Layer-1 of The Rising Sun: Solana NFTs

While Solana’s initial dreams have been to compete with Ethereum within the DeFi realm, it has already started to branch its scalable tentacles into other Ethereum dominated sectors, specifically NFTs.
As the Solana ecosystem continues to expand, NFTs on Solana have similarly witnessed formidable growth as a category. Total NFT secondary sales volume on Solana has officially reached $650 million.
Solana is rapidly approaching Flow in cumulative NFT sales and cumulatively might be able to surpass NBA Top Shot in volume if the existing trend persists.
Sol September
In just its second month of NFT trading, Solana experienced a rather substantial increase in the number of projects and the respective trade volume. Total volume for Sol September pinnacled at nearly $247 million predominantly on the back of Solana Monkey Business(SMB), Degen Ape Academy, Aurory, and Galactic Gecko Space Garage.
Solana’s NFT September continued strong into October, falling just shy of the September highs.
The top three NFT projects by secondary sales on Solana are Degen Apes, Solana Monkey Business, and Aurory. While secondary sales don’t include the initial sale of NFTs, secondary sales are arguably a healthier metric for evaluating the strength of an NFT project. Solana Monkey Business and Degen Ape Academy benefited from being two of the earliest NFTs on Solana while Aurory’s upcoming game has created fervor around the NFTs.
However, digging deeper, the lion’s share of Degen Apes sales resulted from its first month declined precipitously in October. Conversely, Solana Monkey Business has consistently increased in value over the past several months, reaching its highest month of secondary sales in October. And while, Degen Ape Academy pfps still possess more cumulative secondary sales SMB pfps maintain a market capitalization 3x the size, in part due to the significantly higher floor price and reduced supply (5k SMBs vs 10k Degen Apes).
Like Ethereum, a few projects possess a majority of the secondary trading volume, further demonstrating that even on Solana, the eventual fate of NFT projects will also resemble a long-tail distribution.
Ethereum NFT projects have several varieties including gaming, trading cards, pfp, virtual land, and other (e.g. Loot). However, Solana NFT projects have mostly consisted of pfp style projects which is arguably the most speculative type of NFT in the market. Notably, various gaming projects have raised capital with intentions of building on Solana, such as Aurory, who was one of the first to conduct its NFT sale. If Solana wishes to truly vie for NFT dominance, it will have to support other types of projects beyond collectible (and adorable) pfp NFTs.
The Rising Sun: Solana NFTs
Solana has already started to compete with Ethereum across several NFT metrics.
Interestingly, the average Ethereum NFT sale price in October was $3,147 while the avgerage Solana NFT sale price in the same month was $1,097. The lower transaction cost on Solana has likely helped with the pfp flipping market that has captured the attention of ETH and SOL speculators alike.
Additionally, Ethereum’s NFT ecosystem saw 132,879 unique buyers and 101,920 unique sellers while Solana clocked 48% of Ethereum’s unique buyer numbers and over 68% of the unique sellers. These numbers are positive signs for Solana user adoption in a more mainstream market (NFTs).
Notably, Ethereum still dwarfs Solana in total NFT secondary sales volume, recording an order of magnitude more in trading volume through each of the past three months.
However, trading volume is not the canonical metric to behold. Rather a combination of these metrics and market context is important in determining the strength of an ecosystem’s NFT market. So while Ethereum remains the dominant NFT market leader today, Solana has clearly carved its slot for pfp/avatar NFT projects. Whether or not Solana can manifest this initial energy into long-term NFT growth is yet to be determined, but current signs present valid reasons to be optimistic about Solana’s burgeoning NFT ecosystem.
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