Before we dive into the two blockchain networks’ scramble for the NFTs market share, let’s define NFTs. Non-fungible tokens, (or simply “NFTs”) are unique collectible digital assets stored in a blockchain and are holding value in the form of cryptocurrency. These assets can be photos, videos, audio, artworks, and drawings among others. Unlike other cryptocurrencies such as BTC and ETH, you cannot recreate an NFT in the same form and value.
These digital assets can be easily authenticated through blockchain, which ascertains the ownership, thus ease of identifying counterfeits. Currently, Ethereum and Solana are the two leading blockchain networks in the market for NFTs applications, protocols, and other solutions. This article assesses the two blockchain networks’ overall stability, capabilities, transaction fees, and quality of user experience in terms of supporting NFTs protocols.
Ethereum hosts the majority of NFTs applications, and the latter is attributed to the massive growth of the blockchain this year. It is the largest blockchain ecosystem, boasting approximately 4,000 full nodes validating the blockchain. Ethereum is powered by its native token, Ether (ETH), which is the primary cryptocurrency for transactions on the ecosystem.
Ethereum is a pioneer in the NFT market, and it’s not accidental that it leads the race as the most popular with developers, creators, and buyers. Developers on the blockchain can access numerous important tools to create protocols or applications where buyers and creators/collectors can meet to exchange their unique digital assets. The blockchain is the leader in the number of hosted collections, and NFTs applications or protocols.
But Ethereum’s limitations are not news among the crypto community. The blockchain has had issues to do with limited scalability, only allowing 15 transactions per second. Coupled with high user activity, Ethereum users have had to endure the high gas fees for a long time now. This is a problem that Ethereum developers have been working to solve, with the hope that the upgrade to ETH 2.0 will improve the network to lower gas fees and increase transaction speed.
Launched in 2020, Solana is a decentralized blockchain network dedicated to solving the blockchain trilemma facing Ethereum. Blockchain trilemma is a term used to describe most blockchains’ inability to achieve the three most important goals of a blockchain, which are decentralization, scalability, and security. Solana facilitates transactions on its network through its native cryptocurrency, SOL. The blockchain network has experienced massive growth as traders see it as the better alternative to Ethereum due to its faster speeds and lower transaction fees.
Although a new player in the NFT world, Solana is trying to exploit Ethereum’s weaknesses with its highly scalable and faster ecosystem. The blockchain has only 1,000 nodes and supports over 65,000 transactions per second with a record 0.4-second transaction latency. Solana’s NFT market is growing fast, boasting nearly a third of all the NFT projects today. The growth is attributed to Solana’s excellent scalable ecosystem with the lowest gas fees in the industry. Unlike Ethereum, the few numbers of validators mean Solana can easily maintain a high level of decentralization as validators cannot team up to gain control of the network. In summary, Solana has managed to win the war on blockchain trilemma by achieving high levels of decentralization, scalability, and security.
Final thoughts – Who wins the NFT War?
Ethereum is certainly the most popular with NFT DApps or protocols with a wider variety of unique digital assets. However, Solana wins for those who might find issues with high gas fees and limited scalability. Your choice, therefore, can only be defined by what matters to you most.