After launching as one of the planet's most exciting blockchains, Solana got hit big last year – falling flat amid the unprecedented collapse of crypto exchange giant FTX. After the FTX fallout, countless Solana projects forcibly shut down their operations from an over-reliance on FTX-related infrastructure. Despite all the chaos, Solana is alive to tell the tale. And there are still solid projects within the ecosystem, eager to release new features in 2023 and beyond.
Here are 7 Solana projects worth exploring in 2023.
1. Solana Spaces
Solana Spaces is an IRL learning experience centered around the Solana blockchain ecosystem. Their “learn,” “earn,” and “experience” platform helps interested users interact with Solana products and accomplish basic tasks like setting up a wallet on Phantom. They have locations in Miami and NYC and host events throughout the year, especially during major conferences like Miami NFT Week, Art Basel, and NFT.NYC.
The team behind Solana Spaces is a group of retail designers and engineers who also founded b8ta, an award-winning electronics retailer.
Inside Solana Spaces, users will find a range of tutorials and experiences tailored for those new to the crypto-technology industry. These tutorials and experiences will offer unique rewards for participation.
2. Y00ts and DeGods
Yoots and DeGods are two popular Solana NFT collections founded by web3 startup Delabs. After one of the most successful launches on Solana with Degods, Delabs started Yoots in 2022 to unleash a new and innovative approach to intellectual property. Yoots is building out a traits store where artists can submit their own custom versions of traits, and artists will own the IP of their work, plus a collection % of royalties.
However, Delabs was recently offered $3 million by Polygon to migrate away from Solana to Ethereum. Yoots already announced its plans to migrate to Polygon sometime this year, while sister project DeGods is moving to the Ethereum blockchain more broadly.
3. Okay Bears
Image credit: Okay Bears
According to their website, Okay Bears will likely have future NFT drops as they continue to build on their massive success to-date.
4. Glass Protocol
Glass is a video-based NFT platform that allows users to create, collect, and sell video content on the blockchain. The Solana app is trying to revolutionize how people interact with video content, disrupting the traditional social media top-down monetization model on Youtube and Tiktok.
Stepn gained mass popularity in 2022 on social media, attracting hundreds of thousands of followers by providing a healthy way to interact with the blockchain – get paid to be active.
Yes, Stepn is a mobile app that rewards users for being active and taking steps. The app uses the phone's pedometer to track the number of steps users take and rewards them with in-app currency. The user can then use this currency to redeem rewards or enter into sweepstakes for prizes.
Image credit: STEPN
The app is particularly popular because of its gamified approach to fitness, as it encourages users to be more active and take more steps by offering rewards and prizes. Additionally, the app has a social aspect, where users can connect with friends and compete against each other for the most steps taken. This creates a sense of friendly competition and motivation for users to be more active.
Stepn also offers a variety of features, such as the ability to set step goals and track progress, join step challenges – giving users a way to have a more comprehensive view of their overall fitness and wellness.
6. Star Atlas
Powered by Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5, Star Atlas is a Solana-based strategy game with role-playing, space flight simulators, and in-game NFTs.
The game strongly emphasizes player-driven economies, where players can trade resources and items with each other and buy and sell items on the game's marketplace. This allows for a high degree of player autonomy and emergent gameplay, as players can shape the game's economy and create their in-game marketplaces and trade networks.
Pablo Quiroga, Cofounder & Dreamer of Star Atlas, could not be more excited about the game’s future.
“In addition to being an amazing gaming experience, we've curated an active, knowledgeable community eager to continue building with us through it all.” Quiroga continued, "With the upcoming launch of our VR gaming mode, I've never been more excited about the future we're building."
7. Mercurial → Meteora
Mercurial is a Solana-based multi-token stable swap tool evolving into other defi use cases, like a dynamic automated market maker (AMM). Interestingly, the decentralized finance (DeFi) trading project is undergoing a rebrand to "Meteora" and will issue new tokens to its holders.
This move is an attempt to distance itself from the collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried's empire and expand its trading options. This rebranding will significantly impact the holders of $MER, the original Mercurial token that has seen a 46% decrease since FTX's downfall.
The new Meteora token will have a maximum supply of 100 million, which is 1/10th of MER's mint. Most MER holders will receive the new token in proportion to their current holdings.
Meteora is the latest Solana-based crypto protocol to re-invent itself after the collapse of FTX and Alameda Research.