Hey everyone, here are some updated thoughts on the Solana landscape, Jupiter direction and community alignment based on my observations over the last few weeks since and from discussions from the last community call.
A few months ago, we tweeted that Solana is the most likely candidate to be a major trading hub in crypto, and our confidence in that has not changed. That said, it is important to recognize several key issues plaguing Solana right now.
- For DeFi, these include lack of liquidity depth, decreased on-ramp / off-ramp options, shaky oracles and wrapped tokens.
- Many retail investors still feel very burnt by recent events, and continue to be doubtful over the lack of clarity of FTX in Solana.
- In addition, many developers are unhappy about perceived biases towards insiders and celebrities, and there are also others who have focused their efforts in search of opportunities elsewhere.
That said, we are still strong believers in Solana’s long term prospects, and believe that Solana is the chain most likely to onboard the next generation of mainstream users. There are many reasons for this, and one of it is the existence of a unique core developer community that is unlikely to be matched anytime soon by other ecosystems (except than ethereum), as demonstrated by the amazing speed in which the replacement for Serum came about.
The combination of a very strong core developer community, existing retail userbase, enthusiasm by various industry players (offchain resources, gaming) and a proven, battle hardened technical platform makes it hard for new entrants to catch up.
On our end, we have been very active in pushing Solana forward. In the last month alone, we integrated 6 new protocols and upgrades in the last month alone. We are also the first to leverage on Solana’s transaction v2 upgrade, encouraging wallets to support this new standard.
Moving forward, we will look to help re-invigorate Solana by investing large amounts of effort in helping improve liquidity and price discovery, showcasing new projects to users and embarking on marketing efforts to help new users come onboard Solana.
In summary, Solana is weakened, but it is a chance for the existing ecosystem and foundation to reset a lot of the cultural flaws and for new entrants to establish a foothold. And we will work hard to help on every step of the way.
Jupiter Direction And Product
The main goal for Jupiter is to advance the usage of decentralized liquidity and replace the need for anyone to use centralized liquidity platforms like FTX. We will do so by aggregating, building or integrating key services under a single, super easy to use system.
In the near term, we will be making big improvements to our existing system by launching full txn v2 support, making a push for composability, and revealing a new routing engine.
In the long term, we aim to expand the set of DeFi use cases on Solana, starting with limit orders that leverage on the full availability of liquidity on Solana. In addition, we want to scale the JUP Promise of best price, best selection, best ux across the entire crypto universe.
We have very exciting plans in 2023 for these, will be excited to share more soon! In addition, there were a few other topics that was discussed in the last call regarding product:
- We fix a lot of issues for projects that we integrate since we are often the first to spot issues with their onchain program or sdk issues, or get shit from users when things do not work.
- Possible protocol revenue comes from referral bonuses (need to make this an industry standard), optional fees (tying to token plans), positive slippage, new services with fees
- Most of Solana users come through Jupiter in one way or another - how can we use that to help new projects and tokens get discovered? Will be fun to continue this topics in following calls!
The hardest thing about community building is that it is very easy to do the simple thing and hype things up but ruin the goal of building a genuine userbase, evangelists and developers who care about the project long term.
We started the JUP spirit discussion a few months ago, culminating in what I thought was an awesome representation towards what the community should look like - most vocal, most long term, most critical.
Our community building program therefore needs to be focused on achieving this, vs creating short term hype, instant gratification or convenient promises. The crypto space suffers greatly from an over-emphasis on these 3, and it is imperative that we do not repeat these mistakes as we go about building the best community in crypto.
The other major topic that we discussed in the call was around the role of the community - the current consensus is that the community can focus on evangelizing and growth, while the team can focus on building great products that the space needs to wean off our dependence on centralized platforms.
In addition, here are a few other notes, some from the call, and some from the discussion afterward.
- We believe in rewarding community members who actively participate in improving product, evangelizing Jupiter and trying out new untested products.
- Community ownership needs to be focused on sustainable rewards for long term players or driving growth for a new product
- Users, community, developers are all equally important to us, and we need to make sure all 3 groups are taken care of
Although we are not ready for a fully liquid token yet, we think we can continue these discussions to move the ball forward:
- Brainstorm how we can be helpful for re-invigorating the Solana landscape
- Agree on the key goal of any community programs we embark on, whether it is growth, ownership or long term alignment
- Focus on quality vs quantity moving forward. Existing discord channels shall be archived, and new ones for quality contributions opened up
- Discuss how we can allow the community to take on enhancement and autonomy for growth and evangelism, vs from team-driven marketing efforts
Even though Solana DeFi has taken quite a big hit this past 2 months - we have been shipping faster than ever before, and we are very confident of delivering great products and value for users in Solana and beyond in our quest to help wean the space off the need to use centralized systems.
Lets buidl the most long term, most constructive and most vocal community in crypto, and achieve this goal together.