Solana is one of the most prominent smart contract blockchains in the industry and is home to a thriving development community. Thanks to the low cost and high throughput of the Solana blockchain, developers can build highly scalable decentralized applications (dapps) and decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols that rival those of Ethereum, the number one smart contract blockchain. Further, Solana dapps are becoming increasingly popular among DeFi traders as they offer significantly lower fees and faster transaction confirmation times than Ethereum. Also, some of the top Solana projects are at the forefront of innovation in the Web3 space and continue to gain mainstream adoption.
In this article, we dive deep into the world of Solana dapps. We explore the Solana blockchain network and how it benefits both developers and users. Plus, we discuss the top Solana projects and why they’re so popular. So, if you’re ready to learn more about the best Solana dapps, let’s get to it!
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What is Solana?
Before we dive in and explore the top Solana dapps of 2022, let’s first take a look at the Solana network itself. Solana is a smart contract-enabled public blockchain project created by Anatoly Yakovenko in 2017. It aims to address the scalability issues associated with Ethereum by solving the “blockchain trilemma” of scaling a network without compromising on decentralization or security.
Solana uses a hybrid consensus mechanism combining the novel proof-of-history (PoH) algorithm with a proof-of-stake (PoS) mechanism. Also, Solana uses a built-in decentralized clock mechanism for timestamping transactions. The native SOL token is the primary medium of exchange throughout the Solana network. It is required for interacting with most Solana dapps and helps secure the network via staking. Holders can lock up their SOL tokens to participate in consensus and earn staking rewards in return.
The Solana blockchain can process up to 65,000 transactions per second (TPS) with an average transaction fee of less than a cent. Also, it has a block time of around 0.4 seconds and a block size of 20,000 transactions. On the other hand, Ethereum can process around 15 transactions per second with a block time of 13 seconds and a block size of 70 transactions.
The low-cost, high-speed transactions on Solana have drawn a significant amount of traffic onto the network. Solana not only lowers the barrier to entry for DeFi users but also provides a sustainable, low-cost, and highly performant platform for developers.
What is a Dapp?
A decentralized application (dapp) is a protocol or application that operates on a public blockchain network using smart contracts. Unlike traditional apps, dapps have no central authority and are generally not owned by their creators. Instead, dapps often opt for a community governance model using a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). DAOs enable the community built around a dapp to vote on changes that will affect the future of the project. In addition, DAOs provide an equitable alternative to top-down governance structures by requiring voters to spend some sort of governance token.
Although many dapps lie in the realm of decentralized finance (DeFi), there are several other types of dapps. This includes non-fungible token (NFT) marketplaces, decentralized social media platforms, the metaverse, and blockchain gaming platforms. All of these dapps rely on smart contracts to automate decision-making transparently on-chain. Also, because they’re decentralized, they are resistant to censorship. This means anyone with an internet connection can interact with them from anywhere in the world.
Another feature of dapps is that they are often open source. This allows developers to use the underlying code to create interoperable “DeFi LEGO bricks”. Rather than the technology being proprietary and hidden from public view, many of these applications depend on the thriving Web3 development community to create next-gen protocols that can be stacked on top of each other.
Top 5 Solana Projects
Thanks to the high throughput and low transaction fees, Solana is home to a thriving ecosystem of dapps and DeFi protocols. If you want to learn how to create dapps on Solana, check out the Solana Programming 101 course at Moralis Academy. In addition, you can save our “Rust & Solana” article to learn more. However, without further ado, it’s now time to discuss the best Solana dapps in 2022. Below, we explore the top five Solana projects by total value locked (TVL), according to DeFi Llama.
At the top of our Solana dapps list is Marinade Finance, with $315 million TVL at the time of writing. Founded in March 2021, Marinade Finance is the premier non-custodial liquid staking protocol on Solana. It aims to promote the decentralization of Solana by encouraging users to participate in staking. When users lock up SOL tokens to secure the network with Marinade Finance, they receive liquid mSOL tokens in return. Plus, they can redeem them and withdraw their SOL tokens at any time!
Furthermore, mSOL tokens can be used with other Solana dapps to maximize returns without affecting their staking rewards. As such, liquid staking with Marinade Finance unlocks new revenue streams for SOL holders. In addition, liquid staking helps to increase the amount of available liquidity throughout the Solana ecosystem, making other Solana dapps more secure.
Also, holders of the MNDE governance token can vote to determine the future of the project. Furthermore, participants receive a non-fungible token (NFT) that represents the amount of MNDE tokens locked for voting. Plus, these NFTs can be bought and sold on secondary marketplaces.
Second place in our top Solana projects list is Solend, harboring 293 million in TVL. Solend is an “autonomous interest rate machine for lending on Solana”. Furthermore, the platform works in a similar way to the Compound and Aave money markets on Ethereum. It enables users to borrow and earn interest on 48 different crypto assets across 17 liquidity pools with minimal fees.
