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In the past few years, the Solana network has become more and more popular, as well as becoming a favourite amongst many users and investors. Towards the end of 2021, Solana was dubbed as being the 'next Ethereum' after its price increased to over $260, with many more users wanting to invest.

Bitcoin is naturally the most discussed platform on the market, it's now becoming more and more common for investors and developers to consider their options when it comes to the future of crypto and blockchain technologies.

Since its price and value went up, Solana appears to be innovating at a much quicker pace than Ethereum, resulting in market share gains in NFTs and other areas. Ethereum is still undoubtedly the leading blockchain, however, Solana is certainly beginning to make a dent in Ethereum's dominance.

What Is Solana?

Created by Anatoly Yakovenko, Solana is a cryptocurrency that was designed to work similarly to Ethereum, as well as improve upon it.

Yakovenko proposed this new decentralized blockchain technology in 2017, launching Solana onto the crypto market in March 2020. Since its release, Solana has increasingly gained more and more popularity, with a market cap of $11.1 billion, ranking 9th in the top 10 cryptocurrencies. Solana is also renowned as being one of the fastest cryptocurrencies around and according to Coindesk, processes 2700 transactions per second. Faster and cheaper transactions mean that there is potential for Solana to compete with credit cards as an accepted payment method.

The native crypto coin on the Solana network is SOL, and is a less decentralized network than other cryptos such as Bitcoin, Cardano and Ethereum. Solana have also released their own stablecoin/crypto, Tether.

Solana is different to Ethereum in that it uses proof-of-history, with Ethereum using proof-of-work.

With a rapid growth in its crypto, decentralized finance and non fungible tokens, Solana claims to be the fasted blockchain in the entire world. Food for thought for developers and users who are considering spending their money and making an investment.

The Ethereum Network

A rival of Solana, Ethereum is an open-source blockchain, allowing for a peer-to-peer network using smart contracts. A smart contract enables transactions between users to take place without a trusted central authority. Ethereum also serves as the basis for its own crypto, Ether.

Ethereum is also home to the most sought after collections for non fungible tokens, including the Bored Ape Yacht Club and Crypto Punks.

The Ethereum Killers

Ethereum may be the popular network, however, it's important to note that between the two networks, Ethereum has 5 years on Solana, having being launched in 2015 whereas Solana was launched in 2021.

With something as massive as Ethereum, it's difficult to imagine it ever being 'killed' or outdone. However, there are a few other crypto coins that are in fact chasing Ethereum, and each of it's rivals have earnt the name 'Ethereum killer'. In terms of size, cost of transactions as well as other factors, Ethereum is the one to beat. Or try to at least. And it seems that Solana's recent surge in NFT minting and daily volumes have shown the Ethereum platform that it's one to watch.

Other examples of ETH killers are Cardano, EOS and Polkadot, proving themselves to be a risk to the Ethereum network.

Solana as an Ethereum Killer

Solana's transaction speed of 400ms beat Ethereum's 10 second limit, and it also supports smart contracts. As well as this, Solana has over 250 projects running on its blockchain and is a fourth generation blockchain that supports Proof-Of-History.

One of the most important features of the Solana platform is its speed. Solana is able to process up to 65,000 transactions per second, surpassing all of its competitors. It’s also known for its low transaction fees. Because of its scalability, developers and users of Solana can rest assured that transactions are to remain below $0.01 - and that's a promise.

Fast transactions and low costs, and its scalable ecosystem are just some of the reasons that Solana has been labelled an Ethereum killer.

Solana's September Growth

Solana network has dealt with multiple outages this year alone, and in September 2021, its system went offline for almost 18 hours.

October didn't see a good start for Solana either, with an hours long service interruption marking its twelfth outage this year. Despite its network outages that prevented the blockchain and its users from processing transactions, September saw surging NFT mints and daily volumes that would rival Ethereum.

September also saw Solana posting higher daily trades volumes over Ethereum, with an increase in unique buyers rising by 34% month after month, according to data fetched from Dune Analytics.

The volume for NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain may have taken a bit of a nosedive in April of this year, however, the recently converted proof-of-stake blockchain remains as being the one to beat when it comes to NFT sales, with its popular blue-chip collections BAYC and Crypto Punks.

The Future Of Solana

In contrast to high gas fees, lower gas costs and less than $200 trades means that Solana has had more participation and more interaction than Ethereum, according to reports from analytics platform, Nansen.

“Ethereum’s role in the NFT space will gravitate toward stores of value. In contrast, Solana will become and, to some extent, already is the hotbed for trading, newer collections, and creators looking to access the global market,” Nansen concluding after conducting their own research.

Solana and Non Fungible Tokens

The "y00ts: mint t00b", one of Solana's own projects that was released at the beginning of September by Dust Labs, had the highest 30 day trading volume on Magic Eden, as well as OpenSea. The design reveal is yet to take place.

y00ts: mint t00b is a collection of 15, 000 mint pass NFTs that was launched on the Solana blockchain. Dust Labs is also responsible for DeGods, which just so happens to be the most popular and valuable NFT collection found on the Solana blockchain.

DeGods is a digital art collection consisting on 10, 000 NFT which was minted on 8th October, 2021, and since its launch it has been making waves across the NFT community in a big way. With a current value of 290.00 SOL, the DeGods collection has made its way into the top 5 most valuable NFT collections across all other chains, coming in behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club, Crypto Punks, Mutant Ape Yacht Club and Moonbirds.

The growth in popularity for Solana could be a result of the quick pick-up of the entire NFT market after a dip at the end of 2021 which destroyed the collective market capitalisation for all digital assets and collectibles.

Solana vs. Ethereum

You can't really compare the two networks, as they were each made with different ideas in mind. Each platform has its own major selling point for its investors. Ethereum boasts long term stability, security and tough smart contract capabilities, along with higher trading price and higher success rate when it comes to investments.

While Ethereum is still ahead, Solana is constantly gaining ground. The proof-of-stake protocol has obtained 9.89 million trades worth $1.1 billion, while Ethereum has registered 13.38 million trades worth $16.5 billion, according to data from Flipside Crypto.

Ethereum and Solana are two of the most popular cryptocurrencies by market cap, as well as being two of the most popular blockchain platforms. It's true that Ethereum may have been around a bit longer and has been a dominant platform within the industry, however, cheap transaction costs and other features make it a real contender.