Why Does Solana Have So Many Transactions?
Crypto Basics

Why Does Solana Have So Many Transactions?

A look at how to meaningfully compare transactions between various layer-ones and layer-two blockchains.

Why Does Solana Have So Many Transactions?

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If you have been paying attention to transaction figures, you maybe noticed that Solana has a lot more daily transactions than other L1/L2 blockchains combined:

Is Solana the most popular blockchain? Or is the data wrong? Let’s take a look at how to meaningfully compare transactions between layer-one/two blockchains.

The Two Types Of Solana Transactions

There are voting transactions and non-voting transactions. Voting transactions are submitted by validators for network consensus. Non-voting transactions are the transfer of SOL between different Solana accounts or smart contracts. Both incur network fees in SOL, however, non-voting transactions are used when comparing Solana to other L1 or L2 blockchains.

Solana’s Transaction Riddle

Solana boasts more than six times as many transactions as Polygon: 18.9 million non-vote transactions to only 2.9 million transactions. At first glance, it would seem that Solana is processing a lot more volume and is thus a lot more popular. But the answer lies in the source of the transactions.

On Solana, non-voting transactions have always been significantly higher than on the other L1 blockchains. This is due to an overload of the Solana blockchain because of two particular types of non-voting transactions: arbitrage and minting bots. Solana has a much higher ratio of arbitrage bots and NFT minting bots than other blockchains. These transactions are not due to human users — think of them like spam mails: they merely clog up the system.

That also partially explains why Solana, dubbed a high-speed and high-throughput blockchain, experienced several outages in 2022.

Only a small portion — roughly 7% — of Solana’s non-voting transactions can be traced to transactions related to DeFi and NFT usage.

Data from Nansen shows the following breakdown of Solana transactions over the last week:
  • Unknown: 46M
  • Pyth Oracle: 39M
  • Zeta Markets (DeFi): 3.5M
  • Raydium (AMM): 2M
  • Orca (DeFi): 1M
  • Tulip (DeFi): 842K
  • Lifinity (DEX): 371K
  • Saber (AMM): 184K


It may be confusing to see Solana transaction figures mooning. But the inflated numbers can be easily explained when you compare the transaction sources. In reality, Solana’s figures are broadly comparable to other blockchains. This article should help you understand how to compare L1/L2 transactions meaningfully in the future.

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