Activity is surging around Solana-based NFTs despite an overall tepid market for so-called non-fungible tokens.
The Block Research's Data Dashboard shows that the number of NFTs minted on Solana — or the number of new NFTs created on its blockchain — surged to a high of 312,000 on Sept. 7. That figure represents a significant increase compared to the 39,000 on Sept. 4.
At the same time, Solana-based NFT volumes have risen, with the total volumes across marketplaces hitting $11.5 million on Sept. 6 — the highest level since May. Magic Eden, which launched as a marketplace dedicated to Solana NFTs, has seen its market share grow from 12% at the beginning of September to 36.6% on Sept. 7.
The heightened activity around Solana-based NFT trading represents a bright spot in the broader NFT market. Volumes across popular NFT marketplaces have failed to recover from a precipitous drop earlier this year.
Historically, Solana-based NFTs have only made up a small segment of the overall ecosystem for non-fungible collectibles and digital art, with the largest projects such as Bored Apes Yacht Club and Pudgy Penguins first minted on Ethereum.
"I remember once upon a time (last year), that 'some people' laughed at Solana NFTs," noted Chase Barker, head of developer ecosystem at the Solana Foundation, on Twitter.
"It's so true. It felt like cold calling—a lot of people not taking Solana NFT space seriously," Metaplex co-founder Stephen Hess told The Block in a phone interview.
Historically, the low barrier to entry has meant that low-quality collections could copycat more legitimate projects at a lower price point.
"The last few weeks we've seen a breakthrough in credibility, however," said Hess.
"We were able to make a compelling pitch on the cost structure: creators on Metaplex can mint 1 million mints at a time for 50 SOL," he added referring to the upcoming roll-out of a new program for creators.
Currently minting through Metaplex costs $0.30.
Dust Labs — the project behind NFT collection y00ts and popular collection DeGods — announced earlier this week a $7 million fundraise and saw $9.6 million in secondary sales in September of its “y00ts mint t00b” collection. Dust Labs counts FTX, Jump, and Solana Ventures as backers.
The success of the y00t launch illustrated the robustness of the Solana NFT ecosystem, according to Magic Eden founder Zhuoxun "Z" Yin.
"I think people are realizing that Solana is pretty liquid as an NFT market still despite the bear," he said in a message to The Block. "[It] went pretty well so it’s driving a mini minting /trading wave again."
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