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Breakpoint 2023: Open Source Endeavors on Solana

Explore the significance of open-source development and its impact on the Solana blockchain ecosystem, as discussed by Rex from Magic Eden.

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


At Breakpoint 2023, Rex from Magic Eden, a leading Solana-based NFT marketplace, delivered an insightful talk on the importance of open-source development within the Solana ecosystem. Open source, known for its transparency and collaborative nature, plays a critical role in advancing blockchain technologies. Rex emphasizes how foundational open-source projects were to his early development efforts within Solana, and how Magic Eden itself has leveraged open-source software to grow into a prominent player in the field. He advocates for more initiatives and cultural shifts toward open-source practices in blockchain development and highlights the powerful impacts these can have on innovation, security, and overall ecosystem growth.

Key Points:

The Role of Open Source in Solana's Growth

Rex underscored the integral role that open-source software has played in the development and growth of the Solana ecosystem. He shared his personal journey of learning to program on Solana and how open-source resources were crucial in overcoming early challenges. He illustrated this with examples like Paul's blog on programming basics within Solana and the Solana Program Library, which served as essential learning materials. He also spoke about Magic Eden's own experience with adopting open standards like the Metaplex protocol for NFT royalties.

Magic Eden's Open Source Contributions

Magic Eden, while it may be a multi-chain company, has made significant strides in contributing back to the open-source community. Rex mentions the inception of Magic OSS, their GitHub organization dedicated to open-source software, marking their commitment to transparency and collaborative innovation. With 14 projects open sourced, including market contracts and trading libraries, Magic Eden is setting an example for others in the space.

The Current State of Open Source on Solana

Rex addressed the current discrepancies between Solana and EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine)-based chains regarding the quantity of open-source projects and community engagement. He pointed out lower numbers of open-source occurrences and developer activity on Solana in comparison to EVM chains but encourages the audience not to be disheartened, emphasizing the strong demand for open-source development and the need for cultural change within the community.

The Importance and Challenges of Verifiable Builds

Rex discussed the challenges faced when enforcing that the code running on the blockchain is indeed the publicly committed code from the developers. He advocated for the verification of builds as a way to ensure trust in the deployed programs. The talk also touched upon how tooling, like GitHub actions for verifying builds, can facilitate and encourage developers to engage with open-source practices.

Facts + Figures

  • Magic Eden's adoption of the Metaplex protocol for NFT royalties led to rapid ecosystem integration.
  • Magic OSS, created on Magic Eden's first anniversary, houses 14 open-source projects.
  • Magic Eden's M2 contract generates 87 million successful monthly transactions, far exceeding competitors.
  • Solana’s explorer tools do not currently show source code, contrasting explorer tools from other chains.
  • Ethereum’s EVM has a significantly larger number of open-source smart contract occurrences and developer activity compared to Solana.
  • Magic Eden’s transactions per second for their M2 contract alone is greater than the combined transactions of the top four EVM chains.

Top quotes

  • "We are here because of open source."
  • "Open source is not only valued but also celebrated."
  • "In the act of giving, we receive."
  • "The OSS wave is here."
  • "I really want open-source on Solana to be transparent, trust, collaboration, innovation."
  • "We must listen. There's a huge demand for open source programs."

Questions Answered

What is the significance of open source in blockchain development?

Open source facilitates transparency, collaboration, and innovation in blockchain development. It allows developers to share ideas, build on each other's work, and create a more secure and robust ecosystem. For users, it ensures that they can trust the code they are interacting with is publicly vetted and secure.

Why is Magic Eden advocating for open source?

Magic Eden advocates for open source as it fosters an environment of collaborative innovation crucial for advancing blockchain technology. By contributing to open source, they are helping to ensure the security and reliability of the blockchain ecosystem and demonstrate their commitment to community-oriented development.

What are the advantages of open-source software in blockchain?

Open-source software in blockchain allows for improved transparency, as it can be audited and verified by anyone. This leads to increased security, as a larger community of developers can identify and fix vulnerabilities. It also accelerates innovation, with community contributions and collaboration enabling rapid development and adoption of new features and protocols.

How does Magic Eden contribute to the open-source community?

Magic Eden contributes by opening its own projects, such as the M2 market-based contract and MMM protocol, under the GitHub organization Magic OSS. They've released 14 projects open source and encourage other developers within the ecosystem to do the same, promoting transparency and trust.

What are verifiable builds and why are they important in Solana?

Verifiable builds ensure that the code deployed on the blockchain matches the publicly available source code. It's important in Solana, as with other blockchains, for establishing trust in the code that executes transactions and controls digital assets, since it helps users to verify that smart contracts do what they claim without any malicious alterations.