How to Develop NFT Projects on Solana?

Are you interested in creating your own NFT marketplace, wallet, etc? In this article, we’ll walk you through creating your own NFT solution based on Solana, and why you should choose this particular blockchain over Etherium.

Solana has become one of the leaders in NFT. There are good reasons for this. The network has 50,000 transactions per second with a transaction fee of $0.00025 per transaction and 400 milliseconds of immediate block completion. Lately, it’s the NFT Solana PFP (profile picture) that’s been pushing the NFT market up.

Solana Art is the largest NFT trading venue for NFT Solana PFP transactions. Founded by former Qualcomm, Intel and Dropbox engineers in late 2017, Solana is an open decentralized blockchain network focused on providing scalability without sacrificing transaction cost, decentralization and security. Essentially speaking, it is a faster, more secure and censor-resistant counterpart to Etherium, providing the open infrastructure needed for global adoption of blockchain solutions.

Solana is powered by the improved Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm. A key feature of Solana PoS is the Proof-of-History (PoH) protocol, which allows each node to locally generate timestamps with SHA256 computation. This eliminates the need for broadcasting timestamps across the network, increasing the overall efficiency of the Solana network, which allows for very high blockchain speed and scalability.

The project has its own coin, SOL. Like the Ethereum network, SOL can be used to initiate smart contracts and decentralized applications, as well as to pay network fees. At launch, in the spring of 2020, SOL was selling for $0.60; now its price exceeds $225 (that is, the exchange rate has risen 375 times in a year and a half).

The explosive growth in SOL, which we haven’t seen in the market since 2014-2018, is due to Solana’s advantages over its main competitors, Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain, including for launching NFT solutions. Moreover, in just one year since its launch, Solana has become the second most popular space for NFT launches after Ethereum, with several projects launching every day.

Many consider it a true “Ethereum killer,” as Solana’s network can process up to 65,000 transactions per second for as little as $0.00025 per transaction. And, in the long run, the Solana development team promises to achieve a throughput of 700,000 transactions per second. 

By comparison, the Ethereum network is capable of processing an average of 16.5 transactions per second, while the fee per transaction averages $46 (Dec. 2, 2021). That is, the Solana network is almost 4,000 times faster and 185,000 times cheaper than Ethereum.When it comes to NFT processing, the difference becomes even more significant. 

Coining and sending non-interchangeable tokens on Ethereum requires more computing resources than sending regular ETH and ERC-20 tokens, because NFT processing requires interacting with a customizable smart contract. Consequently, the gas fee will be even higher – sometimes more than $100, which can be more expensive than the NFT asset itself. Whereas minting an NFT on Solana is only 0.00001 SOL, or $0.015.

The speed and cost of processing non-interchangeable tokens are not the only pluses of the new blockchain. Here are the other benefits you can expect if you decide to develop your NFT solution based on Solana.

Here is a list of some of the most significant Solana PFP NFT projects on the Solana Art platform.

1. Galactic Geckos

Galactic Geckos is a collection of 10K geckos created using algorithms. Each of the geckos gives you exclusive access to the Space Garage. These geckos are divided into four groups: Alura, Targary, Martu, and Barada, who compete in space ship races. This project was launched in September 2021 with a minimum price of only 2 SOL. As of today, the minimum price is 39 SOL. In total there are about 1,000 owners and sales are 203,500 SOL.

2. Degenerate Ape Academy

Degenerate Ape is a set of 10,000 randomly generated monkeys that allow you to become a student of the Academy. Each Solana PFP NFT is unique and created based on a random combination of 137 traits in seven different categories. The project launched in August 2021 with a minimum price of 6 SOL. As of today, the instant price is 65 SOL. The number of holders is 931. The trading volume is 950 thousand SOL!

3. SolPunks

Punks consist of 10K algorithmically generated characters with a ranked rarity system. This Solana PFP NFT project is inspired by The CryptoPunks, but is in no way related to them. While it is difficult to buy CryptoPunks because of the exorbitant price, the prices for SolPunks are much more affordable. The minimum price is 7 SOL. The number of holders is 1801. The trading volume of 392 thousand SOL.

