The NFT market is booming and according to Anatoly Yakovenko, co-founder of Solana, it is now “obvious in retrospect” that NFT has become the cultural symbol that unites the cryptocurrency industry.
But even though it’s obvious “in hindsight” now, it certainly wasn’t the case a few years ago.
NFT is a unique token, like a receipt for a digital item, verified by the blockchain. In the first half of 2021, NFT sales reached $2.5 billion. After a brief downturn, NFTs began to dominate the headlines again when household names like Budweiser and Visa jumped on the bandwagon.
The buzz around NFTs has led many to ask a simple question – what’s the point? Should we see the NFT as a financial asset, an art, or as a symbol of cryptocurrency culture? For Yakovenko, who helped build the upstart Solana network that aims to compete with Ether, the answer is now clear.
“I didn’t think it would be NFTs, but I kind of feel like cryptocurrencies have a very deep social component, and I know I couldn’t have predicted what it would look like, but it’s clear in retrospect that NFTs are it,” he said earlier today at the Solana Breakpoint conference in Lisbon, Portugal.
Solana and NFTs
Yakovenko’s comments come on the heels of recent news that consumers can now buy Solana NFTs for dollars on FTX’s regulated marketplace, FTX NFTs.
“NFTs is a very niche market right now, especially because it has grown into a DeFi product,” FTX US president Brett Harrison told us at the time.
FTX US aims to take on OpenSea-First with Solana NFTs, Ethereum is only “a few weeks away.”
Yakovenko also told us that the burgeoning NFT market is a “huge opportunity” for exchanges to break into the decentralized finance space, referring to a range of DeFi products that enable their users to trade, borrow and lend cryptocurrency assets without a third-party intermediary.
“I think it’s a huge opportunity for exchanges to get into this universal access point, into DeFi, into decentralized exchanges, into NFT, and into everything else in the space,” he said.
Solana’s native cryptocurrency, SOL – which has experienced a year of tremendous growth – recently reached an all-time high of $260. In addition, the Solana ecosystem has seen huge growth in the total value of DeFi projects built on the network.