Solana’s Privacy-Enhancing Update
Solana (SOL), a layer 1 proof-of-stake blockchain, has recently introduced version 1.16, aimed at enhancing user privacy through “Confidential Transfers.” This significant update includes encrypted Solana Program Library (SPL) token transactions, ensuring confidentiality rather than anonymity.
The adoption of version 1.16 by Solana’s network of validators has reached a majority after ten months of development and an audit by Halborn, a prominent blockchain security firm.
Solana Labs’ Rigorous Testing Process
According to the announcement by Solana’s infrastructure provider Helius, version 1.16 underwent extensive testing, running on testnet since June 7, 2023. Volunteer and canary nodes played a crucial role in identifying and resolving issues during the testing phase. Solana Labs also deployed canary nodes on mainnet-beta to monitor the stability of v1.16 under real-world conditions. The system employs a feature gate mechanism to prevent consensus-breaking changes, ensuring older versions do not fork off the canonical chain.
Confidential Transfers and User Privacy
Confidential Transfers, introduced by Token2022, utilize zero-knowledge proofs to encrypt balances and transaction amounts of SPL tokens, prioritizing user privacy. Additionally, consensus-breaking changes now require a Solana Improvement Document (SIMD) and greater transparency through documentation.
Solana’s Growth Trajectory
According to a Nansen report, Solana has witnessed a substantial surge in its Total Value Locked (TVL) throughout this year, nearly doubling since the beginning of 2023, currently boasting a TVL of 30.95 million SOL. Monthly transactions on the Solana network have remained stable, with an increase in vote transactions, encompassing both vote and non-vote transactions.
Solana has implemented innovative solutions such as state compression, reducing the cost of non-fungible token (NFT) minting on Solana significantly. For instance, minting 1 million NFTs before state compression would have cost approximately $253,000. With state compression enabled, the cost is reduced to just $113.
Rapid Growth in Liquid Staking
Moreover, the liquid staking landscape on Solana is experiencing rapid growth, with leading platforms like Marinade Finance, Lido Finance, and Jito taking the forefront. Despite this growth, the current amount of staked SOL in Solana’s liquid staking protocols accounts for less than 3% of the total staked SOL, indicating substantial room for expansion.
However, concerns have been raised regarding the uncertainty surrounding FTX/Alameda’s SOL holdings, as FTX holds over 71.8 million SOL, representing approximately 17% of the circulating supply and 13% of the total supply. Monitoring its impact closely is essential for Solana’s continued growth.
Steady Gains for SOL
On the other hand, the native token of the protocol, SOL, continues to exhibit substantial gains across all timeframes. The token is currently trading at $23.68, reflecting an increase of over 4% in the past 24 hours.