Layer-1 blockchain Solana has released a new solution aiming to drastically reduce the cost of on-chain storage. Called state compression, the technology promises to bring down the cost of minting 1 million nonfungible tokens (NFTs) on the network to nearly $110. 

“After numerous phases of development, adoption, and rollout, compressed NFTs are live on Solana’s mainnet-beta and powering the next wave of novel on-chain product experiences,” said Solana Foundation tech lead Jon Wong in a blog post on April 6. According to Wong, compressed NFTs “are 2,400-24,000x cheaper than uncompressed” peers with identical structures.

On Twitter, users classified the state compression solution as a “game changer” and a path “to make Solana a much more viable option for enterprise use cases.”

According to Solana’s tech lead, state compression relies on Merkle trees, “a data structure known for its capability to ‘compress’ the verifiability of a tree of data into a ‘hash,’ or ‘fingerprint,’ of the current state of the tree.” The Merkle roots are stored on-chain and updates are recorded directly in the Solana ledger, reducing the data storage costs without sacrificing decentralization. It can be used to store any sort of data on-chain.

“This compression-friendly data structure allows developers to store a small bit of data on-chain and updates directly in the Solana ledger, cutting the data storage cost down dramatically while still using the security and decentralization of Solana’s base layer,” noted Wong.

 A breakdown of NFT costs with Solana compression. Source: Solana Foundation

The development is a “true cross-ecosystem effort,” noted Wong. The solution was built by developers at Solana Labs and Metaplex, with support from Phantom, Solflare, and powered by RPC node providers, as well as indexers Helius, Triton, and SimpleHash.

Among the Solana ecosystem projects that already use state compression are Dialect, Crossmint, Helium, and Wordcel. They employ solutions ranging from NFTs minting to integrations for business loyalty programs to improvements in user experience.

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