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Solana Ecosystem Call [July 2024] ft. Blinks, Streamflow, Light Protocol

By Superteam

Published on 2024-07-04

Discover Solana's latest innovations - Blinks for seamless blockchain interactions, ZK compression for scalability, and Streamflow's new token staking and Odyssey program.

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

Solana Ecosystem Call Showcases Groundbreaking Innovations

The July 2024 Solana Ecosystem Call, hosted by Cash Donda and powered by Superteam, brought together key players in the Solana ecosystem to discuss recent developments and upcoming features. This monthly gathering serves as a vital touchpoint for the Solana community, celebrating wins, showcasing projects, and dropping alpha. The call featured presentations on Blinks, ZK compression, and Streamflow's new initiatives, demonstrating Solana's continued innovation and growth.

Blinks: Revolutionizing Blockchain Interactions

One of the most exciting announcements of the call was the introduction of Blinks, a new feature that allows users to interact with the Solana blockchain directly from platforms like Twitter. Chris Osborn from Dialect and John Wong from the Solana Foundation presented this groundbreaking technology.

What are Blinks?

Blinks, short for blockchain links, are a new way to interact with the Solana blockchain from within existing social media platforms. They allow users to perform blockchain actions, such as making payments or minting NFTs, directly from a tweet or other social media post.

Chris Osborn explained, "Blinks are this like front end unfurling like link previews with superpowers." This technology represents a significant step forward in making blockchain interactions more accessible and user-friendly.

How do Blinks work?

Blinks utilize Solana's action requests, which have been rebranded and expanded beyond just payments. When a user encounters a Blink on a platform like Twitter, they can interact with it directly, triggering a Solana action. The action is then processed through the user's wallet, which can be integrated into the platform they're using.

John Wong highlighted the seamless nature of this process: "Everyone already has these wallets. So it was just a natural extension to kind of pull up in that product."

Adoption and Integration

The adoption of Blinks has been rapid and widespread. Chris Osborn reported that within seven days of launch, over 250 Blinks had been built by hundreds of developers across the ecosystem. This rapid adoption demonstrates the excitement and potential of this technology.

Several major projects and platforms have already integrated Blinks, including Jupiter, Meteora, Tensor, and others in the payments and gaming sectors. Wallet providers like Backpack and Phantom have also integrated Blink functionality, making it accessible to a large portion of the Solana user base.

Security Considerations

With any new technology, security is a primary concern. John Wong addressed this, emphasizing the importance of safe browsing practices: "Practice safe browsing, always inspect the simulations, always make sure that you know who it is that's sending these things."

The team has also implemented a whitelist system for the initial launch partners to ensure a level of oversight and reduce the risk of bad actors.

Future of Blinks

The long-term vision for Blinks is ambitious. Chris Osborn sees it as a fundamental shift in how we interact with blockchain technology: "I think this is like the primitive that's going to be the true non-scumorphic web three Internet, which is this idea that you can just like unfurl experiences and deliver them anywhere."

The team plans to expand Blinks to other platforms beyond Twitter, including Telegram, WhatsApp, Discord, and Slack. They also aim to integrate Blinks into mobile applications, which they see as the "Holy Grail" for widespread adoption.

ZK Compression: Scaling Solana to New Heights

Another major announcement during the call was the introduction of ZK compression, a technology that promises to dramatically reduce costs and improve scalability on the Solana network. Swen from Light Protocol presented this innovative solution.

What is ZK Compression?

ZK compression is a technology that allows for significant reduction in the cost of creating and maintaining accounts on the Solana blockchain. It uses zero-knowledge proofs to compress data, dramatically reducing the "rent" cost associated with storing data on the blockchain.

Swen explained, "ZK compression makes that very cheap, extremely cheap. And so if you're a developer, you can scale your app on Solana without, you know, having to worry about the rent cost and without having to go to a L2 or L3."

