• Solana, an Ethereum competitor, has nearly doubled in price in one week

  • Solana’s native cryptocurrency SOL is up 96% on the week, owing to increased NFT and DeFi usage on the high-volume blockchain network.

    Solana’s native SOL cryptocurrency continues to soar to new heights, reaching a new all-time high today. According to CoinGecko data, SOL reached a new high of $79.57 this morning, continuing a meteoric rise that has seen its price nearly double in a week.

    The coin’s price was just under $40 a week ago, and it has since risen 96 percent to its new all-time high. Prior to this week, SOL reached a high of more than $56 in May, before the cryptocurrency market as a whole began to fall. SOL hit a low of less than $24 less than a month ago, on July 20.

    Solana has outperformed nearly every other crypto asset in the top 100 ranked by market cap as the overall market has recovered from the summer doldrums. Only the AUDIO token from decentralized music service Audius has increased in value over the last week, which appears to be related to a partnership announced this week with TikTok.

    Solana is a proof-of-stake blockchain designed to compete with Ethereum, the leading smart contract platform. Smart contracts are pieces of code that carry out specific instructions. They are at the heart of a wide range of decentralized applications (dapps), including decentralized finance (peer-to-peer lending and trading) services and even NFT crypto collectibles.

    While Ethereum is a more mature blockchain ecosystem and the most popular destination for dapps, Solana can handle a much higher volume of transactions than Ethereum alone—about 2,000 times more transactions per second.

    To handle more transactions, Ethereum has layer-2 solutions (such as Polygon) that work alongside the mainnet blockchain, and Ethereum itself will transition to a more efficient proof-of-stake network model in the future. However, we are starting to see developers take advantage of the current Solana benefits.

    Earlier this week, SOL reached an all-time high above $63, owing to the launch of an NFT collection called Degenerate Ape Academy. An NFT functions as a receipt for a digital object, such as an image, video file, or video game item, and Ethereum-based profile picture collections, such as CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club, have seen increased demand in recent weeks.

    According to the Solanart marketplace, the Degenerate Apes launch has generated nearly $10.8 million in trading volume since launch, indicating that Solana can also be a viable platform for in-demand NFTs. The collection now has a starting price of 7.3 SOL, or about $575.

    Furthermore, Solana-based DeFi applications are gaining popularity. According to DeFiLlama, the amount of value locked in Solana DeFi contracts surpassed $2 billion earlier this week, and that tally has now surpassed $2.2 billion as of this writing, likely due to the rise in value for the SOL token. Solana DeFi is still a small fraction of the nearly $107 billion locked in Ethereum DeFi contracts, but it is growing.

    In the midst of all the excitement surrounding Solana, the developers recently announced Solana Breakpoint, the first annual conference centered on the ecosystem. It will be held in Lisbon, Portugal, from November 7 to 10, with the dates subject to change due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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