Bull Case for Solana ($SOL)

Ian Robinson
Chief Investment Officer
August 16, 2023

Solana, recognized by its token name $SOL, is an innovative Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain that debuted at the onset of 2020, strategically positioned just before the 2021–2022 bull-run. Conceived as a contender to the esteemed Ethereum ($ETH) blockchain, which had been in operation since 2015, Solana sought to address some of the persistent challenges that had emerged within the Ethereum ecosystem. One of Ethereum’s unforeseen challenges was its rapid growth over the past decade, which brought scalability and throughput (transactions per second) issues to the forefront. While Ethereum’s team has been tirelessly working to address these concerns, they underscored the urgency for improvements within the broader blockchain infrastructure. Solana was able to analyze and build upon these identified inefficiencies, presenting a solution that offered enhanced transactions per second and scalability. Demonstrating its robust capabilities, Solana witnessed an impressive ascent during the last bull-run, with its token price soaring to approximately $260 per coin. As the next market cycle looms, industry watchers are keenly observing to see if Solana will further challenge Ethereum’s dominance in the space.



QUIC is a modern internet protocol that combines the best features of TCP and UDP. It’s like a fast lane on the internet, ensuring that if one piece of data gets delayed or lost, it doesn’t slow down the other pieces. Many of Google’s services, like when you’re using Google Chrome, rely on QUIC for faster and more reliable connections. Solana is a digital network where anyone can participate by running a Solana client, making them a “node” or a point in this network. Within this system, there are leaders that handle a large chunk of the data traffic. Right now, these leaders get their data via a method that can sometimes be overwhelmed if too many requests come in at once. To fix this, Solana recently completed plans to switch to using QUIC, making the network run smoother, even when it’s busy.

Stake Weighted QoS

Quality of Service (QoS) is like a traffic management system for the internet, ensuring that the most important data gets through when there’s a lot of congestion. Solana had issues when automated trading programs overloaded it with too much data. To address this, Anatoly Yakovenko, a key figure in Solana, announced they’d be implementing QoS.

Imagine Solana’s network like a busy coffee shop (the “Leader”). Previously, customers were rushing to the counter, clamoring for attention, creating a chaotic scene. Now, with the QUIC system, it’s like the baristas can recognize each customer’s regular order and serve them efficiently. If one customer keeps ordering multiple drinks constantly, the baristas can ask them to wait a bit (“throttle” them). Additionally, orders are prioritized based on how often a customer visits and spends (analogous to staking SOL); frequent customers get a sort of “fast pass.” So, if you’re an occasional visitor, you might want to partner with a regular to get your coffee quicker. Meanwhile, store managers (akin to Validators) keep an eye out, ensuring no one is causing disruptions, ensuring a smooth flow in the coffee shop.

Fee Markets

Previously, Solana had a fixed fee for its transactions, which means no matter how urgent your transaction was, you could not pay extra to have it processed faster. This system had a downside: when there’s a rush on a popular market, users (often automated trading programs) flood the system with transactions hoping that at least one goes through. This can clog the network.

Solana recently introduced a priority fee, letting users pay an extra amount if they want their transactions processed faster. Think of it like an express lane at the toll booth, where you pay more to move quicker. This not only helps in prioritizing urgent transactions but also discourages spamming the network with unnecessary ones. How transactions are ranked for priority is based on the ratio of this extra fee to the transaction’s computational complexity. There’s a catch, though: even if you pay a high priority fee, there’s a time limit for how often certain account actions can happen. So, if many high-fee transactions target the same action, some might be pushed to the next processing round. But, thanks to Solana’s design, unrelated transactions can still proceed in parallel, optimizing the system. To help users decide what fee to pay, especially for trending actions like minting an NFT, nodes in the network will likely suggest an amount based on recent trends.

Public Sentiment v. Technical Merit:

Solana, hit many roadblocks on its path to success that dented its public image. The ecosystem’s association with FTX, a major cryptocurrency exchange which faced its own set of controversies, cast a shadow on Solana’s reputation. To add fuel to the fire, the influx of venture capitalists into the Solana ecosystem led many in the crypto community to question its commitment to decentralization, a foundational principle of blockchain technology.

Venture capitalists, typically big-money investors, often seek considerable influence in their investments. Their pronounced presence in Solana’s framework began to concern long-standing enthusiasts who feared the platform might become too centralized. In the world of crypto, decentralization is celebrated because it ensures no single entity has overarching control, thereby preserving the spirit of transparency and democracy.

However, Solana’s core technology remains robust and promising. The platform’s architecture promises rapid transaction times, which stands as a testament to its technical prowess. Moreover, the steady growth in the number of developers joining and building on Solana indicates that the platform has not lost its technical allure. While the narrative surrounding its partnerships and backers has sparked debates, the essence of what makes Solana potent — its tech foundation — remains unshaken. As with many technologies, while public sentiment can be volatile, the real value often lies in the underlying technology and its potential to revolutionize sectors, in this case, the decentralized finance space.

Seamless Payments:

Solana is going to reach its peak use case as it finalizes its seamless payment system. Solana Pay is an advanced payment processing system designed to enable enterprises to integrate digital currency transactions seamlessly. It operates in conjunction with Solana Wallet, a secure digital asset management platform. Furthermore, its infrastructure is bolstered by Stripe, a globally recognized credit card processing entity. Consequently, Solana Pay equips businesses with the capability to accept a diverse range of digital currencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, within their established platforms.

Utilizing Solana Pay, users benefit from the secure storage of Solana within their wallets, complemented by immediate access to the Solana blockchain and its associated functionalities. This optimization facilitates expeditious transactions for goods and services, enhancing the overall efficiency of the payment protocol. The integration with Stripe further augments the system, permitting users to directly link their bank accounts or debit/credit cards to their wallets. This sophisticated and secure transaction mechanism minimizes the reliance on physical cards or cash, considerably accelerating the transaction completion timeframe.

We believe that Solana has the potential to go on a similar run to Ethereum during the next cycle (2024/2025).
The trajectory of a $50,000 investment around this time four years ago (pre-bull).