4. Bald Badgers

Bald Badgers is a collection of 10,000 NFTs, made up of a random combination of 170 characteristics. Each one is unique, with a specific ranking system. This Solana PFP NFT project was launched in August 2021 with a minimum price of 5 SOL. Today the price per badger is 3.4 SOL. The number of owners is about 1,500. Bidding volume is 205,000 SOL.

5. SolBears

The bears consist of 10K algorithmically generated NFTs created from a random combination of 300K unique traits. Each bear has a body, hat, muzzle, and more. Minimum price $0.99 SOL. Number of sellers – 1334. The volume of trades 80 thousand SOL.

6. Red Panda Squad

The Red Panda Squad is a set of 10 thousand generated NFTs. The coin price of each of these Solana PFP NFTs was 2.5 SOL, and the project donated $10 from each sale to the wildlife fund. They also have a DAO, a private website and a Play-to-Earn game in preparation. The minimum price is 4.04 SOL. The number of owners is 1,299. Bidding volume of 38,000 SOL.

7. Eternal Beings

Eternal Beings are 11.1 thousand algorithmically generated NFTs on alien themes, they look very similar to Lil Uzi Vert. The rapper himself promoted the Solana PFP NFT project on Twitter, but later deleted the posts. As a consequence, the minimum price dropped from 2.5 to 1.67 SOL. Nevertheless, the project’s roadmap includes planned airdrops and merchandise sales. The minimum price is now 0.85 SOL. The number of owners is 1,488. Current sales of 32,900 SOL.

8. Boneworld

Boneworld is a set of 10K randomly generated avatars. The 3D Bones are minted from a random combination of 120 hacktivities. Storing these NFTs will give users access to the metaworld, earning games, airdrop and more. Boneworld is not available on Solana Art, but you can find it on the Magic Eden platform.

How to develop an NFT project on Solana

If you’re thinking about launching your own NFT platform, wallet or other project, Solana can be a great environment to deploy your product thanks to its low fees and high transaction speed. It will also be technically easier, as developers can use Rust, C, C++, or another programming language, not just Solidity. Meanwhile, the process of NFT solution development will be carried out according to the usual algorithm.

  • Analysis and drawing up requirements

At this stage you need to clearly understand what kind of product you want to create, as well as draw up the requirements for the design, functionality and external integrations. In addition, you also need to think about the legal aspects. Different jurisdictions have different rules for launching NFT projects.

  • Hunting for a development company

Once you understand what you want to create, you can start looking for a technical partner who will implement your idea in code. Since you want to create an NFT product, you need a team with experience in blockchain, DeFi or NFT development, such as Merehead.

  • UI- / UX-design development

Well-designed UX and UI – is the key to the success of any project, especially if it is focused on users who are poorly versed in what they need to do. And since NFT is a very recent market, almost everyone is new here. Consequently, your NFT solution should have a simple and intuitive interface design.

  • Writing program code

At this stage, there is writing the code for smart contracts, connecting NFT-enabled wallets, back-end and front-end implementation in the code, etc. If needed, also develop the mobile version of the product and various related solutions, such as browser extensions or API and SDK to easily run projects on your platform.

  • Product testing

Make sure everything works correctly. Fix bugs and glitches. Test your smart contracts with independent auditors. Prepare a beta version of your product. You can use it to gather quality feedback with a small sample of end users.

  • Deployment, release

When the product is developed and tested, it is moved from a working environment to a production environment. The mobile app is published to the App Store, Google Play, Microsoft Store, Amazon App Store. If the project has its own token, it is added to the listings of the major exchanges.

  • Product support

Work on the project does not stop with the release. After the deployment, you will need to set up a support team that will help users and solve their problems and collect feedback for further improvement of your product.

The cost of launching NFT on Solana

The cost of developing NFT projects on Solana depends on their complexity and the location of the development team. For example, launching an NFT wallet will cost anywhere from $25,000 (Eastern Europe) to $70,000 (US), while creating an NFT marketplace requires spending between $35,000 and $100,000.

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