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Solana Ecosystem Call ft. Jito, Kamino Finance, Drift, Genopets, and Udi Wertheimer (Jan 24)

By Superteam

Published on 2024-01-14

Get the latest on Solana's booming ecosystem, major project updates from Jito, Kamino Finance, Drift and Genopets, plus expert analysis on the Bitcoin ETF approval.

The notes below are AI generated and may not be 100% accurate. Watch the video to be sure!

Solana Ecosystem Call: Major Updates from Jito, Kamino, Drift and Genopets

The latest Solana Ecosystem Call brought together some of the brightest builders in the space to discuss recent developments and share exciting announcements. Hosted by Cash Donda of Superteam, the call featured insights from Jito Labs, Kamino Finance, Genopets, Drift Protocol, and special guest Udi Wertheimer. This comprehensive roundup covers the key updates and alpha shared during the call, highlighting Solana's growing momentum across DeFi, gaming, and infrastructure.

Solana's Surging Ecosystem Metrics

The call kicked off with an overview of Solana's impressive growth metrics over the past month. December saw Solana DEX volume reach $28 billion, while stablecoin transfer volume crossed $120 billion in just 7 days. These figures underscore Solana's rising prominence as a high-performance blockchain for DeFi and payments.

Other notable milestones included NFT marketplace Tensor surpassing 10 million SOL in all-time trading volume, representing over $1 billion at current valuations. The Solflare wallet also onboarded over 100,000 MetaMask users through its new integration.

Perhaps most notably, the Solana Saga phone sold out completely, validating demand for Solana's mobile-first approach. The Saga phone is now paying users to own it through various token incentives, pioneering a new model for hardware adoption.

Jito Labs: Revolutionizing Stake Pool Management

Lucas Bruder of Jito Labs shared details on their newly launched StakeNet system, which aims to decentralize stake pool management on Solana. StakeNet allows stake pools to run their decision-making logic directly on-chain in a fully permissionless manner.

A key component is the new validator history program, which tracks validator performance metrics like uptime and commission changes over a rolling 3-year period. This data is publicly accessible on-chain, enhancing transparency.

Bruder explained: "StakeNet allows for stake pools to put their brain on Solana. The brain of stake pools can be running on Solana and there's a network of keepers that crank it. This makes it 100% decentralized, unstoppable, permissionless."

He added that pending governance approval, Jito hopes to migrate its own stake pool operations to StakeNet. This would make Jito one of the first major stake pools to adopt a fully on-chain management system.

The Jito team has open-sourced the StakeNet repository and is encouraging community contributions. Several Superteam developers have already begun working on issues. This collaborative approach aligns with Jito's ethos of building public goods for the Solana ecosystem.

Kamino Finance: Points System and Token Plans Revealed

Thomas from Kamino Finance provided an update on their meteoric growth, with TVL surging from $300,000 to over $250 million in just two months. He then unveiled details of Kamino's highly anticipated points system and token plans.

The points system will launch next week, featuring a leaderboard that tracks user activity across various protocol actions. Thomas emphasized its sophistication, stating: "It's not your grandma's point system where everything is just the same. We have total customization around which actions gain more points or less points."

This customization allows Kamino to incentivize specific behaviors that benefit the protocol while also countering potential gaming or exploitation. Factors like loyalty, position concentration, and length of engagement can all be weighted differently.

In a major reveal, Thomas confirmed that Kamino plans to launch a governance token by the end of Q1 or early Q2 2024. The points system will run concurrently with token distribution over the following year, ensuring rewards go to genuine users rather than short-term farmers.

"We don't want to drag it out too long. We want to get this out there in the hands of users," Thomas explained. "The points system will run concurrently with the token distribution over the year. So we can measure all the activity as everything happens over the year, and allow for the loyal users, the real users to get the points and really sift out the bots or people coming in for mercenary farming."

Genopets: Seamless Web3 Integration in Mobile Gaming

Albert Chen, CEO of Genopets, showcased their progress in creating a seamless blockchain experience for mobile gamers. Genopets is a "move-to-earn" game that combines elements of Tamagotchi and Pokémon, rewarding players for real-world activity.

Chen revealed that Genopets now has around 20,000 daily active users on mobile. He then demonstrated their innovative marketplace integration, which allows web3 and traditional gamers to interact with the same inventory system.

"We created an SFT marketplace that's using Phoenix DEX. And then on the mobile app side, we integrated with Coinflow and Orca so that mobile players have a completely blockchain-invisible experience when they buy items in the app," Chen explained.

This setup enables web3-savvy users to trade NFTs and game assets directly through an on-chain orderbook. Meanwhile, mobile users can purchase in-game currency (Cubits) through standard in-app purchases, which are then wrapped as USDC on-chain behind the scenes.

