Identifying Key Solana Web3 Decentralized Finance Projects in 2022

This is the first of a three part series that will dive into the frontier of Web3 ecosystems on Solana.

A Year of Growth on Solana

The real question is what projects should we have an eye on moving forward. The year 2021 was an incredible year for crypto. Specifically for smart contract platforms and tokens building on them.

The market has definitely acknowledged the value of Solana, which was trading below $2 on Jan 1. The token is up nearly 1000% YTD, trading at ~200 at the time of writing. While Solana may not do another 10x next year, similar possibilities of growth can be found in a plethora of ecosystem tokens.

Solana has been one of the most prominent names in Web3, DeFi, NFTs, and gaming. The blockchain proposes scalability and innovation while maintaining security and decentralization. 

Selecting and Weeding Through dApps

A lot goes into evaluating projects. A pivotal question for me is whether or not the product or service is innovative. This is only the tip of the iceberg. From there due diligence spans multiple fields:

– Business

– Finance

– Legal 

– Tech

– Key Personnel

Due diligence checks are thought to reduce financial risks, which Web3 and crypto markets can bolster. These risks can range from rug pulls, to flash loan attacks, or even project failure. Due diligence can help mitigate risk but should not be understood as a straightforward indicator for performance.

The good news is, due diligence is typically performed by multiple parties if it’s a well-regarded project. This means, for the retail investor, it can be as simple as looking at what Venture Capitalists(VC), funds, and angels are supporting.

Large and well-regarded VCs have extensive due diligence processes. For this exact reason, the two main criteria I will be following are:

– An innovative, novel, or necessary product

– Accredited VC’s with a reputable record

Decentralized Finance (DeFi)

There is massive demand in crypto for well-built derivative and options protocols. Solana is the perfect breeding ground for these protocols considering the scalability and institutional interest.

What is HXRO?

Hxro Network is a decentralized liquidity network for risk-based applications built on the Solana blockchain. 

A series of native protocols will provide the framework and infrastructure for a robust, fully-functional decentralized exchange, as outlined in the HXRO litepaper. The platform looks to offer vanilla, exotic, and parimutuel options markets.

HXRO is a platform that was first recognized for its Bitcoin-prediction gaming protocol MoonRekt. By joining the Solana blockchain, HXRO hopes to become fully decentralized. This will allow them to become an open-source market, as well as provide further enhancement to trading mechanics through access to Serum.

HXRO is currently trading at 0.45 with a Market Cap of 190,769,053 and an FDV of ​​457,171,000 according to Coingecko. The platform has received a few rounds of funding, most notably, a 34 million dollar raise by SIG DT, Jump Crypto, Alameda Research, Chicago Trading Company, and Pattern Research as well as venture participation from Blockchain Capital, Solana Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, Commonwealth Asset Management, CoinFund, Genesis, LedgerPrime, Mantis, and Magnus Capital.

What is Credix?

Credix is a decentralized credit marketplace founded by three entrepreneurs, combining 15 years of crypto and financial markets experience. 

Credix informed us that they are a team of eight, spread across the globe. They are supported by different strategic advisors from VISA, Itau, Augmentum, and Blocks. The team has the ambition to redesign how debt financing works, which will result in more inclusive credit for the unbanked and end consumers in emerging markets.

Credix has managed to raise an impressive $2.5 million in a seed round designed to build an ‘enterprise-grade’ DeFi credit marketplace. The token is yet to launch so users should keep an eye out.

The seed round was initially led by DRW Cumberland and ParaFi Capital, but they were joined by the likes of Solana Ventures, Transfero Swizz BRZ Solana Ecosystem Fund, and MGNR to name but a few from a lengthy list. 

Where to find Credix:

Website | Twitter | Discord |

What is Drift?

Drift is a decentralized, fully on-chain perpetual swap exchange built on the Solana network. 

Users can utilize the protocol’s perpetual swaps to speculate on cryptocurrency assets with up to 5x leverage and earn yields from collecting funding rate payments. 

The swap exchange is the first to use Dynamic Automated Market Maker (DAMM) based on vAMM, according to their docs. This enables users to take cross-margined long and short positions with up to 5x leverage and minimal slippage.

Drift Protocol’s alpha imminent launch came was a 3.8M seed round led by Multicoin Capital. Alameda Research and Jump Capital to name a few notable firms. The funds will be used to grow the team, provide liquidity and build the insurance fund according to the official medium blog on October 26th.

The funding announcement comes alongside Drift Protocol’s alpha mainnet launch. The capital raised in this round will go towards growing the team and providing liquidity on our Dynamic AMM (DAMM) and insurance fund.

Drift Labs is excited to announce a $3.8M seed round led by Multicoin Capital. Alameda Research, Jump Capital, LedgerPrime, Not3Lau Capital (Darren & Daryl Lau), QCP Capital, Robot Ventures (Tarun Chitra and Robert Leshner) and ROK Capital also participated in the round.

Find more about Drift here:

Website | Twitter | Documentation | Github | Discord |

Concluding Thoughts

I would like to stress that this is far from financial advice. The ‘suits’ can be wrong too, but I typically don’t like to bet against experts. Cobie, Co-Founder of UpOnly Podcast, pointed out some potential flaws in Solana ecosystem tokenomics in his “Trading the metagame” substack post. 

“The Solana ecosystem had it’s own “very high FDV” sub-metagame, whereby the only people that were really early were the people that funded the seed round.” Cobie did point out.

Popular trader Hsaka also poked fun at the ecosystem Tweeting a meme highlighting the ‘very high FDV’ and the early seed round investors.

So there are ‘veterans’, who suggest differently.

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