The burgeoning popularity of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) has led to issues like exorbitant transaction fees and congestion in the prevalent Ethereum-based ecosystem. The fee factor serves as a major deterrent to anyone wanting to execute transactions on the blockchain.
A report published by Reuters revealed that the NFT sales volume was $24.9 billion in 2021, considerably more than the $94.9 million in 2020. The number of wallets trading in NFTs jumped to about 28.6 million, from a modest 545,000 in 2020. Recently, when Bored Ape minted its NFTs, the gas fee surged to $3300, showing a glimpse of how bad the costs were on Ethereum (ETH).
Related: The NFT marketplace: How to buy and sell nonfungible tokens
Solana (SOL) has emerged as a prominent challenger to Ethereum, performing amazingly better on two key metrics, speed and transaction cost, thanks to an innovative proof-of-history (PoH) timing mechanism along with a proof-of-stake (PoS) protocol structure.
In this article, we will discuss the advantage Solana has over other blockchains and marketplaces as well as how to buy NFTs on Solana.
The Solana advantage
This blockchain clocks block time (0.4 seconds) and block size (20,000 transactions) compared to Ethereum (block time: 13 seconds, block size: 70 transactions) allowing the network an incredibly low gas fee of just $0.00025 per transaction.
The arrival of solutions like Solana enables buyers to purchase NFTs with a negligible transaction fee or few congestion issues. Practically, it means that Solana or SOL NFTs are more easily accessible than those on Ethereum.
In the second half of 2021, the price of Solana NFTs began picking up. A Degenerate Ape NFT sold for around $1.1 million in September 2021, becoming the first million-dollar NFT sale on the Solana network. In October 2021, a Solana Monkey was sold for $2 million.
Solana NFT marketplaces
If you are wondering where you can buy Solana NFTs, marketplaces are the answer. All functions related to NFTs such as minting, buying, selling and trading occur on specific marketplaces. This is quite like the usual cryptocurrencies, which are managed through exchanges and crypto wallets. OpenSea is the most popular NFT marketplace on Ethereum.
SolSea, Solanart and DigitalEyes are three prominent marketplaces that support Solana NFTs. SolSea enables creators to choose and embed their licenses while minting NFTs. On Solanart, you can find, collect and trade NFTs. DigitalEyes is a popular platform featuring collections like the Solana Monkey Business and Frakt.
How to buy Solana NFTs
Busy thinking about how to buy and sell Solana NFTs? Purchasing NFTs on Solana involves a few steps, as explained below:
Get a Solana wallet
The first step you need to take is to get a Solana-based wallet. Two better known wallets are SolFlare and Phantom. Advanced users may use Sollet, an open source wallet. Each of these NFT marketplaces have collections, fees and terms to work that you need to take into account. So, you need to do adequate research at your end before committing your funds.
Create a new wallet on your chosen solution and connect it with the Solana marketplace you have selected. The website of the market place will guide you through the process.
An important thing to remember, don’t try to do anything on Solana via Metamask, a popular wallet on Ethereum, or else your SOL will disappear forever as MetaMask doesn’t recognize SOL tokens. Phantom is the Metamask of Solana Network.
Get SOL coins
You have to use SOL cryptocurrency on Solana NFT platforms, just like you use ETH on Ethereum-based marketplaces. SOL coins are for sale on various exchanges. The typical process involves connecting your fiat account with the exchange, moving funds and purchasing the required SOL amount. You need to withdraw this SOL to your wallet address.
To be on the safe side, withdraw just what you need for buying the NFT. For instance, in case an NFT is available for 15 SOL, you may withdraw exactly that amount along with the transaction fee needed. Alternatively, you can change your stablecoins to SOL on an exchange and move the currency to your wallet address.
Related: Altcoins vs stablecoins: Key differences explained
Develop a strategy
When it comes to NFT investment, there is no singular strategy. In line with your goals, you have to come up with your own. Collectibles are in demand as are artworks, achievements and other assets associated with renowned personalities as they help fans to feel connected with them. For someone interested in games, there are plenty of NFTs of sports stars or games memorabilia to make them feel elated and earn income as well.
While buyers are putting in their funds for earning a profit, you may also prefer to ensure that your investments align with your interests. Someone who is fond of playing games will surely want an NFT right from a popular game, probably a reward NFT. And if you like spending time on metaverses, you may want to get one from the one you simply love hopping to.
Finding what is trending on the Solana marketplaces will help you zero in on the pieces that are likely to get maximum traction. If you aren’t very used to the NFT world, this will help you to get a feel of the NFt world.
Buy your NFTs
Whatever platform you choose, you might like to check out the latest or trending NFTs. Go through as many collections as you can before arriving at a decision. If you want to keep the costs low, include this criterion in the filter when searching for top Solana NFTs.
Just click on the NFT and go through the information available about the piece. Become apprised of the information like the owner of the NFT, the price and the offer you will make once the wallet connection is set.
Solanart, the most stable of the NFT marketplaces on the network, takes around 20 seconds from start to finish and less than half a dollar transaction fee. The price history of all collections is available on the marketplace. Solana NFT marketplaces may still be nowhere near OpenSea, which has been around since 2017, but they are soon catching up.
On most wallets, you will find a Buy button that you need to click. The wallet will then usually seek approval of the purchase. It will show you the amount you are going to spend as well as the transaction fee you will incur. Once you approve and make the purchase, you can see it residing in the relevant section. On the Phantom wallet, for instance, it gets transferred to the Collection section.
The process is quite straightforward and you shouldn’t have any problem in completing the transaction after transferring SOL into your wallet. A reason for the growing popularity of Solana platforms is that they are simple to use.
The days ahead
The NFT revolution has just begun and there are still miles to go. As the ecosystem progresses, more marketplaces will emerge. We can say for sure that these marketplaces will be better than the current lot. User interfaces will be more intuitive and a wider range of features will be available, adding up to user experience.
As the Solana community progresses with time, the number of NFT buyers will grow as well, giving a fillip to the growth potential of your NFT values. Just make sure you buy each SOL NFT only after giving it proper thought and you should do fine.