7-What’s so special about Solana?
You’ve probably heard of Solana, a blockchain that is attracting more and more projects and users with its rich and diverse ecosystem. For one thing, Solana's token, SOL, surpassed $112, up 208.9% from the beginning of the month, and continued to rise in September, becoming the number 3 coin in terms of market cap.
Then, Audius, the decentralised streaming service launched on the Solana, established a partnership with TikTok. This partnership has attracted a large number of users to the project and to the chain.
In this article, we analyze why Solana is able to shine among the dozens of blockchains out there.
Price of SOL Data source: Footprint Analytics
Unlike other blockchains, Solana's development strategy is to improve its technology and consolidate its infrastructure first, before proceeding to focus on aggressively growing the number of projects and users, or ecosystem.
Therefore, Solana attracts engineers with strong technical backgrounds such as Qualcomm and Intel to provide it with strong technical talent support.
Solana also tackles the triangle problem of blockchain—which refers to creating blockchains that are decentralized, secure and high performance—through a handful of innovative technologies. These include Sealevel, which enables parallel smart contracts, Cloudbreak, a horizontally scalable account database, and Archives, a distributed ledger storage system.
With the great explosion of the ecosystem, the chain has gone from rarely used to gradually forming 332 projects in 24 major fields such as DeFi, tools, infrastructure, NFT, gaming, wallets, DApp, and developer tools.
Solana transactions are cheap and fast
To solve the problem of chain transaction congestion and high transaction fees, Solana uses the PoH (Proof of History) mechanism, which is different from other blockchains. By allowing each node to generate a local timestamp, data updates and data state processing do not have to wait for the entire blockchain network to synchronise. This ensures shorter times for transaction validation, thus improving transaction processing efficiency and security.
The PoH mechanism can process up to 65,000 transactions in 1 second, which is much higher than the 100 transactions per second of the Binance Smart Chain and the 15 transactions per second of Ethereum. With the improved processing efficiency and reduced energy consumption, the average transaction cost of Solana is $0.00025 per transaction, which is about 80,000 times less than the $20 per transaction of Ethereum. The low transaction fees and efficient transaction speed of Solana not only lower the transaction threshold for participating DeFi users, but also attract more users and project parties to go live and trade on the public chain.
TVL Ranking of Top 6 Chains Data source: Footprint Analytics
From a TVL perspective, while Ethereum still maintains its leading position and holds a large percentage of the market share, Solana's growth rate is arguably one of the highest when looking at the rates of each public chain. Solana was pulled into the spotlight again at the beginning of June with the news that it had received $314 million in funding led by a16z and Polychain.
In just three months, Solana's TVL has increased by 232%, occupying 1.8% of the market share. The most outstanding month was August, with an increase of 138.8%, surpassing the Huobi ECO Chain (Heco) and temporarily ranking fifth in the public chain.
Solana TVL by Category Data source: Footprint Analytics
Solana is becoming a go-to for DeFi and DEX projects
As the Solana ecosystem explodes, all sectors are contributing to the chain's TVL growth. Among the various categories of applications, the most prominent are DEXs, which dominate DeFi applications with a high share of 78.4%.
Several DEXs that have built on Solana recently are lending project Mango Markets in April, yield platform Solfarm in May, Parrot Protocol in June for minting and Marinade in August for staking.
TVL for Dex in Solana Chain Data source: Footprint Analytics
Looking at the development of the DEX platforms in Solana, the pace of growth has been very rapid since June. In less than 3 months, the number of DEX platforms online has risen from 3 to 6, and the TVL has increased from $830 million to $2.61 billion, an increase of 214.5%. Raydium, the first DEX platform on Solana to use the AMM mechanism, continues to be the leader, creating liquidity for the entire Solana ecosystem and gradually expanding its TVL advantage. With a growth rate of 425%, Saber overtook Serum for second place in August and is set to become a strong contender to Raydium.
Top 10 TVL for Dex in Different Chains Data source: Footprint Analytics
It is important to note that DEX platforms developed on Ethereum still have the most TVL in the industry by far. However, thanks to Raydium, Solana DEXs have now cracked the tiop 10 with its $1.1 billion TVL.
Solana’s bet on leading with its technology first has finally appeared to pay off, with investors are bullish and the ecosystem gradually becoming optimized. At Footprint Analytics, we've created a dashboard on Solana for readers to keep track of its development.
After our analysis, we believe Solana will continue to carry all the major DeFi applications that rely on this public chain and continue to provide value with its distinctive and innovative technology.
What is Footprint Analytics
Footprint Analytics is a powerful yet easy-to-use analytics tool to uncover and visualize blockchain data. The product puts user experience first—whether you’re an analyst, data scientist, developer, student, teacher, or executive. It provides an intuitive, drag-and-drop interface for interactive data queries.