Winter SOLstice ☀️
Solana Deep Dive #1
I hope your holidays were so relaxing that you forgot what a deadline looks like. I thoroughly enjoyed marveling at your creative resolutions and predictions, and here's hoping the selection of open calls at this letter’s tail end propels you toward achieving your creative zeniths. Remember, setting goals and celebrating achievements are essential parts of the process. So, grab your vision board and dream big — 2024 LFG!
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In recent years, Solana hasn't enjoyed the name recognition or user numbers of BTC or ETH, but that's changing. SOL's been on a tear in recent months, gathering new users, artists, projects, and (ofc) degens in the process.
Solana’s journey began in 2017 when Anatoly Yakovenko published a whitepaper introducing a new timekeeping technique for distributed systems called Proof of History (PoH). This innovation aimed to improve blockchain scalability.
The idea? To create a historical record proving that an event has occurred at a specific time and to create "Nasdaq on the blockchain" by offering faster and cheaper transactions than those on Ethereum. This was Solana'OMG, s unique selling point and the one that helped it achieve high throughput and fast confirmation times without sacrificing decentralization.
Along with Greg Fitzgerald, Yakovenko co-founded Solana Labs, and the mainnet beta launched in March 2020. It featured the first iteration of the network that would support thousands of transactions per second.
Curious to know more about where Solana is today and how the story unraveled? Find the full dive here. Whether you're a developer looking to build the next big thing, an investor seeking opportunities, or just blockchain-curious, there's no doubt Solana is a chain to watch! 👀
Next week, we'll get into some of the most notable projects on Solana, and what's on the horizon.
Here's our quick tech news roundup (promise, it's Mickey-Swaayatt-drama free):
Midjourney raised a cool $200 million without spending a dime on investments. The team? Just 11 folks hustling full-time, with no external investors interrupting the party. And guess what? Discord is still the go-to spot. Can Midjourney still outshine DALL-E? Calling all AI artists — please share your thoughts.
Ever play the “Where was this photo taken?” game? Three Stanford scholars just leveled it up with the geoguessing AI tool PIGEON — and, yes, it’s real. Trained on a mere 500,000 photos, this program gets it right almost every flap. A bit spooky, but perfect for picking your next getaway without spinning a globe.
Airbnb just splurged $200 million on GamePlanner.AI. What's interesting: the company never released a product, never sold anything, never had a client, and has very few team members. You may have heard of its founder, Adam Cheyer, though. He previously co-founded Siri, which was acquired by Apple, and later co-founded Viv Labs, which was acquired by Samsung and is now known as the company’s voice assistant Bixby. So we're all ears… and the popcorn ready to go.
You’ve got to know about The GitHub for AI: say hello to Hugging Face! It's the behind-the-scenes of AI. Developers, bookmark it or risk FOMO.
For digital sculptors, if you want to take a break from Blender, try Nomadsculpt — a fun tool to play with your creations.
On the hunt for local photography wizards? VSCO is building the next platform to discover photographers and creators ready for work, aiming to become the “LinkedIn for photographers.”
As promised, here are some open calls to help with your artistic New Year’s resolutions:
🎨 On-chain Artists! Optimism has extended the on-chain art contest submission deadline to January 8th. Think of it like American Idol for on-chain art. W❤️TA is a creator contest celebrating on-chain artists with a 1,200,000 OP prize pool (split over four distinct categories) and judged by respected figures from the on-chain and creative industries.
👩💻 Designers! AIGA mentorship program: apply to become a mentor or mentee. Enrollment will close on January 17, 2024. The program runs from February to April, but many participants choose to continue their mentorship relationship well beyond that timeline. There is a $5 fee for the application.
💻 Generative Poets! The School for Poetic Computation offers scholarships and encourages applications from low-income, Black, Indigenous, gender-diverse, disabled, Queer, trans, oppressed, historically excluded, and underrepresented people.
🎡 Marketers! Similarly, the LaGrant Foundation seeks to address the lack of diversity in the advertising, marketing, and public relations fields by awarding scholarships up to $3,500 to people from historically underrepresented groups. Deadline: February 29, 2024.
🎹 Musicians! Each year, outstanding disabled musicians from around the world are selected to participate in the VSA International Young Musicians Program. In addition to receiving a $2,000 award, these talented young musicians (ages 14-25) participate in professional development and performance opportunities provided by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Deadline: January 17, 2024.
Do you think there’s a difference between being creative, being a creative, and being a creator? Well, we welcome all of them on our social media stage. We love to showcase your art on our channels, so don’t be shy. Please share it with us.
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Until next time, see you in the metaverse… or Telegram. ✌️
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