- The Solana Blockchain launched a Solana embassy in New York City on the 28th of July 2022
- Comparisons with Apple were inevitable given Solana’s plans for their phone come cold wallet, the SOL phone
- According to the Solana website, the blockchain processes over 2000 transactions per second and has processed over 90 billion transactions in its lifetime.
The Solana Blockchain launched a Solana embassy in New York City on the 28th of July 2022. The brick-and-mortar store will be used to represent Solana in the real world while also educating people on aspects of blockchain, cryptocurrency, NFTs, transacting and more. While the move is divisive many have questioned the move.
Images available online show the store is reminiscent of Apple stores in minimalist design and intended purpose. Comparisons with Apple were inevitable given Solana’s plans for their phone come cold wallet, the SOL phone.
- Solana Space is located in Manhattan, New York
- The physical interface to help people learn about web3 Technologies
- Concept has detractors
Solana claims to be the fastest blockchain in the world. The blockchain supports multiple projects in decentralised finance (Defi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and web3. According to the Solana website, the blockchain processes over 2000 transactions per second and has processed over 90 billion transactions in its lifetime.
Solana embassy NY
The Solana embassy, which opened in New York’s Manhattan Hudson Yards, is Solana’s play at using physical infrastructure to help understand and adopt web3 concepts. The store, as shown by images that have emerged, looks much like an Apple store. With white walls and minimalist fittings that are mostly white, the store is littered with seating spaces and workstations, which are again dominated by the colour white.
The idea is simple, to give people a physical location that can interact with people in real-time to learn about aspects of web3 technologies such as cryptocurrency, NFTs and blockchain technology as a whole.
Solana’s spaces have benefits
Looking at the positive side, the embassy concept could work for several reasons. Web3 technologies are quite complex. When white papers and videos are put out, they are created to reach as wide an audience as possible but do not cater to the depth of understanding that individuals desire. Interacting with someone face-to-face could bridge the gap and bring better understanding to these technologies and wider adoption.
The embassy concept can also aid in building trust. Faceless organisations do not register the high trust with people, particularly older generations. Having faces and places to associate with these web3 technologies and ideas would bring in more people and the buy-in of the economically powerful generations X and Y (millennials).
The embassy also has the potential to bring web3 technologies into the mainstream. Familiarity helps build trust and recognition in the long run. People given the opportunity to become familiar with a name like Solana in their every day lives may eventually endeavour to learn more.
The Solana embassy has also drawn Criticism
The first drawback is the cost. White papers and even explanatory videos are low-cost and far-reaching. Do it once and continue to reap the benefits. These embassies have overheads and ongoing costs. While space everywhere is not as expensive as it is in Hudson Yards somebody has to pay for it.
The second drawback is a lack of scalability. To cover more territory you need more stores and that means increasing the expenses. The idea is not ideal to use on a wide scale and will likely not achieve the same results in every territory.
One of the biggest criticisms has been that the embassy concept is taking web3 technology backwards rather than forward. Using old marketing methods in a new world. While the old marketing method has worked for Apple, there is little success with it elsewhere.
For now, it is unclear how far Solana plans to take this embassy store concept. Perhaps they are waiting to see how the first store fairs to see if the strategy is worth pursuing. It has some undoubted benefits but it’s not clear if those benefits are what the market needs to improve web3 technology uptake. This idea could work better in places like Africa which thanks to their peculiar characteristics might appreciate an approach like this more.