With NFTs on the rise, many of the blockchains deemed alleged “Ethereum killers” have stepped on the scene with a thirst for blood. NFTs, on the surface all look pretty similar. It's a JPEG or a GIF with artistic value. Underneath, however, there are many different “L1” blockchains competing with Ethereum to be the dominant platform for minting, buying, and selling NFT art.
The NFT world is full of many different competing projects, most of which are nothing more than pictures that you can put in your blockchain wallet for clout and, ideally, some financial gain, but there is much more at stake in the world of blockchains.
Whether it's metaverse tokens, digital pieces of land, iconic commemorations of historical moments, or unique work from acclaimed artists, as the NFT world grows, one of the most popular chains right now is the Solana blockchain.
Breaking Down the Top 10 NFT Projects on the Solana Blockchain
Many ambitious investors sitting on the sidelines with some extra capital to spare and dreams of their money 10x-ing, 100x-ing, and beyond, have begun to consider the prospect of buying NFTs as a means to help speed things up. One of the top places investors have chosen to do this is with NFTs.
As with many speculative and niche investments, when one project gains momentum, all other smaller projects gain equally or more momentum by association. Though the NFT craze really started on Ethereum, fire has since caught on competing blockchains like Solana.
What Makes the Solana Blockchain Special?
Founded in 2017 by Anatoly Yokovenko, Solana stood apart from blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum for having a proof-of-stake protocol (mixed with proof-of-history), which has recently generated a lot of press for its more efficient energy usage. Another prime feature of Solana is its high transaction peak capacity of roughly 65,000 transactions per second, in stark comparison to the 15 per second processed by Ethereum and the seven done by Bitcoin.
Let's be clear – there are some tradeoffs here. The high degree of centralization of Solana is obvious and not hidden. High transaction capacity means that there are only a few specialized nodes running the chain, and in fact, the entire thing can be shut down at will.
As far as a “decentralized L1 blockchain”, Solana fails. However, people are not investing in NFTs for their immutability characteristics. Nobody plans to memorize their Bored Ape seed phrase to cross the border in war time, or trade NFTs for funding humanitarian aid in dictatorship regimes. People are buying and selling NFTs to make money online.
In turn, many people see Solana NFTs as a great way to get faster and cheaper NFT transactions that Ethereum, and the Solana token as a great way to invest in cryptocurrency to stay ahead of the curve and buy a coin that will moon in the future.
Why Invest in an NFT Project on the Solana Blockchain?
Perhaps the best reason people choose to invest in NFTs on the Solana blockchain is that they believe in the project’s long-term potential. NFTs, regardless of the blockchain their contract is hosted on, are essentially the same.
The difference in value is often due to one chain having a larger fanbase and level of notoriety. If you believe in a bright potential for this blockchain, you might see Solana NFTs being worth buying. Here are some additional reasons to consider Solana NFTs:
Lower Transaction Fees & More Transactions Per Second
Solana is capable of 65,000 transactions per second, which makes the transaction fees a reported average of $0.00025 per transaction. Not bad, considering people often pay $100s per transaction on Ethereum!
Efficient Energy Usage
Recently, one of the hot debates has been revolving around the energy usage of cryptocurrencies and whether this is acceptable or even sustainable. Due to its protocol, which is a hybrid of proof-of-stake and the innovative proof-of-history, Solana has demonstrated that it can be used and rolled out to the masses without presenting as much energy usage burden as many others projects do.
1. Degenerate Ape Academy
It was perhaps inevitable that the craze of ape-themed NFTs would make its mark on the Solana blockchain. The Degenerate Ape Academy is an excellent example of how the success of monkey art can take place across other blockchains.
The Degenerate Ape Academy follows a similar path of success to other NFT projects, with scarcity being a top goal. Since there are only 10,000 total degenerate apes that are unique, this project shows signs of strength. After starting with a price of 6 SOL, the floor price for a degen ape is currently sitting at 55 SOL, surely making the founding holders already very happy.
2. Solana Monkey Business
It is almost laughable, but another monkey-themed NFT known as Solana Monkey Business is sitting right at the top in categories of things like price growth, value, and overall popularity. This collection of 5000 24×24 pixelated NFTs randomly generated on the Solana blockchain has seen quite a wave of price growth in recent months.
Currently, buying one of these NFTs will cost you at least 400 Solana, valued currently at $34,480. This quickly makes it one of the priciest NFTs you might consider buying into. Of course, if the price of Solana were to go back up to all-time highs, this would imply that the average cost would spike relatively high.
Aurory is an NFT game where players can buy and trade their own avatars as NFTs. Therefore, Aurory stands out from other NFT projects in that these NFTs also serve practical purposes in a desktop game.
The scarcity of these NFTs might be a driving factor for increasing prices in the future. After the game launched in August 2021, only 10,000 different avatars were introduced. One can only imagine what will happen to their cost if the game starts to be played by more players than there are NFT avatars.
It seems that many NFTs have similar ideas, and there is probably no coincidence when it comes to SolPunks. Even sharing part of its name with Crypto Punks, SolPunks also have a similar look and design. Perhaps this is why it rose in popularity so quickly among fans of the Solana NFT market.
Currently, you will need at least 5.70 SOL to buy a SolPunk. In recent months, the price of an individual SolPunk had risen up to levels around 70 SOL per SolPunk. Considering that many people had average gains of around 15x during these times, SolPunks has demonstrated that it has pumpanomics worth noting.
