April 22, 2022 - 7 min read
This article breaks down Solana Monkey Business, the leading Solana NFT project with some commentary about the explosion of the blockchain and where it could go in the future.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time lately doing deep research in the Solana NFT space as the blockchain’s rapid growth is hard to ignore. If you haven't checked out some of the projects on Solana, I think it is well worth your time.
But before we dive in, what is Solana?
Solana is a public blockchain with smart contract functionality similar to Ethereum but offers much cheaper transactions and a cheaper entry point with its native currency SOL, currently priced around $100.
There’s a lot of debate about Solana vs. Ethereum, but it’s pretty clear that Solana has attracted a different market segment because of its cheaper entry point.
NFT mints on the Ethereum blockchain are usually expensive — $400 minimum whereas a Solana mint can be as cheap as $69, which was the original mint price for the blockchain’s leading NFT project, Solana Monkey Business.
The Solana ecosystem is rapidly growing and is too hard to ignore.
Let’s look at some comparisons of NFT sales activity between Solana and Ethereum:
Last 30-day Activity:
OpenSea: 40,650 users | 77,650 transactions | $60.59 million volume | 1.91 transactions per user
MagicEden: 33,080 users (81% of OpenSea) | 265,960 transactions (3.4x more than OpenSea Users) | $32.29 million volume (53% of OpenSea) | 8 transactions per user (4x higher than OpenSea users)
MagicEden is the primary Solana NFT marketplace and it has 81% of the active userbase of OpenSea!
It’s also pretty telling that the average MagicEden user transacts 4x more than OpenSea, likely because Solana offers significantly lower gas fees than Ethereum.
It was refreshing when I bought my first Solana NFTs (Abstractica) last summer to not have to deal with gas fees while buying and selling, but I focused on ETH NFTs as that’s where the attention was, but that’s now shifting.
Where to Buy Solana:
Solana NFTs might be an opportunity for some of you who feel priced out of ETH NFTs.
In order to buy Solana NFTs, you will need to convert your US dollars (or other currency into SOL). I have been using Coinbase since the start of my NFT journey and highly recommend it for beginners. I’ve trusted it with a large number of transactions and you will want to sign-up ASAP as it can take a few days for the transfer. You can do that here. The previous links are affiliate links and I may receive a small commission at no cost to you if you sign up.
Create a Phantom Wallet, which is a browser extension similar to MetaMask, and send your SOL from Coinbase to your phantom wallet. I’ve done this process a number of times and it is very simple, but please remember to never share your seed phrase with anyone, period!
Now that we’ve got some of the basics of Solana covered, let’s dive into the clear number 1 project on the blockchain, Solana Monkey Business.
There have been debates about the top Solana NFT project (and there are a lot of high-quality projects out there!) but the general sentiment is that Solana Monkey Business is the Bored Ape Yacht Club of the Solana ecosystem (we’ll explain more about why later in the article).
Solana Monkey Business was minted on August 3rd, 2021 for 2 SOL ($69 at the time) and consists of 5,000 pixelated monkeys generated from 99+ traits with varying rarity levels.
The current floor price for Solana Monkey Business is now 220 SOL, which is $22,000. That’s 31,784% growth since mint since August!
And the record sale for an NFT in the project was $2.1 million.
Gen1 Monkeys were minted a few months earlier (June 2nd, 2021) with four different themes: Monkanician, Astromonkey, Monkos, Monkalien, and a much more limited supply at 205 total.
Anyone who holds all four themed NFTs is entitled to royalties on the Gen2 trades, which at the time of this writing is at over $173 million.
That’s a pretty compelling value proposition for Gen 1 Solana Monkey Business, but now let’s dive into the benefits of holding a Gen 2 asset.
One of the core benefits of holding a Solana Monkey Business Gen 2 NFT is that it gets the holder access to the MonkeDAO, which is a decentralized autonomous organization that has been described as a smart, connected group of individuals who are passionate about the entire Solana ecosystem.
There’s a community wallet managed by holders via an on-chain voting system.
As a tangible example of the benefit of being part of this exclusive club: another top Solana NFT project, Bōryoku Dragonz, was a stealth mint, but the Solana Monkey Business holders knew about it via the DAO.
The individuals who are a part of the DAO are well-connected and have alpha, insights, and a dedication to helping lift the entire Solana blockchain.
Solana Monkey Business has developed into a legacy feel as it wants to lift up Solana as a whole while becoming one of the most recognizable NFT projects on the blockchain as a result of that effort.
As part of that vision, MonkeVentures was established to “value-add and support projects” in the Web3, NFT, GameFi, and Defi.
There have been rumblings of a MonkeCoin, but nothing firm has been announced about that.
As a reference, Solana Monkey Business, recognized as the top NFT project on the Solana Blockchain, has a floor price (minimum price) of $22,000 or about 7.3 ETH.
Bored Ape Yacht Club, the top NFT project on Ethereum, has a floor price of 125 ETH or $375,000.
There is a big disparity in the value of NFTs across the two blockchains, and while nothing I ever say is financial advice, it is tough to believe that SMB is worth less than 6% of Bored Ape Yacht Club.
Given the expanding user base, low cost to transact, and lower cost of entry with a coin price that is 3% of the value of ETH, it’s likely that we will see more growth in the leading projects on the Solana blockchain.
But remember, no one can predict the future. I don’t believe Solana’s growth will take away from Ethereum’s, but rather will attract a much larger segment of the population to NFTs.
It’s difficult for people to afford to transact on Ethereum, and Solana offered a solution.
If it does become a number 2 player in the space, the NFT projects that helped paved the way to attract and keep this audience and community will have a place in the blockchain’s history and may prove valuable to collectors in the future.
It’s fun to watch builders build, especially in an environment that is a lower-cost option for people interested in NFTs.
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