Top 12 Solana Crypto Projects To Watch in 2024

11 min read
Top-12-Solana-crypto-projects

After a lot of improvements in 2023, Solana crypto projects keep taking off higher in 2024. Since SOL prices have started to go back up, there haven’t been any crashes since February 2023, and lots of upgrades and developments happened around Solana in the last part of 2023, more and more people interested in crypto and building new projects are paying attention to it. More users are starting to use DeFi apps, buy NFTs and memecoins on Solana, and new ones are popping up to take advantage of what the network can offer.

Solana is known for its low-cost transactions and its ability to process things quickly compared to other networks that also handle smart contracts. According to a tool that tracks Solana’s activity, it handles over $1.2 billion trading volume every day from around 600,000 daily active users and over 1000 decentralized applications.

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Solana ecosystem by Messari.

There’s also been a lot of activity with memecoins on Solana, which has helped increase overall network usage. Other boosts to this growth include new developments from well-known projects within the Solana ecosystem, like the Jupiter exchange, Jito, and Tensor.

Now let’s explore 12 best Solana crypto projects to watch in 2024.

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Top 12 Solana crypto projects by Pink Brains.

1. Jupiter: DeFi Hub on Solana

Top Solana crypto projects-Jupiter

Providing a comprehensive suite of tools that support both novice and experienced traders on the Solana blockchain, Jupiter is a versatile and user-friendly DeFi Hub.

  • DEX Aggregator: Jupiter Exchange aggregates various decentralized exchanges (DEXs) on the Solana network, ensuring that users receive the best possible prices for their trades by comparing rates across multiple platforms.
  • Limit Orders: Unlike simple swaps, Jupiter allows users to set limit orders. This feature lets traders specify the price at which they want to buy or sell an asset, mimicking the functionality found in traditional centralized exchanges.
  • Asset Bridge: This feature facilitates the transfer of assets between the Solana network and other supported blockchain networks, enhancing interoperability and flexibility for users managing assets across different platforms.
  • Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA): Jupiter offers a DCA tool that helps users plan and execute purchases or sales of assets in smaller, predetermined amounts over time. This can help in managing investment risks associated with volatile market conditions.
  • Decentralized Perpetuals Trading: For those looking for more advanced trading options, Jupiter includes a decentralized platform for perpetual contracts trading, which allows up to 100x leverage. This feature appeals to experienced traders looking for high-risk, high-reward opportunities.

Jupiter is one of the top decentralized exchanges in 2024. According to Jupiter, an average of $400 million worth of crypto assets are traded on the platform daily by at least 90,000 unique wallets.

2. Orca: Concentrated Liquidity AMM on the Solana Network

Top Solana crypto projects-Orca

Orca is one of the more user-friendly decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms on the Solana blockchain, offering a variety of features tailored to enhance the crypto trading experience. Here’s a rundown of some key features available on Orca:

  • Automated Market Maker (AMM): Orca operates as an AMM, meaning it uses liquidity pools instead of traditional order books to facilitate trades. This allows for immediate swaps between different cryptocurrency pairs at current market prices.
  • Whirlpools: These are specialized liquidity pools designed to maximize trading efficiency and rewards. Whirlpools feature concentrated liquidity, allowing liquidity providers to allocate their capital within specific price ranges, optimizing potential returns.
  • Yield Farming: Users can earn rewards by providing liquidity to Orca’s pools. In return for locking up their tokens to facilitate trades, liquidity providers receive trading fees and occasionally additional rewards in the form of ORCA tokens.

3. Drift: Trade Perpetuals With up to 20X Leverage

Top Solana crypto projects-Drift

Drift is a decentralized platform on the Solana blockchain designed for perpetual trading. It allows traders to take long or short positions with up to 20x leverage, aiming to provide a trading experience similar to that of centralized exchanges (CEX). 

  • Perpetual Trading with Leverage: Traders can open long or short positions with up to 20x leverage, enabling substantial potential gains.
  • Leveraged Trading and Asset Swaps: The platform supports up to 5x leverage for direct asset swaps and leveraged spot trading, expanding the range of trading strategies users can employ.
  • Decentralized Lending Service: Includes a comprehensive money market where users can borrow crypto assets against their collateral, enhancing their trading capability or investment strategy.
  • Staking: Users can stake their assets in Drift’s Insurance Fund Staking program, earning a portion of the exchange fees.
  • Rewards for Market Makers and Liquidity Providers: Drift incentivizes users who contribute to market liquidity and stability through various reward mechanisms.

