas is a space-themed strategy game that combines Unreal Engine graphics with the unmatched capabilities of the Solana blockchain. Probably it is the most excited Solana gaming project at the moment.
Star Atlas stands out from others based on blockchain, which means that what you earn and receive in the game is yours. The game is still in its early stages, but players can already enjoy parts of the vast metaverse.
The full game launch is years away, but developers are launching the game in small pieces. You can already trade both the Star Atlas token and Polis, which will be the governance token and even some in-game items as NFTs. In April 2022, ATLAS sold in the $0.007921093463 - $0.009248286537 price range and had a total market cap of $55,499,520.
In the future, this project can live up to expectations because this game project will revolutionize blockchain gaming and gaming in general.
Aurory is not a typical Solana gaming project. It is a top-selling gaming project with play-to-earn mechanics. This project is built on the Solana ecosystem, with its in-game marketplace powered by Serum.
This fantasy game features both players vs. player and players vs. environment game modes. In both player vs. player and players vs. environment game modes, players will be able to collect NFTs and $AURY tokens. By playing the game, players earn tokens and NFTs. Players can trade these in the marketplace and increase their chances of success in the game.
Aurory has seen huge success. In September, the 10,000 Auriorian characters NFT sold out in a few seconds. Aurory developers plan to use these NFTs as 3D models in the future.
Take a look at the notable projects in Solana metaverse.
Audius is a decentralized artist-controlled and community-owned music-streaming platform for musicians, aiming to give back power to the users. Audius functions as a music co-op, with incentives aligned between the node operators, artists, and fans that make the network work. Audius has incorporated a social media style approach and allows anyone to post music to gain an audience and interact with them.
Audius is the largest non-financial crypto application and passed more than 5.3 million unique users in July 2021, and users listened to tracks 7.5 million times throughout April 2021. Audius is powered by the AUDIO token with a market cap of almost $900 million at writing. Audius integrated with Phantom to bring Solana NFTs to its platform, choosing to migrate to Solana’s protocol due to its speed, low fees, and censorship resistance.
The Arweave software aims to store files permanently on a distributed network of computers. The goal is to create a digital archive that lasts forever, similar to the Library of Alexandria. As a result of their partnership, Arweave and Solana provided a decentralized permanent data storage solution for ledger data, ensuring that the data can be retrieved whenever necessary. Arweave has already begun storing Internet Archive data as of 2020. The company hopes to keep all data secure and free from tampering.
Currently, Solana supports the new wave of NFT and play-to-earn games. NFT enthusiasts need to know about upcoming Solana NFT projects and drops. Many Solana NFT projects will release in the future, but the ones we listed display profitable potential in the future.
The move-to-earn mechanic of Genopets is a revolutionary concept in the gaming space. Genopets takes Free-to-Play NFT to a whole new level by using the fast processing power of its Solana platform to track activity while playing mini-game from wearable fitness gear and convert it into experience points. In the real world, players, by buying NFTs can upgrade and breed their pets, making them more competitive in battle. Genopets is one of the most anticipated Solana games.
Solana Monkey Business
Solana Monkey Business Gen 2 is a collection of 5,000 randomly generated pixel monkeys. A significant feature of the monkeys is their owner-exclusive advantages, including ownership of NFTs and an on-chain voting system, and a community wallet. Solana Monkeys' metadata is stored on Arweave, a decentralized data storage system.
Bottled Axolotls is a collection of 4,200 random NFTs. The game offers a play-to-earn option, and the number of NFTs may increase with the success of the game, and players will be able to breed Axolotls. NFT holders will receive 5 SOL for each Axolotl to start learning the game. The game will utilize the turn-based combat strategy.
As we discussed above, Solana is a rapidly expanding ecosystem for dApps. Also, Solana has smart contract capabilities, which are essential for running DeFi and NFTs. Thus, Solana has inevitably drawn comparisons to Ethereum. Ethereum is a community-built technology behind the cryptocurrency ether (ETH) and thousands of applications that many of us use today. Although Ethereum lacks speed and cost-effective transactions, it makes up for it with its mature decentralization.
In comparison with Solana, Ethereum is more energy-intensive. Ethereum uses a proof of work (PoW) model, wherein miners must solve complex puzzles to validate transactions. Due to this, the technology is more energy-intensive and detrimental to the environment.
Ethereum offers a mature and much more developed DeFi ecosystem if we are talking about cost. However, Solana is a new player that provides faster transaction times at lower prices. Ethereum transacts more securely because this blockchain has been around since 2014. For investors, it means it has had time to be optimized. But if you are looking for fast transactions and a low-cost tool, it's better to use Solana. Solana was created in 2020, and it offers users a more affordable option.
For those interested in investing in NFTs, Ethereum wasn’t the first blockchain to offer NFTs, and it has been the most successful overall. Unlike Ethereum, Solana smart contracts are stateless. Due to its fast transactions and low fees, the platform is a favorite among NFT artists and traders who are getting more and more. The platform has a 400-millisecond block time, and each transaction cost is less than a cent. In addition, the platform is resistant to censorship and will continue to allow free and indefinite trading of NFTs.
Before choosing one, answer a question – do I prefer a more secure blockchain that costs more or do you need a faster and more cost-effective blockchain? Here all depend on your personal goals.
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Solana has come a long way since its launch in 2020. Throughout the whole time, attracting numerous notable projects to the ecosystem, thereby increasing the audience. Betting on the project’s strengths -- scalability, high throughput, and sub-penny fees. This is reflected in SOL’s price action: the token rallied over 100% during August and, in November, hit an all-time high of US$249.65, according to CoinGecko.
We have provided you with a comparison of the two blockchains -- Solana and Ethereum. Among the top recommendations, you will get from everyone are Ethereum and Solana. Ethereum wins the race if you are looking for a strong and secure blockchain, but if you need speed and low cost, so explore Solana. The Solana ecosystem has the potential to gain market share to put it among the top smart-contract platforms of the future.
Talking about Solana NFT projects, you will notice that all projects are rare, unique, and fresh. If you want to invest in NFT, we recommend choosing NFT projects from Solana metaverse precisely because more developers and artists select Solana to create their projects.
This article contains information, research, and analysis related to any products or services described. If you still have any concerns, the Mad Devs team is ready to help you select the appropriate stack for your project.
Previously published at maddevs.io/blog.