The Problem ZK Compression Solves

On Solana, every account (such as a token account in a user's wallet) requires "rent" - a fee paid to allocate space on the blockchain. As the price of SOL increases, these costs can become prohibitive for applications with many users or complex data structures.

Swen provided a stark comparison: "If you want to create 1000 accounts, token accounts on Solana right now, it's about $2,600, which individually is not so much, right? But like, if you have an app that serves some amount of users, like a thousand users, that's quite a bit of money and cost."

How ZK Compression Works

ZK compression utilizes zero-knowledge proofs to verify the validity of compressed data without requiring validators to store or process the full data set. This is achieved by storing compressed data in the ledger history, which is typically pruned by validators after a few days.

Swen detailed the process: "We emit we store events on the ledger history as these sort of like logs printed onto the ledger history. And then that's where Helius comes into play so Helius has built an indexer for Solana and they like any other RPC that can index this ledger history and keep track of it."

Benefits of ZK Compression

The primary benefit of ZK compression is a dramatic reduction in costs. Swen stated that creating 1000 token accounts, which would normally cost $2,600, can be reduced to just 50 cents with ZK compression.

This cost reduction opens up new possibilities for developers, allowing them to create more complex applications with larger user bases without worrying about prohibitive rent costs.

Is ZK Compression an L2 or Rollup?

There has been some debate in the crypto community about whether ZK compression constitutes an L2 or rollup solution. Swen firmly stated that it is neither: "It's definitely so I personally do not call it a rollup."

He explained that unlike rollups, which batch many off-chain transactions into a single on-chain transaction, ZK compression still processes each transaction on-chain. The compression applies only to the state data, not to the computation itself.

Future of ZK Compression

The introduction of ZK compression represents a significant leap forward in Solana's scalability. As the ecosystem continues to grow and more complex applications are built, this technology will play a crucial role in maintaining Solana's high performance and low costs.

Streamflow: Aligning Token Incentives

The final major announcement of the call came from Malaysia, the founder of Streamflow. Streamflow has been a key player in the Solana ecosystem, handling token vesting and distributions for major projects.

What is Streamflow?

Streamflow is a protocol that helps align token incentives through various mechanisms such as token vesting, real-time payroll, and airdrops. Malaysia explained, "We help other teams align incentives through token vesting, which means when a project is launching a token and then they need to distribute their tokens to investors, advisors, team members, etc. on a certain vesting schedule, we take care of that."

New Feature: Yield on Locked Tokens

Malaysia announced a new feature that will allow users to earn yield on tokens that are locked up in vesting contracts. This feature addresses a growing trend where individual traders were using Streamflow to enforce "diamond hands" on themselves by locking up their tokens.

"Before the next ecosystem call, we will allow you to earn yield on those coins. So not just lock it up practically and hope it appreciates the price, but earn yield as well," Malaysia explained.

Streamflow Odyssey and Token Launch

In a surprise announcement, Malaysia revealed that Streamflow is launching its own token. The first step towards this is the Streamflow Odyssey, an incentivized points program launched during the ecosystem call.

"We're launching our incentivized points program. That's not going to be long as the Greek Odyssey itself. We promised that, but there is token coming and we kick it off with this points program," Malaysia stated.

The Streamflow Odyssey offers a bonus for the first 1000 participants, providing an exclusive opportunity for ecosystem call attendees.

The State of Solana

The ecosystem call also provided insights into the current state of the Solana network. Despite some challenges, the network continues to show strong growth and adoption.

Network Statistics

The call revealed some impressive statistics about Solana's growth:

  • Total Value Locked (TVL) is at $4.5 billion
  • 13% increase in active wallets
  • 22% increase in non-voting transactions per day

These figures indicate that not only are more people using Solana, but existing users are also increasing their activity on the network.

Community Growth

The Solana community continues to expand globally. The recent Solana APAC Summit attracted 1900 applicants from 55 countries, demonstrating the worldwide interest in the ecosystem. Additionally, Solana meetups are now happening in over 50 cities worldwide, fostering local communities and driving grassroots adoption.

