Solana’s Q1 Performance: Network Challenges and Ecosystem Growth

In the face of macroeconomic headwinds, Solana’s fundamentals showed remarkable improvement in the first quarter of 2023. Despite encountering network performance degradation challenges, the network’s market cap surged by over 118% QoQ, alongside significant growth across DeFi, NFTs, and GameFi verticals. This article explores the factors that underpinned Solana’s resilience and fueled its ecosystem growth in Q1 2023.

Solana’s Q1 Performance

The first quarter of 2023 brought both challenges and growth for Solana’s network. Despite facing performance degradation issues in the past, the network’s fundamentals have improved, resulting in a market cap increase of more than 118% QoQ, along with the broader market. Additionally, Solana has seen significant growth across various verticals, including DeFi, NFTs, and GameFi, due to numerous ecosystem developments.

Challenges Faced by Solana’s Network

Solana’s network faced challenges in the past, which led to conversations about potential insolvency. However, the network’s performance has stabilized after implementing upgrades such as QUIC, priority fees (local fee markets), and Stake-Weighted Quality of Service (QOS). These upgrades have helped improve the network’s stability and reliability.

Solana’s Fundamentals Improved During Q1

Despite the turbulent market conditions in 2022 due to macroeconomic headwinds, Solana’s fundamentals improved during Q1. According to the latest data, the total value locked in Solana surged by 23.5% QoQ, denominated in USD. However, TVL denominated in SOL was down by 40.7% during the same period, indicating that the asset price increases in USD vs. new capital inflow drove TVL.

Solana’s Ecosystem Growth

Solana’s ecosystem saw significant growth across DeFi, NFTs, and GameFi verticals due to numerous ecosystem developments. Liquid staking derivatives (LSDs) continued to support the Solana ecosystem, with Marinade Finance, Lido, Jito, and JPool increasing their TVL by 100% or more during the quarter. Other protocols, such as Orca, Raydium, and Solend, grew their TVL massively alongside the wider market rebound.

NFT Ecosystem Growth

Solana’s NFT ecosystem also saw growth during Q1. The total number of daily new NFTs increased from 2.6 million to 2.9 million QoQ, representing a nearly 12% surge. NFT sales volume in the secondary market denominated in terms of USD was up by almost 36%. Sales denominated in SOL also went up by 20%, indicating that sales activity was not purely accrued by asset price increases in USD.

Solana’s Strong Ties with FTX and Developer Exodus Rumors

Aftermath FTX Implosion, Solana’s strong ties with Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire – which invested in nine of its projects from December 2020 to March 2022 – turned out to be a disaster for the network, igniting rumors of developer exodus. However, with the launch of more applications this year, their user base went up as well, which helped in increasing and stabilizing active programs in the Solana ecosystem.


Solana faced network performance degradation challenges in the past, but its fundamentals improved during Q1 2023, resulting in significant growth across various verticals. The network’s upgrades have helped improve its stability and reliability. The NFT ecosystem has also seen growth during this period, and Solana’s strong ties with FTX have not affected its growth potential. The launch of more applications has helped increase and stabilize active programs in the Solana ecosystem.


Q1. What is Solana?

A1. Solana is a blockchain platform designed to provide high-speed and low-cost transactions for developers and users.

Q2. What caused the network performance degradation challenges for Solana?

A2. The network performance degradation challenges for Solana were caused by a surge in transaction volume and congestion on the network.

Q3. How did Solana’s fundamentals improve during Q1 2023?

A3. According to the latest data, Solana’s market cap increased by more than 118% QoQ along with the broader market. Moreover, the network witnessed significant growth across DeFi, NFTs, and GameFi verticals due to numerous ecosystem developments that fueled fee payer and transaction activity during Q1.

Q4. What upgrades did Solana implement to stabilize its performance?

A4. Solana implemented upgrades such as QUIC, priority fees (local fee markets), and Stake-Weighted Quality of Service (QOS) to stabilize its performance.

Q5. What is Liquid staking derivatives (LSDs)?

A5. Liquid staking derivatives (LSDs) allow users to earn staking rewards without locking up their tokens.

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