Holders of the native SLND token can participate in on-chain governance. This enables the Solend community to vote on proposals to determine which assets will be included in future liquidity pools. Users can also participate in liquid staking by earning interest on locked-up assets. In return, they can mint and redeem cTokens that can be put to work throughout the Solana ecosystem.
Serum is a decentralized exchange (DEX) on Solana. It has $258 million in TVL and is one of the cornerstones of DeFi on Solana. It provides some of the highest transaction speeds and competitive trading fees in the industry and facilitates cross-chain trading on multiple blockchain networks with a variety of tokens, stablecoins, and synthetic assets. Furthermore, Serum features an automated market maker (AMM) and decentralized limit orders via smart contracts. Also, users can create their own financial instruments using the Serum tech stack.
The SRM token is the native utility token of the Serum ecosystem. SRM holders gain governance rights and receive trading fee reductions. When trading on the Serum DEX, SRM holders receive some of the lowest possible transaction fees and benefit from near-instant transaction finality.
The fourth in our top Solana projects list is Raydium, with $222 million in TVL. Raydium is an automated market maker (AMM) that connects users with the order book of the Serum DEX. This allows the platform to provide ultra-fast token swaps with deep liquidity and low fees. In addition, Raydium offers novel yield generation opportunities by connecting investors to multiple liquidity sources via the top Solana projects.
Furthermore, the platform caters to multiple trading styles. Users can control various parameters of their trading experience, set limit orders, and toggle between TradingView charts. Also, users can earn the native RAY token by farming in liquidity pools and staking. Also, the platform offers a token launchpad service for new projects. Plus, users can create their own liquidity pools and earn a passive income by providing new token pairs.
In fifth place on our top Solana dapps list with $201 million in TVL is Atrix. Atrix is another popular AMM on Solana that benefits from the deep liquidity of the Serum DEX. The platform offers many of the same features as Raydium and Serum, including liquidity pools, yield farming, staking, token swaps, and a launchpad. Also, because Atrix is on Solana, users get super-fast transaction speeds with minimal fees.
The Atrix dapp relies on the liquidity from Serum and gives users access to the Serum central order book. Just like Raydium, Atrix incentivizes users to participate in yield farming and liquidity provision to bolster the Serum ecosystem and the other top Solana projects that share liquidity with Serum.
Solana is one of the fastest and most cost-efficient blockchains for smart contract developers. As such, it is home to a diverse and rapidly growing development community. One of the great things about building dapps on Solana is that it doesn’t require you to know how to code. There are various tools and resources that are open source, making it easy for non-developers to build Solana dapps.
That said, if you are a programmer, Solana supports multiple programming languages, including Rust, C, and C++. As such, you can effortlessly build Solana dapps quickly and easily with your preferred programming language. However, there are several advantages to building Solana dapps using Rust.
Rust is an open-source programming language created by Graydon Hoare. It is statically typed and incredibly memory efficient. In addition, Rust gives users control over low-level details and enables developers to build and deploy smart contracts on Solana quickly and securely. Furthermore, Rust makes it easy to eliminate various types of bugs when compiling and is well-suited to powering performance-critical computations.
Rust makes Web3 development accessible to non-programmers and offers a comprehensive suite of tools and resources to minimize the amount of time it takes to create Solana dapps. Moreover, the Rust programming language is highly intuitive and versatile. As such, it is an essential language used by prominent technology companies such as Meta (formerly Facebook), Discord, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Mozilla, and Dropbox.
If you’re creating dapps on Solana, be sure to check out the Moralis Solana API. This Web3 API removes much of the legwork from your backend development so that you can concentrate on creating the best Solana dapps possible!
Top 5 Solana Projects – Summary
Solana is one of the fastest blockchain networks around. Also, as one of the top five smart contract projects by market cap, Solana and the SOL token proves to be a popular choice for DeFi users, blockchain developers, and smart contract programmers. Furthermore, you don’t need extensive knowledge of coding to start building your own Solana dapps. This makes it ideal for collaboration between artists, designers, and programmers. Although the Solana dapps mentioned in this article are predominantly DeFi protocols, Solana is home to a diverse ecosystem of dapps and protocols.
There has never been a better time to become a blockchain developer. Blockchain developers are in extremely high demand industry-wide. Plus, they can earn a handsome salary! If you want to learn how to build dapps on Solana, but have no coding experience, check out the Rust Programming course at Moralis Academy. This course teaches students everything they need to know about building and deploying smart contracts on Solana. Take your programming game to the next level and become a Solana and Rust developer with Moralis Academy!
In addition, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @MoralisAcademy! We’d love to know which of the top Solana projects you’re using at the moment! Also, save our “How to Invest During a Crypto Bear Market” and “Understanding Crypto Crashes” articles to learn how to safeguard your wealth during market downturns!