Conclusion

The July 2024 Solana Ecosystem Call showcased the rapid pace of innovation within the Solana ecosystem. From Blinks revolutionizing how users interact with blockchain applications, to ZK compression solving scalability challenges, to Streamflow's new incentive alignment tools, Solana continues to push the boundaries of what's possible in blockchain technology.

These developments not only enhance the user experience for existing crypto enthusiasts but also lower the barriers to entry for newcomers. As the ecosystem continues to grow and evolve, Solana is positioning itself as a leading platform for the future of decentralized applications and finance.

The excitement and engagement evident in the ecosystem call reflect a vibrant and growing community. With continued innovation and community support, Solana is well-positioned to drive the next wave of blockchain adoption and usage.

Facts + Figures

  • Blinks, a new feature allowing direct blockchain interactions from platforms like Twitter, was introduced.
  • Over 250 Blinks were built by hundreds of developers within 7 days of launch.
  • ZK compression can reduce the cost of creating 1000 token accounts from $2,600 to just 50 cents.
  • Streamflow has processed $600 million in volume and is in the top 10 of all Solana projects.
  • Streamflow announced a new feature allowing users to earn yield on locked tokens.
  • Streamflow revealed plans to launch its own token, starting with the Streamflow Odyssey points program.
  • Solana's Total Value Locked (TVL) is at $4.5 billion.
  • There's been a 13% increase in active wallets on Solana.
  • Non-voting transactions per day on Solana have increased by 22%.
  • The Solana APAC Summit attracted 1900 applicants from 55 countries.
  • Solana meetups are happening in over 50 cities worldwide.
  • Jito, a Solana staking provider, crossed 11 million SOL staked.
  • $250 million of value was bridged from other chains to Solana in June, up from $120 million the previous month.
  • The Solana Foundation is offering $400,000 in grants for projects building with Blinks.
  • The Talent Olympics, a competition for developers to win job interviews and prizes, was announced with a $20,000 prize pool.

Questions Answered

What are Blinks and how do they work?

Blinks are blockchain links that allow users to interact with the Solana blockchain directly from platforms like Twitter. They work by embedding Solana action requests into URLs, which can then be unfurled and interacted with on social media platforms. When a user interacts with a Blink, it triggers a Solana action that is processed through the user's integrated wallet.

How does ZK compression benefit Solana developers and users?

ZK compression dramatically reduces the cost of creating and maintaining accounts on the Solana blockchain. For developers, this means they can scale their applications to serve more users without worrying about prohibitive rent costs. For users, this translates to lower fees and the ability to interact with more complex applications. ZK compression can reduce the cost of creating 1000 token accounts from $2,600 to just 50 cents.

What new features did Streamflow announce?

Streamflow announced two major new features. First, they will soon allow users to earn yield on tokens that are locked in vesting contracts. This addresses the trend of users locking up their tokens for long-term holding. Second, they announced the Streamflow Odyssey, an incentivized points program that is the first step towards launching their own token. The Odyssey offers a bonus for the first 1000 participants.

How is the Solana ecosystem growing?

The Solana ecosystem is showing strong growth across multiple metrics. There's been a 13% increase in active wallets and a 22% increase in non-voting transactions per day. The Total Value Locked (TVL) on Solana is at $4.5 billion. Community growth is also strong, with Solana meetups happening in over 50 cities worldwide and the recent Solana APAC Summit attracting 1900 applicants from 55 countries.

What is the Talent Olympics and how can developers participate?

The Talent Olympics is a competition for developers to win job interviews and prizes in the Solana ecosystem. Participants will have four days to complete technical challenges in Rust and front-end development. The top performers will earn interviews with up to 45 hiring partners in the Solana ecosystem. There's also a $20,000 prize pool. Developers can register their interest at talentolympics.fun, with the competition set to run from July 11th to July 14th.

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