Bullish: What's Next for Solana?

Solana is poised to become one of the most dominant networks in Web3. Are you paying attention? There's more to this blockchain than token price.

Note: This article is not financial advice. Hubble Protocol does not endorse any of the tokens or projects mentioned in this article.

This year has been a hair-whitening rollercoaster for everyone in crypto and decentralized finance (DeFi). On Solana, it's been especially one heck of a wild ride, and Hubble is more bullish than ever for what's next.

As 2022 draws to a close, let's take a look at the many reasons why 2023 and beyond has the community singing from the rafters about Solana. If this list doesn't get you amped about the future of the network, you might have to check your pulse.

Firedancer (Jump)

Firedancer is a new independent Solana validator built by Jump, one of the biggest names in trading and crypto. Jump has been killing it as a trading firm since 1999, and they’re putting a lot of effort into making Firedancer Solana the most anti-fragile, secure, and fastest trading environment in the world.  

In a post titled Jump vs the Speed of Light, Jump's giga-brain Kevin Bowers gave some explanations as to why Jump and Solana's goals align:

In short, Solana is facing the same problems Jump has been facing. And while the latency requirements for this validator are not as stringent today as they are for quantitative finance, ideally the validator would position Solana for even more impact long term by utilizing the latest algorithms, software, hardware, and networking technologies to increase the transaction throughput and drop the cost per transaction as low as possible.

Mr. Bowers gave two extremely bullish presentations at Breakpoint. During his first trip to the stage, Bowers explained what trading at the speed of light has to do with Solana and briefly introduced Firedancer. If you have 30 minutes to spare, then this is a highly recommended watch:

If you have a full hour and want to plunge into a Firedancer deep dive, Bowers and the Firedancer Jump team really show off the potential of a second, independent, validator client on Solana:

The overall take is that once Firedancer goes live, Solana will be insanely efficient, fast, and always performing at the highest standards allowed by physics. Say goodbye to degraded network performance and downtime forever, and say hello to trading at the speed of light.


Saga and Solana Mobile Stack (SMS)

With the rise of Web3 and the benefits users can gain from interacting with decentralized technologies, it's about time we had a Web3 phone. Enter the Solana Saga, a Solana mobile device designed and built to securely and easily interact with blockchain technology from a phone.

The problem with current smartphones is that they are plagued with attack surfaces and provide developers and users with a poor user experience. The Saga mobile phone and the Solana Mobile Stack (SMS) are game changers addressing each of these pain points.

The Phone

The Solana phone stores private keys away from the application layer in a seed vault that can still interact with apps and a browser. This feature essentially makes the Solana Saga a ready-to-go Web3 phone—massive implications for the adoption of DeFi.

The Software

A lot of Web3 development has focused on users approaching dApps from a computer, not a mobile phone. The Solana Mobile Stack is a set of libraries that easily allow developers to approach building secure Web3 dApps for mobile.

The Solana Synergy

Most of the world interacts with the rest of the globe via smartphones. By pioneering a Web3 phone and also making it easier for developers to build on the Saga phone, Solana is expediting the roadmap to mass adoption.


Zero-Knowledge (ZK) Privacy

Zero-knowledge proofs, or ZK proofs, are a way to cryptographically prove something is true without having to give another party access to more information than what's necessary. They have far-ranging applications and use cases for the future of sensitive information in Web3.

One of the most urgent use cases for ZK proofs is privacy when making payments. Imagine ordering a gift from an artist on Etsy and paying them with a USDC transfer from a burner wallet you funded with your main wallet. Now this stranger has your shipping address and, with a little sleuthing, can get an idea of your net worth, or at least what you're holding on-chain.

Elusiv and Light Protocol are building Solana privacy tools based on ZK proofs to address this specific issue. Light's Shield Protocol helps users transfer SOL without linking the transaction to their wallet, and Elusiv privacy controls are being built to help extend transaction privacy when meeting compliance standards.

Developing Solana ZK privacy is also a major issue for the adoption of Solana Pay, which is mentioned later in this article. In fact, there are countless use cases where sensitive information clashes with the transparency of the blockchain, and ZK proofs on Solana are going to help build out those applications.



The Solana OpenBook DEX is a community-led fork of the Serum DEX. What is Serum, you might ask, and why was it forked? Well, Serum was a central limit order book (CLOB) that operated entirely on-chain, and it was funded and built by actors that are now widely recognized as toxic for the industry.

Liquidity fled from Serum with news about FTX, Alameda, and that the DEX's update keys were not controlled by a multi-sig but instead a single party. Additionally, the SRM token lost a ton of value overnight when its biggest holders filed for bankruptcy.

However, Serum was more than a token; it acted as a public good, since many projects were built on top of  Serum's order book. When the Solana community became aware that Serum might be problematic, a "Solana Serum" was forked into OpenBook with the help of several projects.

Mango Markets announced that it will launch Mango v4 on OpenBook, and liquidity is slowly but surely being added by market makers. The fact that the Solana DeFi community rallied to make OpenBook happen is a testament to the strength and resilience of DeFi builders on Solana.


