Following their exciting announcement last month, OpenSea has finally added support for Solana-based NFTs on their platform. According to forkast.news, the long-requested feature has made its way to the OpenSea Marketplace. This new feature will reveal some interesting dynamics of the NFT market as a whole.
SOLANA NFTs – NEW OPPORTUNITIES
For those of you who don’t know, Solana is a popular blockchain network that is separate from and competes with Ethereum. OpenSea has been based on the Ethereum network, but it also supports the Polygon and Klaytn blockchains as well (although they’re not quite as big as Ethereum).
However, now that OpenSea is adding Solana to its blockchain roster, it could bring in a lot of new users and traffic to the platform.
Theoretically, this should also mean that Solana will grow as a blockchain option. Getting traffic from one of the biggest NFT marketplaces could be a huge asset for the Solana blockchain. However, the immediate stats for Solana have yet to indicate any growth.
Although there was a lot of growth in late March following the announcement of Solana integration on OpenSea, the data on coinmarketcap.com shows that Solana-based NFT sales have dropped by almost 20% over the past few days. The excitement for the new integration appears to have leveled off, along with the price of Solana (SOL). However, it doesn’t rule out the potential long-term benefits of this new integration in the future.
THE SOLANA OUTLOOK
In OpenSea, people can see that collections labeled with the Solana blockchain are listed and referred to as SOL. Some of the higher priced SOL collections are “Solana Monkey Business” and “Solana Monkey Rejects”. As reported by blockchain.news, Solana Monke Rejects are now being sold for 6 SOL each, or $683.52.
The integration is a big deal for OpenSea, and the company raised $300 million to support their new integration effort. Although most NFTs are hosted on the Ethereum blockchain, supporters of Solana think that the blockchain is a more cost-effective, faster, and energy-efficient option.
Even before OpenSea’s integration, Solana had become very popular among NFT artists who had qualms with Ethereum or Ethereum-based marketplaces, or who just wanted an alternative.
As a major contender against the Ethereum blockchain, Solana offers a couple of benefits that help it stand out. As mentioned before, Solana can process a lot more transactions at once. In fact, cryptopotato.com pointed out that it can process over 60,000 transactions per second, compared to Ethereum’s mere 15 transactions per second.
Solana is also more environmentally friendly when compared to Ethereum, because it uses less energy to complete its transactions. This makes it the first choice for artists and blockchain enthusiasts who want to utilize the technology, but are concerned about the environment.
As a result of using less energy, the costs of putting an NFT on the Solana blockchain are much lower than putting one on an Ethereum-based marketplace. Artists and traders who’ve bought, sold, or minted NFTs before know how high the gas and minting fees can get. With lower cost items on the Ethereum network, sometimes the fees associated with an NFT transaction can even exceed the price of the NFT itself.
All of these features are what make people excited to see Solana integrated into OpenSea.
OTHER SOLANA NFT MARKETPLACES
OpenSea isn’t the only NFT marketplace to have adopted Solana integrations.
According to seekingalpha.com, three of the biggest marketplaces that use Solana are “Magic Eden”, “Solanart”, and “Solsea”. Although many other markets specialize in Solana NFT art, Magic Eden commands an impressively large share of Solana (SOL) NFTs.
Magic Eden has had impressive trading volumes of about $41 million over the last 30 days, but even that doesn’t compare to the >$1 billion in total trade volumes on OpenSea over a similar period of time. With such a large marketplace now offering Solana NFT integration, it will be interesting to see whether traders from other Solana-based NFT will move to OpenSea or stay where they are.
WHY INTEGRATE SOLANA SUPPORT NOW?
There are a number of possibilities as to why OpenSea added Solana integration to its platform recently. In recent weeks, there’s been an increase in sales volume of Solana-based NFTs in general. It’s possible that OpenSea wanted to capitalize on such a trend to increase trading volumes on their platform.
Perhaps they hope to bring in traders from Solana specialized marketplaces like Magic Eden. This is likely one of the major reasons for the integration, but there may be more going on in the background.
After several OpenSea users were hacked and scammed out of their NFTs, OpenSea cracked down on the phishers and resolved the issue. However, the fact that it happened in the first place irreparable damaged OpenSea’s reputation. Adding support for a new, popular blockchain like Solana may win back some favor from the NFT community and make them feel more at ease on OpenSea.
Whether it’s to increase traffic to their platform or to win back favor from NFT enthusiasts, OpenSea’s integration of the Solana blockchain will likely prove to be a positive step forward.