If you have been active in the crypto and NFT Domain, you may know the term, Solana. Solana and its native cryptocurrency SOL have appeared as front-runners in cryptocurrency and decentralized Finance.
Back in 2017, when Solana burst into the crypto domain with low transaction fees and fast network speed, it was gaining the attention of NFT Collectors and investors who were looking for alternative blockchains. However, Solana has not yet surpassed Ethereum as the number one Blockchain.
Solana has developed a powerful ecosystem, this is evident from the fact that the Solana-based NFTs topped $1.5 Billion. This also proves that the blockchain is important for the development of the NFT domain.
What is Solana?
Developed in 2017, the Solana Blockchain was launched in 2020. Anatoly Yakvenko, the current CEO, came from a background in system design and looked to form a new blockchain system for enabling fast processing speeds.
Solana Blockchain is an open-source, public blockchain that supports NFTs, smart contracts, and dApps i.e. decentralized applications. The platform runs on SOL tokens, the native cryptocurrency that offers security to the network via staking and a tool for transferring value.
What makes Solana unique?
The hybrid protocol of proof-of-stake (PoS) and Proof-of-history (PoH) consensus mechanisms. The latter is an innovation made by the Solana team and one that significantly enriches the speed of the network.
let’s take a peek at how these two methods operate on Solana:
This mechanism permits Solana stakers to vote, select, the next PoH generator, and punish misbehaving validators. The system is made for the quick confirmation of the sequence of transactions the PoH generator produces. Nodes send votes to a pre-picked leader whose job is to tally the votes and also sign off the block.
The proof-of-history method is basically for verifying transactions breaks on Solana’s blockchains into various slots or periods of time where a validator invests transactions and produces a block. Nodes/ Validators are determined by the quantity of SOL they hold and have the obligation of marking the passage of time on each block efficiently by lowering latency and increasing throughput on the network.
Thus, with the integration of PoH and PoS, the Solana network can theoretically process over 71,000 transactions per second at a cost of $0.00025. On the other hand, Ethereum can only process up to 30 transactions per second. This causes congestion and delays on the Ethereum network. In fact, the cost of gas fees on Ethereum is very high. So, it’s obvious why people are shifting towards Solana.
Benefits of minting NFTs on Solana
- Minting takes only a couple of seconds
- On an average, the price of minting a Solana NFT is about on penny
- Less energy-intensive and minting is secure
Despite the dominance of the Ethereum blockchain in the world of NFTs, minting on Solana provides a new gateway to start your journey with NFTs without having to spend a huge amount of money on transaction fees. The platform mints NFTs quickly, cheaply, and securely.
Obviously, Solana has its critics also. Many consider the cheap cost of the network and the fast transaction speeds are coming at the expense of a more centralized blockchain. While there may be truth to the criticism, the Solana network’s smart contract functionality has demonstrated usefulness for NFT fans and has quickly grown to be one of the most respected alternative blockchains out there.
Also Read, How to create your own NFT Marketplace?
Minting vs Buying on an NFT Marketplace
In general, there are two ways for a person to buy a Solana NFT. The first way is to buy the NFT at the token Mint and the second option is to purchase it on a secondary NFT marketplace.
While buying an NFT at the mint, you are actually buying it directly from the creators of the collection. This means that you will be the first person to own the asset. Buying an NFT at the mint basically means that you are paying for the creation of the NFT.
Further, when a collection is minted or released, you pay a set fee at the right time and mint the specific NFT. Also, you will need SOL cryptocurrency in your crypto wallet and also the details regarding the time & place where the NFT will be minted. In addition, if the collection has 10,000 NFTs and only a few of them have a specific/unique trait then those NFTs are considered very rare in the collection and will have a high rarity rank.
Rarity plays an important role in the minting of NFTs, so before you buy or mint a Solana NFT on a secondary NFT Market, it’s a good idea to thoroughly understand the concept of Rarity.
Secondary NFT markets
The NFT you purchase on an NFT Secondary market, the NFT has already been minted and is being resold. You can think of secondary marketplaces like the eBays of the Web3 domain. These are basically the places where you can buy digital assets directly from the owners.
It is common practice for people to Mint NFTs and resell them. The intent is clear, they aim to make a quick profit once a mint or NFT Drop is completed. In simple words, they immediately resell the NFTs on the Secondary NFT Marketplaces after the minting process. However, the prices of these listed NFTs depend on a variety of factors such as the rarity, popularity of the NFT project, and of course the demand.
