Writing

The Front Page of Solana

December 22, 2021 | 4 minute read

Today, I am excited to announce that Multicoin Capital has co-led a $4M seed round with Electric Capital in Solscan alongside our friends at Jump Capital, Sequoia Capital, Alameda Research, Solana Ventures, Signum Capital, and CoinGecko.

Multicoin’s thesis for Solscan can be summarized in two pieces: 1) we believe block explorers are the front page for all smart contract chains, and 2) Solscan is, and will continue to be, the leading explorer in the Solana ecosystem.

Today, Solscan is already the flagship explorer for the Solana blockchain. It powers most of the major dApps on Solana, including but not limited to Serum, Raydium, Orca, Metaplex, Phantom, Saber, Port, and Mercurial. This means that when a user initiates a transaction on one of these dApps, and then presses “view transaction,” she will be routed to Solscan. It’s also the default explorer for Phantom, the flagship wallet for Solana with over 1.6M MAUs, and the primary explorer for Binance and FTX, two of the largest centralized exchanges.

Over 2.3 million people visit Solscan and over 180 million data requests every month—and those numbers grow larger by the day.

Solscan Monthly Website Visits Source: Similarweb

In only six short months, Solscan has become absolutely essential to everyone building out the Solana ecosystem.

Making Sense of Solana DeFi

Multicoin Capital has been fortunate to invest in Solana on multiple occasions over the last few years. We previously published our investment theses for Solana here and here.

The day we met Anatoly Yakovenko, Solana’s founder and chief architect, he told us that he wanted to build a blockchain that could support the fastest decentralized exchange (DEX) in the world. Now, four years later, he’s arguably achieved that vision as evidenced by a smattering of elite, high-speed DEXs on Solana.

Since mainnet beta went live, Solana’s DeFi ecosystem has exploded in popularity. To illustrate this point, the chart below shows Solana’s market share of total value locked (TVL) across all smart contract platforms (rather than just the $ value of TVL on Solana increasing itself).

Solana DeFi Market Share Graph Source: DefiLlama

Developers, applications, and liquidity are all migrating to Solana because it provides the best execution environment for exchange. And as more applications move over to Solana, the need for better on-chain visibility and analytics grows with it—and that’s exactly what block explorers do.

Since the advent of Bitcoin, block explorers have been one of the most widely used and recognized tools in crypto. Dating back to 2015, explorers have consistently been the most visited websites in crypto. Traders, investors, users, and developers all see them as the “front page” of every chain.

Early Bitcoin block explorers were limited functionally: you can only send BTC from Address A to Address B. When Ethereum launched in 2015, the opportunity set for block explorers expanded tremendously. Explorers now have the onerous job of interpreting an interconnected web of on-chain transactions and making them human readable.

As DeFi applications grow in popularity and become more composable, they become increasingly complex. At the same time, protocols also now need to look up more than simple key:value queries (e.g. look up public address, return number of tokens held). They depend on tracking and storing collateral balances, measuring collateral ratios, processing oracle prices, executing liquidations, distributing staking rewards, issuing margin and leverage, and so forth.

Similarweb, the flagship data source on the Internet for page views, recently published an analysis detailing the most visited websites in crypto. The findings? Two of the top 10 visited websites in crypto are block explorers. Two others are exchanges that link directly to Solscan. Block explorers are incredibly important tools within crypto.

Most Visited Crypto Websites Source: Similarweb

From Block Explorers to Block Analytics

Solscan’s block explorer is just the starting point. By virtue of building one of the most robust block explorers in the ecosystem, they’ve also set themselves up to build one of the most powerful analytics platforms as well, which is expected to launch early next year.

We’re proud to support Solscan not only for the role that it plays in the Solana ecosystem today, but also for the role that we believe it will play in the future. DeFi, consumer-facing applications, and NFTs on Solana are showing no signs of slowing down, and we’re betting they won’t. If that’s the case, better visibility and analytics will be absolutely essential to sustain and grow the ecosystem, and Solscan has stepped forward to serve that need.

If you’re building on Solana and are interested in integrating your project with Solcan, please reach out. We’d be happy to introduce you.

Disclosures:Multicoin has established, maintains and enforces written policies and procedures reasonably designed to identify and effectively manage conflicts of interest related to its investment activities.

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