What is Solana? Key Facts for Nonprofits in 2024

by | Mar 28, 2024

Solana is rapidly gaining traction among blockchain developers and crypto investors—and for good reason. Its reputation for lightning-quick transactions and low fees has attracted an explosion of on-chain activity that includes NFT marketplaces, Web3 gaming, and memecoin investing.

The price of Solana’s native SOL token has surged meanwhile, increasing by more than 900% in 2023. Astronomical price growth has surely made SOL holders happy, especially those who have held it for at least one year.

Only a few months into 2024, we’ve already processed a large wave of tax-efficient crypto charitable donations from SOL investors that want to take some profits, reduce their overall tax burden, and make a positive difference in the world.

Nonprofit fundraisers will be hearing more about Solana as the crypto bull market heats up. So what do you need to know about Solana? Let’s dig in and explore the Solana ecosystem, its place in the crypto sector, and the philanthropic impact of SOL donors.

Key Takeaways

  • Solana is one of the fastest-growing blockchains, with notably quick transactions and low fees.
  • The incredible rise of SOL’s price has created a huge opportunity for large, tax-efficient donations.
  • Donations from projects in the Solana ecosystem, from NFT creators to memecoin holders, have made millions of dollars worth of impact on numerous causes.

1. Solana officially launched in March 2020 as the first blockchain with a “Proof-of-History” consensus mechanism.

The core ideas behind Solana’s relatively recent development are outlined in co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko’s 2017 whitepaper, which differed from the Proof-of-Work technique of verifying blockchain transactions used by Bitcoin (and, at the time, Ethereum).

2. The Solana blockchain is popular for its fast transaction speeds and low fees.

Without getting too technical, the unique feature of Solana’s proof-of-history blockchain is its ability to verify transactions quickly, making it faster than many other Layer-1 blockchains. Presently, the transaction fees are also considered to be lower than many other chains.

3. With a market capitalization of more than $83 Billion to date, Solana has the fifth highest market capitalization of any asset in the crypto sector.

In March 2024, Solana’s global market cap briefly surpassed the cryptocurrency BNB, which has a market capitalization of $90 Billion.

4. Solana’s price has skyrocketed, gaining 824.2% in the past 12 months.

These impressive price gains have led some to argue that Solana is “winning the bull market” so far.

5. With its price at $187.73 currently, Solana’s price is about 30% lower than its previous all-time high of $259.96.

It achieved this all-time high during the previous crypto bull market, on November 6, 2021.

6. Solana has been one of the most-donated assets in 2024, so far.

We are seeing a new wave of crypto philanthropy dominated by Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana and USDC donations. Learn more about crypto giving trends for 2024 the our recently-published 2024 Annual Report on Crypto Philanthropy.

7. Solana was recently declared the “most popular blockchain” so far in 2024.

According to CoinGecko Research, Solana has attracted 49.3% of “global crypto investor interest in chain-specific narratives.” Its nearest competitor, Ethereum, has a 12.73% share of interest. 

8. In March 2024, Solana’s network had 20.83 Million new addresses, an all-time record for the chain, and 28.2 Million active addresses.

Solana’s user activity is reaching highs not seen in nearly two years.

9. Visa made headlines when it chose Solana to pilot a blockchain-based payment settlements program.

It’s not just individuals trying out Solana’s blockchain. Visa announced its expansion of stablecoin settlement capabilities with Circle’s USDC on the Solana blockchain.

10. Solana Labs co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko helped to launch “Aid For Ukraine,” which raised $1.4M in SOL donations.

This project, which has raised and distributed millions, helps Ukraine “cover shortages of military ammunition, food supplies, clothing, medicine, and more.”

11. Memecoins like WIF and BOME, both launched on Solana, have created a frenzy of user interest.

Investors in these memecoins have brought in more assets to the Solana ecosystem.

12. Several Solana-based memecoin communities have launched charitable initiatives, including BONK.

The BONK team has been working on an integration of The Giving Block’s donation form that would allow token holders to donate BONK and have their donations matched.  

How to Accept Solana Donations in 2024

Solana’s early price gains in this bull market have made it the “darling” of many crypto investors. Early trends reveal SOL to be a key asset for charitable crypto donations in 2024. 

If you’re a fundraiser looking to boost donation revenue, the time is now to set up your nonprofit’s crypto fundraising program.

Discover how your organization can get started with The Giving Block, the #1 platform for crypto philanthropy.

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