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The Guide to Solana's Top 10 DeFi Applications

Vance Wood

Vance Wood

January 5, 2024

8 min read

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Solana embodies an ethos to become a blockchain that welcomes a billion users to crypto by offering an experience that is fast, easy, and cost-effective.

In this article, we embark on a comprehensive review of the 10 prominent projects and protocols that contribute to Solana's DeFi ecosystem, delving into their innovations and the potential for future airdrops.

The list of top 10 DeFi applications on Solana

Currently the 5th biggest DeFi blockchain based on Total Value Locked (TVL), the Solana network has witnessed a staggering 117% growth in one month.

Solana's unwavering focus on low latency and high throughput has propelled its growth, fostering an ecosystem where protocols operate at remarkable speed and minuscule transaction fees.

Before delving into the detailed exploration of Solana's top DeFi platforms, let's set the stage by acknowledging some of the statistics sourced from DeFiLlama as of December 2023:

# Protocol Type Total Value Locked Native Token Airdrop
1 Phantom Wallet - N/A Not Announced
2 Solflare Wallet - N/A Not Announced
3 Orca DEX $180m ORCA Not Announced
4 Raydium DEX $100m RAY Completed
5 Drift DEX $95m N/A TBA
6 Jupiter Aggregator N/D JUP January 2024 (2nd round)
7 Jito Staking $574m JTO Active till June 2025
8 Marinade Finance Staking $937m MNDE TBA
9 Solend Lending $168m SLND TBA
10 MarginFi Lending $330m N/A TBA

In the subsequent sections, we will meticulously overview the top 10 decentralized applications (dApps) on Solana, encompassing both established projects and newer protocols.

Top Solana wallets

In the growing ecosystem of Solana, users are presented with a diverse array of wallets that cater to their specific needs and preferences. Let's delve into two prominent players.

In a fashion similar to the well-known MetaMask, Phantom allows users to create and manage multiple wallets through a downloadable browser extension to manage various coins and NFTs.

Phantom_Solana_Wallet_Chrome_Extension_UI

Image from Phantom Chrome Extension

The app goes beyond Solana, expanding to other blockchains, ensuring a seamless transition between Polygon, Ethereum, and Solana. With an integrated swapping feature and a bridge facilitating cross-chain movement, the wallet becomes a versatile tool for users navigating different decentralized landscapes.

2. Solflare, Solana native wallet

Unlike its counterparts venturing into multi-chains, Solflare remains dedicated to Solana, aligning its pace with the ecosystem's rapid development for both innovation and security.

Solflare simplifies basic operations like swapping and staking Solana-based assets directly within the mobile app or an extension on your browser.

Solflare_Web_Solana_Wallet

Image from Solflare

Furthermore, users can continue using MetaMask for Solana DeFi, courtesy of the MetaMask Snap developed by the Solflare team.

Decentralized exchanges (DEXs) on Solana

In Solana's decentralized exchange (DEX) arena, Orca, Raydium, Jupiter, and Drift lead the way, each offering unique features and strengths.

Solana_DEX_Metrics_by_Dune_Dec_2023

Image from Dune

3. Orca, the largest DEX on Solana

Orca, renowned for its user-friendly and risk-conscious approach, is leading the pack in rapid growth among its peers.

Orca_DEX_App_on_Solana

Image from Orca

The protocol simplifies Solana trading with its innovative Fair Price Indicator, aligning transactions closely with CoinGecko-listed prices. Users benefit from precision trading as the platform notifies them if slippage falls within their preset tolerance.

Not just for swapping, Orca invites users to deposit assets into its liquidity pools, unlocking opportunities to earn yields on their holdings.

4. Raydium, Solana-based AMM

Arguably the most established project in our list, Raydium is currently the second biggest DEX in the Solana ecosystem.

Orca_DEX_App_on_Solana

Image from Raydium

It is an AMM-based trading platform providing services similar to most centralized exchanges in terms of being able to set limit orders and limit sales. Users can also add liquidity to earn rewards and farm some yield.

Raydium makes it easier for users to buy or sell assets at desired prices due to the larger pool of available orders, facilitated by Serum’s ecosystem-wide central order book system.

5. Jupiter, top Solana DEX aggregator

By consolidating liquidity from various DEXs, Jupiter empowers users to access a broader spectrum of trading pairs.

