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Solana Ecosystem Call ft. Raj Gokal & Balaji Srinivasan (July 23)

By Superteam

Published on 2023-07-08

Solana ecosystem leaders discuss network state, real-world assets, and ecosystem growth. Featuring Raj Gokal, Balaji Srinivasan, and updates from Hive Mapper, Monkey Business, and Tensor.

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

The Solana ecosystem continues to thrive and innovate, even in the face of broader crypto market challenges. This was evident in the latest Solana Ecosystem Community Call, which brought together leading figures and projects to discuss recent developments, upcoming initiatives, and the future of the network. The call, hosted by Kashdonda, featured special guests Raj Gokal and Balaji Srinivasan, along with updates from key projects like Hive Mapper, Solana Monkey Business, and Tensor.

The State of Solana: Building Through Market Cycles

Kashdonda opened the call by emphasizing the resilience of the Solana ecosystem in the face of market volatility. He highlighted that while prices may fluctuate and regulatory landscapes shift, one constant remains: the dedication of Solana's builders and community members who continue to create real value for real people in the real world.

This sentiment was echoed throughout the call, with various speakers and projects demonstrating how they are leveraging Solana's technology to build innovative solutions across different sectors. From decentralized mapping to NFT marketplaces, the ecosystem is showing strong signs of growth and development, regardless of market conditions.

Wins of the Month: Ecosystem Milestones

The call kicked off with a celebration of recent achievements within the Solana ecosystem. Some notable highlights include:

  1. Squads crossing $700 million in total transaction volume
  2. Phoenix, a limit order book, surpassing $100 million in volume since inception
  3. A significant uptick in NFT activity on Solana, with daily transaction counts doubling over April
  4. The launch of Faceless, the largest generative PFP collection ever, demonstrating Solana's unique capabilities
  5. The Elusiv SDK shipping to mainnet, enabling private payments using zero-knowledge proofs
  6. Ironforge's official launch, providing an easier way for developers to get started with Solana
  7. Bonfida introducing subdomains for their Solana Name Service (SNS)
  8. Drift launching Super Stake SOL, with 100,000 mSOL staked in the first week
  9. Metaplex and Tensor collaborating on a next-gen NFT launchpad
  10. Improvements to Solana RPCs by Helius, making them 10x better

These achievements underscore the vibrant and diverse nature of the Solana ecosystem, with projects making strides in areas such as DeFi, NFTs, developer tools, and infrastructure improvements.

Raj Gokal: A Call to Action for the Solana Community

Raj Gokal, co-founder of Solana, made a special appearance on the call to share his thoughts on the current state of the ecosystem and to issue a call to action for the community. Gokal emphasized three key areas where he believes the community can make a significant impact:

  1. User Feedback Machine: Gokal stressed the importance of providing high-quality feedback to new product launches. He suggested creating a systematic approach for the first 1,000 to 10,000 users of new projects to offer structured feedback, focusing on use cases that are only possible with Solana's unique features and economics.

  2. Staking to Liquid SOL: Highlighting the importance of both staking for network security and participating in DeFi, Gokal called for increased adoption of liquid staking solutions like Jito SOL and Marinade's mSOL. He encouraged the community to find creative ways to incentivize and pressure large SOL holders to participate in liquid staking.

  3. Replicating Social Graphs On-Chain: Gokal emphasized the potential of on-chain social applications, particularly highlighting Dialect. He encouraged community members to convert their existing chat groups to Dialect, leveraging the benefits of on-chain communication.

Gokal's message underscored the importance of community involvement in driving adoption and improving the ecosystem. By focusing on these areas, the Solana community can help accelerate growth and showcase the network's unique capabilities.

Balaji Srinivasan: The Network State and Solana's Role

One of the most exciting moments of the call was the surprise appearance of Balaji Srinivasan, who shared insights on his concept of the Network State and how it intersects with Solana. Srinivasan introduced the Network State Meetups initiative, aimed at bringing together people interested in using crypto in the real world to found, fund, or find new communities.

Srinivasan explained, "I do believe that startup communities are gonna be a big part of the next narrative. Sure, DeFi is great, NFTs are great, all the stuff is great, all the stuff will continue to compound from the last time. But what are we using it for? Not simply trading JPEGs online as great as that is, but actually doing things in the real world."

He announced the launch of a platform at blu.ma/thenetworkstate where people can sign up for bi-weekly livestreams, host events, and even attend the second annual Network State Conference in Singapore. Importantly, Srinivasan highlighted that Solana will play a crucial role in this initiative, powering the NFTs that help define the boundaries of these new communities.

"Thanks to Solana compressed NFTs, you can now just blast events on chain. And we can hand out NFTs as easily as we can hand out likes and retweets and follows and so on and so forth," Srinivasan explained. This use of Solana's technology will enable a lightweight yet powerful way of defining and managing these new community structures.

Hive Mapper: Decentralized Mapping on Solana

Ariel from Hive Mapper provided an update on their ambitious project to create a global map that is fresher and has more coverage than Google Maps. Hive Mapper leverages a decentralized network of contributors who can either use dash cams to capture imagery or participate as map AI trainers to process the data.

