ZacharyZachary
21 October 2021
Oct 2021
21 min

Solana’s NFT Ecosystem

Solana is the world’s highest-performing blockchain. With the most transactions per second (65,000 easily) and transaction fees amounting to a fraction of a cent, it’s no surprise that DeFi and NFT development on Solana is taking off. 

NFT sales have surged past $10 billion in volume over the past three months. Every time the mainstream media has claimed that NFTs are dead, they have quickly made a comeback – and for good reason. NFTs have the potential to disrupt and ultimately enhance many massive consumer industries. They can serve utilities that haven’t even existed before. 

Many are arguing that Solana is an Ethereum killer, although the future will most likely be gloriously multi-chained. Some things will make sense for Ethereum while others will make sense for Solana. NFTs in particular make sense on Solana.

On Solana’s next generation play-to-earn game, Star Atlas, players need to buy a spaceship NFT to begin playing and this will serve as the initial vessel they play the game with. The NFT depreciates with time and use and it can ultimately be salvaged, similar to a real world asset.

A Star Atlas Spaceship.

Not only are NFTs revolutionizing video games, fashion, commerce, real-estate, the precious metals industry, and sports memorabilia, but they’re creating communities of people that would otherwise not be connected to one another. 

If you see a Degenerate Ape as someone’s PFP (Profile Picture) on Twitter and Discord, you know they are identifying with the community of other Degenerate Apes. It’s a signal of their connection to that community. It’s also an easy talking point with anyone else who owns a degenerate ape.

Some Degenerate Apes. Source

Different NFT communities serve different purposes but all are only possible due to their non-fungible nature. Fungible assets can be exchanged 1:1 . Every Bitcoin is fungible with every other Bitcoin. No NFT is fungible. They are all verifiably unique tokens on a blockchain. 

How do Solana NFTs work?

Solana NFTs are a type of SPL token. SPL refers to the Solana Program Library which is a set of on-chain programs that govern how tokens operate on the Solana blockchain. SPL is similar to the ERC standards set forth on Ethereum. ERC20 denotes the fungible token standard while ERC721 denotes the non-fungible token standard. 

These standards enable users to verify ownership and uniqueness on publicly available blockchains. If I say I own a Degenerate Ape and you know my wallet address, you can search Solana Beach – Solana’s premier blockchain explorer – and see the data for the NFT in my wallet. You can also see every single transaction that brought the NFT to my wallet. This is the beauty of blockchain transparency. 

How do I purchase Solana NFTs?

To purchase Solana NFTs, you simply need a SPL compatible wallet like Solflare and some SOL. If you haven’t already set up a Solflare wallet, this article guides you through the quick and easy steps to do so. From there, all you need to do is send over SOL that you’ve purchased from a crypto exchange, connect to the NFT exchange you want to buy from and voila, you’re ready to go.

Solana NFTs are currently priced in Solana so you’ll be using the SOL tokens for both the purchase price and any associated transaction fees.

Where do I purchase Solana NFTs?

There are a number of Solana NFT marketplaces popping up and most are in the beta or alpha stage. You can buy and sell any Solana NFT on any of these platforms – all you have to do is connect your wallet to them. 

Solflare has a wonderful NFT interface and easily allows you to connect to these sites. For more information on how to connect to an NFT exchange or any dApplication on Solana, click here

Solanart

Solanart is one of the first Solana NFT platforms that was introduced and is currently in the Beta stage. 

With over 300,000 NFT sales and a cumulative volume of nearly 3.7 million SOL, it has proven itself as a premier marketplace. They include a 3% transaction fee for each sale so they have already netted well over 100,000 SOL in revenue. Not too shabby.

Solanart’s homepage.

SolSea

Solsea is another popular platform that offers a number of filter options such as searching by single NFTs or collections of NFTs, rarity ranks, and more. SolSea charges a 3% transaction fee for trades on their platform.

SolSea’s Explore page.

Digital Eyes

Digital Eyes is an up and coming Solana NFT marketplace that only charges 2.5% transaction fees. If you go to the homepage and scroll down, you’ll be amazed at the amount of different Solana NFT projects available.

DigitalEyes homepage.

FTX.US

Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX have been dominating the crypto industry over the last two years. 

It makes total sense that they’ve started venturing into the NFT world. With 2% transaction fees and verifiable ownership through a centralized exchange, FTX has positioned itself well ahead of all the other centralized exchanges out there like Coinbase – who are late to the game

FTX.US’s NFTs page.

You’re now able to buy & sell, mint, and showcase NFTs through your FTX account.

Conclusion

NFTs are here to stay. If you peruse through Twitter, you’ll see a number of A-list celebrities setting their PFPs to their favorite NFTs. Jay Z is a CryptoPunk. Stephen Curry is a member of the BAYC. Shaq is Creature #9018. Celebrities are taking part in this digital exclusivity and the trend is likely to increase in momentum. Twitter is working on verifiable ownership standards so users will soon be able to prove that they own the NFT in their PFP.

This is just one use case. 

There are going to be use cases that haven’t even been thought of yet. NFTs are helping usher in the new paradigms that metaverse proponents have been talking about for ages. It took a while but NFTs have finally become a mainstay component of burgeoning digital economies. 

Solana’s unparalleled blockchain technology will undoubtedly place it in the middle of all of what’s to come.

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