The cryptocurrency linked to the Solana network has jumped to the seventh spot among the world’s top 10 largest virtual coins amid optimism that the blockchain could be a long-term competitor to Ethereum.
Solana’s SOL token has tripled in about three weeks and now has a market value of more than $41 billion (roughly Rs. 2,99,640 crores), according to CoinGecko. Proponents tout the claimed speed and lower cost of transactions on Solana for decentralized finance and digital collectibles, applications where Ethereum dominates. Ether price in India stood at Rs. 2.97 lakhs as of 5:30 pm IST on September 6.
“Solana has a growing ecosystem, projects are being built on it, and it’s benefited hugely from the mania that’s taking place in NFTs,” Antoni Trenchev, co-founder at crypto lender Nexo, wrote in an email. NFTs are non-fungible tokens used to trade digital collectibles. He said the backing of crypto figure Sam Bankman-Fried – chief executive of crypto exchange FTX – is helping.
Solana bills itself as the world’s fastest blockchain and its website said the average cost per transaction is $0.00025 (roughly Rs. 0.018). In June it announced that it had raised $314 million (roughly Rs. 2,290 crores) in a funding round with investors including Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Research, venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, Polychain Capital, and CoinShares.
Late last month, Jump Trading-affiliated crypto market data provider Pyth Network went live on Solana’s manner, a development that’s expected to help bolster the world of decentralized finance. There are plans for it soon to be able to broadcast market data through the so-called Wormhole Network.
“It’s becoming too big to ignore and offers a different smart contract solution to Ethereum,” Jonathan Cheesman, head of over-the-counter and institutional sales at FTX, wrote in an email.
So-called alternative coins like Solana’s SOL, Cardano’s ADA, and Binance Coin have surged in recent weeks, taking some of the limelight from top tokens Bitcoin and Ether in a broad crypto revival from a May rout. Bitcoin has also rallied and come close to $52,000 (roughly Rs. 38 lakhs) on Monday. Cardano’s price in India stood at Rs. 216, Bitcoin price in India stood at Rs. 39.06 lakhs as of 5:30 pm IST on September 6.
Skeptics argue the technological upgrades propelling some tokens may not justify the scale of the rallies.