Upstart blockchain Solana, dubbed the ‘Ethereum Killer’ has been making waves recently. While its nickname may be a bit overblown, Solana is well-positioned to challenge Ethereum in the rapidly expanding and evolving world of decentralized apps revolving around finance, gaming and media.
The blockchain appears to have balanced what Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain have been unable to: scalability, security, and decentralization. The project claims its maximum throughput is more than 50,000 transactions per second, while Ethereum averages between 10 and 15 transactions per second. The BSC has 21 nodes and 15 are controlled by Binance, which means unless they add significantly more, decentralization isn’t going to meet expectations in the DeFi space anytime soon.
Solana has a lot of good things going for it, and according to anonymous sources, the team is raising between $300 million and $450 million. In an interview with Decrypt, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried said: “I’m excited and impressed to see the recent growth of Solana’s business. They’ve had industry leading tech for a while, and it’s gratifying to see reality catching up.”
Reality is catching up indeed. Not only has the SOL token gained a quick 2000% in the last 5 months, following a series of hackathons there are now over 250 projects in the Solana ecosystem. Among these applications include Solana wallets, DEXs, lending protocols, staking platforms, games, entertainment, storage solutions, NFT marketplaces and so much more.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the top projects built on Solana today, in no particular order.
Raydium is an automated market maker (AMM) and liquidity provider built on the Solana blockchain. Unlike other AMMs, Raydium provides on-chain liquidity to a central limit order book, meaning that pools have access to all order flow and liquidity on Serum. The protocol has already attracted plenty of interest, having recently crossed the $700 million market for Total Value Locked (TVL). Raydium also launched one of its projects, Fusion Pools, which offer dual-yield rewards for both liquidity providers and stakers.
Orca claims to have built a more human-centered experience for traders on Solana. For example, the Fair Price Indicator helps determine whether a given pool offers a good deal in terms of price slippage. It’s still early days for this project but some of the planned features include integration of Wormhole (cross-chain bridge between Ethereum and Solana), collectible tokens for early adopters, analytics and an expanding selection of trading pairs.
Still in closed Beta, Hedgehog is a prediction markets platform that generates passive yield for LPs. A prediction market — also known as an information market or decision market — is a platform where participants can predict the outcome of future events. Users of the platform can hedge or trade on a series of outcomes, from election results to sport events to auction sale prices. Following the conclusion of a market, smart contracts interact with data services, or oracles, to authenticate the outcome and automatically distribute the results to users.
Maps.me is a mobile app that provides offline maps using OpenStreetMap data. It has now topped over 140 million users and has recently integrated DeFi features into the app, providing familiar travel reward programs and discounts, as well as governance features on certain aspects of ecosystem. Since people mostly use the app during travelling, Maps.me is further evolving its ecosystem to become a travel oriented crypto wallet, offering features such as payments, accommodation booking, fund transfers and asset management.
Aleph.im is like a decentralized AW or Firebase, enabling dApps and protocols to replace centralized parts of their stack with fully decentralized architecture. Aleph.im achieves this by providing decentralized databases (including file storage), computation and a decentralized identification (DID) framework.
The Media Network
The Media Network is an open source, decentralized and censorship-resistant live streaming hosting protocol. It is a new protocol that bypasses traditional CDN providers’ centralized approach and instead offers a decentralized P2P bandwidth market, enabling anyone to participate and serve content without introducing any trust assumptions or pre-authentication requirements. Participants earn MEDIA rewards for their bandwidth contributions, a fixed supply token minted on Solana’s Blockchain.
SolFarm is a yield aggregation platform with auto-compounding vault strategies. Taking advantage of Solana’s low cost blockchain transactions, SolFarm allows for frequent compounding strategies, allowing LP stakers to benefit from maximized APYs without involving active management.
Oxygen is a DeFi Prime Brokerage Protocol built for the next chapter in decentralized finance. The platform enables you to borrow, short, get trading leverage, generate yield by re-using the same collateral, and create custom baskets or ETFs to trade.
Anchor offers a simple and convenient savings product with broad appeal to everyday users. It offers a better yield than any traditional savings product, powered by staking returns from multiple proof of stake blockchains. To generate yield, Anchor lends out deposits to borrowers who put down liquid-staked Proof-of-Stake assets from major blockchains as collateral.
Step.Finance is the front page of Solana. It is the tab you keep open all day to visualize, analyze, execute and aggregate transactions across all Solana contracts in single dashboard. Users can interact with their favorite protocols from within the Step dashboard which could include farming, pools, swaps and automated strategies.
A critical element to expanding the world of crypto, is easier ways to spend your gains. CryptoPlease plans to offer exactly that with a simple to use mobile app. The project is still in development after having joined the second Solana Hackathon, but they have set their goals high.
Leveraging Solana’s fast transaction time and low fees, CryptoPlease will allow anyone to pay and accept crypto for goods and services, without the need to create a complicated wallet, and the blockchain element will be seamless and invisible to the end users. It will be an app designed for people that know nothing about crypto, addresses, blockchains or protocols. Just people that want to spend digital money.
Audius is a blockchain-enabled music streaming platform that that puts power back into the hands of content creators. It has been around for a couple years and was originally deployed to Ethereum. However, after careful testing the team recently decided to migrate over to Solana to better serve its rapidly expanding userbase, now clocking over 1 million monthly listeners.
It’s undeniable that the Solana Summer will be long and hot.
Many of the projects launching on the blockchain are still in development stages, but those that have launched have done so successfully. With a market cap of over $10 billion, price resiliency on days most other top coins print red, rapidly expanding and a thriving community, Solana is destined for a top position in the decentralized economy.