Leading Solana Tokens of Q3-2023

Solana: A Swift and Cost-Efficient Blockchain

Solana stands out as one of the swiftest blockchains, attracting considerable attention from investors and users seeking robust alternatives within the dApp landscape.

Its remarkable speed and cost-efficiency even outpace Ethereum, the widely recognized leader in the field.

Exploring Solana Projects for Investment

As we step into Q4 2023, it’s time to explore the Solana projects that hold promise for investment in the post-FTX era. Let’s take a closer look!

1) Marinade Finance ($MNDE)

Marinade Finance is a non-custodial liquid staking protocol meticulously built on Solana. Its primary objective is to provide a straightforward, secure, and frictionless method for staking SOL tokens across a vast array of over 130 top Solana validators.

This project had its genesis in March 2021 during a Solana & Serum Hackathon and achieved its mainnet launch on August 2, 2021. Since then, it has witnessed remarkable growth and adoption within the Solana ecosystem.

Marinade Finance’s pioneering feature lies in its ability to unlock liquidity while accruing staking rewards. In return, users who engage in staking SOL tokens receive a liquid token, $mSOL. This mSOL token steadily appreciates in value through staking rewards and can be freely utilized throughout the Solana ecosystem and its associated projects. This flexibility empowers users to participate in DeFi or convert to $SOL, giving them control over their staked assets.

Moreover, Marinade Finance also has its governance token, MNDE, signifying fractional ownership within the Marinade DAO. Holders of MNDE tokens have the privilege of minting a unique Chef NFT and actively participating in the governance processes of the Marinade protocol. It encompasses decision-making authority concerning treasury management, the delegation strategy, and the election of the executive team.

More recently, Marinade Finance rolled out a novel service called Marinade Native, designed to mitigate the smart contract risk associated with swapping $SOL for $mSOL while preserving an anticipated yield of approximately 7%. This service amalgamates features from liquid and direct staking, presenting a less precarious investment alternative for stakeholders.

  • Current MNDE Price: $0.04
  • Total Value Locked (TVL): Approximately $107.5 million
  • Peak TVL (November 2021): $1.8 billion

Marinade Finance exemplifies the potential of liquid staking on Solana, offering a unique blend of liquidity, yield, and governance within the Solana ecosystem. Its commitment to widespread ownership and a diverse validator pool solidifies its position as Solana’s leading liquid staking protocol.

2) Lido ($LDO)

Next on our list is Lido. Although not strictly a Solana project, Lido is an important player in the Solana space. Launched in 2020, Lido is a liquid staking solution for PoS cryptocurrencies, including Solana. Notably, it supports staking on the post-Ethereum Merge consensus layer and other layer-1 PoS blockchains like Polygon, Kusama, and Polkadot.

Behind Lido’s operations stands a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) that is pivotal in governing the protocol. This DAO empowers stakeholders to make key decisions, ensuring that the protocol remains aligned with their interests while maintaining decentralization.

Additionally, the DAO leverages Lido’s native crypto asset, $LDO, for governance, with each token conferring voting power commensurate with the holder’s stake.

What sets Lido apart is its adaptable and upgradable voting mechanism, which is distinct from other flexible protocols in the blockchain sphere. This unique feature allows the Lido DAO to implement governance changes without impacting the platform’s core functions.

  • Current LDO Price: $1.52
  • Total Value Locked (TVL): Approximately $14.218 billion (Overall), $53.95 million (Solana-specific)

Lido offers robust staking services, an intuitive user interface, competitive fees, and lucrative referral rewards. It provides liquidity across multiple cryptos and enjoys support from major DeFi players. Notably, Lido continues to dominate the DeFi sector, surpassing formidable protocols like MakerDAO regarding total assets locked.

3) Solend ($SLND)

Solend, a decentralized lending and borrowing protocol on Solana, has become a pivotal addition to the Solana ecosystem, filling a crucial financial niche. Since its launch, Solend has impressively attracted $100 million in deposits in just over a month.


In this environment, where Solana remains undervalued, investors and developers have a unique opportunity. While Solana might not always command the spotlight in the broader crypto landscape, these applications provide compelling evidence that development on this blockchain is not only alive but thriving.

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