Solana Foundation Unveils Shareable Links for Seamless Transactions

The Solana Foundation has launched Solana Actions and blockchain links ("blinks"), enabling any website to facilitate Solana transactions through shareable URLs.

The Solana Foundation introduced a new feature to facilitate blockchain transactions via shareable links, potentially revolutionizing how users interact with the blockchain. Meanwhile, Colosseum, a startup accelerator focused on the Solana ecosystem, successfully raised $60 million to support early-stage crypto projects. However, not all of the latest Solana developments are positive, as Metallica’s official X account was hacked, with the exploiters using the breach to promote a fraudulent SOL-based token, leading to swift action from the band’s team and involved companies.

The Solana Foundation announced on Jun. 25 the introduction of "Solana Actions" and "blockchain links," or "blinks." This innovative feature allows any website capable of displaying a URL to perform a Solana transaction seamlessly.

The Solana Actions and blinks feature is designed to integrate Solana blockchain capabilities directly into web interfaces via shareable links. Imagine posting a link on social media platform X, enabling users to execute a crypto transaction without ever leaving the webpage. This transformative feature has the potential to be utilized in various applications, including crowdfunding, online purchases, and onchain voting.

Chris Osborn, the founder of Dialect, emphasized the versatility of this new feature. "From your X feed you can buy an NFT, tip a creator, receive money, vote, stake, swap and so much more," he explained. Dialect is responsible for the developer tools that power Solana Actions, providing forkable, self-hosted interstitial signing sites and software development kits (SDKs).

The introduction of blinks means that websites, social media platforms, and even physical QR codes can be used to share these transactional links. Jon Wong, head of ecosystem engineering at the Solana Foundation, noted that Solana Actions and blinks enable any website or application to serve as a distribution point for onchain interactions. This integration paves the way for a more connected and user-friendly blockchain experience.

The Solana Foundation is keenly aware of the importance of security and trust in this new venture. Their safety roadmap for Solana Actions and blinks includes options for users to enable wallet support, akin to connecting to trusted decentralized applications (DApps). A spokesperson for the foundation stated, "Actions and blinks are similar to ‘connecting’ your wallet to DApps - trust the sites you know and use, just as you trust the DApps you know and use."

When a wallet first attempts to pull a transaction from an unfamiliar application programming interface (API), users will encounter a standard "connect to site" prompt. The foundation assures that if a site domain has previously been connected to the wallet, it is more likely to be trustworthy. All Action transactions are simulated before execution to further enhance security.

The initial launch includes whitelisted domains from Solana's partners, such as Jupiter, Helium, Truffle, Phantom, and Backpack. This partnership ensures that the early adopters of this technology are operating within a trusted network.

The introduction of Solana Actions and blinks signals the rapid growth and innovation within the Solana ecosystem. Over the past few months, the Solana blockchain has experienced a surge in activity, largely driven by its low transaction fees and appeal as a platform for memecoins and decentralized infrastructure protocols.

A recent report by venture firm Pantera Capital highlighted Solana's significant market impact, noting that it recorded over 60% of the new volume in decentralized exchanges (DEXs) in May. "By May 2024, Solana accounted for 85% of all new tokens appearing on DEXs, up from 50% a year ago. This rise in Solana-based tokens reflects its strength in retail usage, driven by memecoin activity," the analysis stated.

The Solana Foundation's latest innovation marks a significant step forward in the integration of blockchain technology with everyday web experiences. By making blockchain transactions as simple as sharing a link, Solana is pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the Web3 space. This ease of use and accessibility could lead to broader adoption of blockchain technology in various sectors, from e-commerce to social media and beyond.

Colosseum Secures $60 Million for Early-Stage Crypto Projects Fund

Meanwhile, the newly launched startup accelerator Colosseum announced on Tuesday that it has raised an impressive $60 million for a fund dedicated to early-stage project investments. This fund, which was notably oversubscribed, aims to focus on pre-seed investments in startups emerging from the winners of Solana Hackathons.

Co-founder Clay Robbins highlighted the market's appetite for innovative and specialized venture products in the crypto space. "It's evident that there is a market demand for novel, specialized venture products in crypto, and we are excited to have a diverse group of investors, including ecosystem founders and hackathon alumni, alongside us to realize our vision for Colosseum," Robbins stated. 

