Over the last few months, we have seen the emergence of multiple metaverse projects & games using Solana blockchain NFTs, such as our very own Metaversol. We have also seen large games and a game/metaverse specific marketplace on Solana, Fractal, founded by the cofounder of Twitch along with the founder of Google Drive. While it is still a relatively new and growing blockchain platform, Solana has many benefits for metaverse and gaming NFT projects. Let’s explore many of these benefits together, and let the $SOL metaverse and games begin!
Low Fee Living on Solana Metaverse Projects
One of the most impactful aspects of the blockchain used in metaverse and video gaming projects is the transaction cost to users, also called the “gas fee” on Ethereum and often referred to as “rent” on Solana. The current average transaction fee for Ethereum transactions is about $14. For Solana it’s often 60,000 times cheaper at around $0.00025 per transaction. This means that metaverse or gaming projects can provide users with NFTs for lower cost, as well as users being able to buy/sell/trade these NFTs for an overall significantly lower cost. Then we also have tokens (cryptocurrencies created on Ethereum or Solana) that may be integrated in metaverse play-to-earn games, reward systems, building, or ecommerce systems, which are also directly affected by the cost per transaction of the blockchain used. To put it bluntly, Solana allows for a more fair and globally accessible experience for all users and platform developers.
Cryptocurrency Transaction Speed Matters for Users
Next, let’s look at gaming and metaverse usability and user experience. A good user experience is directly related to the speed at which things happen. From developers optimizing loading times and processing requirements of the games, to the speed at which rewards in play to earn games end up in crypto wallets, it all matters to users and a good quality experience. Today, users expect sub-second response times and completion of automated programmed tasks. It’s no longer the time of 56k modems and waiting for an image to load on screen. It’s the time of near-instant, sub-second broadband standards. This is where Solana usually outperforms competing blockchains. Solana (when not congested as we have recently seen with bots – a likely very solvable problem) can achieve sub-second completion of transfer of tokens to user wallets, as well as transfer or minting of NFTs. Ethereum can take about 10 seconds or longer. With many users, especially the younger generations that have grown up with broadband and the near instant gratification of doing things online, that’s waiting a virtual lifetime. It’s bad usability and user experience to make users wait, and web3 to compete should be faster and more affordable than web2.
An Eco-friendly Metaverse Platform for NFTs & Tokens
Solana is arguably one of the most eco-friendly blockchains in existence right now. The Solana Foundation has two different articles, based on their hiring of independent energy expert Robert Murphy, that shows the energy used per transaction, carbon intensity of electricity used, along with the number of validators and associated Nakomoto coefficient (a way of gauging decentralization)
Here are the latest results:
Solana March 2022: 2,707 Joules – 198 g CO2 per kWH – 20 (Nakomoto coefficient)
Solana December 2021: 1,989 J – 201 g CO2 – 19
Ethereum March 2022: 777,600,000 J – ? g CO2 – 3
Bitcoin March 2022: 7,412,400,000 J – 557.76 g CO2 – 7,349
You can find this energy use report here. As you can see Solana is significantly more energy efficient than ETH or BTC. Now many people knowledgeable in blockchain technology would bring up the difference between proof of work and proof of stake, and the fact Ethereum is moving to the more energy efficient proof of stake (which is what Solana uses along with proof of history) But, by their own estimates, “Ethereum 2.0” the future version of ETH will still be worse for the environment than Solana. You can read about that and see estimates on the previous energy use report here.
So What’s Next for Solana Metaverse & Gaming?
In our opinion, growth, and potentially exponential growth. But complications include congestion on the blockchain due to bots and bad actors, trying to game NFT mints or arbitrage in DeFi aggressively, thereby slowing down the network for others. Another complication often heard is the lack of development tools, open sourced coding, and documentation for developers to work on and integrate Solana into their platforms. This is likely quickly changing with help from the Solana foundation and natural progression of popularity. We’re excited to see what the next 6 months to a year of Solana development and ecosystem looks like, and we invite you to come try our metaverse project and NFTs on Solana – Metaversol.