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2021 got off to a fast start and the current crypto bull market has assets such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) shoots to new record highs almost daily.

While new price heights are positive for investors, they present a series of challenges related to fees, transaction rates and the centralization of what is meant to be a decentralized ecosystem. Since mid-2020 institutional investors have been steadily moving into cryptocurrency and this exacerbates the problem of scalability, high transaction costs and long confirmation times on the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchain.

Eth2 is being rolled out steadily, but it may be a while before users take advantage of many new features. This leaves the door open for other viable candidates to fill the void, and a handful of layer 2 projects are gaining traction in the decentralized financial space.

One of those projects that has caused a furore in the past 6 months is Solana (SOL). Founded by Anatoly Yakovenko and designed a team of former engineers from globally recognized companies including Intel, Dropbox and Qualcomm, Solana claims to be a censorship-resistant blockchain that provides the open infrastructure needed for global adoption.

SOL / USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Some experts view the project as a potential Ethereum competitor and FTX Exchange co-founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried threw his support behind the project when he chose it host his DeFi project called Serum.

According to Bankman-Fried, Ethereum is unable to handle the rapid growth in the decentralized financial sector and the only way to get around the scalability and transaction cost challenges is to build on other networks such as Solana.

Bankman-Fried claims he thoroughly tested more than 30 of the best blockchain projects, including Ethereum, before settling on Solana, and in the past he referred to the network’s ability to process 50,000 transactions per second.

When asked about scaling improvements with Eth2, Bankman-Fried suggested it is still insufficient, saying the crypto industry needs something that is “not only 100 times faster than Ethereum, but a million times faster than Ethereum.”