Solana is an open-source network founded in 2017 by a seasoned investor and software engineer named Anatolyy Yakovenko. The blockchain was built by Solana Labs, a software company based in the United States of America. Solana Foundation, a nonprofit entity based in Geneva, Switzerland, coordinates its ongoing projects and developments.
The project raised 25 million dollars across major Initial Coin Offerings in 3 years (2018, 2019, and 2020). Solana raised an additional 314 million dollars from various cryptocurrency Venture Capital Financing in 2021. Even though the blockchain is still in beta, Solana’s main net went live in the spring of 2020. It is still unclear when Solana will enter full-scale release.
Solana’s Consensus Ecosystem
Solana’s consensus leverages the Proof of Stake mechanism in the Proof of History technology. Proof of History enables Solana to timestamp transactions. Over 1,900 validators currently secure the Solana network. However, Smaller groups of validators known as Solana clusters validate transactions of Solana validators. These clusters entail a group of about 150 validators each.
The organization of validators and Solana’s sub-second block time make Solana’s transaction speed enormously high. In 1 second, Solana transacts up to 65,000 transactions making Solana the fastest crypto ecosystem in the world.
SOL is Solana’s native cryptocurrency used to pay for transaction fees occurring in the network. Half of the transaction fees are burnt, and the remaining half is entitled to be shared among the Validators. Solana also experiences low costs. In addition to paying transaction fees, Solana may also be staked.
Solana’s Entry into the Metaverse
Solana’s NFT Boom
NFTs play a massive part in Metaverse and Web3 development. NFTs and Metaverse complement each other to develop a better ecosystem in the virtual world. For instance, NFTs will allow web3 developers and users to own interoperable digital items and collectibles in web3.
Solana has grown exponentially in the NFT space to closely follow Ethereum, the industry’s leading NFT ecosystem. Solana NFTs are rising, with the ecosystem’s token taking up 22 spots in the top 100 NFT collections. Solana’s NFT ecosystem is most preferred compared to the industry’s standard Ethereum because; Solana’s ecosystem provides lower gas fees compared to Ethereum fees. Ethereum gas fees are insanely high for trading NFTs.
Solana blockchain handles up to 65,000 transactions per second, making it faster than Ethereum. Solana has also created a very simple user interface that is preferred over Ethereum by many.
In addition, Solana’s NFTs are much cheaper than those minted on the Ethereum blockchain. These low-cost NFTs on Solana blockchain have opened the NFT space to retail investors who would not be able to afford ETH’s expensive NFTs. Solana has several successful NFT projects, including Okay Bears, which has been performing exceptionally well despite the current bearish sentiment on the general NFT niche.
Solana NFTs on OpenSea
Although still in beta testing, Solana’s NFTs have recently been added to the OpenSea market. OpenSea is the most popular marketplace to buy NFTs. Previously, the marketplace only offered Ethereum-based NFTs. However, recently, OpenSea has incorporated the interoperability of different blockchains to enhance user experience and bring more NFT fans on board. Since the interoperability of OpenSea, the marketplace has become a popular hub for Solana NFT projects.
Solana NFT listings on OpenSea could potentially be why Solana NFTs are Hot even though the general market sentiment toward NFTs is bearish. Before OpenSea listed Solana NFTs, Magic Eden was the largest and most popular Solana NFT marketplace.
Virtual Reality Platform on the Solana Blockchain-Solice
Solice is a Virtual Reality ecosystem built on the Solana Blockchain to enhance Metaverse development. Solice looks to provide the infrastructure required to support the growing virtual world. Solice will allow users to create, own and use avatars, assets, and Land represented as Non-Fungible Tokens. Solice currently offers users products and services on the Solana network only. However, the network will incorporate other networks to enhance the end user’s experience building or participating in the Metaverse.
Incorporating other networks in the ecosystem will remove interoperability barriers that include software, hardware, and operating systems to help more web3 fanatics connect and enjoy full-scale adoption of web3.
Solice VR will be accessible on PC, mobile, and Virtual Reality devices. The Solice will also initially offer virtual real estate, including Land. Solice developers will initially provide solice real estate on the Solana blockchain network before interoperability is fully adopted and other networks successfully incorporate. Solice ecosystem resembles Sandbox and Decentraland, two of the most extensive Metaverse ecosystems in space.
Rendering the Metaverse on Solana
Recently, Solana has driven much of its attention to developing payment options and crypto play-to-earn blockchain games that will allow Solana users to access and play in the Metaverse. The following list shows potential games built on Solana that will run on the Metaverse.
Synergy Land is a blockchain ARPG game built on the Solana Blockchain. Synergy Studio develops the play-to-earn blockchain gaming project. According to the developers, the game will contain several interesting features including, but not limited to, Player vs. Player, Player vs. Artificial Intelligence, and the incorporation of Metaverse digital pets. Like in the real world, these pets will follow characters around as they explore the virtual worlds.
Synergy Land gaming project will utilize the Unreal Engine to create the ultimate experience for users in the Metaverse in Virtual and Augmented Realities.
Afflarium is a multiplayer Metaverse game built on the Solana blockchain network. The in-game tokenomics will support the use of interoperable Non-Fungible Tokens. Players will look for these NFTs, which will be in the game’s ecosystem. Alternatively, the game will also allow gamers and players to compete for tokens and NFTs as rewards for winning in-game competitions.
NFT creators and owners may sell NFTs and in-game collectibles on Solana marketplaces such as Magic Eden and OpenSea. The governance token of Afflarium is an AFFL token built on the Solana distributed ledger ecosystem.
Good Games Guild
Good Games is a web3 play-to-earn game developer whose goal is to become the largest Metaverse ecosystem in the coming days. The future of Good Games Guild will incorporate the building and development of Play-to-Earn games in the Metaverse. The Metaverse game developer also looks to have Rent-to-Earn NFTs as well as Stake-to-earn tokens.