Solana (SOL) has been on an epic tear in recent weeks, rallying over 50% in the past 7 days. This parabolic rise has propelled Solana past Binance Coin (BNB) to become the 4th largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation. After hitting a new all-time high above $120 over the weekend, Solana seems poised for further growth.
SOL has been the top-performing major crypto asset over the past month. Since late November, its price has more than doubled from around $170 to over $110 at the time of writing. This surge came during a period when the overall crypto market saw a lacklustre performance from flagships like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Solana’s stunning rally has silenced critics who doubted its staying power earlier this year when SOL crashed from highs above $200. However, the blockchain has seen tremendous fundamental growth in activity since then. Let’s examine what’s driving Solana’s resurgence.
What’s Fueling Solana’s Rapid Growth?
There are several key factors behind Solana’s astronomical rise recently:
- Booming NFT demand – Solana has become one of the top blockchains for NFT projects. The Solana NFT ecosystem saw $1 billion in sales volume in November, almost equal to Ethereum. Top NFT collections like Degenerate Ape Academy have set up shop on Solana.
- Surging DeFi activity – Total value locked in Solana DeFi protocols went from $1.6 billion in August to over $11 billion today. Lending protocol Solend leads with over $6 billion TVL alone.
- Institutional investment – Major crypto investment firms like CMS Holdings, Polychain Capital, and others have been pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into Solana ecosystem projects lately.
- Upgrades and integration – Solana’s core technology continues to develop rapidly. Recent Phantom wallet integration with Ledger hardware wallets also makes SOL more accessible.
With on-chain activity booming and a constant stream of bullish developments, investors are increasingly confident that Solana’s growth will continue outpacing rivals.
How Does Solana Stack Up Against Ethereum?
The rapid adoption of Solana in DeFi and NFTs has led observers to tout it as a potential ‘Ethereum killer.’ Here is how Solana compares to Ethereum on key metrics:
- Speed – Solana handles over 2,000 TPS currently and hit a record of 65,000 TPS in tests. This dwarfs Ethereum’s ~15 TPS.
- Fees – The average fee on Solana is $0.00025 vs. $26 currently on Ethereum, making micropayments viable on SOL.
- Ecosystem – While Ethereum dominates in DeFi/NFT ecosystem size, Solana is rapidly catching up.
- Smart Contracts – Ethereum obviously pioneered sophisticated, intelligent contract functionality, which Solana is still developing.
- Decentralisation – Ethereum is more decentralised with 200,000+ validators vs 1,000 on Solana. But Solana is rapidly decentralising.
While Ethereum’s first-mover advantage gives it the edge currently, Solana arguably has better technology. As Solana’s DeFi and NFT platforms mature, they will loom as serious rivals to Ethereum in the long run.
Price Forecast: What’s Next for Solana?
After such enormous gains in a short timeframe, the obvious question is whether Solana can sustain its momentum going forward. Here are some SOL price predictions:
- Continued upside – Analysts at CoinPriceForecast see Solana reaching $400 in 2022 if the current bullish trend persists.
- Correction ahead – FXStreet anticipates a correction to $90 before Solana continues its uptrend based on overbought technical signals.
- Long-term potential – Crypto research firm Pantera Capital set a 4-year price target of $4,600 for SOL in their models.
- Regulatory risks – Stricter cryptocurrency regulations, especially around stablecoins, could put downward pressure on Solana’s growth trajectory.
While short-term volatility is expected, analysts remain overwhelmingly bullish on Solana for the long term. As adoption and development continue growing exponentially, analysts widely see its market cap ballooning.
How Traders Can Benefit from Solana’s Surge
For crypto traders, Solana’s massive rally presents a golden opportunity to profit. Here are some top ways traders are capitalising on Solana’s meteoric rise:
- Long-term investing – Buying and holding SOL tokens to benefit from potential future growth. Makes use of staking rewards as well.
- Playing price swings – Short-term traders using SOL’s volatility to profit from moves between support and resistance levels.
- DeFi yield farming – Depositing SOL liquidity into AMM pools on Raydium, Orca, and other dexes to earn yield.
- NFT speculation – Flipping NFTs like Degenerate Apes for quick profit due to surging demand on Solana NFT marketplaces.
- Derivatives trading – Sophisticated futures, options and swaps trading by institutional investors and whales.
For experienced traders, Solana presents ample money-making opportunities. The key is having a balanced portfolio of long-term holdings plus nimble short-term trading strategies.
Solana’s incredible price performance shows no signs of slowing down yet, with SOL soaring 50% over the past week alone. Fundamental growth is surging across decentralised finance, NFTs, and institutional investment. This has cemented Solana as a top 5 cryptocurrency project and potentially the chief long-term rival to Ethereum. While short-term volatility is expected, most analysts remain exceedingly bullish on Solana’s outlook. As the bull run continues, Solana is in prime position to see further parabolic upside.