Chen emphasized the significance of this approach: "For the regular user who's not familiar with blockchain or web3, they don't have to memorize seed phrases or set up a wallet. All they have to do is play this game like any other game that they're used to. And they're actually transacting on chain."

To encourage adoption, Chen announced a special airdrop for Ecosystem Call viewers using the code "superteam" when downloading the Genopets app. He also teased an upcoming treasure hunt event with puzzle-solving and mini-games.

Drift Protocol: Teasing New Rewards Program

David from Drift Protocol, Solana's leading perpetuals exchange, closed out the call with some impressive stats and a teaser for their upcoming rewards program. Drift has seen exponential growth recently, processing over 6.5 million trades and reaching 82,000 unique users.

"We offer the most amount of perpetual markets of not just any Solana DEX, but any DEX overall," David noted. This includes unique markets for meme coins like Bonk and Pepe, as well as Solana ecosystem tokens like Jito.

David then dropped hints about Drift's forthcoming points system, emphasizing their commitment to building it transparently with community input. He revealed that users who have been liquidated on Drift will receive bonus points, adding a touch of humor to the program.

"If you got liquidated on Drift, you will get a bonus," David explained. "So I'm not saying you should go and do it... This is like me trying to be cheeky with the skull [icon]."

While full details are still under wraps, David's teasers generated significant excitement in the chat. The Drift team is clearly taking inspiration from successful launches like Jito's, while putting their own spin on rewarding loyal users.

Bitcoin ETF Approval: Udi Wertheimer's Perspective

The call also featured insights from special guest Udi Wertheimer, a long-time Bitcoin advocate, on the day's big news - the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the US. Wertheimer reflected on the long journey to this milestone:

"I've been in Bitcoin for, I think, more than 10 years at this point. And since day one, people have been talking about ETF and it was always imminent," he noted. "It's been a very long journey. It's really great that it's finally happened. And I think it's gonna change so much in just the way Bitcoin is perceived in the world beside just us mentally ill crypto people."

While cautious about predicting specific inflows or price impacts, Wertheimer emphasized the broader significance for Bitcoin's mainstream acceptance. He also shared some words of wisdom for the Solana community based on his experiences in Bitcoin:

"You probably don't know why you won. Like why you're winning," he cautioned. "In crypto, it happens a lot that you have an ecosystem that suddenly grows exponentially very, very quickly. And a lot of people make a lot of money and people feel very vindicated... That's a very dangerous moment."

Wertheimer advised against becoming overly attached to specific narratives about why an ecosystem is succeeding. He suggested that Solana's current momentum could be due to factors beyond just technical performance, such as the community's ability to quickly adopt and iterate on new trends.

This perspective offers valuable food for thought as Solana continues its rapid growth trajectory. By remaining open-minded and avoiding complacency, the ecosystem can position itself for long-term success.

The Road Ahead for Solana

The Ecosystem Call painted a picture of a thriving Solana ecosystem with momentum across multiple sectors. From DeFi innovations to seamless gaming experiences, projects are leveraging Solana's high-performance infrastructure to push the boundaries of what's possible in web3.

Key themes that emerged included:

  1. Emphasis on true decentralization, as exemplified by Jito's StakeNet
  2. Thoughtful approaches to token distribution and user incentives (Kamino, Drift)
  3. Bridging the gap between web3 and mainstream users (Genopets)
  4. Rapid iteration and adaptability to emerging trends
  5. Growing synergies between Solana and Bitcoin

As the ecosystem matures, it's clear that Solana is attracting serious builders focused on creating real value rather than short-term hype. The level of innovation and user growth on display suggests that Solana is well-positioned to be a major force in the next wave of crypto adoption.

For developers, artists, and entrepreneurs looking to make an impact in web3, the Solana ecosystem offers fertile ground. With a supportive community, best-in-class infrastructure, and a rapidly expanding user base, the future looks bright for building on Solana.

Upcoming Events and Opportunities

The call concluded with a roundup of upcoming Solana events and opportunities for community involvement:

  • Encode Club hackathon (ongoing)
  • Mad Lads event in Singapore
  • Summer Soul Sessions throughout LATAM
  • IRL bootcamp in New York
  • Solana Day in Spain
  • Mountain DAO gathering
  • Superteam UAE Founders Villa in February

Additionally, the Superteam Earn platform (earn.superteam.fun) continues to offer bounties and job opportunities for those looking to contribute to Solana projects. Notable current openings include a founding engineer role at Tensor and various bounties for designers and developers.

