The latest in the lineup of star-studded celebrities to jump into the Solana space is NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal. The former professional basketball player changed his Twitter profile name from Shaq.eth to Shaq.sol as a show of support to the “Ethereum Killer”. The move hints at a possible collaboration with Solana’s leading NFT marketplace Magic Eden, though there isn’t any official confirmation at the time of writing.
Earlier in 2021, O’Neal grabbed headlines for getting involved in the non-fungible token space. Last year, he launched the SHAQ Gives Back NFT series, a collection of 10,000 NFTs promoting the star’s charity work. The collection has since raised more than $1 million in proceeds for Shaq’s charity, according to Shaq’s Twitter account.
The new developments also reflected the growth of the Solana NFT market which has exploded in the second half of 2021 and maintained its pace into 2022 with a market cap just short of $1 billion and a 7-day volume of $46 million. In fact, since the launch of the Metaplex protocol on the blockchain, cumulative unique NFT owners have surged from 28k to almost 2.5 million of late.
NFT launches on Solana [SOL] have increased at a tremendous pace
As per a report by Spencer Noon, the number of NFT launches on Solana “has skyrocketed, with more than 8 million total NFTs being minted using Metaplex.” Since last September, there’s been a significant increase in the number of wallets with more than one NFT, which recently crossed 500k.
As noted in the report, Magic Eden is “a leading NFT marketplace built on Solana, an ecosystem that facilitates high frequency, low-cost NFT trading and recently passed $1b in total volume.”
In comparison to the world’s largest marketplace OpenSea, the average daily transaction per user is three times higher on Magic Eden. The report also noted that the latter’s daily transactions were at 2.5x OpenSea’s, with both projects seeing increased transactions over the past month.
Although OpenSea captures almost 94% market share on Ethereum, Magic Eden has managed to climb to 86%, with other major projects being Solanart and Solsea. With cheaper transaction fees on Solana, Magic Eden continues “to see lower average prices compared to OpenSea.”