5. Galactic Gecko Space Garage
One of the biggest surprise success stories in Solana NFTs can be found in Galactic Gecko Space Garage. This collection of 10,000 different “brutal galactic races” quickly shot up in value for fans of extraterrestrial-themed NFTs.
To put this in perspective how valuable these NFTs can be, the highest asking price is currently sitting at 10,000 SOL. If one of these were to sell, that would generate a sale presently valued at $862,000. On the contrary, the floor price is currently lurking around 6.40 SOL.
Sollamas takes advantage of the massive amount of love that many of us have for llamas. One thing that stands out with this project is that over 165 different unique attributes can be possibly applied to the 8,888 different sollamas currently available on the market.
A slightly higher level of scarcity and a hint of unexpected obsession for llamas might be all it takes for a project like this to blast off. If you want to get your own digital llama, now might be the best possible point, considering that the floor price is currently at 0.70 SOL.
7. Thug Birdz
Being strangely similar to the widely popular Crypto Punks, Thug Birdz takes Thug Life to a new level. With birds and sunglasses being the central defining feature of these NFTs, there is also a Crypto Punks-esque look to these NFTs as they are highly pixelated. Some of them feature actions like smoking a cigarette or wearing their hat backward.
Each of the 3,333 different Thug Birdz has its own unique attributes to make them special. With a higher level of scarcity than many other NFT projects, just a little bit of buzz could potentially generate massive returns for those who invested early. Currently, you need to whip out at least 42 SOL to buy one of these thug quackers.
If you want to pool your NFTs and make some extra cryptocurrency, then Frakt is a good NFT project to consider. This is an art-based project where fractals are used to create unique artwork that is easily worthy of hanging on your wall, let alone to own in a digital wallet just for yourself.
Considering the high volume already traded in this project, with over 191,100 SOL spent on these 10,000 unique art pieces, it would be easy to assume that this success will continue. Especially seeing as how this project also provides the means for investors to pool their NFTs and generate some passive income.
9. Meerkat Millionaires Country Club
If you want to join the Meerkat Millionaires Country Club, you are likely interested in these adorable fluffy animals. There are over 175 different unique traits that these furry lovelies have, with hand-drawn combinations that make each of them unique.
One remarkable aspect of these NFTs is that 100% of the rewards generated from sales go right back to the community. Therefore, long-term hodlers of these meerkats could end up reaping some serious benefits if the project itself ends up taking off as many people expect it to.
After being founded in early 2021, Portals is a metaverse project that is unique, being one of the only metaverse projects on this blockchain. Although a bit pixelated, the overall graphics of the metaverse and buzz of the project could push it to be the top metaverse project on Solana, if not surpassing projects on other blockchains.
Being closely competitive with other NFT games like Star Atlas, Portals stands out for having a natural Earth-based theme instead of one in other galaxies. To buy a plot of land (minted as an NFT) in this metaverse, be prepared to pay the current floor price of 75 SOL, or $6,465.
Solana NFT FAQs
Now that we have covered some of the top NFT projects on the Solana blockchain, you might find yourself left with a few more questions. Indeed, it is crucial to do all of your research before spending hard-earned cash on a piece of NFT art, or, a piece of metaverse land that has a speculative value. Before deciding to purchase an NFT on the Solana blockchain, keep the following questions in mind.
Can You Move an NFT From Solana to Ethereum?
Although this wasn’t deemed a possibility for years, recently, something known as the Wormhole NFT Bridge has unlocked the ability for NFT holders to transfer their holdings between blockchains such as Ethereum, Cardano, and Solana. This news understandably created quite a bit of buzz for holders of Solana NFTs, making them more practical to hold in the eyes of many.
Most remarkable about this is that Solana and Ethereum are not the blockchains supported by the platform. Avalanch, Oasis, Binance Smart Chain, and Polygon NFTs can also be moved onto whichever blockchain you prefer to hold them on.
Can You Stake NFTS on the Solana Blockchain?
The ability to stake NFTs is attractive to most investors since they often don’t plan on selling their NFTs anytime soon and instead seek out means of utilizing these NFT assets for passive income through staking. Although this isn’t widely done on all Solana NFT projects, The Doge Capital is one area where potential investors should look if they want to stake their NFTs and get some free passive money.
What Perks Are There to Buying an NFT on the Solana Blockchain?
As we mentioned, various potential perks are involved in investing in the Solana blockchain. However, before investing money into anything like this, deciding whether or not you believe in the project is a good starting point. After all, investing in something you don’t believe in is a great recipe for failure.
Some of the best perks include being able to buy and sell the NFTs for lower transaction fees than Ethereum, being able to potentially (note the usage of the word “potentially”) invest in a blockchain’s assets before it takes off and mimics the success of other chains, and supporting a chain that uses less energy than many of its competitors.
Where Can I Buy And Sell Solana NFTs?
There are many places to buy and sell NFTs, but the #1 place for Solana NFTs is SolSea. To me, it's a major downside to all NFTs, that they are restricted to selling on centralized platforms. We've seen individual platforms like OpenSea take action against individual users or projects, and this completely removes the Web3 aspects of decentralization and immutability from these projects.
At the end of the day, NFTs are about clout and riches, not about freedom and sovereignty. Keep this in mind as you consider investing in projects.