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As one of the leading Ethereum alternatives, Solana is a goldmine of projects that have very promising futures, and down below, you will find five that have caught our eye.
Ethereum has been the leader in blockchain development for the last six years, but in 2021, something changed. Due to the rise of so many trends, including DeFi, NFTs, metaverse, blockchain gaming, countless new projects sparked by the biggest bull run in the history of crypto, and more, Ethereum’s struggle reached entirely new proportions.
Its inability to scale, slow transaction processing speed and high gas fees that emerged as a result of it all have finally started forcing users and developers alike to seek out alternative platforms, especially since Ethereum 2.0 is still not here, a full year after its implementation has started.
While multiple chains attracted the eyes of Ethereum’s dissipating community, Solana ended up being one of the favorite go-to destinations for developers and users alike. Already, it has given birth to plenty of high-quality projects, and today, we wanted to review several of them and see what they have to offer. With that said, here are the top 5 of them that you should keep an eye on, and maybe consider investing in as we move into 2022.
The first on our list is Audius (AUDIO), which comes as a decentralized music streaming protocol. Interestingly, it was originally built on POA network, but since then, it has shifted to Solana.
Audius was created with a special purpose, and that was to remedy the inefficiencies found in the music industry. The industry has been plagued by a number of problems, with one of the biggest ones being the lack of transparency when it comes to music rights ownership, and also intermediaries that have been standing between artists and their audiences.
As always, it is these intermediaries that do the least amount of work and take the biggest chunk of the profits, thus robbing both the fans and creators. Audius aims to change that by putting the interests of artists, fans, and node operators first, aligning them through its platform powered by its native cryptocurrency, the AUDIO token.
Artists can publish the content at no cost, stream their music, and thanks to the decentralization of blockchain, there is no copyright protection. Fans can listen to the tracks for free, and they will be able to stake AUDIO to help their favorite artists grow on the platform.
To learn more visit our Investing in Audius guide.
With Solana being on its way to becoming a new leading development platform, it is only fitting that it has its own leading decentralized exchange (DEX). After all, Ethereum has Uniswap, BSC has PancakeSwap, and as for Solana, its top DEX is called Serum (SRM).
Essentially, this is a DeFi protocol that offers all the benefits of decentralization, while still managing to keep the key features that people have gotten used to on centralized platforms. In that sense, Serum differs from both, Uniswap and PancakeSwap, which both act as AMMs that allow users to swap between cryptos. Serum, on the other hand, comes as a full-featured exchange, which even offers leveraged trading, limit orders, and more.
The project’s ecosystem is marked by unprecedented speed and low transaction costs. Furthermore, the DEX’s on-chain central limit order book and matching engine are capable of providing both liquidity and price-time-priority matching to traders and composing projects. Users can benefit from the project by gaining several highly valuable abilities, such as the option to choose the price, direction, and size of their trades.
To learn more visit our Investing in Serum guide.
In the third spot, we have a project called Raydium (RAY), which is Solana’s very first automated market maker (AMM). As such, it enjoys the first-mover advantage in the space. The project is actually providing liquidity for the Serum DEX, with all the funds deposited into Raydium being converted into limit orders, which then sit on Serum’s order books.
Raydium has reached $1 billion locked in its smart contracts some time ago, which also made it one of the most widely used dApp in Solana’s entire ecosystem. In its essence, the project is not that much different from Ethereum’s SushiSwap. It has a project accelerator, known as AcceleRaytor, which allows new cryptos to launch with liquidity on its platform.
Its user base is massive, and constantly growing, just like its liquidity. As such, RAY is among the most established projects on Solana. This makes it very much worthy of the attention of anyone who wishes to invest in some of the leading projects within Solana’s ecosystem, which is why this list could not be made without it.
To learn more visit our How to buy Raydium guide.
Next up, we have Arweave (AR) — Solana’s leading decentralized storage solution. This project has funding from some of the largest venture capital firms in the space, including the likes of Andreessen Horowitz, Coinbase Ventures, and others. The project attracted the attention of giants thanks to the fact that it came up with new, revolutionizing ideas regarding profit-sharing communities that would provide incentives to developers to use the platform.
All those who contribute to the ecosystem are granted equity, which is considered to be a better approach than simply selling equity to investors in seed funding rounds or presales.
The platform’s main goal, as mentioned, is to offer decentralized storage, and to make it indefinite. It describes itself as a collectively owned hard drive, and thanks to the fact that it uses blockchain, all of the stored data will be recorded forever, remaining immutable and permanently available. As a result, the project will ensure that everyone has the ability to store and share information, not only with one another right now but also with future generations.
Of course, at the heart of the project is its native cryptocurrency, AR, but also the new profit-sharing tokens, which the project unveiled in June 2020. These tokens will be beneficial for the devs who use the project’s network, allowing them to receive dividends when network transaction fees get generated from the developers’ applications.
To learn more visit our Investing in Arweave guide.
5. Star Atlas
Finally, the last on our list is Star Atlas (ATLAS). This is the first, and largest NFT gaming platform that emerged on Solana back in late August 2021. With NFT-based blockchain gaming becoming a major trend of the crypto/blockchain industry, this project is likely to explode in 2022 and beyond.
The project offers a game that is set in a virtual reality universe, where the players get to own spaceships, travel through space, and visit other planets. They will also be able to encounter other players, engage in battles, and win rewards by achieving victory in these battles. In other words, this is a massive multiplayer online game that uses NFTs.
The game is set in the year 2620, and it features three major factions that have emerged and are now competing for resources and control. One of them is mankind, the other includes sentient androids, and the third one is a consortium of alien races. The game actually combines different genres, encourages exploration, and it offers an abundance of stars for exploration and exploitation alike.
What makes Star Atlas unique is the fact that it delivers an immersive metaverse gaming experience that includes multiple genres, all while combining the ability to earn virtual assets that can be exchanged for real-life currencies with the cinema-quality gaming experience. As such, it is definitely worth checking out and keeping an eye on as it continues its development and growth.
With Solana currently being one of the blockchains with the greatest potential to replace Ethereum, its projects have been highly interesting — not only due to the quality of the blockchain on which they were built but also due to their own innovative nature and groundbreaking ideas. And, as such, they also offer the ability to earn, whether through DeFi or NFT means, or even simply trading that has existed in the crypto industry since the moment Bitcoin itself got its first value.