Over the past seven years, Ethereum (ETH -7.59%) has been one of the best-performing cryptos in the world. Since its launch back in 2015, Ethereum is up an eye-popping 247,225%.
However, investors are unlikely to ever see those types of returns from Ethereum again. Ethereum has skyrocketed in value to become the No. 2 cryptocurrency in the world, with a total market capitalization of about $200 billion, making it much harder to duplicate those returns in the future.
So what should you do if you missed out on Ethereum? One option is to search out other Layer 1 blockchains that could eventually take over from Ethereum during the next crypto bull market. And surely one of the top prospects in this regard is Solana (SOL -13.00%). Even though Solana is now trading at a more than 85% less than its all-time-high back in 2021, it has the type of unlimited upside that could make it the next Ethereum.
In terms of overall performance, Solana is already far superior to Ethereum. Take transaction processing speed, which is often considered to be one of the most important metrics for measuring the performance of a blockchain. Solana can theoretically process 65,000 transactions per second. Ethereum, on the other hand, can still only process 15 to 20 transactions per second.
Moreover, Ethereum is still plagued by high transaction fees, known as gas fees. Even after The Merge, a much-anticipated system upgrade scheduled for this week, it is unclear how much of a performance boost Ethereum will really get. Meanwhile, Solana continues to earn props as a potential Ethereum killer.
Performance metrics matter, because they are what can attract users, developers, and investors. In turn, this critical mass of users and developers is what leads to a strong, vibrant ecosystem. Simply stated, users migrate to a particular blockchain if it is cheaper and easier to use.
And developers will also move if it offers superior scalability and performance. For this reason, we are already starting to see a strong influx of developers into Solana.
In fact, Helium, one of the biggest blockchains in the world is now voting to migrate its entire technological infrastructure over to Solana. As a result, Solana’s ecosystem is growing faster than Ethereum’s, and this has important implications for growth projections we use to model Solana in the future.
In the last crypto bull market, Ethereum led the way, thanks to all of the innovations it introduced in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), smart contracts, and decentralized applications (dApps). By nearly any metric, Ethereum is still the leader in overall blockchain activity. However, it’s no longer necessarily the case that Ethereum has the most innovative blockchain ecosystem.
Just consider all of the innovation coming out of Solana over the past 12 months. There has been the launch of the Phantom digital wallet, the launch of the new Solana Pay payment network, the introduction of entirely new genres of blockchain gaming, and the launch of Saga, the world’s first-ever “crypto phone.” On top of that, Solana has now emerged as the primary rival to Ethereum in the NFT market, thanks to the success of projects such as the Magic Eden NFT marketplace.
There’s reason to think that Solana has really only scratched the surface of what is possible with mobile crypto. Solana, for example, has already released a software development kit (SDK) for mobile crypto, so it clearly believes that this could be a future, high-growth category. What other blockchain has its own mobile phone and SDK?
And don’t forget about the metaverse and blockchain gaming. Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen Solana announce major new future opportunities in these areas in major tech hubs like Dubai.
Future price targets
During the peak of the last crypto bull market, analysts were putting out some incredibly aggressive price targets for Solana. While those numbers now seem, in hindsight, to be remarkably optimistic, there is still a lot of upside potential to Solana.
Given that Solana is currently trading at about $35 right now, even if it just retraces its path back to an all-time high of $260 from almost 12 months ago, that would still be a sevenfold return on investment. But some analysts have suggested that Solana could eventually hit $1,000, creating even more upside potential for investors who get in now.
The really exciting part about Solana is that it is continuing to build during a down market. At the same time, the Solana brand is continuing to gain traction with young users. There are also a number of exciting catalysts coming in 2023, including the new Saga crypto phone. All of this leads me to think that Solana could be a no-brainer way to profit in the next crypto boom if you missed out on the initial stratospheric returns of Ethereum.