Solana is all the rage in cryptocurrency markets these days. Its price is doing this:
Looking at that chart, it would be easy to think that this new cryptocurrency is all hype and speculation. But I spent the afternoon digging into its capabilities as a platform, and they are incredible:
- Solana can handle 65,000 transactions per second
- Visa can handle 24,000 transactions per second
- Doing a transaction on Solana costs $0.0001
- Doing a transaction on Visa or MasterCard generally costs about 1.5-2.5% of the total transaction value
Let’s assume you’re a merchant with $1 million in transactions to process. You can do it on Solana for virtually nothing. Or you can do it a little more slowly with Visa or MasterCard for $15,000 to $25,000. Which do you prefer?
Granted, most merchants won’t have the slightest clue how to use Solana. But it’s not hard to imagine a new startup doing what Square or Stripe did: quickly going from unknown to ubiquitous processors of payments.
If a new company handled your transaction using a stablecoin like USDC on the Solana platform, it could offer incredible speed and dramatically lower fees than the incumbents, while still keeping a nice margin for itself.
Visa’s market cap is $496 billion. Mastercard’s is $340 billion. What happens to those companies when a competitor shows up doing what they do for a tiny fraction of what they charge?
I don’t own Solana, though perhaps I should. And if someone builds a company that makes payment processing on Solana easy for merchants, I just might have to wet my beak.
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Photo: “R.I.P. Rest In Peace” by Beauteous Babe is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
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