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With its price soaring lately, a Solana price prediction for gains of more than 500% from here may seem overly ambitious.
But as you'll see, it isn't.
The Solana cryptocurrency has already enjoyed an incredible rally in 2021. At the start of the year, SOL was trading at just $1.60. It's now trading at about $72 - a stunning increase of more than 4,400% in less than nine months. Solana briefly traded as high as $80.12.
Since Jan. 1, Solana has climbed the market cap ranks from No. 112 to No. 10.
It's been so impressive over the past few months that some are calling it "Solana Summer."
This is no fluke. By that I mean Solana is not a "meme coin" like Dogecoin. Nor are billionaires or celebrities talking it up on social media. Solana is a solid project that's just beginning to gain traction.
That means it has plenty of runway over the next few years - enough for a 6x gain that will take the Solana price to at least $400.
If you're still a bit skeptical, I can't blame you. After all, Solana doesn't get the kind of attention that Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin do. Heck, it didn't officially launch until March of last year.
But Solana has the chops to be a top cryptocurrency - that's why I included it among my best cryptocurrencies to watch list back in March. Let's take a closer look...
What Is Solana?
So what sets Solana apart from the vast sea of more than 11,000 cryptocurrencies?
First of all, Solana is what's known as a "platform cryptocurrency." That means it can execute smart contracts so other digital things can be built on it - exchanges, decentralized applications (dapps), other cryptocurrencies, and things like non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
If that reminds you of Ethereum, it should. Ethereum was the first platform cryptocurrency, and is by far the biggest. But several rivals have emerged, including Polkadot, Cardano, Cosmos - and Solana.
In the years to come, we'll see these platform cryptocurrencies scrap for market share. And while Ethereum is likely to continue to dominate, the others will each find their niche.
To survive and thrive, each platform crypto needs to offer something unique, or be better at something the others aren't.
Solana offers three big advantages: speed, scalability, and low fees. All have proven to be major stumbling blocks among crypto networks.
Solana uses several technological innovations to process transactions as rapidly as possible. The network forwards incoming transactions to validators even while current transactions are being confirmed. Another technology allows the network to process transactions in parallel.
The net result is a blockchain that can process as many as 50,000 transactions per second (TPS). By comparison, Ethereum can only do about 30 TPS right now. Solana is more on par with the Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) network, which can handle about 65,000 TPS.
In addition to speed, Solana's tech makes it easily scalable so it will be able to handle a large surge of users without choking. This has been an issue with Ethereum, which has at times strained under the load of all the ERC-20 tokens, DeFi (decentralized finance), and NFTs built on top of it.
Solana's exceptional speed and capacity also enable rock-bottom low fees. The average transaction fee is 0.000005 SOL, which converts to $0.000325 at the current Solana price. That means it would take 308 Solana transactions to get you to just one penny.
Ethereum's fees have been a big source of pain for crypto users this year. While they've recently dropped into the $5 to $6 range, transaction fees on Ethereum ranged from $10 to $20 in the spring. At times, they spiked as high as $60 to $70 - not exactly user-friendly.
Solana's builders hope that these three features will make it a candidate for adoption as a global currency.
It's too early to say if that lofty goal will come to pass. But the early progress has been promising...
Why the Solana Price Has Been Rising
Solana is widely considered to be a solid, up-and-coming project. Founded by former engineers from Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) and Dropbox Inc. (NASDAQ: DBX), it has quickly established itself among the platform cryptocurrencies.
Solana has drawn both investors and developers into its growing ecosystem.
On the investment side:
- In May, five different investment funds committed $100 million to developing projects on Solana in the region of China.
- In June, Solana Labs, the company behind the cryptocurrency, said it had raised $314 million in venture capital from such prominent VC firms as Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain Capital.
On the developer side:
- According to the Solana Labs website, more than 400 projects have been built on the platform so far. This includes dapps and DeFi services such as analytics, exchanges, investment funds, NFTs, and oracles.
- The total value locked (TVL) in Solana's DeFi projects has jumped to $2.3 billion - up just over $500 million in June.
- Crypto entrepreneur and billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried chose Solana for its non-custodial decentralized exchange called Serum. Bankman-Fried is the founder of the FTX crypto exchange.
An impressive performance on the NFT front earlier this week has poured rocket fuel on the current rally.
A Solana-based NFT collection called the Degenerate Ape Academy sold out all 10,000 offered in just eight minutes while raising about $2.5 million. That the Solana network handled this surge of activity with ease proved its mettle as competitor in the platform cryptocurrency space.
It's clear Solana is a cryptocurrency with massive potential. But how much higher can it go?
Our Solana Price Prediction
How high the Solana price goes depends on how widely adopted it becomes. And to a great extent, adoption depends on how much activity it can lure away from Ethereum.
That sounds like a heavy lift, but Solana already has a secret weapon. It's called the Wormhole bridge, and it lets users move tokens between Solana and several other crypto networks, including Terra, the Binance Smart Chain - and Ethereum. Launched in early August, Wormhole already has nearly $120 million of TVL.
So let's make a few Solana price predictions assuming Solana captures about 10% of the platform cryptocurrency action.
Using today's Ethereum market cap of $370 billion gives us a potential Solana market cap of $37 billion and a Solana price prediction of $129.
But let's look ahead a bit. Lyn Alden, the founder of Lyn Alden Investment Strategy, recently predicted Ethereum will hit $5,000 next year. At that price, the Ethereum market cap would be $586 billion. So 10% of that is $58.6 billion, which results in a Solana price prediction of $204. That would be a gain of nearly 183% from the current SOL price.
I don't think either crypto will stop there. By 2024, I expect much higher prices among the top cryptocurrencies. That includes Ethereum going to $10,000 - and most likely higher. We'd be looking at an Ethereum market cap of about $1.17 trillion. If you take 10% of that and apply it to Solana, you get a price of about $408. That would be gain of 467% from today's price.
But if Solana succeeds in winning over developers and really gains traction, it could well suck up a significantly bigger portion of the platform cryptocurrency market - say 25% to 30%. In that best-case scenario, you could see the Solana price approach $1,000.
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About the Author
David Zeiler, Associate Editor for Money Morning at Money Map Press, has been a journalist for more than 35 years, including 18 spent at The Baltimore Sun. He has worked as a writer, editor, and page designer at different times in his career. He's interviewed a number of well-known personalities - ranging from punk rock icon Joey Ramone to Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Over the course of his journalistic career, Dave has covered many diverse subjects. Since arriving at Money Morning in 2011, he has focused primarily on technology. He's an expert on both Apple and cryptocurrencies. He started writing about Apple for The Sun in the mid-1990s, and had an Apple blog on The Sun's web site from 2007-2009. Dave's been writing about Bitcoin since 2011 - long before most people had even heard of it. He even mined it for a short time.
Dave has a BA in English and Mass Communications from Loyola University Maryland.