Bitcoin rival Solana (SOL) has just surged to a new all-time high following an astonishing price rise that has taken its market value above $50 billion.
The cryptocurrency was trading at less than $3 in September 2020 and is now worth more than $180, having peaked above $194 on Tuesday.
It comes amid a surging crypto market that has seen several alternative cryptocurrencies hit record highs over the last week, including Cardano (ADA), HEX and Fantom.
The rise of the so-called altcoins has seen bitcoin’s market dominance drop considerably since the start of the year.
In January 2021, bitcoin comprised more than 70 per cent of the crypto market. Today, its market cap is less than half of the $2.25 trillion market.
Solana now ranks as the seventh most valuable cryptocurrency by market cap, overtaking dogecoin this week.
It is touted as one of the leading platforms for smart contracts, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and other decentralised finance operations.
This makes it more similar to Ethereum – the world’s leading smart contracts platform – than bitcoin, with the world’s first cryptocurrency only used as a store of value and online currency.
Solana’s creators describe it as “the fastest blockchain in the world” and “censorship-resistant”, boasting over 400 projects that have been built off its network.
A recently launched hackathon, which runs until next month, is encouraging developers to use its programmable blockchain to innovate new technologies and apps through Solana.
Some within the crypto industry see Solana as a genuine competitor to Ethereum, due to the efficiency of its network and the booming NFT market.
“Crypto will accelerate what will be the biggest social impact change of our lifetimes,” said ex-Bloomberg Project Lead Hisham Khan, who has since launched the Aldrin platform merging both centralised and decentralised finance on the Solana network.
“Ethereum has influenced a wave of putting power back into the hands of people, but so far has been too expensive and too exclusive, simply mirroring the wealth gap we see in traditional finance. Solana is lowering the barriers of entry and furthering the mass adoption of the decentralised movement.”