Solana the “Visa of digital assets” powers higher
Solana ($SOL), one of 2021’s fastest-growing blockchains — has seen a wave of momentum in March. Among the top 20 tokens by market cap, Solana is up the most in the past 30 days (28%).
What’s driving Solana’s move?
Several announcements in the past month helped Solana power higher:
- OpenSea will add support for Solana-based NFTs in April.
- WisdomTree launched new exchange-traded products for Solana, Cardano and Polkadot in Europe.
- Coinbase added wallet support for Solana-based tokens — with plans to add Solana NFT and application support.
Solana support on OpenSea gives Solana-based NFTs significant exposure — which could lead to more trading activity — and more fees earned by Solana.
- In a 7-day period at the end of March, OpenSea drove $558M in NFT trading volume on Ethereum.
- In the same period, $9.7M worth of NFTs were traded on two NFT exchanges which made up 98% of total volume.
This assumes the NFT market can hold up — as NFT transaction volume trended down in 2022.
Look to developer activity for growth…
Per Electric Capital partner (via Coindesk) — developer activity is seen as a leading indicator — as “the engineers are closest to whether or not there’s real value”.
- In 2021, Solana had the fastest growth in developers among mid-sized blockchains — followed by the Near Protocol ($NEAR).
- Solana was among Ethereum, Polkadot and Cosmos — as the top four blockchains with the most developers in 2021.
Crypto-gaming could also become another big growth driver for Solana — which some developers see as a better option to build play-to-earn crypto games — due to its fast transaction speeds and cheap fees:
- Creator of popular game, PUBG, announced a partnership with Solana Labs to develop blockchain and NFT-based games.
- Aurory ($AURY) and Star Atlas ($ATLAS) are two highly anticipated games launching on Solana.
(More on crypto-gaming another week.)
Investors: Crypto getting too cozy with stocks
Solana has been plagued by network outages over the past 6 months — along with a hack on Wormhole, an application in the Solana ecosystem, leading to $326M in crypto stolen. The bigger issue is the global economic environment.
Solana along with the broad crypto market have been highly correlated with the stock market. For crypto to break out from its recent lows, it’ll likely need to see a ceasefire from Ukraine, or a decoupling from the stock markets.