Drift has a strong user base with over 85k active users and has processed over $4 billion in trades. Additionally, it holds almost $120M worth of crypto assets in its smart contracts, reflecting robust engagement and trust in the platform.

4. Solend: Lend and Borrow Crypto Assets on the Solana

Top Solana crypto projects-Solend

Solend is a decentralized finance (DeFi) platform on the Solana network that simplifies the process of borrowing and lending cryptocurrency assets. It is designed to offer security and ease of use, providing several features that help users manage and grow their digital assets effectively. Here’s an overview of the key features that make Solend a valuable tool for cryptocurrency enthusiasts:

  • Decentralized Lending and Borrowing: Users can lend their crypto assets to earn interest or borrow against them easily, without needing intermediaries.
  • Automated Interest Rates: The platform automatically adjusts interest rates based on market dynamics and the supply and demand for various cryptocurrencies, ensuring that users receive competitive returns and borrowing rates.
  • Liquidation Protection: Solend helps safeguard investments by automatically managing collateral levels and alerting users when they need to adjust their holdings to avoid liquidations.
  • Governance Token: Owners of Solend’s governance token (SLND) can participate in the platform’s development and decision-making processes, promoting a user-driven evolution of the service.

5. Marginfi: Solana-Based Lending Protocol

Top Solana crypto projects-Marginfi

Marginfi is a dynamic crypto borrowing platform on the Solana blockchain, where users can secure loans using their cryptocurrency as collateral. It boasts over $440 million in TVL, positioning itself as a robust overcollateralized money market.

Key Features of Marginfi:

  • Advanced Risk Management: Marginfi uses sophisticated technologies to continuously inform users about the status of their loans and ensure the smooth operation of the platform.
  • Automatic Liquidation Protocol: This feature automatically manages and eliminates bad loans, maintaining the health and stability of the system.
  • Utility Applications: The platform includes unique applications such as Marginfi xNFT and the Marginfi liquidation prototype, all powered by the Marginfi SDK.
  • Asset Bridging: Users can seamlessly bridge assets between the Solana blockchain and other supported networks using Marginfi’s bridge, which is powered by Mayan.
  • Swaps Powered by Jupiter: Marginfi supports asset swaps within its platform, utilizing the Jupiter system for optimal trading.
  • Liquid Staking Services: Marginfi offers staking under its validator, which includes benefits like increased rewards, zero staking fees, and improved yields.
  • Margin Points: Users engage with the platform and earn points, which can enhance their involvement with Marginfi and may lead to airdrop opportunities.

6. Kamino: Liquidity Layer and Lending Protocol on Solana

Top Solana crypto projects-Kamino

Kamino is an automated liquidity provider on the Solana blockchain, designed to help users invest their tokens in yield-bearing opportunities through liquidity pools. This platform allows users to engage in decentralized finance (DeFi) by providing liquidity and earning returns on their crypto assets. Key Features of Kamino:

  • Liquidity Pools: Users can deposit their tokens into supported pairs of assets. By contributing to these pools, users earn Ktokens, which represent their share of the pool.
  • Yield Generation: The tokens pooled by users are deployed on various decentralized exchanges (DEXs). The returns generated from these deployments are reflected in the value of the Ktokens.
  • Ktokens as Collateral: Users can use their Ktokens as collateral in Kamino’s lending protocol. This allows them to borrow other crypto assets based on the value of their collateralized Ktokens.
  • Decentralized Lending Protocol: Kamino’s lending model is similar to other DeFi lending platforms but incorporates the Concentrated Liquidity Market Maker (CLMM) model. This model is used to manage and optimize the availability of assets within the lending vault.

As of the latest data from DefiLlama, Kamino has over $1 billion in TVL, which has been roughly 200x since December 2023.