Neon Labs for EVM Integration

Most of the OG DeFi apps were built on Ethereum and the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). Unfortunately, the network became practically unusable for regular DeFi users during the last bull market as transaction prices frequently reached over $100, so DeFi began an exodus to other EVM-compatible chains.

If you Google "How to add Solana to MetaMask," you'll quickly find out that MetaMask Solana doesn't exist, since Solana is not an EVM blockchain. This will change very soon, though, as Neon Labs paves the way for Solana EVM compatibility with a December 12 mainnet launch.

The Neon EVM-compatible environment will allow some of the biggest names in DeFi to easily build on Solana. Once users get used to how fast and cheap transactions are on Solana, it's hard to go back to other blockchains. A lot of haters are about to get won over by a user experience reality check.


Solana Pay

One of the arguments against crypto adoption is that it's too difficult for normal people to use on a day-to-day basis. This narrative goes out the window with Solana Pay, a way for merchants to easily accept crypto payments from their customers.

Solana payments are a vastly superior choice for vendors who want to accept anything other than cash without the hassle of dealing with credit cards. Users can scan a QR code and instantly send USDC or other kinds of crypto to pay for things like shoes.

Circle, the company that issues USDC, is putting its weight behind Solana Pay to make USDC commerce as efficient and ubiquitous as possible. According to Circle:

The world of financial technology is not standing still, and neither are we. The launch of Solana Pay means merchants and consumers will help drive how the advancement of blockchain technology reshapes the commercial payment infrastructure for enterprises and small businesses like never before.



The dawn of xNFTs might one day change the way most of us interact with Web3. The X in xNFT stands for eXecutable, and interacting with xNFTs in the Backpack app, developed by Armani Ferrante's Coral community, feels a lot like using an iPhone.  

The Coral Backpack, which is essentially an NFT Backpack, acts as a crypto wallet that can be populated with xNFTs from a Web3 appstore. This allows users to natively browse dApps within the backpack app, which provides multi-chain support for Solana and Ethereum.

Coral has also worked on delivering the Solana Anchor Framework to provide developers with tools to expedite and improve building on Solana. The xNFT Solana space is definitely one to watch out for as it continues to evolve.


Alameda is Gone

And thank goodness. After looking at these books, anyone interested in the Solana ecosystem couldn't be happier. It looks like Solana projects were way less affected by funding than the connections that have been over-hyped since Alameda Research declared bankruptcy.

The FTX Alameda Research connection does have one silver lining, after all. The Alameda SOL tokens, which amount to around 10% of all SOL tokens in circulation, will be held in litigation for years as this mess is sorted out.

These tokens aren't hitting the market any time soon.


Strong NFT Ecosystem

Speaking of Solana NFTs, the network has one of the strongest NFT communities of any blockchain. Solana NFT projects are climbing up the floor price ladder, and the Solana NFT marketplace is challenging Ethereum's volume with a 42% jump in November as the rest of the NFT market plummeted, according to Decrypt.

Most of the NFT volume on Solana can be attributed to Magic Eden. The Magic Eden NFT market has ruffled some feathers by spreading out to Ethereum and Polygon, but a cross-chain future of Solana EVM, xNFTs, and Backpack mean there's more to celebrate than worry about.

Dust labs, the progenitor of DeGods, Yoots (yes, Y00ts), and $DUST have been spearheading the sharp rise in Solana NFT dominance across all chains. But, and it's a big but, they're not the only game in town.

There are multiple NFT projects that are building like they don't even know it's a bear market.


Solana Virtual Machine (SVM)

As mentioned earlier, a lot of Ethereum DeFi dApps have gone cross-chain due to the ease of building on chains that are Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible. Now, similar network effects are being realized with the Solana Virtual Machine, or SVM, and SVM compatibility across blockchains like Cosmos.

Nitro Labs and Eclipse are making it possible for Solana devs to launch SVM Cosmos and Solana IBC dApps through Layer 2 solutions. The Nitro Solana Layer 2 has been developed by Sei Labs and is ready for a 2023 launch. Additionally, Eclipse raised $15 million during the heart of a bear market to realize a Sealevel VM.



Do you believe in wireless networks? How about decentralized networks? If you've been alive and paying attention for the last few years, you might say yes.

The recent vote for Helium, a decentralized wireless network, to move onto Solana is huge news for the web-scale blockchain that currently boasts the highest performance outlook for all chains. Helium mining, Helium cellular, Helium 5G, the whole Helium network is aiming to become Helium Solana.

That's not a lot of hot air. That's a lot of Helium.


It's Getting Hard to Find Reasons to Fade Solana

There are literally millions of people who believe the world is flat. Millions more believe humanity never stepped foot on the moon.

Maybe they're right, and maybe this is all a techno-hallucination of people who have built massive improvements for the sake of humanity just to fit this hallucinogenic Matrix narrative. But, maybe not.

It looks like decentralized technologies have a lot to offer the world, and it also looks like Solana is at the forefront of offering a space where the advantages of these technologies can really take hold.


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