The Current State of Solana Ecosystem: A Report

In The Beginning…

7 min readFeb 29, 2024

Some times in November 2017, the idea to conceive Ethereum’s twin descended on Anatoly Yakovenko.

Often referenced as the “Ethereum Killer” because of the potentials it has to strengthen the weaknesses of Ethereum, whilst bearing a striking resemblance to Ethereum, Solana came to life.

Photo by Ramón Salinero on Unsplash

Solana is a blockchain that uses a proof-of-history consensus mechanism, where time stamps define the next block on the blockchain which is very similar to the Ethereum blockchain. Solana is an high-performance open source project, built on a permissionless blockchain.

Report In Stages…

The Trilema Problem

In a bid to become the Ethereum killer, Solana has to solve the trilema problem. Solana employed a unique combination of technologies, design procedures and principles to achieve really high levels of scalability and high performance.

However, Solana is designed to address two parts of the trilemma: scalability and security.

Solana’s proof of history algorithm presents unique security for the network, while the speed with which the Solana platform performs computations allows for increased scalability.

How come?

According to Anissimov, with the use of a unique blend of proof of history and delegated proof of stake, Solana brings to the table an exponentially faster transaction speed than it’s twin and competitor, Ethereum, at a fraction of the cost, by using a unique blend of proof of history and delegated proof of stake.

Image from Brave

In the past 3 years, Solana has experienced significant growth in every areas including the ecosystem, Defi dominance, NFT innovation, community engagement, transaction volume and user adoption.

Solana’s Delegated Proof of Stake

According to Konstantin Anissimov, chief operating officer at crypto exchange, Solana uses “a mixture of time-tested cryptographic strategies and fresh innovations to address the shortcomings of crypto’s first-wave solutions.”

Solana’s Proof of Stake is designed for a very fast confirmation of current transaction sequence produced by the proof-of-history generator, for voting and selecting the next proof-of-history generator, and for penalizing defaulting validators.

Transactions in Solana are not grouped into blocks. Instead, it divides blocks into smaller batches called entries. A block in the context of Solana refers to the series of entries validators use to achieve confirmation. Validators within Solana’s proof-of-history consensus model are the entities tasked for confirming the legitimacy of these entries.

Solana is a fast, secure, and censorship-resistant blockchain providing the open infrastructure required for global adoption. Rather than processing transactions as they come in on a block-by-block basis, Solana processes transactions right as they come in. This achieves a high-performance ideal for the future of decentralized applications.

Real-World User Adoption

According to, As of Feb 2024, the number of daily active users of the Solana blockchain has grown by 56,000, or 55.9%, since the beginning of 2023.

The current daily user base stands at 160,000, a number the blockchain has not seen since the FTX crash in November 2023.

The resurgence of Solana at the start of the year stems from a combination of internal and external factors. reported recently, that On Solana, new users peaked at over 400,000 in May before gradually declining to 240,000 users during the week.

The number of daily active signers on Solana had jumped 300% since the network’s last update in late September 2023, peaking at 299,000 in late January before dropping to 232,000.2

Numbers Don’t Lie

At the SALT conference in 2021, there were conversations centered on speed — or, in network parlance, transactions per second (TPS).

Contextually, Ethereum being the first smartchain-enabled network upon which most Defis and NFTs run does about 30TPS, while the Solana network clocked about 50,000 TPS as at 2021.

Contributions From Blockchain Developers

Starting out with 60 dedicated volunteers who contributed immensely to Solana’s growth since launch in March of 2020,

According to a report from Solana, as at November 2023, Solana has had:

  • 2053 total active developers contributing to projects with Solana integration, including multi-chain projects
  • 1654 of those active developers are working on a project that is only focused on Solana.

This cumulative count of developers provides a comprehensive perspective on the expansion of the developer community surrounding Solana.

While taking note of the fact that a considerable portion of these developers might be exploring Solana for the first time, rather than being dedicated full-time developers actively building on the platform. Solana established the distinction as follows:

  • Full-time developer: Commit on 5 or more days in the past month
  • One-time developer: Commit on 1 day in the past month

As at November 2022, Solana has witnessed:

  • 1139 one-time developers
  • 120 full-time developers

As at November 2021, Solana is up more than 130x from the previous year and outperformed all other top 100 tokens except Axie Infinity (AXS), Kadena (KDA) and Fantom (FTM).

Stay With Me…

The Current Ecosystem

However, according to co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko, Solana currently counts approximately 1.25 million users.

The implication is that, Solana will require about 80,000% growth in adoption to reach 1 billion user count. Having 1 billion users of Solana implies that 1 in 8 of the world’s 7.9 billion inhabitants will use Solana.

As of when this report is being made, Solana hosts more than 400 projects, including many nonfungible tokens (NFT) and decentralized finance (DeFi) projects.

USD Coin (USDC), the second stablecoin by volume, is integrated natively on Solana.

Solana also hosts decentralized oracle network Chainlink, as well as decentralized derivatives exchange Serum, which FTX co-created. Solana’s market cap on Sept. 9 topped $62 billion.

Solana’s (SOL) price was on an absolute tear starting in August 2021, called “Solana Summer.” The token’s value rose from $35.15 to a high of $258.65 between Aug. 1 and Nov. 6, 2021. A boom in NFT sales, perpetual futures volume and a tight-knit community propelled Solana’s market capitalization to more than $73 billion and made the token fourth on the CoinMarketCap list of coins sorted by market cap at times.

The Hottest Projects on Solana

There are currently more than 400 projects built on Solana. Here are some of the hottest:

  • Backpack is the first wallet built for xNFTs. Whether it’s tokens, decentralized applications, or NFTs, use all your crypto assets inside Backpack.
  • Helium where hundreds of companies and thousands of developers are already building on The People’s Network, the world’s largest LoRaWAN network and fastest growing cellular network.
  • Squads simplifies management of developer and treasury assets for on-chain organizations
  • MokeDAO There’s always something going on in the DAO. That’s because MonkeDAO members are motivated, social and most importantly, active in every time zone in the world.
  • Tensor is Solana’s Leading NFT Marketplace
  • Firedancer is building a new validator client for Solana to increase its networking throughput, resilience, and efficiency.

Node Performance

Solana’s high performance blockchain is a network of computers (nodes) executing and validating transactions. Solana has two types of nodes: validator and RPC nodes.

Validator N\nodes (also known as Consensus Nodes) within Solana’s Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus model are the entities responsible for confirming if blocks are valid, and ultimately finalizing the transactions by voting on blocks produced by a leader node, or by being the leader.

Solana’s Proof-of-History (PoH) protocol is a cryptographic way to reliably order transactions and events recorded on the decentralized ledger. Solana’s architecture enables transactions to be ordered as they enter the network, rather than by block, which is done by the validator nodes.

Solana uses a delegated Proof-of-Stake protocol. Anyone who owns SOL can delegate it to a validator, whereby the validator then earns influence on the network which leads to them being assigned as a leader for more slots, as well as earning more rewards for voting.

Solana RPC node providers facilitate easy access for developers to send requests to and receive payloads from nodes on Solana’s network instead of requiring Solana dApps to be responsible for their own node infrastructure, which is a heavy cost in terms of time and money.

There are varied use cases that require public and private RPC access depending on the application. For this reason, Solana RPC node providers offer a variety of benefits including developer tools, autoscaling access based on user demand, relaxed rate limits, and dedicated, highly available, reliable, and on-demand RPC services

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What is Solana up to Right Now?

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I love to live like Aelin Galathynius in my head. I'm a Product Designer.