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Despite the global crypto market losing more than $200 billion, the sixth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap remains one among the strongest performers.
Even in the face of a severe sell-off in the cryptocurrency market on Tuesday, a high-flying Solana (SOL) refused to land. SOL’s price returned to a new all-time high two days later.
The SOL/USD exchange rate avoided a significant drop in the last 48 hours, reaching $217 for the first time in history.
The pair’s ability to sustain bearish pressure underscored investors’ growing interest in Solana’s blockchain as an emerging rival to Ethereum, a public ledger currently leading the decentralized finance (DeFi) and nonfungible token (NFT) sector boom.
“The SOL outperformance in the market recently is more or less the continuation of its growth run in recent times,” said Petr Kozyakov, co-founder and CEO at payment service firm Mercuryo.
“With more than two different NFT project launches and minting going on in the ecosystem per day, there is an unending demand for SOL from retail buyers. As a result, it has kept the price up more than 50% this week despite a market-wide crash.”
In particular, on August 15, Solana hosted the launch of the NFT Degenerate Ape Academy, which contained a collection of 10,000 cartoon apes. They were sold out in eight minutes and involved 96,000 SOL (about $5.9 million).
Solana’s entrance into the NFT area was extended this week with the launch of an FTX-backed digital collectibles marketplace. FTX, a crypto derivatives platform, announced a new NFT initiative that will allow NFT artists and owners to trade their digital arts cross-chain using Solana and Ethereum.
Solana beats top rivals
Following a sharp sell-off on Tuesday, the cryptocurrency market lost more than $200 billion in value. Bitcoin (BTC), the most valuable digital currency by market capitalisation, had its price drop from more over $52,000 to nearly $42,000 in minutes, which analysts attribute mostly to cascading long liquidations.
Alternative cryptocurrencies, or altcoins, which follow the Bitcoin trend, fell in lockstep, with the second-largest, Ether (ETH), falling by up to 23.41 percent and its runner-up, Cardano (ADA), falling by 30.89 percent.
However, Solana was an exception in the sea of red. While the SOL/USD wobbled violently between gains and losses, it eventually closed the day 5.45% higher and followed it with extended upside moves in the sessions ahead.
The pair has surged almost 890% after bottoming out on July 20 at $21.96. At the same time, the total value locked inside Solana-based DeFi projects has crossed $7.81 billion, per data provided by SolanaProject.com.
Greg Waisman, co-founder and chief operating officer of Mercuryo, told Cointelegraph that he anticipates SOL to have reached $500 by the end of 2021. He noted:
“Solana’s growth runs appear to be mimicking that of Ethereum (ETH) and Binance Coin (BNB), and the $500 projection may turn out to be a conservative one for the coin.”