By fostering a globally connected community through these events and initiatives, Solana is creating a powerful network effect that fuels further growth and innovation. Whether you're a seasoned crypto developer or just getting started in web3, there are more opportunities than ever to get involved in building the future on Solana.

Facts + Figures

  • Solana DEX volume reached $28 billion in December 2023
  • Stablecoin transfer volume on Solana crossed $120 billion in 7 days
  • Tensor passed 10 million SOL in all-time volume, equating to over $1 billion
  • 100,000+ MetaMask users have been onboarded through the Solflare snap
  • Hivemapper crossed 100 million total km mapped
  • The Solana Saga phone sold out completely
  • Drip dispersed $180,000 to creators in the last 30 days
  • Bonkbot generated $9 million in fees in December
  • Raydium generated $25 million in fees in the last 30 days
  • Jito's StakeNet will track validator performance over a rolling 3-year period
  • Kamino Finance's TVL surged from $300,000 to over $250 million in two months
  • Kamino plans to launch a governance token by end of Q1 or early Q2 2024
  • Genopets has around 20,000 daily active users on mobile
  • Drift has processed over 6.5 million trades and reached 82,000 unique users
  • Drift offers the most perpetual markets of any DEX, including Solana and global markets
  • Bitcoin ETFs were approved after a 10+ year journey
  • 30 IRL watch parties were held globally for this Solana Ecosystem Call

Questions Answered

What are some key metrics showing Solana's recent growth?

Solana has seen explosive growth across several key metrics recently. DEX volume reached $28 billion in December, while stablecoin transfer volume crossed $120 billion in just 7 days. The NFT marketplace Tensor surpassed 10 million SOL (over $1 billion) in all-time trading volume. Additionally, the Solflare wallet onboarded over 100,000 MetaMask users through its new integration, showcasing growing cross-chain activity.

What is Jito's StakeNet and how does it work?

Jito's StakeNet is a new system that aims to decentralize stake pool management on Solana. It allows stake pools to run their decision-making logic directly on-chain in a fully permissionless manner. A key component is the validator history program, which tracks performance metrics like uptime and commission changes over a 3-year period. This data is publicly accessible, enhancing transparency and allowing for more informed staking decisions.

What did Kamino Finance announce regarding their token and points system?

Kamino Finance revealed plans to launch a governance token by the end of Q1 or early Q2 2024. They also announced a sophisticated points system launching next week, featuring a leaderboard that tracks user activity across various protocol actions. The system is highly customizable, allowing Kamino to incentivize specific behaviors while countering potential exploitation. The points system will run concurrently with token distribution over the following year to ensure rewards go to genuine, loyal users.

How is Genopets integrating blockchain technology into mobile gaming?

Genopets has created a seamless blockchain experience for mobile gamers by integrating an SFT marketplace using Phoenix DEX on the web, while using Coinflow and Orca on the mobile app. This allows web3-savvy users to trade NFTs and game assets through an on-chain orderbook, while mobile users can make standard in-app purchases that are wrapped as USDC on-chain behind the scenes. This approach enables blockchain transactions without requiring mobile users to manage wallets or seed phrases.

What updates did Drift Protocol share about their platform and upcoming features?

Drift Protocol, Solana's leading perpetuals exchange, shared impressive growth stats including processing over 6.5 million trades and reaching 82,000 unique users. They offer the most perpetual markets of any DEX, including unique markets for meme coins and Solana ecosystem tokens. Drift also teased an upcoming rewards program, hinting at features like bonus points for users who have been liquidated. While full details are still under wraps, the team emphasized their commitment to building the program transparently with community input.

What insights did Udi Wertheimer share about the Bitcoin ETF approval?

Udi Wertheimer, a long-time Bitcoin advocate, reflected on the significance of the Bitcoin ETF approval after a 10+ year journey. He emphasized that this milestone will likely change how Bitcoin is perceived beyond the crypto community, potentially driving mainstream adoption. Wertheimer cautioned against becoming overly attached to specific narratives about why an ecosystem is succeeding, advising the Solana community to remain open-minded and avoid complacency as they experience rapid growth.

What opportunities are available for getting involved in the Solana ecosystem?

The Solana ecosystem offers numerous opportunities for involvement. Upcoming events include the Encode Club hackathon, Mad Lads event in Singapore, Summer Soul Sessions in LATAM, an IRL bootcamp in New York, Solana Day in Spain, and the Superteam UAE Founders Villa. The Superteam Earn platform (earn.superteam.fun) provides bounties and job opportunities, including a founding engineer role at Tensor. Additionally, projects like Jito are open-sourcing components and welcoming community contributions to further decentralize the ecosystem.

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