What’s Next On The Solana Journey?

Aaron Fenton
4 min readDec 19, 2022

2022 for Solana — Surviving the FUD

It’s no secret that 2022 has been the year of the bear. The reckoning that 2021 was a unicorn period and now the bill is due. The combination of drastic worldwide economic factors, failure of over-leveraged protocols and “hedge funds” and blatant fraud, has caused a severe contraction of investor confidence and market liquidity.

Q4 of 2022 arguably exposed the largest fraud in crypto history, and outside of direct investors, one of the largest groups afflicted by this event was (and still is) the Solana ecosystem. The FTX debacle has overshadowed the entire ecosphere and all the positive activity happening, including multiple groundbreaking applications, exponential developer growth, and successful international conferences.

Both James Trautman and Kels XYZ did a brilliant report on the state of play of the Solana ecosphere that’s worth a read. 👇👇

Let us focus and look forward to the upcoming year by honing in on 3 disruptive projects being built out on Solana, in the journey of raising the tarnished ecosystem from the ashes like a phoenix.

Jito Network — MEV liquid staking

Jito is the first platform that offers an MEV liquid staking service on Solana, allowing token holders to stake their Solana tokens in exchange for JitoSOL tokens. Through the validator client of Jito, investors can join in auctions and potentially gain from MEV activities. The victorious bids are given to validators and stakers in exchange for access to MEV operations. Yields on JitoSol are designed to outpace typical earnings from other liquid staking products as the rewards are twofold, JitoSOL Yield = Staking Rewards + MEV Rewards.

JitoSOL tokens also provide additional benefits, such as improved network performance from validators running specialized software, as well as the ability to accrue more value from DeFi integrations such as lending protocols and yield farming.

The stake delegation strategy is intended to enhance network performance, as validators must meet both performance and decentralization criteria to qualify for staking rewards from JitoSOL. With additional stake, validators who capture MEV will be incentivized, leading to an influx of validators and searchers utilizing the Jito client. Ultimately, this will lead to a more structured approach to MEV extraction, with a portion of the profits redistributed back to stakers. One of the validators to begin running the Jito Client is Juicy Stake, a young but growing validator started by Knox Trades.

xNFT Backpack — Beyond a simple wallet

xNFT Backpack is a comprehensive storage solution for your digital assets, including private keys, tokens, NFTs, and this is ALL cross-chain integrated. Developed by the team behind the Anchor Framework, Backpack runs like an open-source operating system, providing you with the ability to program xNFTs to perform a growing range of functions. Think of it as your own private App store, allowing you to access your NFT applications without having to redirect to a basic web view. It offers a unified interface that isn’t restricted to any blockchain or ecosystem.

Currently, the xNFT Backpack is going through beta testing via the community channels. Once a prospective user receives their invite code they’ll be able to begin unlocking the power it has to offer.

As one of the most anticipated applications on Solana, it’s worth keeping up to date with its development by joining their discord.

Firedancer — A new generation of validator

Firedancer, a consensus node created by Kevin Bowers’ R&D team, is designed to be robust with a modular structure, few external connections, and a detailed evaluation program. It is designed to be limited only by the capacity of the hardware NOT the software. Validators are responsible for verifying and confirming transactions that occur on the blockchain. They do this by running nodes that communicate with each other and validate transactions using a distributed consensus algorithm. The validator nodes then broadcast their votes to the other nodes in the network to reach consensus and validate transactions.

The Solana Mainnet has notoriously experienced four interruptions that necessitated the hands-on involvement of multiple validators in order to revive the network. This has led to questions concerning the stability and dependability of Solana. To decrease the risk of widespread network errors, Firedancer minimizes the number of components it shares with the Solana Rust validator resulting in a greatly reduced chance for network outages and transaction scaling well over 100x current levels.

The first Solana Core Dev Sync 16/12/22

2023 and beyond

As the date for Solana’s SAGA phone approaches, further development of the network is absolutely crucial. Each of these projects are a clear step towards a frictionless experience for not only existing ecosystem participants but also in onboarding non-crypto natives.

2022 has been a tough year for the Solana ecosystem, it’s more important now more than ever that the builders and wider community work together to reclaim positive sentiment. Through the innovations that are beginning to surface and sheer resilience to failure, it will be compelling to witness how Solana moves to solve the troublesome merger between blockchain technology and the everyday person.

👥Follow Jito, Firedancer & Backpack on Twitter👥

Join🧠 🤑Jito🤑 🧠& 🎒 Backpack 🎒on Discord

🔥💃Check out the Firedancer Github 🔥💃

✨🤟Good luck and stay SAFU✨🤟

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Aaron Fenton

Crypto enthusiast, Podcaster, Web 3.0 educatooorrrrrr