CRYPTO MOVERS AND PRICES
Crypto was marginally up this morning while BTC continued to outperform. BTC spot volumes are almost 2x their 30-day average, while ETH spot volumes are less than half their 30-day average.
Crypto Story of the Day
Solana Labs, the firm behind the Solana blockchain, has raised USD 314 million via a sale of its native SOL coin with the aim of expanding the smart contract network. With a market cap of USD 11 billion, SOL is now the 12th largest crypto by that metric.
Solana Labs began building the network— described as a “high performance permissionless” blockchain— in 2018, with the mainnet launching in 2020. Ahead of the network’s launch, Solana announced raising USD 20 million via a token sale in 2019 led by Multicoin Capital. Solana also sold USD 1.76 million worth of its SOL token via a sale on the Coinlist platform in 2020.
The Solana network is described as being in a “beta stage” due to full functionality not having been enabled yet. Solana’s developers haven’t defined a clear timeline for a switch to a “full mainnet” which will feature SOL’s inflation schedule and expanded smart contract capabilities.
Solana currently employs a proof-of-stake consensus system that allows token holders to delegate SOL to validators who process transactions. According to a 2019 test conducted by Solana Labs, the network is capable of processing 44,000 transactions per second without reliance on second layer solutions that are currently being explored by Ethereum and other networks. Solana Explorer, a site dedicated to presenting data from the network, shows the network as regularly processing roughly 700 transactions per second.
Solana’s best known application is the Serum decentralized exchange, launched by crypto exchange FTX. In April, the venue reported surpassing USD 2 billion in trading volume since its launch in August 2020. Last year the Solana network experienced technical issues that saw new block confirmations come to a halt. Solana developers and the “validator community” were able to “successfully restart the network within 6 hours.”
The SOL token is currently the 12th highest ranking crypto, with a market cap of USD 11 billion. In May, the network saw an all-time high valuation of USD 15 billion but lost more than half of its value in the broad selloff later that month.
Solana has taken a unique approach to scaling by emphasizing the throughput capacity of its main blockchain. Competing smart contract platforms like Polkadot or Ethereum, for example, have focused scaling solutions on sidechains and layer-2 technology.
As such, Solana’s emphasis on on-chain scaling distinguishes the network at a moment when the majority of blockchain scaling solutions are focusing on layer-2 and sidechain approaches. The network’s supporters point to this feature as a key advantage as Solana’s “single global state” means “projects won’t have to deal with multiple shards or layer-2 systems."