Opinion pieces are based on the author's personal opinion, and they do not constitute investment advice, financial advice, or trading advice. Securities.io does not recommend that any cryptocurrency should be bought, sold, or held by you. Conduct your own due diligence and consult a financial advisor before making any investment decisions.
Solana is one of the fastest-growing ecosystems out there right now, and one of the most popular Ethereum alternatives. According to CoinMarketCap, it has 167 active projects within its ecosystem, and while some originated on Solana and others simply expanded to it or moved from other chains, they are all contributing to enriching its ecosystem.
Of course, having that many projects, and having new ones continuing to join all the time, means that investors might have trouble deciding which tokens in Solana’s ecosystem to invest in. While there are many good ones, not all of them are, and being able to recognize the difference and properly identify which ones are good can make all the difference. With that said, here are our top 7 suggestions. We recommend researching each in great depth if you are planning to invest in them, but you can use this list as your starting point and move on from there.
The first on our list is Solana itself, or rather, its token SOL. SOL seems like an obvious choice, given that it is the heart of the entire ecosystem. The first thing to note is that Solana has been one of the best Ethereum alternatives that were created thus far. It is scalable, capable of processing a lot more transactions per second than Ethereum, which in turn reduces waiting times, as well as gas fees. So, it is faster, cheaper, and user-friendly on top of that.
Solana is also still fairly young, so there are still areas where newly emerging projects are taking the early mover advantage. However, it is growing rapidly, and its growth speed is likely to increase in due time. Another thing to note about Solana, and specifically SOL, is that the token will receive more and more use cases as the ecosystem grows bigger and busier, which will boost demand, and alongside it, its price.
Simply put, Solana is a project that will keep all other projects in its ecosystem up and running. It is the pillar of its network, and as such, it holds great value, that will only increase further as that network continues to grow.
To learn more visit our Investing in Solana guide.
Next on our list is Arweave, which is a leading decentralized storage solution on Solana. The platform’s main goal is to offer limitless, decentralized storage to those who need a safe place for storing data. In other words, Arweave acts as a type of collectively-owned hard drive that stores information using blockchain technology. The advantages of this are clear, and they include things such as decentralization, immutability, high security, transparency, approachability, and alike. The stored data will, of course, be available permanently to anyone who is supposed to have access to it.
As such, it can be a good place to store scientific research, that would be useful both right now, and in the future, providing future generations with knowledge and information. Furthermore, it is worth saying that Arweave attracted the attention of some rather big names, such as Andreessen Horowitz, Coinbase Ventures, and others. Its revolutionizing ideas involving profit-sharing communities also offers an incentive to anyone who joins the program, so it is certainly worth considering it.
To learn more visit our Investing in Arweave guide.
In the third spot, we have Audius, a project that actually acts as a decentralized music streaming protocol. Audius has an interesting goal, which is to resolve the problems and inefficiencies of the music industry. The music industry has had issues for a long time, mostly due to the lack of transparency in terms of rights ownership, or the number of intermediaries involved in the process of delivering music from creators to their communities.
With the help of blockchain technology, intermediaries can be bypassed altogether, and proving ownership of the music is a simple matter thanks to the combination of transparency and immutability.
By removing intermediaries, who tend to charge massive fees for their services, a lot of money can be saved and put to better use. Plus, artists would get more direct access to their communities, lower the price of their content, and even be able to publish it at no cost. Audius can bring a massive change to the music industry and it can seriously disrupt it, but ultimately, it is for a good cause, which is why the project will likely receive a lot of support from artists and their fans alike.
To learn more visit our Investing in Audius guide.
Next, there is Raydium, which is Solana’s first automated market maker (AMM). Raydium’s role in the project’s ecosystem is to act as a liquidity provider for Serum DEX, one of Solana’s decentralized exchanges. Users who choose to deposit funds into Raydium are, of course, rewarded, while the funds themselves are converted into limit orders. These orders are then sent to Serum’s order books, and are being used for matching orders of the exchange’s traders.
Raydium is the first project of this kind on Solana, which granted it the first-mover advantage once it emerged. Furthermore, it quickly became quite popular in the Solana ecosystem. Its smart contracts quickly reached $1 billion locked, and have exceeded that amount a long time ago.
Right now, Raydium is easily among the biggest and most used projects in the entire Solana ecosystem, which further boosts its legitimacy and popularity. Also, it has a project accelerator known as AcceleRaytor, which has already contributed to fast and strong growth of many other projects on the network.
To learn more visit our Investing in Raydium guide.
In the fifth spot, we have a project called Mango Markets, or just Mango, for short. Mango is a project that plans to merge the liquidity and usability of CeFi with DeFi’s permissionless innovation. Its hope is that this approach could lower cost for end-users, and make it lower than what any of the two can offer right now.
Some of the services that Mango is offering right now, as part of achieving this goal, include lending, margin trading, perpetual futures, as well as participation in the project’s decentralized governance, which allows users to contribute to decision making and allow them to decide on project’s evolution.
Moving forward, Mango wishes to help bring unpredictable and “spectacular” innovations that might even contribute to overtaking centralized finance. Offering lightning-speeds at near-zero fees is one of the primary objectives, and thanks to Solana being a high-performance blockchain, it is certainly within the realm of possibility.
Nearing the end of the list, we have Solanium, a project that acts as a decentralized platform for trading and fundraising on Solana. Solanium offers a wide array of services, many of which are tied rather closely to the DeFi sector. For example, it has a DEX UI, it offers users the ability to participate in project’s governance, and it supports staking. Other than that, it also has a wallet management service, and even its own launchpad.
Participating in the project’s governance has been among the most popular activities, and in order to do it, users need to purchase SLIM tokens and stake them in order to receive xSLIM. xSLIM can then be used for voting in governance proposals, but also for other purposes, such as improving the user’s odds in the project’s lottery to win allocation in projects, gaining exclusive pool access, or becoming eligible for receiving launchpad fee distribution.
7. Step Finance
Finally, we have Step Finance as the last project on our list. While fairly low-ranking on the list of largest cryptos by market cap, Step Finance sees itself as the front page of Solana. It visualises, analyses, executes, and aggregates transactions across all Solana contracts in one place, acting as a portfolio management dashboard and transaction aggregator.
As such, it allows users to monitor tokens associated with their wallets, LP positions, Margin positions, Staked Yield farms, and more. In addition, the project allows users to execute swaps, enter different yield farms and automated vaults, and more. It is one of the more technical projects, but it can be very useful to certain users, and its unique capabilities definitely make it a valuable contribution to Solana’s ecosystem.
Solana is a project that holds great potential due to its technical capabilities, as well as user-friendliness that makes its ecosystem welcoming and still very safe and reliable. The project already has over 160 projects within, and while that cannot compare with the likes of Ethereum, Solana is still a technologically superior project that is also much younger than ETH, and still a much smaller brand. In several years’ time, unless Ethereum can solve its issues, Solana is very likely to keep growing and reach closer and closer to it.
Perhaps Solana might be the long-awaited Ethereum Killer, or perhaps Ethereum simply won’t be overtaken, ever. Regardless of what happens in the future, the fact is that Solana has some great projects for you to consider, and the list above is only scratching the surface.