Ariel explained, "We're trying to build a global map of the world that is far fresher and has significantly more coverage than Google Maps, in parts of the world that are just really not cost-effective for Google to go cover."

Contributors earn HONEY, a Solana-based token, for their efforts. The project has already mapped approximately 3.5 million unique road kilometers worldwide. Hive Mapper is focusing on serving businesses rather than individual consumers, targeting the estimated four million businesses that currently pay for Google Maps APIs.

This innovative approach to mapping demonstrates how Solana's technology can be leveraged to create decentralized alternatives to traditional services, potentially disrupting established players in various industries.

Solana Monkey Business: Gen 3 Launch and Community Growth

Nome and Nano from Solana Monkey Business (SMB) shared exciting updates about their Gen 3 launch. SMB has been a cornerstone of the Solana NFT ecosystem, and their latest initiative aims to expand their community further.

Nano explained the success of their recent public raffle: "We had 4,000 SMB barrels available publicly. And we were doing our best to make sure that we would get 4,000 tickets sold. And I think we can safely say we beat that and we sold 79,265 tickets within 24 hours. And so that was 1.58 million SOL or about 31 million USD worth of volume for those tickets."

The team also introduced a generator tool that allows users to preview and create their perfect monkey from the available traits. This engagement tool has been wildly popular, with users creating over 200,000 unique monkeys so far.

SMB's success story highlights the continued strength of the NFT ecosystem on Solana, even in challenging market conditions. Their focus on fairness, community engagement, and continuous innovation serves as a model for other projects in the space.

Tensor: Pushing the Boundaries of Solana NFTs

Richard from Tensor, one of the leading NFT marketplaces on Solana, shared insights about their upcoming NFT collection, the Tensorians. This collection is designed to showcase what's uniquely possible on Solana and to reward loyal users of the Tensor platform.

Richard emphasized their philosophy: "We want to push that narrative, both as a community of Solana degens as well as a platform that is the number one marketplace on Solana." He hinted at unique features of the collection, suggesting that the number four would play a significant role and that Tensorians would be heavily integrated into the Tensor platform.

Notably, Richard announced that there would be no whitelists or presales for the Tensorians collection, aiming to reward active Tensor users fairly. This approach aligns with Solana's ethos of accessibility and fairness in the crypto space.

Real-World Assets (RWA) on Solana

Will from Parcel provided insights into the growing importance of real-world assets (RWA) on Solana. He explained that RWAs represent a massive opportunity to onboard the next billion users to blockchain technology.

"RWAs for those who don't know, is really a broad categorization for blockchain-based tokens that represent physical or traditional financial assets, real estate, credit, loans, fine art, equity. All of these could be tokenized as RWAs," Will explained.

He highlighted Solana's advantages for RWAs, including fast execution times, low transaction costs, and high throughput. Will also introduced Parcel's decentralized real estate trading platform, which allows users to get exposure to entire cities through price indices.

This focus on RWAs demonstrates Solana's potential to bridge the gap between traditional finance and decentralized systems, potentially unlocking trillions of dollars in value.

Community Initiatives and Airdrops

The call concluded with announcements of several community initiatives and upcoming airdrops. These included:

  1. A $50 bounty for the best recap thread of the ecosystem call
  2. Upcoming airdrops from projects like Marginfi, Cipher Protocol, Solblaze, and Tensor
  3. Earning opportunities through Super Team, including bounties and grants
  4. A new partnership between Super Team and Circle for a micro-grants program focused on financial inclusion and USDC adoption

These initiatives highlight the ecosystem's commitment to rewarding participation and fostering growth across various projects and use cases.

Conclusion: Solana's Resilience and Innovation

The Solana Ecosystem Community Call demonstrated the network's continued strength and innovation, even in the face of broader market challenges. From established projects pushing boundaries to new initiatives addressing real-world problems, the Solana ecosystem is showing remarkable resilience and creativity.

The involvement of key figures like Raj Gokal and Balaji Srinivasan underscores the ecosystem's potential to drive significant change in how we interact with blockchain technology. As the community continues to build and innovate, Solana is positioning itself not just as a fast and efficient blockchain, but as a platform for realizing ambitious visions of decentralized communities and real-world asset integration.

With its focus on user experience, developer tools, and novel use cases, Solana is paving the way for the next wave of crypto adoption. As the ecosystem continues to grow and mature, it's clear that Solana will play a crucial role in shaping the future of decentralized technology and its real-world applications.