Jupiter_DEX_on_Solana

Image from Jupiter

One unique aspect of Jupiter's approach is its smart routing process, where the system considers alternative routes that involve intermediary tokens to discover opportunities where the usual trading pairs may not offer the best value.

Jupiter airdrop

Jupiter conducts airdrops in rounds, distributing the initial batch of newly minted JUP coins in December 2023. The project maintains transparency in eligibility criteria, focusing on users' trading volume share. The next airdrop phase is scheduled for January 2024.

6. Drift, perpetual futures DEX on Solana

Drift is a feature-rich decentralized exchange combining Automated Market Maker and decentralized orderbook systems.

Drift_Solana_DEX

Image from Drift

The dApp is offering perpetual futures and on-chain spot trading with leverage, as well as lending and borrowing. Users can also earn in the liquidity pools and participate in incentive activities and trading challenges.

SOL staking platforms

Liquid staking has become a catalyst for unlocking broader opportunities in the decentralized finance market, promoting more efficient liquidity flow across networks.

In Solana, platforms like Jito and Marinade Finance are leading the charge, offering innovative liquid staking solutions for users to optimize their staked assets.

7. Jito, a user-friendly staking platform

Liquid stakers of SOL can earn Maximum Extractable Value (MEV) by staking their tokens through Jito. Users depositing their assets with Jito receive JitoSOL and accumulate in-app points as a bonus.

Jito_SOL_staking_page

Image from Jito

Jito airdrop

Jito points hold value in an airdrop, active until June 2025. Additionally, users can boost their chances by earning extra points through the use of JitoSOL in other Solana-based applications for lending, borrowing, and trading.

8. Marinade Finance, leading liquid staking provider on Solana

Standing as the top DeFi application on Solana with a remarkable $930 million in total value locked, as reported by DeFiLlama, Marinade Finance distinguishes itself by distributing stakes among over 100 trusted validators, offering a dynamic alternative to traditional staking methods.

Marinade_Finance_Main_Page

Image from Marinade

Marinade’s so-called ‘Native staking’ option allows for delegating the stake to a bot as an alternative to depositing funds to the smart contract.

Potential Marinade airdrop

Fueled by its governance token, MNDE, the platform allocates tokens to users based on their staked amounts. Despite the token's launch in late 2021, there has yet to be an official announcement or implementation of the airdrop.

Lending protocols

The lending market serves as the pivotal final piece in fostering overall growth within the decentralized finance (DeFi) landscape. Solend and MarginFi emerge as leading lending protocols within this sector.

9. Solend, Solana equivalent of Aave

Established in 2021, Solend operates as a dynamic protocol, allowing users to lend over 90 assets across 67 pools as collateral, earning Annual Percentage Rate (APR) or borrowing from fellow users.

Solend_Protocol_Pools

Image from Solend

This platform provides a comprehensive decentralized financial ecosystem, integrating automated markets, dynamic interest rate mechanisms, and a robust insurance framework.

Solend stands out with a Total Value Locked (TVL) of $160 million, securing the 7th position among Solana's DeFi applications.

10. MarginFi, lending on Solana with rewards

Less than a year since its launch, MarginFi has surged to an impressive Total Value Locked (TVL) exceeding $300 million, securing its position as the third-largest DeFi application on the SOL blockchain.

Solana_lending_platfrom_MarginFi

Image from MarginFi

The platform is offering lending and borrowing services for approximately 30 tokens, including major ones like USDC, WBTC, ETH, and various Solana-based project tokens

MarginFi airdrop

In July 2023, MarginFi introduced the incentive program, where users can earn points by contributing liquidity and participating in borrowing activities. These points hold a strong possibility of being linked to a future airdrop.

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Wrapping up

In the decentralized world of Solana, opportunities abound. As we conclude our exploration of Solana's top DeFi projects, it's imperative to acknowledge the dynamic nature of the crypto landscape. Make sure to understand the intricacies of each platform and assess the associated risks and benefits.

Keep navigating the decentralized terrain with ease, leveraging the power of GetBlock’s RPC. Our robust and reliable infrastructure ensures seamless connectivity to blockchain nodes with access to 50+ protocol endpoints — all conveniently managed from a single account.

Vance Wood

Vance Wood

January 5, 2024

8 min read

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