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Solana NFT Marketplaces: A Deeper Look

Posted by
Ian Kane

Leading Solana marketplaces attracting 75k active users a week

A digital collectible revolution is brewing on Solana as its three leading NFT marketplaces attracted over 75,000 active wallets and $34 million in volume in the past 7 days. The newly integrated Solana NFT collectible dapps now sit proudly in 3rd, 4th, and 6th place respectively in the overall marketplace rankings on DappRadar. Overtaking more established Ethereum and Wax-based marketplaces such as Foundation and NeftyBlocks along the way.   

Of course, Ethereum NFT marketplace behemoth OpenSea sits atop the pile, attracting over 100,000 active wallets to its platform in the last 7 days. This came combined with almost half a billion dollars of trading value. However, competitors like Coinbase are coming for OpenSea’s crown. Arguably OpenSea represents the MySpace of NFT marketplaces and while it’s monopolized users in this early NFT hype stage there is definitely room for improvement and healthy competition. Something similar happened in the DeFi space, where Uniswap now needs to battle with various protocols on different blockchains as investors increasingly seek the best value platforms on which to transact. 

On the Solana blockchain, we can already identify three NFT marketplaces with serious traction. Each of them is responsible for thousands of users per day and millions in transactional volume.

Solanart

Solanart represents the leading NFT marketplace on Solana, having attracted over 45,000 active users in the last 7 days and over $31 million in volume. One key aspect of NFT marketplaces on Solana is their cheap fees for both minting and purchasing an NFT. Compared to Ethereum’s costs of around $100, on Solanart it may only cost around $1. Interestingly we see that the number of users on Solanart is actually down by 22% week over week. Even at almost 50,000 active wallets a week it’s pulling just under half the user base of OpenSea in the same timeframe. Considering most investors and newbies enter the ecosystem through Ethereum dapps, this is impressive and could signal a shift. 

Another major contributing factor to Solanart success is the collections available on the platform. There are many unique collections, but there are also many that look very similar to leading Ethereum collections. SolPunks and Degenerate Ape Academy look to be not-so-subtle plays on BAYC and CryptoPunks. Two OG NFT collections on the Ethereum blockchain selling for millions of dollars on a regular basis. 

However, the idea is a simple one. A new chain, a new collection, another potential gold rush. Creators are betting that collectors priced out of those two premium Ethereum collections may look elsewhere. Two collections that emulate the style and idea of the leading collections, but not the price tag, yet. Looking at the lowest priced SolPunks, investors can scoop one up for around 6 SOL, or about $800.

Interestingly, this writer remembers a time when that was the price one could get a CryptoPunk for. I remember because I didn’t! Despite several prompts from my colleagues. While I’m not saying SolPunks will go to millions, there is certainly the chance they will appreciate over time as Solana and its dapps become more prominent and used.  

This point is further reiterated as both SolPunks and Degenerate Ape Academy NFTs are on the list of the most traded collectibles on the platform. Like on Ethereum, a battle is raging between Punks and Apes. On Solana, the Apes are winning. With an average price of 56 SOL, or around $8,000 they are by far the most expensive NFTs on the marketplace. 

Digital Eyes 

Secondly, we have the Digital Eyes NFT marketplace platform. From the first view, it feels more like Ethereum NFT art platforms SuperRare and Foundation. Offering users a more curated platform tailoring to art and collectibles. Additionally allowing them to sell their own creations and any already owned Solana NFTs. Digital Eyes also offers a launchpad for NFT projects which aims to provide creators with the technical infrastructure required to create and launch NFTs into the Solana ecosystem. Something we have seen in the DeFi world as successful platforms help others to launch through white-listed token sales and early access. Offering investors the chance to stake their new tokens to earn more while the platform stabilizes.

While the performance of Digital Eyes is not as significant as Solanart it still represents a leading dapp on the network, and one quickly taking on competitors on other networks. In the last 7 days, the platform attracted over 15,000 active users that completed over 62,000 transactions, driving $1.89 million in volume through the NFT marketplace. 

Top collections on the platform differ from Solanart, other than Degenerate Ape Academy. These are for sale and priced at the same level as on Solanart. Another example of a trending collection is Thugbirdz with a floor price of 70 SOL, or around $10,000. As you can see while the collections are not making millions, they are certainly not only commanding chump change. Further showing demand and a possible shift of attention to NFTs with the same on-chain abilities as those on Ethereum but available at a fraction of the cost.

SolSea

Lastly, we will take a look at the aptly named SolSea. A clear play on the leading Ethereum NFT marketplace OpenSea. SolSea is the first open NFT marketplace on Solana with integrated minting. It also introduces NFTs with embedded licenses and rarity rank and supports FTX-Pay. In many ways, SolSea is looking to emulate what OpenSea is doing for Ethereum NFT Collectibles. Anyone can list NFTs independently on the marketplace, or apply for collection verification after they have minted it. Additionally, SolSea allows minting, listing, and transactions at ultra-low fees in SOL, USDC, USDT. Like Digital Eyes, SolSea’s own project launchpad is a feature that will be launching soon. The roadmap also states that SolSea is developed by the All-Art Protocol and that an All-Art Token is coming soon. 

In the last 7 days, the Solana NFT marketplace attracted over 11,000 active wallets that completed over 58,000 transactions, driving over $884,000 in volume. While this is fairly small in the grand scheme of things, it’s important to remember that competition in the NFT marketplace space hasn’t even started yet. Platforms like SolSea are laying out their stall early and hoping to capture market share. 

However, Ethereum NFT marketplace Rarible offered users similar options in regards to listing and selling NFTs. Initially, it led to the platform being inundated with quite frankly, rubbish creations. In response, Rarible threw up fences for new users to jump over in order to become verified – and it appeared to work. Hopefully, SolSea has thought about such a scenario arising. One other nice feature about the platform at this stage is that they are working hard to educate users about issues such as fake NFTs and falling for scams from other users. 

Trending NFTs once again include two familiar-looking collections. SolDads is a clear play on the popular Ethereum CryptoDads collection, while The Degens look similar to the recent Ethereum collection – The Party Degenerates. The same premise as before applies. Same style, lower cost, the potential for appreciation as Solana becomes bigger.

Developing a Solana Dapp? 

DappRadar invites dapp developers to submit their own Solana dapps to DappRadar, creating more visibility on the number one discovery platform for dapps. For developers, Solana offers a range of features making it a desirable option to build on. Looking past the promised faster and cheaper transactions, developers can code in C, C++, Rust, and more languages. On top of that, there’s an ambitious roadmap of virtual machine integrations lined up. 

In summary

The Solana dapp ecosystem is growing exponentially and interestingly not in a laser-guided direction such as DeFi or Gaming. Instead, it’s looking to cater to all users, offering dapps spanning financial services, digital collectibles, and more. 

DappRadar now offers access to a range of DeFi, NFT, gaming, and utility dapps on the Solana blockchain. Through the Solana Rankings, users can analyze which dapp attracts the most volume, unique user wallets, or process the most transactions. Users gain insight into which dapps and tokens are building strong communities and value on Solana. For now, Solana dapps will appear in the overall rankings. Soon, we will integrate Solana data into our dedicated DeFi and NFT rankings.

Users interested in learning more about Solana could start by reading our introduction to Solana. To start using Solana blockchain dapps, please install a Solana wallet.

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