Facts + Figures

  • Squads crossed $700 million in total transaction volume
  • Phoenix surpassed $100 million in volume since inception
  • NFT daily transaction count on Solana doubled over April
  • Faceless launched as the largest generative PFP collection ever with 350,000 NFTs
  • Elusiv SDK shipped to mainnet, enabling private payments using ZK proofs
  • Drift's Super Stake SOL accumulated 100,000 mSOL staked in the first week
  • Solana's TVL reached $273 million
  • Non-voting transactions on Solana increased by 4% month-on-month
  • NFT mints on Solana increased by 52%
  • Solana network has 320,000 unique stakers and nearly 1,900 validators
  • Hive Mapper has mapped approximately 3.5 million unique road kilometers worldwide
  • Solana Monkey Business Gen 3 public raffle sold 79,265 tickets within 24 hours, generating 1.58 million SOL (about $31 million USD) in volume
  • Tensor's generator tool has been used to create over 200,000 unique monkeys
  • City published a report stating RWAs and real estate on-chain could become a multi-trillion dollar opportunity by 2030
  • Parcel's real estate trading platform allows exposure to entire cities through price indices, processing about 10 million data points daily

Questions Answered

What are the key focus areas for the Solana community according to Raj Gokal?

Raj Gokal highlighted three key areas for the Solana community to focus on: creating a user feedback machine for new product launches, increasing adoption of liquid staking solutions, and replicating social graphs on-chain. He emphasized the importance of providing high-quality, structured feedback for the first 1,000 to 10,000 users of new projects, encouraging more participation in liquid staking to improve both network security and DeFi engagement, and leveraging on-chain social applications like Dialect to build stronger community connections.

How is Balaji Srinivasan's Network State concept integrating with Solana?

Balaji Srinivasan announced the Network State Meetups initiative, which aims to bring together people interested in using crypto to create real-world communities. Solana will play a crucial role in this initiative by powering the NFTs that define the boundaries of these new communities. Srinivasan explained that Solana's compressed NFTs will allow for easy distribution of community membership tokens, enabling a lightweight yet powerful way of managing these new societal structures.

What is Hive Mapper and how does it utilize Solana?

Hive Mapper is a decentralized mapping project aiming to create a global map with fresher and more comprehensive coverage than Google Maps. It uses a network of contributors who either capture imagery with dash cams or participate as map AI trainers. Contributors earn HONEY, a Solana-based token, for their efforts. The project has already mapped about 3.5 million unique road kilometers worldwide and is focusing on serving businesses rather than individual consumers, targeting the market of companies that currently pay for Google Maps APIs.

What was significant about the Solana Monkey Business Gen 3 launch?

The Solana Monkey Business Gen 3 launch was notable for its successful public raffle, which sold 79,265 tickets within 24 hours, generating 1.58 million SOL (about $31 million USD) in volume. This demonstrates the continued strength of the NFT ecosystem on Solana, even in challenging market conditions. The team also introduced a popular generator tool that allowed users to preview and create unique monkeys, with over 200,000 creations made so far. This launch showcases SMB's focus on fairness, community engagement, and continuous innovation in the Solana NFT space.

How is Tensor innovating in the Solana NFT space?

Tensor, a leading NFT marketplace on Solana, is preparing to launch its own NFT collection called Tensorians. This collection is designed to showcase unique features only possible on Solana and to reward loyal Tensor users. Unlike many NFT launches, Tensor will not have whitelists or presales, aiming for a fair distribution. The Tensorians will be heavily integrated into the Tensor platform, providing additional benefits to holders. This approach aligns with Solana's ethos of accessibility and fairness in the crypto space while pushing the boundaries of what's possible with NFTs on the network.

What is the significance of Real-World Assets (RWA) on Solana?

Real-World Assets (RWA) on Solana represent a significant opportunity to bridge traditional finance with blockchain technology. RWAs can include tokenized versions of physical assets like real estate, as well as traditional financial instruments like loans or equity. Solana's fast execution times, low transaction costs, and high throughput make it particularly well-suited for RWA applications. Projects like Parcel are leveraging Solana to create decentralized trading platforms for real estate exposure, demonstrating how the network can be used to tokenize and trade traditionally illiquid assets. The potential for RWAs on Solana is substantial, with some estimates suggesting it could become a multi-trillion dollar market by 2030.

How is the Solana ecosystem supporting developer growth and innovation?

The Solana ecosystem is actively supporting developer growth and innovation through various initiatives. These include the launch of developer tools like Ironforge, which makes it easier for developers to get started with Solana, and improvements to Solana RPCs by Helius. The ecosystem also offers numerous grants and bounties through platforms like Super Team Earn, encouraging developers to contribute to open-source projects and solve specific challenges. Additionally, partnerships like the one between Super Team and Circle for a micro-grants program focused on financial inclusion demonstrate the ecosystem's commitment to fostering innovation that addresses real-world problems.

What role do compressed NFTs play in Solana's ecosystem?

Compressed NFTs are a key innovation in Solana's ecosystem, enabling the creation and distribution of NFTs at a scale and cost efficiency not possible on other networks. This technology allows projects like Faceless to launch massive collections (350,000 NFTs) for free, and enables initiatives like Balaji Srinivasan's Network State concept to use NFTs for community membership at scale. Compressed NFTs significantly reduce the cost and increase the speed of NFT minting and transfers, opening up new use cases and possibilities for NFT technology on Solana.

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