7. Marinade Finance: Staking Optimization Protocol

Top Solana crypto projects-Marinade

Marinade Finance is a top liquid staking protocol designed to optimize returns for staked assets on Solana. It offers high-yield liquid staking tokens and a variety of integrated applications. Here’s a breakdown of the key features of Marinade Finance:

  • Liquid Staking: Marinade Finance allows for liquid staking of Solana, which it refers to as marinated Solana (mSol). This lets users maintain liquidity while their assets are staked. The platform analyzes over 100 validators on the Solana network to allocate staked assets to those offering the best yields. Users can instantly unstake their assets and claim their rewards without any delays.
  • Integration with Major Platforms: Marinade’s staking protocol is integrated with prominent projects and platforms like Coinbase, Orca, and native Solana wallets, enhancing accessibility.
  • Future Growth with Picasso: Once the restaking protocol Picasso is launched, mSol holders will have the opportunity to commit their Liquid Staked Tokens (LST) to Picasso for potentially higher yields.
  • Marinade (MNDE) Token: Marinade’s native token, MNDE, serves multiple purposes including utility, incentives, and governance within the Marinade DAO. MNDE holders can vote on development and marketing proposals and trade the token on both decentralized and centralized exchanges.

According to DefiLlama, Marinade Finance is boasting the highest TVL at $1.5 billion, generating more than $640,000 in revenue.

8. Jito: Enhancing Staking Yield via MEV

Top Solana crypto projects-Jito

Jito is another leading liquid staking platform on Solana that aims to enhance the earnings of stakers through MEV (Maximum Extractable Value) rewards and offers a variety of other financial services. MEV refers to the maximum profit a validator or user can earn by prioritizing certain transactions in DeFi protocols.

Key Features of Jito:

  • MEV Rewards: Jito enhances the yield for stakers by capturing MEV rewards from DeFi protocols on Solana and distributing these extra earnings among its platform users.
  • Liquid Staking: Users can stake their Solana tokens to receive jitoSOL, a liquid-staked token of SOL that can be used just like Marinade’s mSol for further restaking and earning rewards. Besides earning staking rewards, jitoSOL can be utilized in various LSDfi protocols across the Solana ecosystem.
  • Governance: The Jito protocol is governed by the Jito DAO, where holders of the Jito token (JTO) participate in voting on protocol improvement proposals.
  • Incentives for Liquidity Providers: Jito rewards users who provide liquidity with its native token, JTO, especially for those trading in Jito and jitoSOL pairs.

Jito is the biggest liquid staking protocol on Solana with over 91,000 holders who have staked approximately 9.8M SOL on its platform.

9. Mad Lads: xNFT Collection on Solana 

Top Solana crypto projects-MadLadNFT

The Mad Lads NFT collection, created by Coral—a Solana framework development company—features 10,000 unique humanoid artworks. These NFTs are part of an exclusive collection known for its variety of attributes and rarity levels. As of now, all Mad Lads NFT have been minted, with ownership spread across more than 4,200 collectors on the Solana network. Each artwork is distinctive, with rare attributes that may include the character’s gender, clothing, facial expression, type, and hairstyle.

This is what makes Mad Lads the top NFT collection on Solana:

  • Mad Lads are xNFTs, meaning they include an embedded code script that can be executed by compatible applications such as the Backpack wallet, also developed by Coral. This programmable feature enhances their functionality beyond traditional NFTs.
  • When you own a Mad Lads NFT, you can use it as your avatar on social media and join exclusive clubs based on the NFT’s traits like Robot or Skull. This helps Mad Lads owners connect and share their interest in NFTs.
  • As a product of Backpack, Mad Lads NFTs can be staked and stored directly through the Backpack wallet.

In December 2023, the floor price for Mad Lads NFTs reached a new all-time high of over 229 SOL, translating to more than $20,000 based on the SOL value at that time.

Mad Lads NFTs are available for trading on various Solana-based NFT marketplaces such as Magic Eden, Tensor, etc. allowing for easy access and liquidity. The community tractions around Mad Lads make it a noteworthy collection in the Solana NFT space.

10. Backpack: Crypto Wallet and Exchange

Top Solana crypto projects-Backpack

Backpack is a blockchain wallet built for storing and minting executable NFTs (xNFTs) on the Solana blockchain. It also offers other features like storing, sending, and receiving tokens/NFTs, messaging with friends, connecting with others, and buying crypto assets using fiat money.

