As the cryptocurrency market matures, investors are finding different values and uses for different digital currencies. Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) is seen as "digital gold," Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH) is the leading smart-contract crypto, and Solana (SOL 1.81%) is the fast, low-cost cryptocurrency.
Despite being smaller by market cap, Solana has a rich ecosystem of applications and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) being developed and real-world utility being added. And the recently announced Solana Pay product could upend credit cards. It's this growing ecosystem that makes this my top cryptocurrency to buy today.
The advantage of Solana
As we begin to see more use cases for cryptocurrency, including finance, NFTs, and the metaverse, I think we will see transaction costs become more important. Buying something for $100 and then paying a $200 transaction fee on Ethereum doesn't make much sense, and as the uses for crypto grow, we should see lower-cost items become more prevalent.
This is why we are seeing an incredible amount of innovation in Solana's NFT ecosystem. Marketplaces like Magic Eden and Fractal are bringing all types of NFTs to the market, and the Phantom wallet recently released an app for Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhones. Now, cryptocurrencies, tokens, and NFTs are as easy to find and use as the credit cards in a digital wallet.
These advances make the ecosystem easy to use and have led to a rapid increase in traffic. The chief technology officer for the marketplace Magic Eden said recently that its traffic was up by a multiple of nine since November and tripling per month. If that pace continues, this will be the go-to crypto ecosystem for most users.
Payments will take Solana to another level
Another huge announcement was Solana Pay, a new payments product that allows developers to build payment systems that immediately transfer funds to merchants. No more waiting days for deposits and no more 3% cut to credit card companies -- the funds are transferred almost instantly.
Solana Pay, despite running on the Solana blockchain, is built to run on any token, like the stablecoin USDC. So, users could have stablecoins in their wallets, just like they have money in the bank, and spend it anywhere in-person or online with a click.
The disruption in this technology will be pushing Visa (NYSE: V), Mastercard (NYSE: MA), American Express (NYSE: AXP), and big banks out of the payments infrastructure. Funds will go directly from a consumers' wallet to a business account with no intermediary (unless a point-of-sale technology provider charges a fee).
It's about the ecosystem
Cryptocurrencies are so young today that we don't know what their ultimate uses will be a decade or two from now. But the cryptocurrencies I'm most bullish on are ones that are building utility into the blockchain. Solana's NFTs growth, advances in decentralized finance products, the Phantom wallet, and now Solana Pay are all reasons to be bullish on Solana in the long term.
There will certainly be ups and downs along the way, but the Solana ecosystem has a lot going for it right now, and innovation is happening so fast that it's hard to keep up. Over time, that will be what makes cryptocurrencies so disruptive.