The lowest possible price at which you can buy an NFT from a given collection on an NFT Marketplace is known as the Floor Price. Before buying NFTs on a secondary marketplace, it’s necessary to analyze rarity systems, NFT project (Why it is successful and popular), and how the NFT Sales prices are determined. In order to follow these analytics, you don’t need to be an expert but it’s better to research before you spend your money.
There are many marketplaces where you can buy Solana NFTs. Here are some of the most prominent and successful Solana NFT Marketplaces:
- SolSea: One of the first Solana marketplaces, SolSea launches more apprehensive collections than other marketplaces and has some benefits for creators, such as means of embedding copyright licenses when creating an NFT.
- Solanart: The original NFT marketplace for Solana, where legendary collections like SolPunks and Degenerate Ape academy are sold.
- Digital Eyes: This marketplace is still lightweight in the field. It features many top Solana NFT Collections and has added a new social feature that could bring value to you as a collector.
- Magic Eden: This upcoming NFT marketplace is a potential contender for the top Solana marketplace. Since, the launch of Magic Eden, over $200 million in sales volume has been recorded.
The above-mentioned marketplace platforms also have an upcoming drop section where one can check out new NFT Projects before they drop. So, if you are planning on minting at the drop or buying an NFT on a secondary marketplace, you must inspect the NFT Collection community through discord and Twitter channels. This will give you an idea of whether the project is worth the effort and investment or not.
Also Read, Top 5 NFT Investment Strategies for traders
Setting up a Crypto Wallet
Whether you wish to mint an NFT or buy one on a secondary marketplace, you must have your crypto wallet. In addition, you will also require some SOL Cryptocurrency to make the purchase.
There are several cryptocurrency wallets for Solana, this includes Solflare Wallet and Sollet also. Phantom is the most famous one and is supported by a majority of the NFT Projects and marketplaces. You can think of phantom as Solana’s version MetaMask i.e. a browser extension that connects to Solana dApps.
The Phantom wallet also provides a built-in DEX (decentralized exchange) for swapping tokens and the ability to stake SOL from your digital wallet for receiving rewards.
So, to get begin with Solana NFTs, download the Phantom wallet and add it to your browser extensions. You can add this to any of the browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Brave. Enter your credentials to create a phantom account and, deposit the amount of SOL tokens you desire to spend or invest.
Afterward, you can visit the NFT marketplace or NFT Collection website where you hope to mint or purchase an NFT. You have to connect your crypto wallet to do so. Once you connect your wallet you are set to mint Solana NFTs.
You can Mint a Solana NFT following these five simple steps:
Step #1– Show up on time to the website where the NFT Collection is dropping. This drop will be on a secondary NFT Market like Magic Eden or Solanart or the website itself. Verify the launch time via the project’s Discord channel.
Step #2- Ensure that your Phantom wallet is loaded with adequate SOL to buy the desired NFT. You can do this by reviewing the minting price and loading slightly more than it to pay the small transaction fees related to the purchase.
Step #3- Open the website a few minutes before the mint and wait. Refresh the site page if the Mint option is not visible after the project is live.
Step #4- When the mint does go live, it will allow you to connect your phantom wallet to the launch site. Click on connect wallet in the browser extension and enter your password. Agree to the terms and connect to the site.
Step #5- If you are connected to your phantom wallet, you will see a Mint button or something similar on the site. Select the number of NFT-tokens you seek to mint and click Mint to open the wallet confirmation window. Finally, you click on approve Transaction to Mint your NFT. You have minted your NFT!
At times it becomes difficult to mint NFTs because the project is popular and the traffic on the site is heavy. In such circumstances, if you attempt to mint a Solana NFT and are unsuccessful, you have two options,
Option 1: Look for the NFT on a Secondary Marketplace and buy it from the original owner
Option 2: Find a new NFT Project that interests you and try again for the previous one.
The Solana Marketplace has only been active since 2020, yet it has proven its worth as an Upcoming blockchain platform. Of course, with the recent crisis in both the crypto and NFT Market that has affected various assets and platforms, Solana NFT Enthusiasts remain active and optimistic on social media despite the low prices. The NFT projects are still minting on the Solana Blockchain Network.
Hungry for more information?
Join us on Telegram!
NFTHI does not recommend any kind of Investment in NFTs or NFT trading. All the strategies are merely educational references.
Conduct thorough research before you start with NFT trading.