Backpack Wallet highlight features include:

  • Token/NFT Management: Users can store, send, and receive tokens/NFTs on both the Solana and Ethereum blockchains.
  • Token Swap: Users can easily and quickly swap supported tokens between Solana and Ethereum.
  • Minting NFTs: Users can mint NFTs directly in the Backpack wallet without needing any other NFT marketplace or launchpad.
  • Backpack Messages: Users can create their own communities to chat and exchange messages directly through Backpack Messages.
  • xNFT Library: This is an application library where users can download and use Dapps or mint NFTs built on the Solana blockchain. The transaction fee for downloading a Dapp or minting an NFT on Backpack costs you less than $0.01.
  • Backpack Exchange is the latest product from Backpack, which was launched in February 2024. Users can register using email and KYC to start trading. Users can trade the listed tokens, currently offering spot trading with Limit and Market orders. Trading fees are 0.1%, and all trading pairs are pegged with USDC.

11. Tensor: Solana-based NFT Marketplace and Lending

Top Solana crypto projects-Tensor

Tensor is a top NFT marketplace aggregator designed for high-end trading experiences on the Solana network. Users can buy, sell, and exchange NFTs here.

Main features on Tensor include:

  • Marketplace: Tensor is one of the most liquid marketplaces on Solana with over 30,000 collections available. The user interface (UI) is designed to optimize the user experience, especially for professional users. Features like ‘Bid’ for buying a single NFT and ‘Sweep’ for buying multiple NFTs at once are available.
  • Price Lock: This is Tensor’s newest feature that allows users to long or short NFTs, paying only 2.7% upfront. Price Lock lets users speculate on NFT prices and includes an option mechanism through Fund Lock.

For creators, Tensor serves as a hub to manage their NFTs (add/remove mints, rename, or describe). It also provides a launchpad for releasing various types of NFTs on Solana.

Tensorians is a collection built by Tensor celebrating its dedicated traders, offering features like trading history and real-time activity for collections. The collection consists of 10,000 NFT arts, with holders eligible for perks such as exclusive drops. 

The floor price of the Tensorians collection is 96 Sol. Tensorians can be traded on Solana NFT marketplaces, including Tensor.

12. Sanctum:

12-solana-crypto-projects-sanctum

Sanctum is an interesting project by one of the OG teams helped Solana Labs build the SPL stake pool program and launched the first SPL stake pool, Socean.

This unified liquidity layer is revolutionizing liquidity solutions within Solana Liquid Staking ecosystem that cater to a wide range of needs. As a pivotal platform, Sanctum has developed a comprehensive ecosystem to ensure seamless transactions and accessibility for various LSTs.

Key Features of Sanctum:

  • Sanctum Reserve: A pool of liquid SOL that supports instant unstaking for all LSTs, achieving significant traction with over 60,000 SOL utilized for instant unstakes or swaps.
  • Sanctum Route: In collaboration with Jupiter, this feature facilitates conversions between different LSTs, enhancing liquidity by linking smaller LSTs with larger pools, with more than $380 million in traded volume.
  • Sanctum LSTs: Allows validators to launch their own LSTs, expanding the ecosystem with products like bonkSOL and jucySOL, all with zero fees for deposits, stake withdrawals, and management.
  • Sanctum Infinity: A multi-LST liquidity pool that leverages Automated Market Maker (AMM) technology, enabling swaps between all included LSTs and generating trading fees.

After winning Jupiter LFG Launchpad Voting, Sanctum has recorded an astonishing 737% TVL growth to $295 million.

Conclusion

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Solana is making big waves in the crypto area and its ecosystem is expanding rapidly. Its recent usage growth shows that investors appreciate the network’s benefits and utilities. The Solana token has risen to the top five due to significant price increases. Projects within its ecosystem are looking to expand, taking advantage of Solana’s popularity and its ability to handle a large number of transactions efficiently.

In this article, we’ve looked at the top 12 Solana crypto projects. These projects aim to enhance Solana’s attractiveness by providing quality products to users. It’s important to note that this list does not cover all the projects on the Solana network and is not in any specific order.

This article simply discusses projects within the Solana ecosystem and should not be taken as financial advice or an endorsement to invest in these projects. Always conduct your own research before linking your wallet to any protocol.

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