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Solana NFTs are provably unique, non-fungible assets minted on the Solana blockchain.
What are Solana NFTs?

Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are digital tokens minted on a blockchain like Solana or Ethereum, which are tagged with unique cryptographic attributes and attached to a digital file such as an image or audio recording. As such, NFTs can introduce digital scarcity and provable uniqueness to files that could otherwise be easily replicated.

History of Solana NFTs

NFTs first emerged on Ethereum with the adoption of the ERC-721 non-fungible token standard, which was formalized in 2018. However, as Ethereum grew in popularity, congestion issues resulted in spiraling transaction costs. Since NFTs involve the use of more complex smart contracts, the transaction costs involved in NFT minting and trading are typically much higher than the average ERC-20 token transaction.

As NFTs underwent an explosion in popularity during 2020 and 2021 with the crypto bull market, the high financial costs led to a contingent of artists rejecting Ethereum. As a result, there was a demand and opportunity for other platforms to compete with their own NFT offerings, and Solana NFTs emerged as one of the leading alternatives to Ethereum.

Comparing Solana NFTs with Ethereum NFTs

NFTs issued on both Solana and Ethereum share the same essential property of non-fungibility, and both can be attached to digital files to indicate scarcity or uniqueness. However, there are some notable differences between Solana NFTs and Ethereum NFTs.

Transaction speed and cost

Even though Ethereum has now upgraded to the proof of stake consensus, making it more energy-efficient and faster, it still doesn’t yet compete with Solana on transaction speed and costs. Solana offers low-cost minting and trading, while the platform’s high throughput means that transactions are processed more quickly than on Ethereum.

Ecosystem diversity

Ethereum has established a significant first-mover advantage over later generations of blockchain platforms, including Solana. As such, it has a more developed ecosystem with a larger community. However, Solana is one of the largest competitor platforms and nevertheless has a vibrant and loyal community of its own.

Development activity

The decentralized nature of blockchain development means that Solana NFTs are being developed with different features and capabilities than Ethereum NFTs. This is partly driven by the fact that Solana is built and operates differently to Ethereum – for example, it uses the Rust programming language rather than Solidity as well as its own runtime environment (Solana Virtual Machine) to execute smart contracts. This construct is designed to make Solana more user-friendly but can limit its programmability.

For example, Ethereum’s ERC-721 standard allows developers to incorporate additional metadata natively to the token smart contract. Until recently, Solana’s token standard, known as SPL, could only include minimal metadata. Thus, third-party developers built workaround solutions to add more metadata. However, Solana has now issued a token extension package that allows developers to incorporate metadata natively, eliminating the need for a third party.

Other features of Solana NFTs are designed to optimize the benefits over Ethereum and other platforms. One example is compressed NFTs, which use a cryptographic data structure to reduce the transaction load involved in minting NFTs. This significantly reduces the costs of minting and transacting, and is aimed at enabling issuers, such as influencers or brands, to create NFTs in mass quantities at low cost.

In contrast, Ethereum programmers are experimenting with functionality such as a semi-fungible token standard, which enables the native fractionalization of NFT assets.

Examples of Solana NFT collections

Some Solana NFT collections have gained popularity among traders, earning positions higher up the NFT ranking tables.

Solana Monkey Business

Solana Monkey Business is an umbrella brand encompassing multiple NFT collections, including the latest Monkey Business Gen3 and OG Monkey, among others. Each collection consists of a limited supply of pixelated monkey NFT images based on a central theme, each with unique traits.

Mad Lads

Mad Lads is a collection of human-type illustrated characters, each with unique clothing, hair, weapons, or other accessories. The collection launched in 2023 and managed to create a stir at a time when the NFT markets were down by launching in an exclusive drop with a new Solana wallet app called Backpack. A key reason for the stir was that the development team managed to successfully repel a bot attack by using two unique minting portals designed to separate bots from humans.


Froganas is another project that overcame early adversity where the original founder attempted a rug pull. Another developer decided to compensate for the losses and run the project, and Froganas went on to gain moderate success within the NFT scene. Froganas are illustrated frogs, each with their own unique set of traits, which are known as mutations with the backstory that they result from environmental changes on the Froganas’ home island.

How to get started with Solana NFTs

To get started with Solana NFTs, you’ll need a Solana-compatible wallet such as Phantom, and a starting balance of SOL.

You can browse Solana NFT collections on marketplaces such as Magic Eden, Solanart, and Tensor.

Solana NFT essentials

  • Solana NFTs are non-fungible tokens minted on the Solana blockchain, offering a lower-cost and faster alternative to Ethereum NFTs.
  • Solana developers are building solutions to increase the programmability of Solana NFTs while optimizing for Solana’s advantages by making it even easier and cheaper to mint mass NFTs.
  • Some of the highest-ranking Solana NFTs include the Solana Monkey Business collections, Mad Lads, and Froganas.

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