When asked about the factors that attracted investors to the fund, Robbins noted that many of Colosseum’s liquidity providers (LPs) are ecosystem-agnostic but were drawn by the team’s immediate thesis that the Solana ecosystem holds significant promise. "Institutional LPs invest with both the current focus on the future in mind for what the model can become – so not necessarily a fund focused on one ecosystem, but more so this model," Robbins explained. This indicates a broader confidence in the accelerator's approach and its potential to replicate success across different blockchain ecosystems.

Colosseum views hackathons as pivotal events for fostering innovation and new company formations within the crypto space. These events bring together developers and founders to experiment and create, acting as a "crucible" for crypto innovation. Earlier this year, Colosseum hosted its inaugural Solana hackathon, drawing in over 8,000 participants. 

"Our hackathons are designed to level the playing field for builders globally to experiment with crypto product development and launch onchain startups," explained Matty Taylor, co-founder of Colosseum and former head of growth at the Solana Foundation. This approach not only democratizes access to crypto development but also accelerates the growth of the ecosystem by nurturing fresh talent and ideas.

Since its inception, Colosseum has already funded 11 companies and deployed $2.75 million. This early success showcases the accelerator's ability to identify and support promising startups, setting a solid foundation for future investments.

Among the notable backers of the fund is Bonk DAO, a 12-person council of Solana power brokers who manage $124 million worth of BONK token. Earlier this year, Bonk DAO announced plans to invest $500,000 in Colosseum's fund, further cementing confidence in the accelerator's vision and strategy.

The substantial funds raised by Colosseum will undoubtedly provide a significant boost to early-stage projects within the Solana ecosystem. By focusing on pre-seed investments, the accelerator aims to nurture the next generation of crypto startups, providing them with the necessary resources and support to innovate and grow.

The successful raise of $60 million not only demonstrates the potential seen in Solana but also reflects a broader belief in the model that Colosseum is pioneering. As the accelerator continues to host hackathons and support new projects, it is poised to play a crucial role in shaping the future of crypto innovation.

The enthusiasm and financial backing for Colosseum's fund reflect a promising future for the Solana ecosystem and the wider blockchain space. By creating a supportive environment for early-stage startups, Colosseum is fostering a new wave of innovation that could lead to groundbreaking developments in the crypto industry.

Metallica’s X Account Hacked to Promote Fake Solana Token METAL

In a startling turn of events, the official X account of the legendary heavy metal band Metallica was hacked on Jun. 26, with the exploiters using the breach to promote a fraudulent Solana token bearing the ticker METAL. This incident marks yet another high-profile social media compromise aimed at deceiving unsuspecting followers into crypto-related scams.

The breach became evident when Metallica's X account began posting about the METAL token, claiming it was launched in partnership with Ticketmaster. This announcement was accompanied by assurances that the token was introduced via the Solana-based token deployer, However, Ticketmaster made no corresponding announcement.

The posts from Metallica’s account also implicated fintech firm MoonPay in the promotion of the METAL token. This prompted a swift response from MoonPay president Keith Grossman, who took to X to clarify the company’s stance. “MoonPay does NOT support METAL,” Grossman emphatically stated. In a follow-up post, MoonPay humorously warned users, “If someone is offering you a METAL token, they are not the master of puppets — they’re the master of scams!” This statement cleverly referenced Metallica's iconic 1986 album and single, "Master of Puppets," to highlight the fraudulent nature of the token.

In an apparent bid to entice buyers, subsequent posts from the hacked account promised that METAL tokens could be redeemed for exclusive items, including "free concert tickets," custom gaming consoles, and merchandise. One post even suggested that the token would offer staking rewards, a common feature in legitimate crypto projects aimed at providing holders with interest on their tokens.

The initial buzz generated by these fraudulent posts led to a rapid surge in the METAL token's value, reaching a peak market capitalization of $3.37 million within just 20 minutes of its launch, according to data from Dexscreener. However, this peak was short-lived. Less than three hours later, the token's market cap plummeted to $90,000, representing a staggering 97% drop from its peak value.

Following the incident, Metallica's team regained control of their X account and promptly deleted all posts related to the METAL token. Despite these actions, the exact method by which the account was compromised remains unclear. 

This hacking incident is part of a broader trend where high-profile social media accounts are targeted to promote fraudulent crypto schemes. The involvement of notable brands and personalities, whether real or fabricated, can lend an air of legitimacy to these scams, making it all the more crucial for users to exercise due diligence.

The crypto community continues to grapple with issues of security and trust, particularly as the space attracts more mainstream attention. This latest incident shines the spotlight on the need for robust security measures and proactive communication from companies and influencers to safeguard against such breaches.